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Well, well, well

It turns out that people actually read my blog posts...

All 3 of you; that’s on top of the other 3; myself Bec and the dog!

Yup, Nick here again!

I’ll take the story up then from yesterday (Thursday 20 th oct)

After a couple of bitter days we awoke to a wonderful warm morning with a forcast high of 25 deg c. That’ll do me.

We said goodbye to the little town of Mountain View and set off under Bec’s navigation app "Scenics" amazing routing. It did however, as it always does, add considerable time to our journey ...from 3 hrs using major roads to 7 hrs using backroads. Our destination was a place called Fayetteville (they do a lot of that here, and it seems to me that if they run out of town names they add a ville on the end!)

Right from the off we were into the rural twisties, how we haven’t disappeared into the bushes gawping at the "wow did you see that” whilst cranked over mid corner I’ll never know as we pass farms animals and spectacular vistas.

We hit the usual run of gravel roads which have become the norm. The we hit a section that went into the Ozark forest and the road got more loose with large rock sections on a fairly steep road down.

We both managed to stay upright crossing a couple of little streams until….. rounding a corner we were confronted by a semi dry river bed about 50 metres in length …… S C E N IC!!!!!! (ALWAYS blame the gps and NOT your partner!).

I walked though to see if we could make it to the track the other side while Bec contented herself admiring the flora and fauna finding a butterfly, stick insect and caterpillar (see pic) crawling on water?? Which she called, yes you guessed it, Jesus!!

I was certain that it could be done BUT we would have to walk the bikes through using the cutch through exhaust height water which meant wet feet AND we had no idea what was on the track the other side for the remaining 5kms. So I made the call to turn around and go back the 6 kms it took to get there. ( can’t remember how many times muttered “ pussy” but it was a few)

It means we’ll have to go back up that gnarly hill though love …….

"I’m not too happy" she said, "but I will go first" 😳 off we went with BEC vanishing like a pro out of the seat with the bike and luggage bouncing away underneath her!!

Every day I am amazed at what this girl does as she just gets on with it, proud would be an understatement!

Banana and water refreshed we charged off to Fayetteville on really twisty roads devoid of cars…. We had a blast!!

Bruce you would have been proud of Bec’s lines!

We made the Honda shop in Springdale in good time.

I need to point out these guys went out of their way to help us, thank you Anthony and everyone at Heartland Honda ...epic service!

We picked up the girls the next day with no graunching (27,500kms) from knackered chains and sprockets (I thought they hadn’t done too bad after all the abuse they had received i.e. Dalton Highway crap in Alaska, water blasting ,sand etc. Getting decent chain lube has been a challenge too (who knew!).

We and the bikes are now ready to start the next leg of this epic trip and head off to sunny MEXICO and Central America. Not to mention the USA will soon deplete your bank balance, especially at current exchange rates!! For example a McDonald’s x2 burgers fries and coke came to the equivalent of $52 NZD!!!

I won’t be eating McDonalds again though, not just because of cost, but I saw a 2.5 year old Big Mac and fries under a clear cover in a drs surgery and I could have just microwaved it without anyone knowing the difference, what do they put in that stuff!!

Saturday 22nd October

We were rocked to sleep last night to some poor sole who it seemed had had marital issues, you realise at times like this how thin motel walls actually are after hearing quite a few f bombs circulating down his phone at 2.30 am.

We set off at 7 am under the most amazing skies, heading for a place called Medicine lodge in Kansas.

The initial plan was to take the 10 hour curvey route but was curtailed when poor BEC lost the bike completely turning into a T junction onto gravel, it could well have been me on my side had I been leading so lesson learned by all. She twisted her left foot after getting pinned under the pannier but could have been far worse, I’m sure had they been the hard ones we use at home. I think after this I’m a convert to soft luggage from now on ( yes I’m aware of all the pros and cons).

And so to plan B

No gravel and quickest route to finish……… 8 hrs…… blardy hell! But one bonus was we did detour down a 15-20km stretch of Route66 so we can say we have done it!

It was made all the more entertaining as Bec now found it difficult to stand the bike at a stop and changing gear was a real challenge, this together with the wind had now gathered speed (gusts of up to 80 kms) with a constant of 55kmh coming in from the south and what direction were we heading, yes you guessed it WEST! So we were constantly being battered from the side.

We have encountered wind before but not on this scale and have never ridden at what felt like a constant 45 Deg angle, with utter moments of terror as we hit wind shadows or had that sucky spit you back out feeling of trucks coming or passing😱 at speed (no engine governors here old son, oh no!)

On a positive note it helped cool things off a little as temperatures were in the low 30 s.

We arrived (if not a little sore around the ankle) at our digs a little just after 4 pm shaken not stirred.

The bikes once again performed admirably and didn’t miss a beat.


Note to everyone:

THE ANIMAL KINGDOM HATES BEC and seems intent on knocking her off her bike, she has had so many deer run out right in front of her. She in turn has returned the favour and runs animals over anyway before they can get to her.

I have been TRAUMATISED as I follow in the wake of dead squirrels and snakes to name a few as she ploughs on.

Come ride with us on our next leg heading towards John Wayne country!

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."

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Oh my, what a ride!!!!

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