HOME!

From Austin, NV I ride to my friend Muni’s house in Carson City, she is a new rider I met on the ADV campout at Lake Pillsbury last spring.

The Hwy 50 Shoe Tree…I thought this was the one that got cut down, but I guess not!

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Looking unsuccessfully for a Loneliest Road in America sticker…

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Muni is very conveniently located, since I can’t ride all the way home in one day, and do not want to stay in another motel, or eat another burger! Plus, I had heard so much about her daughter Shanti and her new KTM that I had to stop.

We had a great visit, I was too tired to do much but relax on the couch, but we made it fun.

The next day Muni makes me check tire pressures and I am low 10lbs on the rear…THANKS! Muni! that made a big difference.

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It was foookin’ nippy going over Donner Summit!, but after I started the descent into California, Hwy 20 showed up and I whacked that throttle. I do so love that road.

I meet Emily West in Nevada City for breakfast, and then tell the GPS to get me home the shortest route…and I find a new road that way! Wow! on my home turf and everything!  It goes off a bit below Smartville over to Beale AFB, and then straight into Marysville. 15 minutes shorter!

So nice to be in the Central Valley!

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Here is the Yuba crossing on the Beale route…

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Dust storm north of Williams….ANOTHER storm missed me!

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I’m on the home run, now…I have done this ride from Nevada City to Mendocino for 40+ years….like familiar shoes, but more like 7 league boots!

Even Clear Lake lets me slip swiftly through…

Pattersons – Traditional ‘I’m Home Safe!’ meal

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Well, I’ll be dipped…..I made it.

I sit idling in the driveway looking at this

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sigh

I am so lucky

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You’re not going anywhere, Buster!

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BuddhaDuck sails on home seas…

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9,782 miles, 54 days, 27 states, 3 time zones

2 flats, 2 hours of rain, 2 warnings from the nice officers.

The Great Basin

Heading west again, yay!

Another day of storm dancing ahead. Hwy 50 is renowned as ‘The Loneliest Highway in America’….but as another long distance rider pointed out, it’s pretty well known now, and not so lonely.

still…the big empty.

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50 mile straights, then up and over a pass, and…another 50 mile straightaway. The RS1100 ate this shit up, I could run about 120mph through this…but the old R80 just rumbles along at 80…..

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I stop for a snack, fruit, water, powerbar…but the storms keep pushing me on…

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Finally, Austin rolls up….very cool town.

The International is a wonderful local bar/restaurant, never a dull moment in there. One year, about 13 years ago, they had a massive outbreak of Mormon Crickets (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_cricket) I mean, so massive they were 3-6″ thick on the roads, they had to plow the passes, and it STOPPED TRAINS. It was a little gross to ride through, all the crunching noises you know, but turned out ok. You had to be sure to check EVERYTHING, bugs all over the beds, bathrooms, roads, everywhere. I tried riding fast through them, but then they took off and flew, which was not desirable. Keep it slow and crunchy, they stayed on the ground.

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I have a nice relaxing afternoon reading on the porch, watching the world drive by my door, and then walk up to the International for a burger. Another burger….it’s gonna be salads and rice for a month when I get home!

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Highway 50!

I went up to Durango for the lovely shopping, Colorado has some nice stores now! 🙂 I got that all taken care of the night I arrived, so I sit on the front porch of the motel and watch the world roll by, sampling different substances….I arise….late.

Today will be a long stint on I-70. Buried beneath it is Hwy 50, one of my fathers favorite roads, as it is mine. I have ridden it many times, mostly from CA to CO, but once from Washington DC to Reno. It feels good being on familiar roads again. However, being boring and with storms all around, I do not stop much…

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I have to slab it west until I angle off at Selina, UT, heading to Delta, UT for the night. I like Delta, I have been here before.

One trip, heading to the Paonia Rally in Colorado on the R1100RS, I had a wonderful experience…

Hot, tired, hungry, trying to make Moms Cafe in Salina, I stop here for gas. Pulling away from the pump, the right cylinder head hits the pump guard posts. Bam! Down!
I pick myself up, check out the bike, and keep going. Part way out of town I look down at me right boot, which is dripping with oil. That’s not supposed to do that! I had noticed an old gas station that said Lott’s Welding on it, so I went back there. In the garage bay I could see motorcycles, so I was hopeful. A guy was in the office cursing at tax documents, I ask if he can weld up a cracked valve cover, as I had smacked and cracked it. He said “how many times have I told you not to do that!?”
He came out and looked, said that’s magnesium, can’t weld it, but we can JB weld it. As we were working, 2 twin blonde girls came running out of the house next door “whatcha doin, grandpa?” “We’re patching up a hole in this fellas engine, he smacked it”
Everything the twins said was in perfect unison…
“We’ve done that!”
Lott would not let me leave, he said the JB weld needed to cure overnight, so he pushed me and the bike down to the Rancher motel/cafe…a long block away, and it was over 100 degrees. That’s where I stayed last night too.

I danced with rainstorms all day, lightning to the right, left, and ahead. Fortunately the road threads through the storms and I only get a drop. After I unpack I walk over to the restaurant and have a burger and the storms let loose.

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Next stop, Austin, NV!

New Mexico

Northern New Mexico is just lovely, not just Santa Fe

this is an irrigation flume, two logs hollowed out

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the Rio Grande, just north of Taos. Taos was lovely looking, too….but the traffic was horrendous, downtown was under construction, road blocks everywhere, and I had miles to go…so I rode on.

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10,000′ lake

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after taking this pass photo, I start gearing up to ride on, and a car arrives, out climbs Bill and Karen from Kansas…Bill has my same hat!

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Zen Moto, in Pt. Arena, CA!

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Very stinky steam engine, narrow gauge railway

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In Durango, the BuddhaDuck awaits me

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I meet some guy on an R1200 from Sacramento, I tell him I have an R80G/S…”Does it run?” he asks….punk!

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on to Utah, and Hwy 50, a wonderful way home.

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Santa Fe!

now this is a sweet town…

Janice and Tom get home about dark, she from her nursing job, him from working on their house after his regular job. I feel right at home with tank bags, riding gear, and helmets lying about. Tom designs and builds very nice homes in the area, Janice does her massage and nursing. Santa Fe is a wonderful, colorful, and interesting town, a haven of money in a state of poverty. They both take the next day off, as much as they can, and show me around, both Santa Fe and their new home they are working on.

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Janice and I take Luna, the white Shepard, for a walk along the river

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and then drive up to their home in the hills, where I see a fantastic sunset while throwing a stick for Luna

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the next day Tom returns to his construction job, and Janice takes me for a walk in the mountains, and I get a hot rock massage, woo hooo! Janice is a massage magician!

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Beautiful, peaceful, tranquil….it is not easy to ride away…

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but I do…heading up the High Road to Taos and on to Durango