I had turned the dial a little further to the “Just Finish” side than I was really prepared to ride. My philosophy was to ride as hard as I usually do, but just take more rest than I am accustomed to. I’m of the opinion that many riders make the mistake of riding slower, and less efficiently and end up wasting time. Most riders would rather have an extra hour of rest than make 10 stops that are 6 minutes longer than usual. But when folks get tired taking long slow stops is the usual result. I vowed to keep on top of time wasting and focus on getting off the road earlier.
That said… I had 3.5 hours to go 112 miles. I decided to stop at the next shady spot I could find and take a look at the laptop to see what my options were. 80 miles later I was closing back in on I-40. I found a nice self-serve car wash with no one using it and pulled into a bay. Pulling out the laptop I soon discovered that I really didn’t have any options. My stops after the Photo were just north of where I was at. I could make Hubbell Trading Post and still get to the photo, but not it and Canyon de Chelly. Canyon de Chelly was worth a lot of points, and I didn’t want to skip it. I ruled out going to Hubbell and then the Grand Canyon, as it would only add a few points to my route, but a lot of miles. Finish, finish, finish! No extra points! That mantra kept running through my head.
Navigation Stop in Sanders AZ
Arrived 12:00 Departed 12:09
Closing everything back up, I headed out… into the back of the car wash lot… that was strewn with broken glass! I tried to pick my way though gingerly, but visions of 2 flat tires before the day was out swam in my head. My front tire had a pressure sensor in it, but the rear was a new rim and the sensor was in the rim that I would use on legs 2 and 3. Ugh.
I got on I-40 west and headed to the photo. A few miles down the road I decided I might as well use my time to be fully fueled, and get a bite to eat. The GPS said there was no gas at the petrified forest so I stopped at the Shell station at exit 325 for Navajo. It was a nice station, with a Subway! Got a sandwich and decided to eat outside as it was too hectic in the place.
As usual a motorcycle is always a conversation starter. An incredibly tall man in a cowboy hat approached me as I was munching on my sandwich. Looking like he had been chiseled out of the local rock and left to sun dry for the last 50 years, he exclaimed that he’d never seen a Triumph like mine and that it looked like a BMW! I told him that it was kind of a copy of the GS. He had owned many bikes and was currently building a Hayabusa Top Fuel bike. He preferred to race trucks but needed side projects. You never know who you will meet out there! Sam and Sydney Liles pulled up and my giant friend proclaimed that he had owned many BMWs and that they were junk and always breaking down. Not sure if it was this curse that caused their retirement for computer gremlins, but I’m not ruling it out.
The Giant moved on and I chatted with a pair of gentlemen that were taking their first road trip. In at least their 60s, and probably in their 70s they were going to Baltimore from LA. I proclaimed my love of traveling across the country. They agreed that it was enjoyable, but that so far it was kind of hot and that sometimes it was too far to a bathroom. I laughed and said that the appropriate distance to a bathroom is probably a variable that changes with age!
After wasting 39 minutes, I decided it was time to mosey on up I-40 to Petrified Forest. Checked the tires and all was well, I managed to dodge one bullet! I had mounted a statue of Ganesha on my dash and it sure looked as if my obstacles were being removed.
Food & Fuel Stop – Navajo Travel Center
Arrived: 12:24 Departed 13:03