So after what was possibly one of our most challenging days, 100 miles the wrong way, running low on water in the desert, mechanical failures, ferry crossings closed, we ended up in the small “town” of Hanksville UT. So we get up and start working on the bikes, I needed to make a serious repair to the navigation tower which broker again in the desert, tighten the chain (again) and Rod needed to adjust his chain and add some fuel cleaner to hopefully fix his backfiring issues. With everything fixed, we geared up and fired up the bikes. Rod started to ride away when I yelled “I’ve got an issue!”. My bike kept dying every time I put it in gear. Unfortunately, these bikes (most all motorcycles) have safety that switches on the kickstand kill the motor it senses the kickstand is still down when you engage the transmission. If the sensor goes out, it thinks the kickstand is ALWAYS down and the bike cannot operate. SOOOOO, here we are in Hanksville UT, broken down with no way to “hot wire” or “fix the issue without a specific part from KTM. So a quick call to Slavens Racing in Colorado got us the part and Jeff was kind enough to ship it FedEx overnight. That was great, but meant another night here in H-ville.
Fortunately, we had the foresight to move across the street to Duke’s Slickrock Dinner and campground. I wish we had done this the night before. What an awesome little place! The restaurant was incredible and all the meals are home cooked and huge! The campgrounds are super clean and the showers were nice, so heck, why not just stay a while?? We passed the time talking to the locals, doing laundry and looking at our route ahead. Wednesday night, Pete from California rolled up on a really nice BMW R1100RT and decided to camp here too. He was traveling from Merced CA to Colorado Springs CO for his son’s wedding. We had dinner and beers together and stayed up talking motorcycles until late. Pete was a pretty interesting dude and we had some great conversations. Morning came and we had another great Duke’s breakfast, wished Pete a good journey.
Mid-morning Thursday, as we sat on the back patio of Duke’s internet surfing and Rod binge watching “Narcos” on Netfix, a lady named Candice came over to our table. The next couple hours were pretty interesting. She was traveling to Colorado for her son’s wedding (must be wedding season?) and just happened to stop here for coffee and breakfast. It seems Candice has spent a lifetime doing what lots of us only dream of, traveling and doing what she loves. She’s an archeologist and an architect among other things and has traveled from China to Easter Island and everywhere in between. We had some pretty deep conversations and one led down the path of my son Justin and his untimely death. You see, Candice is a pretty spiritual person and talked about some things that were pretty deep but rooted in strong beliefs. She went to her truck and returned with a wrap of special dried grass that, when burned, would help me send a special prayer or message to my son. It was really hard to think of possibility that this was possible, but just thinking of him and how much I miss him every single day, I was willing to believe.
We said our goodbyes and She headed north. We returned to Netflix and laundry. Checked on the FedEx shipment and it says “no later than 4:30pm, which in translation means, “NO SOONER that 4:30pm”. We’ll just keep hangin’ in Hanksville. We hope to get the part installed and make Escalante UT by nightfall. We’ll see…