California 2016

Day 09

June 26

  Today will be one of the longest days of the ride at 880 miles, but fortunately it's all on the slab which makes for a little quicker traveling. It's sort of funny that I am leaving Salina, UT and headed for Salina, KS for the evening. I wake from the sleep of a dead man and partake of the Super 8 Breakfast. I'm surprised at how busy the dining area is this early in the morning. I get my grub, polish it off and get SweetTreat ready for the day.  
  Interstate 70 will be my 'friend' for the day much like Interstate 80 was coming out. In this particular section, they routed Highway 50 onto the interstate, but the original route still exists and heads further north.  
  The terrain is interesting as I move right along in the shadows.  
  The further I get into Utah proper, the more rugged the terrain becomes and finally transitions ...  
  to the buttes and mesas that most folks associate with this part of the country.  
  My first gas stop is technically in Moab which actually is quite a bit south of here. They think a lot of their gas at $4.79 a gallon. But if you're gonna dance, you gotta pay the fiddler and it ain't the most expensive gas I've ever bought. And I really don't fancy pushing my ST1100 very far if I run out of fuel.  
  Soon I cross over into Colorado and I am running alongside the river of the same name. I guess it's just my peculiar nature, but I find riding alongside a river particularly relaxing and enjoyable.  
  I guess this classifies as a mesa instead of a butte since it's of reasonable size. But I'll leave that designation to someone more qualified in geology than me. It does remind me of some of the castles that I saw when I was over in the Alps in 2008.  

At my next gas stop, there are a couple of riders on cruisers taking a break on their way back to Utah. We chat a little bit about riding and I find out they are both in the National Guard, so I thank them for their service. One of them talks about the less than pleasant seat on his bike and I tell him -

"If you plan on keeping the bike for a good while, you might want to look into the Russell Daylong Saddle. I've just been up there having my original refurbed and another one built. They are great folks and their seats make riding distances a lot more pleasant."

I wish them well and then they head on out. I've ground to cover, so I follow their example in short order.

  Much to my delight, I get to play more tag with the river as I head toward Denver.  
  There are some pretty interesting tunnels on I70 like this one that gives momentary relief from the heat.  
  When I pass this sign, I figure it ranks right up there with Dull, Tennessee for named places. I guess they just ran out of names the day they were handing them out.  
  There's another interesting tunnel to go through which is longer and a bit cooler.  
  About 60 miles west of Denver the traffic all of a sudden goes crazy. People come to a complete stop on the Interstate as if there is a traffic light or something up ahead. When this happens, motorcycles easily become hood ornaments if a rider is not careful. I start looking for a place to pull over so this doesn't happen to me. I am really concerned these days about getting tagged from behind from inattentive drivers. Once I get to the tunnel, I still don't see any wrecks or any reasons for all of the commotion. I guess it's just one of those vulgarities of the road that I'll never know the cause.  
  I may be a mile high in Denver, but it's still hotter than blazes. So I take a longer break and drink a lot of fluids trying to get properly rehydrated. I'm a bit like a camel - I drink a lot at one setting instead of sipping as I go and it seems to work well for me.  
  And what would an Interstate ride be on this trip without a construction zone then ...  
  another construction zone? I don't know but I sure would like to find out one day.  

Soon it's 'Good-bye Colorado' and 'Hello Kansas'. I've still got over 250 miles to go, but at least I know I'm closer to some air-conditioned comfort.

  I wonder if Kansas is the 'Hay Producing Capital' of the country as this field stretches as far as my eyes can see. I can't imagine how many of these large bales they will harvest from just this plot alone.  
  Further along, I see oil wells in amongst the wheat fields where a farmer hopefully profits from what's under his land and what's on his land.  
  I know I will not win the race with the sun as I've already figured it will be late when I get to my place of rest tonight. So I enjoy the beautiful sunset for as long as I can.  
  I finally pull into the Super 8 at 9:30 PM and I am mighty glad to be here - especially after that traffic mess at the tunnel.  
  Tomorrow I'll be back to my beloved Holler if all goes as planned. I walk to a nearby convenience store to grab some snacks as I am not very hungry. This old boy needs some serious nappy house time, so I polish off my fixin's then pillow this weary head.