In May of this year, I was joining with the guys doing the Run For The Wall. I had planned on riding down with some of the pacific northwest riders and I was to meet them in at Sea-Tac on FRIDAY THE 13TH. I got up at 5:00 am and finished loading out my bike. The night before I had verified that my brand new tires were at the correct air pressure and ready to go. When I dropped off the center stand, the rear tire felt bad. I was right..... it was very low. I immediately aired the tire up and grabbed a spray bottle looking for a leak. Found none. Couldn't leave with a suspected tire.
So I missed my ride with those guys. They were already on their way. I went back to bed and when I got up, I called Everett Power Sports, our local Goldwing Dealer and they wanted to help out. I checked my tire, it was still holding air, so I chanced it and rode up there about 5 miles away. They put the bike on the lift and they couldn't find anything either. They took the tire off the bike and dunk tanked it and could get the valve stem to leak and replaced the brand new valve stem with another brand new valve stem. I got out of there at 12:30.
So, I decided to leave on Saturday morning rather than Friday. I decided to alter my route and rather than ride to Los Angeles, I was going to ride down to Phoenix as I have friends there and I would join the ride there as that is the first day stop for the Run for the Wall ride.
Well, I camped and rode down to Phoenix. 1500 miles, doing 550 each day and settting and breaking camp along the way. I get to Phoenix and all is well. Having a good time visiting with my friends and one day he and I take a 300 mile ride together. The day before I was to meet the riders coming from Los Angeles, I got word from home that my girl friend's health was in great jeopardy. It was not looking good. After thinking though about riding in a group, distracted, riding further from home rather than towards home..... I started to be concerned about the other riders safety around me as well as my own. Also, my mind was on her and no longer on my ride objective. I decided that I would should return home. Further, that since I was 1550 miles and three full days of riding from home that I could also be at risk of being a distracted rider while riding solo. So, I made the decision to fly home. When I told my friend about my plans to return home, he offered to store my motorcycle and trailer in his garage. HOWEVER, the next thing that happened blew me away. His wife, had recently changed jobs. She was now working for American Airlines and she could arrange a discounted ticket for me to go home. Folks, that set me back $50 to fly home the very next morning. ($50 to fly back much later in the story as well.)
I had to stop and count my blessings. Here I had storage of my motorcycle in a safe place and a plane ticket I could afford. And a two friends that understood me and my concerns and just wanted to help any way they could. Priceless.
I flew home and things improved for her. I was able to re focus on things. So, in July, I flew back down to Phoenix and visited for a few days and then set out on a solo adventure to see Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana and then back into Washington State, my home in Seattle.
The total mileage for this trip was 5750 miles, counting the ride down to Phoenix. I camped in the National Parks or in "free camp" areas. I cooked my own food. I didn't buy a cup of coffee or any breakfast or supper meals. I did buy a 6 inch sub sandwich each day for lunch. I brewed all of my own coffee and cooked my meals in the evening.
My total camping costs for 13 days was $117. My restaurant costs was less than $75. My gas costs was $425.
So, I didn't get to stand at the Wall with my other Veteran friends. God had something else in mind. I do regret not being able to be on the road for 28 days and seeing Washington DC and riding in Rolling Thunder. I will this next year. You can bet on it.