The Trip Home

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April 27th; I took a little extra time to get out of town, it seems the heated gear I bought (and don’t like – too confining), had a battery connection that caused the bolts to loosen up, given me trouble starting/charging the bike. So I tore the seat off and tightened a few loose bolts, checked my saddle bag attachments and then repacked the bike and was rolling a little after 9:00 am, not to mention the chilly temps in the morning, and the fact I’d be climbing in elevation after I passed Mesquite. My goal, was Salt Lake City/Ogden area.

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My first stop was St George, UT. Mandi & I had tried to visit Zion Harley Davidson earlier in the trip and it was closed (Sundays), so I told her I’d stop on my way back, as she had technically ridden there she was entitled a shirt or something. As I meandered through the store it quickly became apparent that they like their shirts so much the don’t want to sell them to the likes of me. Now I’m a Harley officianado, but I refuse to pay $43 for a t-shirt, so neither of us got a momento from Zion HD. I was gonna gas up but figured I could easily make Cedar City before getting gas… Note to self, gas when you can, not when it fits the schedule! I squeaked into Cedar City on fumes, pulling into the first possible station and putting 5.063 gallons in my 5 gallon tank. Phew that was close! I ran over to Subway and grabbed a 6″ sub and was on my way again in a very short 35 minutes. Now for those who don’t frequent I-15 in Utah, let me just say pot holes and rough roads seem to be normal there, however, lucky for me (and Jaded) I’d had those new Terry Cable Shocks installed in Laughlin. Wow! What a difference in the ride, not more bouncing around the seat on pot holes. Jaded is much more sure footed at 85 mph than she’s ever been. Best upgrade yet! If you’re still depending on stock shocks, you might wanna look into Terry Cables‘ offerings, your tailbone will be much happier!

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Another couple of hours and I made it to Bountiful, UT just as the sun was going down, so I grabbed some Del Taco for dinner, took a nice long break and gassed up and ran up to Ogden, arriving about 9:00 pm and called it a night. I’d found a room and was out after the cursory phone call to my lovely new wife.

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April 28th; The plan today was not to kill myself and try to make it all the way home, instead to shoot for Boise, ID. I rode up to Tremonton, UT for breakfast at Subway, then geared up for the chilly ride up into Idaho. I made it to Kimberley, ID around 1:30 pm, and took a break then gassed up and ran into some other 7th District Firefighters riding up to the Tri-Cities for our spring opener the 29th & 30th. We shot the breeze a bit and I told them I was shooting for Boise, not sure I’d make the ride with the group explaining my trip. They wished me a safe ride and I was rolling again, next stop Boise, ID. I got into Boise, and decided to get some food and gas so I’d be ready to go in the morning. But after a nice hour break I decided against another night in a hotel, longing for my own bed and to see my wife.

So I grabbed 2 5 hr powers and put Jaded in the wind again, within about 40 minutes we were crossing the Oregon line, 3 hours from home. I made a quick stop in Baker city for fuel and was back at it as the sun had just gone down, I don’t much care for night riding, but I knew the road well and pressed on. It got chilly cruising over the Blue Mountains, and a couple of hours later I was dropping into Pendleton. An hour to go, a little tired and its now close to 11 pm. What I hadn’t noticed in the dark, there was a storm brewing just west of Hermiston. I sure felt the winds pick up then it started to rain. I couldn’t believe it 3000 miles and the only rain I hit is within 30 minutes of the house! I sloshed into Stanfield, and gassed up for the last 40 mins and the rain got even harder, I checked the radar and there was a pretty powerful cell moving through, so I called Mandi and decided to wait it out.

I grabbed some truck stop coffee and took a seat after about 45 minutes there appeared to be a big enough break for me to get home without getting wetter, so I took it and rolled into the house about 12:30 am April 29th, safe and sound with some 700 miles behind me. So I made it, and the IAFF-MG 7th District (WA, ID, MN, & AK) was hosting a spring opener that same day. Guess I’ll go after all…