This is a repost of my 1st day out on a solo trip to Utah in 2014. I kept a journal. For the 10th anniversary, I thought I'd repost for Flashback Friday. I didn't write it down but I also remember a spider in the back window of that wagon. I kind of worried about him all night, due to a touch of spider-fright, and also thought that we were both pretty alone and fending for ourselves.
As promised, this is the first day log of my journal on my first long solo trip ever on a motorcycle. I ended up with over 7,000 miles that summer.
July 19, 2004
Left Galesburg at 5:45 am. Cool and somewhat foggy. Played tag with a couple on a cycle from Cameron exit all the way to Burlington and then on 61 South. Finally at a stoplight I asked where they were going; said Montana. I told them I was going to Utah. Asked them where they were from (they had Illinois plates), and they said Galesburg. They were going to 136 to Kirksville and then Saint Joseph. First variation on my route was to NOT go to Hannibal and then down. I figured they knew best roads so I took 136 also to Kirksville and then South. They must not have known anymore than me - construction all over the place, bumpy roads and no scenery. Nothing pretty quaint or noteworthy.
Trekked South to 36 from Kirksville and then down to Lathrop. It was noon so I knew my rendezvous with Kube was out of the question. Certainly didn't feel like wasting good driving time waiting for 6:00 to meet him (old college buddy who lives in Kansas City). So, took 116 over to Atchison, which was quite a trip. Desolate road in the middle of no where, so desolate I ran out of gas - had to put on my reserve tank to make it to Atchison. Now riding on reserve in the middle of nowhere is scary! There was a detour on 116 that simply drank up all my fuel.
They say a bunch of sediment always fall into the tank when you use your reserve, so I hope it starts tomorrow morning.
Went into Kansas and boy it got hot! It was miserable warm and stopped for pop here and there. Took off my armored jacket and I'm sure I'll feel it later today and tomorrow.
At 4:00 I decided I'd had enough. Kind of wanted to make it another 60 miles to just outside Topeka, but saw a signpost or rather a billboard advertising a "Mill Creek" Campground.
I checked in at $12.50 and went to set the tent up. Pretty soon Dave came over in his golf cart and said, "Give me $2.00". I said, "OK I'll play along" and handed him the two dollars. He then took me over to an small enclosed wagon with a front porch. He said for $2.00 you are closer to the bathhouse, and this little cabin had air conditioning.
I said OK, but I thought he saw a sucker, a tired hot sucker drive in to pitch a tent, and since it was Monday and late, he could afford to be a little generous and upgrade the sucker.
Just hope it doesn't roll down into Mill Creek. Notice the small board behind the rear wheel. I swear that was all that held that wagon on dry soil. Right now I'm going to take a shower, and walk over to Plaxico, not many campers here right now.
The bike ran smoothly and glad I'm as far into Kansas as I am. Maybe make Colorado tomorrow then Utah on Wednesday. I'm pretty beat and a cold pop will taste good. Total miles Day one 475. Wanted 500 but this is OK, Good night.
The next day I'd ride into Colorado and take an unnecessary (probably) jog south on Rt3 385 through LaJunta and Pueblo and stop at Canon City after Day 2. I recalled seeing the mountains again after having gone to school in Denver and how damn absolutely thrilling and beautiful they are. I sure hope I see them again. I took the jog south to avoid Denver, of course, as traffic was and still is something to be avoided at all costs. Day three would take me over the mountains and then on to Utah. But more on that later.