Keep tuned! Things should start getting more adventurous from here on. This US tour has been great fun and has worked well as a shake-out for Heidi and I as riding partners.
Update: Continued: Friday:
The Super-8 hotel is connected to the Ellis Island casino. I’ve always heard stories of great and inexpensive places to eat and drink in Vegas but I’ve never been to any of them. Well the Ellis Island casino has to be the standard, 1 dollar big micro-brewery beers, $4.95 full steak dinner or hungry man breakfast. I saw on TV the Wisconsin Badgers were playing the UNLV Rebels. Red Badger shirts were everywhere. Cheap beer, lots of food, you know Wisconsinites are going to find this place.
Of course the temperatures for where we are heading next are expected to be around 108 degrees, Yuma AZ. We were waiting for a piece of mail to arrive at the Super-8, it’s a day late. We wanted to be on the road early but instead are stuck in the hotel lobby awaiting the mail person. We’re not even sure it’s going to be in the mail today or exactly when the mail will arrive.
The mail shows up at about one PM. It’s getting hot. Highway 95 south from Vegas is rough rocky desert. Anything under a hundred degrees feels good to us now but this 105 degree stuff is tough to handle. We do just under 200 miles and find ourselves on old route 66 and a handful of inexpensive motels. We crawl into our room and crank the AC.
The plan is to hit the road early and be in Yuma before noon, it’s only about 200 miles. We pass through Lake Havasu at about 8 AM and the temperature was already 97. Ouch ouch. I gas up just before an 81 mile stretch of nothing. It Is Hot… We buy a gallon of cold water and fill up all our jugs. We’re thinking survival here.
OK again I’m not making any of this up. We’re about 20 miles down this hot road with nothing before we hit Yuma. The bike just dies. I tried the starter while we were coasting and it seemed to turn over weak. We have plenty of gas. I’m wondering if the battery shorted out internally, or maybe that stupid power adapter I installed shorted. A few days ago we lost our right blinker, it’s not the bulb. I wonder if that’s related.
Heidi and I start to prepare for a long haul in the hot desert sun (we are in the middle of nowhere!). About 5 minutes later I try the starter. The bike fires right up. We hop on and start to head back to the town 20 miles away. After about a mile we change our mind and decide to risk it and turn around and point it to Yuma with fingers crossed.
Made it to Yuma, we thank our lucky stars. We’re checked into a cheap motel with a pool and life is good. Yesterday I got two new tires and a new battery. The blinker wires inside the wheel well were all fried and shorting out. I’m confident the shorted wires had something to do with the bike dying the other day. I’m glad to have a new battery anyway. I removed the electrical outlet also just for peace of mind. I’m sending the AC inverter home.
We are on schedule to be across the border on the 15 th, just as planned. So stayed tuned! Much more fun to come. VIVA MEXICO.
I can feel a buzz inside my body:
We are taking care of business in Yuma. I bought all new padlocks. One of the Brinks locks refused to open one day and another started getting sticky. Luckily the frozen lock was not on a pannier. I had to get it cut off. We have Master Locks now. Picked up 3 more water proof stuff sacks from Wal-mart for $10 and some toiletry stuff. Today I’m picking up motorcycle liability insurance for Mexico at a local Sanborn office. I’m getting out the Baja Map. I threw away all our USA maps, except a small section that includes the route between Yuma to Mexicali. I’m thinking of all the stuff I want to do before crossing the border, I can feel a buzz inside my body. Should we head for San Felipe the first night or go straight to the west coast near Ensenada? Ahhh....
Before leaving Yuma we went through all our gear. We sent home a package weighing 9 pounds, all stuff we decided we can do without. It felt good to lighten our heavy load.
This is what is left of our survival kit (the beer is not part of the kit :)