Thursday, July 20, 2006

Day 6: Oklahoma to Denver

Folks, I rode 657 miles since leaving Oklahoma City at 11 pm last night. I made it to Denver safe and sound tonight! Thank you for your support!

I lost my main cell phone somewhere in Oklahoma City last night. It fell out of my riding jacket. I have a backup phone on a different carrier, but all my numbers were on that phone. I couldn't even call Earl, my Denver host, to let him know of my progress.

Between the breakdown and the lost phone, I had a lot of bad luck in Oklahoma, but the people there were fantastic! Vespa Club of America President JD Merryweather graciously suffered through many unplanned extra hours with me. At Vespa Oklahoma, Michael the manager and Chad the mechanic bent over backwards to get me back on the road. They pulled a brand new exhaust system from a new scooter in the showroom to fix mine. Also I have to give credit to Piaggio USA (the national distributor), which sometimes deservedly gets darts for poor and slow customer service. They gave the local dealer permission to strip the new scooter with a promise to replace the part.

As I gained altitude through the Texas Panhandle and then northeast New Mexico today, the air got cooler and drier. The ride became a delightful change from the oppressive heat since Miami. I had to laugh because when Earl met me to lead me to his house, we were in a blinding hail storm. I had never even donned my rain gear on the whole trip, and had managed to not get wet since a brief shower in the Florida Everglades on Friday. We met at the exit for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, which is ground zero for fundamentalist Christianity in the USA. The hail storm was there and only there. I have to wonder if there is a message in that somewhere?

What happened to my scooter in Oklahoma? As far as we can tell, the metallic gasket between the two parts of the exhaust system blew out. We don't know why the oil was low, but we'll be watching it closely and I'll carry some oil. That's something I can monitor without being a mechanic. It's even simpler to check the scooter dipstick than one in a car -- there's no hood to open.

Earl's daughter Kristin from the Denver chapter of the Scarab Scooter Club had a delicious dinner waiting for us. And I finally got to meet her husband Randy and their adorable son, Hudson. We viewed a slide show of my pictures and they gave me feedback about which ones to post. Thank you so much.

Tomorrow I need to replace the cell phone, and also the Canine Partners For Life magnets which fell off the scooter in the rain. I want to give the cause as much visibility as possible. Also most of my family arrives in Denver tomorrow for a few days vacation, so these days will be all about them. And, we'll have to settle for riding in a car ... long sigh.

By the way, I am still going to flesh out the blog with some pictures from the road. So please check back tomorrow. And thanks again for your support!

The score:
Cost of my delicious cheeseburger in the rural Texas panhandle: $1.19.
Number of stops by highway construction crews in New Mexico: 8.
Miles today: 508.
Miles total: 2407 (time for new scooter tires!).
Times I got wet: 1 today, 2 total.
Times I got stoned (by hail): 1.
Today's Song: Amarillo By Morning, by George Strait


At 4:35 AM, Blogger jrsjr said...

Hey Bobo,

I'm so relieved you made it to Denver okay.I hear you about the hail storm. The oil thing puzzles the devil out of me. I personally watched Woody change the oil in that machine and he went 100% by the book, step-by-step. He even double-checked when he was done to be certain that the oil level was right on the money. Where the heck did the oil go? Very Puzzling!

Again, I'm glad you've arrived safe and sound. I was staying up to check your blog, so I guess I can go to bed now... zzzzzzzzzzz


At 4:40 AM, Blogger jrsjr said...

Hey Bobo!

I'm so relieved to hear you made it to Denver without any further misadventure (other than that auspicious hailstorm).

The oil thing puzzles the devil out of me. I personally stayed and watched Woody do every step of that oil change and he went 100% by the book. He even double checked when he was done to be sure everything was spot on. Where did the oil go? Puzzling.

Well, I was just staying up on the off-chance that you might post, so I guess I can go to bed now. zzzzzzz

Again, good to hear that all is well. Nice job on the blogging, by the way. Keep up the good work!


At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Tom said...

Way to go Bobo!! So glad you made your first leg of your cross country journey.

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Karen said...

Hi Bobo!

Sounds like you're having quite the adventure. Have fun with your family this weekend! Looking forward to some pictures... cheers from EC!


At 7:40 AM, Blogger saracen said...

Quite an adventure! but let me give you a tip to secure your phone data. There is a free online phone backup service, who offers online backup to your phone contacts and calendar. You can access your contacts anywhere around the globe either online or by resyncing your new phone. A must try service.


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