I could swear I’ve mentioned something about dust storms somewhere else on this blog. Wait, could have been back in West Texas when we just left on this journey, outside of Vegas or back in West Texas when we arrived a few days ago. Anyway, it’s the day after the Day 32 ride and I find myself relaxing in wonderful Wimberley, TX at Craig and Cindy’s place. Felt so good to sleep in knowing we didn’t have to ride today to get somewhere and I’ve actually been catching up with lots of photo editing which is needed. But anyway, back to updates about Day 31 and 32 and how we made it home, and almost didn’t make it home….
Day 31 – Farmington, NM to Lubbock, TX
Well Day 31 one has us on the home stretch and couldn’t get on the road soon enough. Farmington was a crappy town and I really wasn’t looking forward to having to go thru another 4 or 5 small towns at a snails pace. Luckily this wasn’t needed. What was needed were some nice long straight stretches of road so that we could make some good time and as things would have it, we were going to be going thru Albuquerque again 🙂 Figured why not stop and have lunch with my friend QiaoQiao and check out her photography studio. I mean, how could we say no when she offered make lunch. So after getting a quick bite to eat, a super fast photoshoot we were back on the road. So to this point we had already put the “Moto” in MotoPhoto and now just added the “Photo” part. What was left of course was the “Adventure” part.
You know, as fate would have it, it would be Day 31 when we’re almost home to have some craziness happen to us. What craziness you’re asking, how about an oncoming 18 wheeler when you’re clicking around 90mph on the speedo. About an hour outside of Albuquerque, NM Craig and myself found ourselves on I-40 headed East. Well I was in the lead and we were setting a pretty decent pace, even with all the Memorial Day Holiday traffic on the road. As I usually do when clicking a decent pace (this means speeding for those of you didn’t get that), I like to look as far ahead as possible and pan for possible smokeys, bandits, black and whites, 5-0’s, whatever word you use for law enforcement is. Well not only this but for safety reasons, etc…
Well while tucked in I noticed a group of darker vehicles approaching us on the other side of the highway which was divided by a grassy median. I was really trying to make out if there were any state troopers in the group when something caught my eye. A 18-wheeler carrying a load of large concrete water pipelines made an abrupt left turn and was now headed straight towards us, went thru the median kicking up grass, dirt and was now coming into our lane, and FAST. I immediately threw up my arm to warn Craig, got on the brakes and changed to the right lane all while trying to line up this truck. I guess years of racing comes in handy and I’m referring to the mental, decision making standpoint. As the truck approached us the things I was trying to figure out where the following and in the exact order:
– Was there going to be a change of direction for the 18 wheeler?
– Would I need to go left if it continued at it’s current trajectory or would I make it on the right side?
– What was the closing speed of the 18-wheeler? Us clicking 90, truck at least 70, means about 160mph closing speed when he first went off.
– Since the median had a bank to it, was the 18-wheeler going to flip and dig in or possibly roll?
– If not, and the 18-wheeler stayed on it’s wheels, would the driver be able to correct and get it slowed down and at least out of our lane?
– Did I pray this morning before heading out (oh yeah, I did, I’m all good)
Well all that thought process above ^^ takes place in about the blink of an eye. Luckily the driver was able to get the 18-wheeler under control and it passed us in the grassy median kicking up dirt, grass, debris and all sort of stuff while we had already got as far over to the right as possible. Now at this point we’ve slowed to a crawl and sitting in the middle of the highway doing like 20 or 30mph. Now I was thinking of oncoming traffic from behind that wouldn’t see us as they approached so I signaled to Mooty that we needed to get moving. Guess my heart rate was pretty high up until we came to a stop a few miles down the road for fuel. So now it’s not even 2pm and we’ve totally added the “adventure” part to MotoPhoto Adventure. Now to make it to Lubbock, TX in one piece.
What you do NOT want to see coming at you….a big 18 wheeler.
I was looking forward to it since we would be staying at my cousin Belinda and Freddy’s place. Never a bad thing seeing family and well Craig could meet some of my family. You know up to this point we had been riding in some pretty windy conditions and I guess the last few days on the motorcycle would have it this way. But as we were approaching Lubbock there was some serious dust storms…I mean come on, give us a break today. Could barely make out the gauges on the bike they were covered in so much dirt. We finally made it to Lubbock and now it was time to rest up. I hung with Richie and Tony mainly as Craig enjoyed the company of Belinda, Rene and friends on the outside patio. Well that and he was seriously missing playing the guitar as was evident when he started playing Richies. If you ever meet Craig, make sure he plays some piano or guitar for you. He’s pretty talented but a total closet musician. I need to get him on video playing and plan too.
Day 32 – Lubbock, TX to Wimberley, TX
A nice, short, sweet, post. It was time to make the 400 ride home and call this adventure a grand success. Of course it was another windy day, but not hot as hell. Was a multiple 5 Hour Energy type day but we made it. When we arrived in Wimberley (Craigs house) a group of family and friends greeted us which was VERY nice of everyone. A small celebration party was had with great food and company and I called it an early night and got some great sleep.
Look for the summary blog about this great trip in the coming days – 32 days on road, 7000 + miles, 8 National Park & 8 Fashion Shoots
A sweet BMW S 1000 RR we bumped into in New Mexico while fueling in Apache land. The guy was from Nova Scotia and was headed to Alberta, Canada.