Thursday, May 16, 2013

Run for the Wall - Day 2

Well, I know I promised a daily update on Run for the Wall, but hey, you can't anticipate all issues, and boy did my motorcycle have issues yesterday....

It was reasonably cool (or hot, depending on where you live) leaving Rancho Cucamonga, CA yesterday.  We left under clear skies and somewhat comfortable temperatures.  As we got near Palm Springs, the winds really kicked up, which is what they always due in that part of the state.

Even though the winds were gusting, it still wasn't an unpleasant ride.  I love coming into Blythe, CA for our lunch stop.  The people of Blythe will stop what they are doing and come out to the main street to wave the riders through.  There were many people waving flags several signs, and many people clapping, saluting, and taking pictures as we rode through town.

We were greeted at the fairgrounds by Miss Blythe, who was a very well spoken young woman.  She was so patient and kind, especially when several of our sweaty riders thought it would be really good to hug her.  The City of Blythe again put on a wonderful lunch for the many riders that descended upon them.  We had the opportunity to meet a former Prisoner of War (POW) and several other veterans of the City of Blythe.

After Blythe, it was a long drive to Tonopa, AZ.  It was during that ride, I noticed my left floorboard was slippery.  At first I thought I had stepped in something gooey at lunch, but after several attempts to clean off the bottom of my boot, I was unable to stop the floorboard from being slippery.  It was then that I thought my boots were melting (what else could I think).  SInce I had now convinced myself that my boots were melting, I wanted to see what was really happening, were my toes beginning to poke out???

Imagine my surprise to look down and not see a puddle of boot, but rather a very wet and shiny boot.  That is NOT good.  It means my motorcycle decided to start blowing oil out of the engine.   At least I now had an explanation of why my floorboard was slippery.  Now I look at the schedule to determine how far away the next gas stop is.  We are 20 miles away from our destination and my mind is thinking that I have blown every ounce of oil out of my bike and it was a matter of moments before I seized the engine.

I grabbed hold of my over-active imagination, called my Assistant Platoon Leader and asked him to take a look at the left side of my bike.  He does not see oil pouring out of the engine, but does note there is a lot of oil along the side of my bike.  We decide it should be OK to ride the rest of the trip, I didn't want to pull over to the side of the road and wait for rescue (which was coming, but not for some time).  As I pull into the gas station (with my heart in my throat) I turn the engine off and quickly trailer my bike.  When the bike stopped, oil was dripping very quickly onto the ground.  By the time the bike is trailered, no more oil is coming out, which I believe to be a very bad thing.

The great news is that my mechanic was available early Thursday morning.  He was kind enough to put his other work aside and take a look at my poor bike.  The great news is that I had only knocked a hole in my oil line and the best news was that I still had a quart of oil in the bike.  No damage to the engine, and both oil hoses were replaced.

The bike is now running like a dream and I am looking forward to the balance of this trip.  Today was fun with lunch in Willcox, AZ, and an evening stop in Las Cruces.  I always tear up when rolling into Las Cruces, the Air National Guard is always out to greet us, and they are just such wonderful people.

It is now time to hit the sack, it will be an early start tomorrow, and another series of emotional stops.

Until tomorrow...

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