Saturday, June 18, 2011

End of Day 1 - Dallas to Denver

Day 1

Dallas to Denver - 854 Miles
14 Hours Saddle Time

I made this same trip along this same route last July, so I pretty much knew what to expect in terms of traffic, terrain, and body fatigue.  The route is pretty flat and straight until I hit Raton Pass in New Mexico.  This is good because it takes a day for my body to acclimate to the long hours in the saddle and I’d rather that happen on easy terrain as opposed to on the Alcan or Dalton Highways.  three stops to fill Hester’s tank (and one to empty mine) with a lunch at one stop and dinner here in Denver made for a pretty uneventful day.  Hester ran smooth and comfy all the way up and she's fueled and ready to roll again tomorrow. This is the same hotel I stayed in last year when I rode to Seattle. I even got the same ground floor room right near the parking lot where I can see Hester clearly.

It looks like the Spot satellite transponder has lived up to my expectations and updated my position. I'm keeping the updates I send to my subscribers to a minimum until I get into Canada and actually have something interesting to say.  I want to go to bed, but I need to download the video footage I collected today.  I'm pretty beat and probably won't review much of it.  I just need to ensure the camera memory cards are clear for tomorrow's ride.

My back feels pretty good.  I was worried I'd be miserable, but so far, so good.  A dip in the hotel jacuzzi will sure help.  I'm really glad I installed the highway pegs.  They offer another foot placement option, which is imperative on a fourteen hour ride.

Next stop: Great Falls, Montana; roughly 750 miles. Last year when I left Denver, I headed west through the mountains towards Boise and it was a breathtaking ride.  Tomorrow's route takes me straight north through Wyoming and up to the top of Montana.  I expect Wyoming will be about as exciting as watching paint dry. Still, I'm on a bike and that beats driving a cage any day, any place.
Nothing Invokes a Feeling of Warm Welcome Like Bullet Holes in a State Welcome Sign
Finally, Some Scenery

And So It Begins

I'm off, folks.  Years of dreaming and eight months of planning have led to this.  By the time this entry posts, I should be on the road an hour or so.  Keep up with me by watching the map at the top of the page.  Barring any technical screw-ups, it should update my position every ten minutes or so. 
If You See This Guy, Honk & Wave

If I come across something interesting and I have cell coverage, I'll post pics to the blog from my Android phone. Otherwise, look for the next written blog update from Denver tonight - unless I'm too tired to type.