Day One



Day 1

Sunday July 18, 2010

945 miles


All the planning is done.  The bike was loaded Saturday night.  I checked everything out and was sure the bike was ready for the road.  It is parked in the carport, with the gps already programmed.  I am ready.


The alarm goes off about 15 minutes after I am up and moving.  Elaine is still sleeping, but has left instructions to wake her when I am ready to leave.  Shower done and fully dressed, I go out and check everything one more time.  I wake Elaine say my goodbyes and at 5am I hit the road.


I have to wear a jacket because the morning is rather cool.  I am headed to Marianna Florida where I can get on I-10.  I fill up just before getting on 10 and as soon as I turn onto the interstate, it starts to rain.  It will be a harbinger of things to come.  After the rain quits, it takes a while to dry out, but I finally do.


What can you say about running along I-10 where you have already seen most of the scenery a couple of times?  Not much more to do than to stop for gas every so often and just keep moving along.  I only have one purpose and that is to get to Seguin Texas.  The first rain that I went through was pretty heavy so I had stopped and put on my rain suit.  Something is wrong with the windshield, when it is raining the rain is supposed to just run right off and I should be able to see.  I changed out my stock windshield for this F-4 because I could clean it with anything and even treat it with rain-x.  I have been using a windshield cleaner with Rain-x in it.  I bought it because it should make the windshield shed water.  Something is not right.

As soon as the rain stopped the sun came out and the rain suit made riding almost unbearably hot.  I stopped and took it off.  Now, that is much better.  I ran through a couple more rain storms, but didnít put the suit back on.  I was a little damp where the water came off of the top of the windshield, but dried pretty fast.


I made a wrong turn east of New Orleans.  Instead of taking I-12 which is shorter, I turned south on I-10.  I decided to correct this mistake by turning around at the first exit.  While there I got gas and with really dark clouds on the horizon, I put the rain suit back on.  I am glad I did, because the rain came down really hard.  It got to the point where I didnít feel safe because I could not see out of the windshield. 

Something just ainít right with this windshield.  I stop at an overpass and wait for the rain to let up.  It finally did and I hit the road again.

As I am riding along, I think about why this shield isnít shedding the water.  The only thing I could come up with was that the cleaner I was using wasnít doing its job.  At the next stop to remove the rain suit again, I used my Honda polish on the windshield in hopes this might help.  I donít think I made fifty miles before I ran into another shower.  The polish helped.  The rain is moving off the windshield a lot better now.  I made the decision not to put the rain suit back on unless it looks like a monsoon is about to hit. I fought showers until I hit Texas.  As soon as I hit Texas the sun came out and the rain disappeared.  I am not going to put the suit back on no matter what.


As I enter Texas, the first mile marker sign I see reads 880.  I-10 across Texas is 880 miles long.  That is a long way.  I am glad I am not going to try to do the entire state in one day.  I motor through Houston on the way to Seguin which is just east of San Antonio.  I donít remember what time it was when I arrived at the motel, but the sun was still pretty high in the sky so it wasnít very late.


As I pulled off the interstate, I also had another surprise.  Right in front of the motel is a Chiliís.  I thought I was going to have to go 5 miles to find Chiliís, but here it is right in my front yard.  I can just walk over and enjoy my end of the day meal.  I have planned even better than I thought.  This may be an omen for the rest of the trip.  As it turns out, it is the only time I get a good end of day meal.  I had ribs, fries, and a cold beer.


Before going over to Chiliís I had a beer or three in the room and answered all of my e-mail, worked a crossword puzzle, made day notes for my story, filled the ice chest, and took care of gps programming for the next day.


I set my alarm for 4am and went to bed early.  This trip is going to be a piece of cake.  One thing I did not do was charge any of the camera batteries, because I thought they were already charged.  This will come to haunt me tomorrow.



With two gps you can take your pick of the numbers you want to record.  The bike says I traveled 945 miles today but the Zumo 550 says I traveled 913.  Either way it was a long ride.  The Zumo is closer to correct than the bike.  The bike speedometer is about 4% off of the real speed and odometer.  For bragging purposes, I usually go with the bike odometer because it makes the trip look better.


I have a Speed-O-Healer on the way that will correct the bikes speedometer.   Because of the difference in speedometer and real speed (Zumo) I always set my cruise with the indicated speed on the Zumo.