First Official Blog Post!
We have officially arrived in Austin, Texas after five days of riding! We are staying with old highschool friends, Nicko & Denice Fisher, who moved down here from Iowa a couple years back. We are thankful to have this connection as our tailbones were calling for a break.
Leaving on November 15 seemed almost surreal... To think we will be spending the next 4-8 months pushing through the elements was difficult to grasp in its entirety as we pulled out of Big Barn Harley Davidson in Des Moines, Iowa. Although it was chilly, the first day went fast and before we knew it the sun was setting and we were still 20 miles out from our destination in Camdenton, Missouri. Prior to this day Seth's longest ride had been a 1.5 hour jaunt around the Des Moines metro! He seemed to adjust flawlessly to his new lifestyle. As for myself, the more experienced rider, I was tired at the day ended and felt my strength depleted as the cold windy hours passed. That night we caught up with an old work contact Denis Borne. Denis's mother had a roast waiting for us which was eagerly consumed and washed down with a Missouri staple, Busch Beer.
Being ambitiously naive to the demands of the road, we set the goal of getting outside Missouri and picked Grove, Oklahoma as our choice destination for Thursday the 16th. Passing through southern Missouri, was better than the long straight roads of southern Iowa. (After 35S, decided no more of that monotony) However, by the time we reached Grove, OK the sun was yet again setting and we ran out of time to find a place to set up camp on the lake like we had hoped. Best Western took the place of our campsite and we found a good Mexican restaurant with superb Margaritas to satisfy our hungry bellies. It was nice to have the time alone and try and reorganize our setup to better record our journey. The heavy-duty gloves and cold weather gear had put a stop to our picture taking abilities!
Again, originally, we were planning on being in Galveston, Texas by Friday night. However, after two LONG days in the cold wind, getting our heads continuously bounced by the gusts, we wised up. That morning we opted to break our trip to Galveston into two days and decided we’d shoot for just crossing the Texas Border. The first half of the day, leaving Grove, was the best riding we have experienced to date. Winding our way around the lakes and over the hills reminded us why we wanted to ride instead of drive! It was a rush that left us wanting more. Unfortunately, the second half of day stood in starch contrast to the first. Shortly after lunch, at Big Daddy’s BBQ, the road straightened out and the landscape opened up and before we could properly gear up we were getting blasted head-on by 30 mph gusts while trying to make time to our destination. The wind was so strong it actually snapped a main brace on my front flaring which I noticed started shaking irrationally as we headed down the Indian National Bypass. Fortunately, we were prepared for such an event, and with a couple zip tie’s no addition damage was incurred. By the time we reached the campsite, there was ten minutes of daylight left and we rushed to set up camp, only to find our of our tent rods broken ☹. We made due and each had a broken nights sleep.
Saturday the 18th greeted us to soon and we pulled out tired and a little demoralized at 7am. Fortunately for us, we found a old-school roadside diner and filled our stomachs with a nice breakfast and coffee which lifted our spirts. As the saying goes, The Third Times The Charm, and after three days of hard riding, we lowered our expectations and picked Fairfield Texas instead of Galveston for our destination. Cooler temperatures were expected to roll across the state in the coming days, something we experienced real time was the wind never ceased until we reached Fairfield, Texas. Exhausted and hungry after the previous days, we experienced a sense of joy & euphoria when we entered Fairfield shortly after 12oclock noon. Opting to shack up in the Days Inn and finding Sams All YOU CAN EAT buffet restored morale. We spent the afternoon resting up and catching up on plans/photos/WRF. Also, due to our tardiness in Galveston, we missed the opportunity to meet up with our contact as they were only available till Sunday.
Sunday, November 19th. Due to the change in plans we redirected ourselves to Austin TX. Yesterday was easy riding, our only stop being a Mexican restaurant for lunch where Seth had two tacos and I went for the Burrito. We arrived in Austin at 3pm after one wrong turn and traveling 200 miles from Fairfield. It was good to see the friendly faces of Nicko and Denice.
We will be in Austin for a few days resting up before heading south to Mexico’s border. While here, we are looking to change out the exhaust slip on one of the bikes (constantly roars and makes for ringing ears, even with earplugs) as well as a new tent pole.
We are a little nervous about our border crossing. It sounds like cartel activity has had a recent uptick and everyone we talk to thinks we’re nuts for trying. Little do they know, WE ARE NUTS.