Something Like an Iron Butt

Snapped a quick picture of the odometer in Salida after gassing up.

I had to backtrack over Monarch Pass and didn’t take pictures of the second pass. I guess it was because I started with the mindset I was going to make 1,000 miles in one day, I felt I just had to GO GO GO.

I stopped to put my jacket on and spotted a text from Luke, asking if he could join me to the coast. I debated for a while, I like traveling alone…but having another person to camp out with would be safer and all. He was a couple hours behind me, so I said he could join if he could catch up and pressed on West.

Unfortunately after passing through Green River on Hwy 50, my fuel light started blinking…and there was a sign stating no fuel stops for many miles. CRAP. I should have fueled up in Green River, I just didn’t realize I had gone so far already. I couldn’t bring myself to turn around and thus pressed ahead.

The one shot I took before turning my phone off to save the last remaining battery power.

My fuel light stopped blinking and just stayed lit, meaning “get some fuel fast dummy”. I saw an exit for Emery and took it 12 miles North, crossing my fingers that a) I could make it and b) it wasn’t a ghost town. The town was small and I didn’t see a fuel pump, but a couple guys were hanging out by a ball field and I greeted them and explained my predicament. They said there was a pump, but it was card only on Sundays. Of course at this point I have no debit card and about 60 bucks to my name. I tell them that won’t work and instead they have me follow them to an old farmer’s house. The old man seemed very amused by my riding around by myself and when I explained Chickfest and my quest West, he raised his eyebrows, said “You a little crazy ain’t ya?”, sold my 3 gallons of gas for a fair price, gave me a map of Utah and wished me well.

I had told Luke I would likely be camping in Fishlake National Forest, but it was still early when I arrived and it was starting to sprinkle. I pressed on…and the rain began POURING down. The sky turned pitch black and blankets of rain soaked me to the bone. I squinted into the blackness praying a wayward semi wouldn’t merge into me as I wound through the pass, which more closely resembled a river.

I spotted a gas station and a Denny’s and pulled in to warm up, dry off and fuel up. I shot Luke a text of my current location and settled in at Denny’s with a cup of coffee. I didn’t have the money to buy a real meal, so the staff gave me dirty looks for making their cushions soggy and hanging out nursing my cup of coffee, charging my phone and looking like the dead.

Luke arrived equally soggy and exhausted a while later. The pass dumped buckets on hiim, but it was slowing down now. We rode out of town til we spotted a deserted dirt road to set up camp. Too tired to set up a tent, we threw our sleeping bags down in the dirt and shared a tarp over top. I was tormented by those kind of dreams that are so real, you aren’t sure you if you are sleeping or not. I would wake up to find the contents of my luggage rummaged through or my bike stolen, or bandits holding us up. Luckily, none of these things came to be and when the first bit of light began edging over the horizon, I decided I was ready to ride again. Luke was already awake, so we packed up our camp and hit the road once more.

I couldn’t remember the last time I saw a sun rise, it was a really lovely way to start the day.

We continued west on Hwy 50 “The Loneliest Highway”, and this time got some pictures!

We mostly continues with the GO GO GO mindset, but did stop at this dry lake bed for some impromptu dirt riding (luckily it was pretty flat and not too rocky).

Hwy 50 is the kind of road you relax into, it’s just meditative, thoughtless riding, the miles lull by under you. We saw other vehicles on occasion and I got up over 100 for the first time ever while passing a semi truck!

We passed the time trying to photograph each other:

I love this picture, it really captures the feel of this road and its endlessness…

We took a brief snack break at the beautiful Lake Tahoe (a site I hope to return to when I have more time and money)

I may not look my best here, but hey, I had been camping fo the last four nights okay!

The roads around Lake Tahoe are fun!

Luke’s self portrait

It’s blurry cause I’m faaaaaaaaast!

It started getting dark.

We tried to press on through the night, but the heavy traffic in the dark was freaking me out and I was too exhausted to deal with, so I relented and we found a spot of dirt up an electric tower service road to camp out. I took the time to set up the tent and slept quite soundly.

The next morning we made the last push for San Francisco!

1,099 miles in about 48 hours, not really an Iron Butt, but I don’t know how I could have done better. The muscles in my shoulder felt like they were tearing off the bone. I need a throttle lock…

Oh yes! and I made it with $20 left over! šŸ™‚ My cards were waiting for me in S.F. and I was glad to no longer be a poor hobo and have friends with showers that were willing to let me couch crash for a while.

Ah, San Francisco I do love thee.

I had gotten a nasty bruise at Chickfest when a dude decided to crash in the road right in front of me, it made a nice heart shaped mark.

I didn’t take many pictures in S.F. this round, I’ve been here a lot and mostly I was just being rediculous with friends, singing karaoke and eating absurd amounts of food. I think I stayed nearly a week, my body needed a break from riding and it was great to see anoakie and Natasha again. Love you guys!

I did get a nice shot of an urban KLR

3 thoughts on “Something Like an Iron Butt

  1. Becky, you are made entirely of AWESOME! Your adventures are making me miss the west! xoxoxoxoxoxox

  2. Becky, I’m glad that you update your blog weeks/months after the events occurred. Knowing that you’re safely back in Tucson (i.e., alive) makes your tales of motorcycle woe easier to read without cringing.

  3. I should NOT read your amazing adventures before going to bed! I get so stoked! Great writing & pics let me feel I’m rolling along with you, thinking about my m/c trips past present and future. Thanks!

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