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Day 129 – 16th April 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on April 17, 2009

Thursday – Salt Lake City, Utah

Well, I nearly froze my ring gear off today and turned into a popsicle to boot, and it was all my own damm fault 🙂 I have never been so cold, but that comes later in the day, so read on.

First up after some breakfast, I realised there was a couple of things I had forgotten to do, so my lazy day looking at maps was put on hold.

I had bought a marine deck power plug and socket which was to add power to my tank bag. I also wanted to test my Garmin GPS, to see if it worked over here without maps, then mount it to the bike and get power to it as well.

The first job was getting the GPS mounted, this took a bit longer than expected, mainly trying to find nuts and bolts to suit. I eventually got it mounted in a place I could see it if need be and not blocking the other bits on the dash. I just spliced into the power cable for the TomTom, but I had no solder so a twist connection is all she wrote at this time, but it should be fine for a while. Ken had some solder somewhere, but I have no idea where 🙂

As you can see I had to dismantle the dash area to get it sorted, but in the end I reckon it should work real good. Time will tell and also the dirt roads will test the Garmin marine bracket 🙂

Once I had finished that I tested the reception, which was good. But there was no base map of the US on it, only Australia, but I knew I needed to buy the World Map anyway, which would see me through South America as the TomTom would be useless down there. After this, I ventured on to the tank bag power. Once again this took a while as I could not find the cable I had put aside for this job. I looked everywhere and eventually found it in my glue storage container, why would I put it there!!! Anyway, once I had all the bits sorted I proceeded to cut a hole in the top front of the bag lid where it would get less knocking around. These two slightly out of focus pictures show from the front looking towards the back of the bike with the map window up top, one with the socket visible, one with the weather proof cap on.

Then inside the lid, the 12V cig socket I had available, I just cable tied to the warning window under the lid, I have nothing plugged into it at this stage (that is another story!)

This is a view from outside with the power cable from the fuse box plugged in, it also has a water proof boot on it.

I left enough slack cable so I could lift the bag up to get to the fuel tank and fill up.

The cable then runs under the base, out through the left side, to minimise damage while mounting and dismounting the bike, before it goes under the side panel to the fuse box under the seat.

Sorry if this is boring, but it is cold out and not riding weather, or so I thought!

Now comes the not so fun time, after lunch I tried to use the solder Ken found for me but it was plumbing solder with no flux, so it would not flow onto the wires. This was during the tank bag install above, so I was stumped as I needed to extend the cable I had as it did not reach. So, I saw Kens house keys on his bike and decided I could go up to the car audio place where I got the cable from and get some solder. I went there but he did not have any, but he pointed me to a Radio Shack up the road a bit and I got some there. I was about 2 miles from the house and it was freezing, I did not have all my gear on as I was only going to be a few minutes, right!

So, I got back to the house, no keys! I had swapped jackets and left the keys inside and no way to get in and I was stuck out here in the cold, brrr. No worries, I called Ken who said he was doing a run, but I could meet him at such and such at 3.30pm and grab his house key, it was now 2.20pm. Fine, I decided to go and grab some cash and activate my ATM card and did so. After that I headed to where I thought I was supposed to go, but it seemed strange the direction I was going so I stopped at an intersection. I sent Ken a text, in case he was driving and he called with instructions on how to get from where I was to where he was.

I cannot fathom the directions here in SLC, as I have no clue where I am and no idea how to program a destination into my GPS. I only mean in the way the directions and addresses are given, my GPS does not accept that info, so I have to try and interpret them, which is like the blind leading the blind 🙂 It sounds silly, but I think I started to go in the direction Ken said, I even crossed a street I recognised and eventually I got to where I thought he was, and there were buses there, then it started to hail 😦 My phone rang, I told Ken where I was, which turned out to be miles in the wrong direction, lol. I said forget it, I would wait until after 5 when he finishes work. This was getting me nowhere fast and in the rain, it is no fun riding through road works, of which there were lots.

Now it started to rain in earnest and I had an hour and a half to wait, so I ducked into the closest Sears shop and walked around for a bit before heading back and then only had to wait about half an hour on the door step like a poor lost waif. Yep, one of these days I will describe how the street system works here, if I ever work it out. 🙂

Anyway, after Bev came home and let the popsicle in, I had a hot cuppa and went back to the wiring up. A ten minute ride turned into 3 hours in near zero conditions, I need some heat and I intend to start riding tomorrow to Death Valley, but it will take a few days to get there.

I had now wired up my tank bag, I plugged in my Kensington 12V cig to USB 5V adaptor and it did not work? I checked my wiring and because I was cold I had stuffed up and reversed the polarity, I pulled it apart but it was cooked, so I need a new one of them, bummer!

Never mind, on to the next job, it was early evening now and it was not getting any warmer. Remember that Aussie flag I found the other day, well Ken gave me this light aluminium tubing which just happened to have the correct clamps on it to fit my Happy Trail rack and had the right angle of the dangle 🙂 So, I mounted that and I will see tomorrow whether I keep it on, it may be flapping too much in my rear view mirror.

After that and a bit of dinner, I had to pack all my gear away, well most of it and chatted with Ken and Bev for a while. Then a nice hot shower to cap the day off 🙂

Day – 30 miles and 48km
Trip – 2,385 miles and 3,838km

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6 Responses to “Day 129 – 16th April 09”

  1. John weldon said

    Think you should have started in the Southeast. A garage with everything you could need & 70F temps. 🙂

    • travellingstrom said

      Well, yes, that would have been good, but I took what was offered and it is all part of the travel experience, I am now down south westish and getting warmer 🙂


  2. Guy said

    Can you see over the dash with all that crap there? 😉

  3. Peter Ruddick said

    You will need choks on the pedals to see over all that crap on the dash, mate…


    • travellingstrom said

      Not you too 🙂

      Actually I can see quite well, to be serious and the top of the Garmin GPS on the left is below my sight line, but visible with a quick flick down of the eyes. Of course if I have a stack I will collect them in the mush 🙂


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