Iron Butt Saddle Sore 2009

We started our ride this time with a change of our itinerary. RD found out he had to report to Rawhyde Adventures one half day earlier than we planned. We could attempt our Iron Butt Bun Burner Gold, but he would have no time to rest and recuperate. The main focus of this trip was the off road 3-day motorcycle course on Sunday. The decision was easy. We would hit the road later in the day on Friday and do what we could. We had two days to get to California. So we were both pretty big headed when we made it through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to Needles, California for a grand total of 1087 miles in 23 hours and about 4 minutes. We hadn’t completed a Bun Burner Gold, but we snatched up an Iron Butt Saddle Sore with no problems…except for the UFO thing.

As usual getting out of town with the first receipt was the problem. Our 1st gas receipt to start the ride didn’t have a street address. It took about 15 minutes to get the clerk to print another receipt, which still didn’t have a street address printed on it. But the date, time, town and store ID were there, so I had the clerk sign both receipts and headed out.

We made it to Amarillo, Texas without any trouble. One short gas stop and a quick sub sandwich and we were off. The weather was just perfect. Not too hot, not too cold, not too windy. It felt so good to be on The Mistress again. Nice to know my rear end still felt very comfortable on the bike. I was the picture taking fool until the sun went down.

When we hit Albuquerque, New Mexico the temperature dropped. I decided on this trip to add layers at gas stops before we got into the cooler temperatures. I had this theory that if we didn’t get too cold, we would stay comfortable for a longer time period. It worked. But 42° in sunshine is a lot different than 42° in the moonlight. We were getting cold, but not unreasonably so.

We rode under a fool moon. It was gorgeous. Every canyon and gulley looked mysterious. The landscape had a navy blue cast to it. Cloud cover was patchy until it finally disappeared, letting the stars shine through. RD and I chatted a little. The scenery was so surreal; I couldn’t help my imagination from seeing all kinds of spooks. However, deer duty was easier under a full moon. The signs for elk, though, are fierce. Are they really that big compared to a deer?

Finally, I asked RD what he wanted to see on this trip. “Everything,” he said. “What about you?”

I thought for a moment. Remembered this old man in Roswell, New Mexico that told me there were lots of strange things in the desert at night and not to go out on my own. “UFO’s,” I said. “I want to see a big huge UFO go flying by. But I don’t want it to stop and mess with us.”

A few minutes later, we saw a meteorite streak across the sky right in front of us. It was too close to us to be a shooting star. Both of us yelled “Whoa!” at the same time. After a few more minutes RD said, “Go easy on the wishes back there.” I couldn’t agree more.

We stopped in Gallup, New Mexico and caught about 5 hours of sleep. Grabbed a quick fruit and muffin and headed out. The weather was clear and sunny with little wind. We made such good time, we were able to sit down and eat a good breakfast at Flagstaff, Arizona. Our last 200+ miles were increasingly hotter. The landscape became desert and Joshua trees. But we hit Needles in good time and good shape. Our first ride of the season went extremely well. And since we don’t know if we saw a meteor or a falling star, I guess I got my UFO after all.

See you on the road,


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