The alarm was set for 4am. Of course I was wide awake staring at the clock at 3:30. Still not excited. Perhaps it's the apprehension I described yesterday. Nevertheless, I was up and moving with plenty of time to spare for a 5:00am KSU.
I hit the road on time and managed to get across the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex before rush hour. Once I hit 287 west towards Wichita Falls and Amarillo, it's a mind (and butt) numbing straight, flat ride to Interstate 40. I experienced my first heart pounding drama before I hit Wichita Falls. I'm breaking new ground on this trip. Pulling the trailer and Hester's rear tire is a Yokohama car tire. There are many reasons for using car tires in the rear; too many to go into here, but it's safe to say, with the right tire running the proper air pressure, the ride is smooth and far less susceptible to road hazards. But I digress. The new tire and the trailer combined to throw my gas mileage off. I usually get 42-44 miles per gallon, but on my shakedown camping trip in April, the trailer yielded about a ten per cent fuel hit. I can live with that; I just want to know. I was cruising on 287 marveling at the fact that I was 230 miles into the current tank of gas and the miles-left countdown alert had not triggered. That alert was usually good for another thirty miles. I was stoked! Then, as fast as I did the math in my head, Hester's motor started sputtering and died. I managed to coast to the shoulder and realized that the alert had gone off. I apparently missed it. Fortunately, I keep a spare gallon of gas in my saddle bag. Five minutes later, I was back on the road feeling like a doofus for missing the alert, yet simultaneously clever for having the spare gas on hand. So now I know. Roughly 38 miles per gallon pulling a 330 pound trailer. Current gas prices notwithstanding, it's a small price to pay for the hauling convenience.