Friday, June 30, 2006

2006 Day 6

Today takes us through Atlanta, with terrible heat, humidity and traffic. We get caught in a traffic jam that rivals any found in Los Angeles, and must pull off and take a shade break to fend off heatstroke. Stormy takes off her hearing aids and naps on the side of the road; we are jealous ;)

Late afternoon we reach Athens, our destination. Most of the Amazons are already there. The celebration & conversation goes late into the night ... the Gathering has begun!

Next: Day Seven

Thursday, June 29, 2006

2006 Day 5

The four of us hit the road early, looking to make good miles on the interstate today. The farther we travel today, the shorter tomorrow will be, in Atlanta and north Georgia traffic, which is our goal.

Crossing the Mississippi at Vicksburg, I get chills. The Civil War buff in me sees those high cliffs, and know their meaning.

We fall into a good traveling rythym, but Marti is the first to tire out with a few hours of daylight left. Carrie, Dana and I convince her to go a little farther, but she insists on taking a longish break first (the smart thing to do, safety-wise, and she is correct to do so) and we cool our heels in a gas station/deli in eastern Mississippi. It's a reminder to me to not be so darn impatient, since when we do finish our day and stop at a decent hotel in Livingston AL, we've made plenty of miles and we are on schedule. Marti is pleased ... it's her longest day ever and she is kinda proud of herself.

We eat dinner at a tiny truck stop with genuine home cooking (but they are out of half the things on the menu) & a waitress who is amazed and admirous of ladies traveling cross-country on motorcycles. She thought we were the coolest things to come thru her diner in a while ;)

Next: Day Six

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

2006 Day 4

Marti and I stop at a tiny tiny gas station in Albany TXFrom Lubbock, Marti and I head down to the Dallas-Ft Worth area, to meet up with sister Storm in Arlington. It's a lovely day riding through splendid Texas countryside - US 84 to US 180, and we have a nice time meandering through the hill country. Stormy meets us in Mineral Springs & she takes us through the metromess traffic, so we don't need to find our way to her house, a relief!

Sister Joker, who needed to leave days later than I did, has been playing catchup with us and rode two days from Indio to Dallas, a hefty bit of long-distance riding. She arrives late, safe and sound, and we all head off to bed. Four of us now, and two more days to get to our destination in Athens GA.

Next: Day Five

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

2006 Day 3

I get delayed in Roswell NM today while waiting to have a new rear tire put on. Someday I may learn to always get new rubber before a trip ... these delays are generally avoidable because I look at my tire before I leave, thinking "oh that'll make it to Athens" and then the tread starts looking way too thin when I am still a good long ways from my destination. D'oh.

Champion Motorsports in Roswell is strangely devoid of tschokes with aliens on 'em. Why? I was hoping to pick up gifts here, but only come away with a refrigerator magnet for my sister.

Thank you, whoever suggested fuel bottles to meHeading eastbound once again, I come out of the mountains and into the flat plains that start here in east New Mexico/west Texas. Yes, it's flat, and open, and a whole lotta nothing out here! I get into a long stretch of no towns & no gas stations, and realise it's going to be a close thing to make it to the next fuel pump on Hwy 380. Thankfully Brownfield TX comes into view (out here you can see the towns from ten miles away or more) but the wee beastie's engine sputters to a halt about two miles outside the city limits. Today I am prepared ... it would have been a bummer to have to walk those two hot miles, but I am carrying 30 oz of gasoline in a campstove fuel bottle and that's plenty to get me into town. Hooray! I really hate running out of gas ;)

Tonight's stop is in Lubbock TX, where I am meeting Marti. I have great difficulty finding the hotel and make three literal circles around the area before I find the right one-way road to get me there.

Next: Day Four

Monday, June 26, 2006

2006 Day 2

Madonna wears Doc Martens.So today, heading back east, I am getting off the interstate because ... well, because interstates are boring. I ride around the Painted Desert and then head through Arizona via hwy 60. There's a Madonna of the Trail in Springerville AZ, good photo op! Next, it's into New Mexico and up into mountains, where I get rained on pretty good in the interestingly-named Pie Town NM. Coming down out of the storm, I find myself looking at the Very Large Array on the great desert plateau. Stopping point for the night is Socorro NM. This is very pretty country through here.

Next: Day Three

Sunday, June 25, 2006

2006 Day 1

Off on another trip cross country - I am heading for Athens GA and the AMA Women in Motorcycling event, and the Amazon gathering in Pigeon Forge TN. I ride as far as Flagstaff today, my usual stopping point on the I-40 route. Nothing particularly eventful, which is fine.

This is the maiden run for my new cool vest (an evaporative cooling system I got from and it is WONDERFUL. In fact I do believe it saved my life today. It was 115° when I went through Needles CA midday and that's killin' heat, but I never had to stop and never got fuzzy-headed (my first manifestation of heatstroke.) I must have drunk two gallons of water today, or more. That's the desert for ya.

Next: Day Two

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Joker is an Amazon

Today was a great day for riding around Big Bear in beautiful weather, and oh yeah, the best part of all ... Joker's initiation. Welcome to the Sisterhood. :)