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Got To Get There - VA to CA Day Three

June 26, 2010 - Since I wrote about Day 2 it has been over 3 months since I took the ride and the memories are not as fresh in my mind, but the things I want to remember are still there. This may not be as detailed as day one and two, but it will capture the essence of the trip. When I ride, I ride hard and long, but I try to remain prudent to stopping early and resting so that I can get a good night’s rest and leave early in the morning. When I woke it was already 8:00am, well into the morning for me as I like to rise very early and I had already wasted at least an hour of early morning riding and I wasn’t even ready to leave now. It would be close to 9:00am before I would leave and head south on I-25 to Walsenburg to pick up US 160 over Wolf Creek Pass, which is up on the Great Divide and on into downtown Pagosa Springs. When I made plans to ride to Barstow, either Wolf Creek Pass or Winslow, Arizona was on my list to stop at. Of course, most of us who grew up on the Eagles know about standing on the corner in Winslow, but few know of Wolf Creek Pass. Not only is there historical significant to this pass over some of the most treacherous stretches of a U. S. highway, it made its way into a song as well by a little know guy called C. W. McCall. We know about C. W. McCall from his single most famous song called Convoy, and the title track of the movie of the same name. But few know of Wolf Creek Pass unless you had the album, or listen 24 hours to a country music station. The song sets the stage for a harrowing experience for two truckers haulin’ chickens out of Wiggins and they were on the uphill side of 37 miles of hell called Wolf Creek Pass. The episode of the entire ride leaves them brakeless and in the side of a feed store in downtown Pagosa Springs. Since a teenager, and being a son of a truck driver to boot, I always wanted to take a trip up on the Great Divide at WCP.

So here I was on my way and planning on having lunch in Pagosa Springs. Rolling out on the highway the crisp, clean Colorado air enhanced my feeling of freedom. I used a bandana to cover my face instead of using a sunscreen since leaving Virginia. With this heighten feeling of freedom I decided to pull down the bandana and take in the fresh air, certainly this will not be a problem. Somewhere along the way I stopped for breakfast and took a picture with Pike’s Peak in the background of my bike. Most of the interstate ride was uneventful and I just kept looking at the Rockies’ to my right , which was such a beautiful sight. I made it to Walsenburg to fuel up before heading out on US 160. I talked with one rider that was putting on sunscreen and I commented that I usually wore a bandana but hadn’t used it this leg. That’s when he schooled me on the fact in the higher altitude the sun burns quicker; suddenly I felt the stinging of the sun burn. I talked to another rider who was on his way home from Fort Smith Arkansas where he just picked up his Harley that he bought off eBay. He hadn’t rode for many years and finally wanted another bike and was very content with his new ride.Finally I was off into the Colorado back country which was some of the most breathtaking country I’ve ever seen. The road was not heavily travelled and I was able to make good time. Pulling the mountain through Wolf Creek Pass I passed a few bikes and one was a Vic, King Pin, and it had that ole familiar Freedom ping, it was rattling pretty good, but pulling very well. I stopped at the Great Divide to take a picture and then I was on my way down the other side. I arrived in Pagosa Springs and met up with the Vic rider where I found that he and his wife, riding a ricer, was from Wisconsin. I rolled on through where I came to the Navajo reservation and found the desert another beautiful place. Being out in the middle of nowhere I passed a young fellow on a scooter and I passed him twice when I stopped once when I stop to snap a picture. He was very far out and I wondered if he had enough gas to make it where he was going. Cars were very far between and it was very hot, temp around 100+. I wish I had stopped and ask if he was okay, but never did. I needed some gas myself and I keep seeing the sign “Four Corners” and the distance mileage. I thought that I could get gas there, and rolled on past a few gas stations to minimize stops. I was getting closer and closer to Four Corners and I figured I had about 40 miles left on the fuel on the fuel I had. As I reached Four Corners I realized that this was where the four states came together and there was nothing else there at all. As I planned on stopping anyways I checked traffic in the rear view mirror and I was surprised to see another Vision. What! What is the chance of this occurring otherwise? It turned out to be Tex, as he known on forum and found out he is from Nebraska. He and his BMW buddy were on their way to the north rim of the Grand Canyon and other interesting places. They planned on making Page for the night, and I had my fuel dilemma which I figure I could get to Tuba City on fumes. As we departed I took lead and kept a solid pace for several miles until I saw a small gas station, and figured I’d take the opportunity as I watched Tex and friend fade off into the desert. Fortunately I had cash because that is all they accepted and was soon roaring down the road. I pulled into Kayenta and thought to stay there for the night but there was no room availability and one told me that there was a small motel about 20 miles down the road, but I didn’t find that suitable and made my way to Tuba City. It was early, 9:30 pm and I was ready to hit the hay. I had the last leg tomorrow and I wanted to be in Barstow by 2:00pm. I settled in at the Dine Inn Motel and found the price and the ‘no tax’ very reasonable and the best stay for the price the entire

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