California 2016

Day 10

June 27

  It's quite a bit foggy as I prep SweetTreat for the day's business. I decide I'll put on my rain jacket just to cut down on the dampness that can chill your bones at highway speeds.  
  And riding in fog in a construction zone really adds to the thrill.  
  But soon the fog lifts and I am thankful for that. It's turning into a beautiful day as I pass Fort Riley, Kansas.  
  It's not long until I'm surveying the Kansas City skyline. I remember this particular spot as the place I snagged one of my first stateline signs of Kansas headed in the other direction on the interstate.  
  I'm making really good progress today so I hope I'll be back in the Holler earlier than I expect. One thing I've done on this trip is I've usually stopped for lunch. With the heat as it is, it gives me a longer break in the middle of the day that I need. And usually there are Subways at a lot of gas stations, so I avail myself of their somewhat fresh sandwiches - at least they are made on the spot with fairly fresh ingredients.  
  Farther along, I see a full holiday flag flying in the breeze. I love my country and I love my flag, but I don't love the way they are both being treated lately by those within her borders and without her borders.  
  When I see this sign, I know I've only got one more interstate before I hit I24, the last one on my way to the Holler. I'm making great time and enjoying the day but then ...  
  a hole gets blowed in my bucket. Traffic comes to a complete standstill and it's about 3 PM with the heat really bearing down. I flip my CB radio over to Channel 19 and hear that this is at least a seven mile backup. It's a constant stop and go which really takes a toll on my hands. The heat from the pavement, the surrounding vehicles and SweetTreat wrings me out like a cheap sponge. I finally decide that I've got to get some air flowing over me or else there's gonna be another backup when I fall off the bike. Folks kindly let me get to the shoulder and I turn on my 4-ways and run a little distance to get some fresh air. Once I get cooled back down to a bearable level, I get back in line. This whole deal takes over an hour to get through and I am soaked like somebody has dumped a tub of hot water over me.  
  At long last I get through the mess and on to Interstate 24. I feel a bit like a cracker that's been dropped into sink of water - pretty limp and soggy. But having the air stirring again slowly dries me out.  

When I pass by Metropolis, I tell my old buddy Superman -

"I could have used your help a ways back there, my friend."

But I'm sure he has bigger fish to fry than fooling with traffic jams caused by people that can't figure out how to gracefully merge from two lanes into one lane.

  I gladly make my last gas stop, knowing it won't be long before I'm back in my beloved Holler.  
  Fortunately there is no more highway drama and I get home without completely melting down and running out of my boots. It's been a great run of over 5,000 miles and once again I have been blessed by the Lord in that I had no mechanical problems to mention. Since I got 200,000+ miles out of my original Russell Seat build, I figure I should be good for another 400,000 miles with my refurbed one and my new one. That will take me close to a million miles on two wheels if I am fortunate enough to be able to ride that long. But more importantly, I've got to spend precious time with two of my favorite people - Don and Joyce. At the end of the day, it's special friends like them that add the sweet fragrances to our lives that we long remember when other things fade from view.