T’was a busy day Wednesday, June 16, getting details cleared up at work, running errands for Joanne and then cleaning the bike yesterday afternoon and mounting a new SW-Moto Pro City tank bag. It’s a stiffer tank bag and to keep it from interfering with things (like turn signals and horn buttons, I rotated the handle bars up a bit. I had nearly every thing but toilet articles packed when I went to bed at about 11:30 with my alarm set for 6AM. I slept for a couple of hours, then got up to make a short trip. I went right back to sleep, took another trip at 3:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep till 6. I had set the alarm for 7:30 but slept till 8:30.
I got away at 10, got about 10 miles from the house and realized I didn’t have my Kindle. You know I need my Kindle! So I turned around and got it. I stopped in Laramie and got gas, even though I can usually make it to Rock Springs unless the wind is blowing. Actually, I’ve NEVER made it to Rock Spring because the wind is ALWAYS blowing in Wyoming. For a long time there were warning signs that said “STRONG WINDS LIKELY FOR THE NEXT 5 MILES.” There were 84 signs along I-80. I guess WYDOT decided that they were too discouraging for the average traveler because for the most part they’re not their anymore.
By the time I left Laramie at noon, the temperature at 7500′ ASL, was 98. It stayed that hot and got a little hotter until I stopped to rehydrate and grab a Subway in Wamsutter. I stopped again at Evanston, for gas and personal liquid exchange and by the time I started last leg to Provo it was down to 88F at 7pm. By the time I got off 80 and headed to Heber, it made it down to 72F, but as I came downhill to Provo, it got back up to 94F when I pulled into the Marriot.
In spite of the heat, the ride had been good. But my first couple of hours here at the Marriot weren’t great. The desk clerk took 15 minutes to find my reservation. Then there weren’t any luggage carts. It took an hour to find one. I loaded it and got up to my room on the 8th floor.
And then I was trapped on the 8th floor. The elevators weren’t working! They finally got those fixed, and then I went to park my bike in the garage. They have a gate that you open by using your room card. I was feeling pretty wobbly by then and talked another rider into using my room card to help me get it open without having to get close to the card reader. The lane for the turn up to the next level was real narrow and real steep and the two of those I had to make both had a drivers merging as they came down from higher levels and a driver right on my bumper as I had to stop on the steep, narrow curving ramp — I felt like I had a pretty good opportunity to stall the bike and drop it! But I didn’t drop it, even though I did stall it twice on one ramp and three times on another one. I made it to bed about midnight and had terrible leg cramps all night.
We had “The IBR Last Chance” dinner tonight and tomorrow night will be the Start Banquet. At the end of that the riders will receive their checkpoint packages and be released to their rooms to begin planning their rides for the first leg. We don’t even know how many legs there’ll be yet, but we do know the Rally Theme is “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.”
I’ll leave here Monday after the Iron Butt Rally folks get out. I’ll probably go to Rawlins and/or Casper and leave for Spearfish early Wednesday. I think I’ll go up through Wright and Gillette. I hope to be in Spearfish by 2 or 3 on Wednesday.
Here’s a link to the new.spotwalla.com map of the ride I took on Thursday, June 17th: https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/e912-258aa076-4efb/view
I’ll get some pictures added one of these days!