Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 5th - 6th, 2009 - 2 x 2 wheels in the back of 6

When I got the text from Dave, I was hunched over the bar, deep in a slurrred conversation with an equally guilty afternoon bar patron about touring the Pilsner Urquell brewery in the Czech Republic. When I saw what it said, I just stared at it for a while not really understanding what it meant. I mean, we had been separated for two days now, him pressing westward on the TAT and me making my way from Moab to GJ to play the dealer service waiting game. I was still hanging onto a strand of hope that I would get a call that afternoon from the dealer saying the final clutch spring I needed had been located and would be there in the morning and that I would be back on the road by noon. I took another drag from the IPA and let the realities absorb into the four that had preceeded it.

5 minutes later, Dave called to say that his situation was looking grim. No KTM dealerships worth heading towards would be able to fix his bike by the end of the week, and he was starting to look into renting, buying or stealing a truck. At that moment, it clicked, forget this waiting. Within another 5 minutes, I had found a UHaul truck in GJ that had a ramp, could fit both bikes and was available. It was 4:00 and they closed at 5:00. The bartender at The Alehouse had warned me that there was only one cab company in GJ and the lack of competition meant you could expect to wait 40 minutes to get one. GoogleMaps on my iPhone said it was a 43 minute walk. Let's be honest, after my afternoon, sweating some hops out of my system might not be a bad idea. I set off into the Colorado heat.

I had called the dealership on the way and told them to put the bike back together and have it ready for me. Okay, they closed at 5:30. I was running across a four lane highway towards a UHaul truck as I read the text from Ann that said "Be careful." I got there at 4:45 and was checked out by 5:00. By 5:28, I was at the dealer closing the rolling door on the back of the truck with the F800GS inside just as they were closing the rolling door on the service department. It'd been a quick transition from optimism to paralysis to progress, but after a good night's sleep (and a few Advil) back at my Motel 6, the F800GS and I would be headed west to rejoin Dave and the KTM for a final push home.

From Fillmore, we settled into a steady routine of filling the tank ($80+!) and switching drivers every four hours. I don't think there was much conversation about the plan. We'd drive the 17 hours or so straight. On the bikes, we'd planned to take 4 days to explore this stretch but in the UHaul, the iPhones were our only stimulation and the lure of home was hard to resist. After a short stop in Reno for some food in the Nugget restaurant and enough hands of blackjack for Dave to win his half of the cost of the truck, we pulled into San Francisco just after midnight.


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