I thought I understood about 18 wheeler drafts and washes until today. When a tractor trailer and I would pass going in opposite directions on a 2 lane byway, I felt like my brakes went on all by themselves and then within seconds, I was shot out of a cannon. I wonder if there is a diagram somewhere with little arrows that shows all the forces at work. Like the ones they use to describe flight - lift, thrust, weight and drag.
I pulled off to fuel and decided to have a cheese stick and some nuts. As I'm leaning on Stormy, observing life go by, I look over and there is a car parked right next to me with the license plate JAY. See photo below. The next time I pulled in to fuel up, as I was leaving town, there was a plane in the air that looked just like the little bi-plane that Jackie made for Jay when he was a toddler, "Top Gun". I had to turn around to get a picture of that!
Driving across the Oklahoma panhandle is straight, really straight, runway straight. So I did something, I rarely do. I put in my earbuds and pulled up a playlist --- Louis Armstrong, Bonnie Raitt, Rodney Crowell, Kenny Chesney, Allman Brothers, The Doors, Steve Winwood, Tyler Lyle, Sam Cooke, Nick Norman, Chris Isaak, Little Feat, O.A.R., Lee Brice, Ritchie Valens, Billy Currington, Guy Clark, Ryan Adams, Medicine Wheel, Bruce Springsteen, etc. I set my throttle lock to 10 miles an hour under the speed it took for that little cessna 150 to take off and Stormy and I went dancing down the road. Singing out loud!!!! So much fun. Then I saw a sign, a physical sign, that said "Hitchhikers may be escaped inmates". I laughed out loud until there were tears coming out of my eyes and I had to stop because I couldn't see. It was wonderful.
I spent the night in Guymon, OK. Once known as "No Man's Land", it is still mostly ranching but it is booming. They will be hosting an international bull riding competition on July 25th. Apparently of the top 10 bull riders in the world, 8 of them are Brazilian. An American is #2, I forget his name, he says that for the Brazilians, this is a career, they see it as a way to make a living and do not come into town ready to party. Some others claim they use different ropes that are bad for the bulls and take too long in the shoot.
The next morning, I went out to check on my bike and there were 2 bikes parked behind me, (pic). Enjoyed a conversation with one couple. They were on their way home from Santa Fe. As is usual, we checked out each other's bikes and shared stories and stuff. They had had a blow out once, had serious injuries, they both now where helmets. He also got something, that I'll look into when I get home, it's made by Doran, but it basically lets you know if your tire pressure increases enough to indicate a blow out could be imminent. They have ridden in all 50 states, Alaska being the last state. It cost them $1300 to ship their bike to Fairbanks and then they rode home. He said I had the perfect bike for Denali, they couldn't go to a lot of places they wanted to. I agreed, said that's exactly why I got this bike, but also noted their comfortable cushioned back rests and drink holders. It is a choice. There is no one best ride!
From Guymon, I headed to Capulin Volcanic National Monument. Sun still shining. Met a young man at a fuel stop. He was on a Suzuki VSTROM. We seemed to be on a similar journey, he was headed to Telluride from OK. It was supposed to be a trip that he was going to take with his cousin and best friend. No wives or kids. His cousin committed suicide last year. We both had tears in our eyes as I gave him a hug and pulled out.
As I was driving down the road, I asked myself why I didn't get a picture. I almost turned around, but didn't.
Miles down the road I pull into a rest stop after I had crossed into NM. As I was starting to leave, guess who pulls in. Yep, my new friend, Jeff. I had my helmet on and was getting ready to leave, I had the only shady spot. Then, lightbulb went off, picture, duh! I took off my helmet and asked him if we could get a pic. He said he had the same thought back at the gas station. (See below).
I was making a left turn into Capulin Volcano and Jeff made a right turn into the entrance. I had taken a back road, he had come in from the highway. He didn't know I was going there, he saw a sign from the highway and just decided to turn in. I love the universe. We spent another 15 minutes talking at the top of the volcano. After exchanging contact info., I had given him stickers at first meeting, but I didn't have his, we hugged goodby and he took off and I went for a hike.
I am now in Trinidad, CO. Came in from 25, where I passed a "Jay Flight" camper.
Can't wait to see what today brings.