Rallying


September 9, 2016, Taos, NM

Our third day on the road, and I am washing some socks in the sink of the hotel. The main thing about travel that I learned last summer was that I don’t need to bring so many changes of clothes, and underwear for every single day on the road. It results in giant, unwieldy bags of dirty laundry that are difficult to fit on the bike. It is easier to wash a few things as needed and just keep on wearing the same pieces over and over. Besides, there’s a Wal-Mart in almost every town in case I get sick of the same old clothes.

On this day, Friday, we worried at breakfast if Hal’s bike would run normally, and if it didn’t, if it would ruin our trip. Since we both theorized it had something to do with fuel, when we got on the bikes we rode north on the main street to find a Chevron station for good gas, i.e., gasoline without too much ethanol in it. We did not know that our usual Phillips 66 station had NO ethanol in Premium grade! We found that out later …

So, after fueling up at the Chevron, we rode out to the rally site. The ride was beautiful! – golden sun trending toward autumn, vivid green leaves, and trees that were just starting to turn gold at the very tops. I had an amazing ride. Hal was worrying about his bike because it was still not running right. In order to help diagnose the exact problem, we planned to ask one of our friends who is an extraordinary mechanic.

Our favorite scene:

At the rally, we checked in, and I talked to one of my friends, Jan, and then Hal and I walked around the rally site. Not many vendors appeared to be in the exhibition area this year, and those that were seemed to be still setting up.

We decided to leave, but before we could, we had a conversation with some other riders. One was a F800GT rider, and he loves his bike. My F800ST was the precursor to the GT.

The lodge, still “recovering” (get it?) from the fire a few years ago:

By the time we finished talking, Hal and I changed our minds about leaving because we saw our good friends, Paul and Voni. They had just arrived. We went back to the lodge area and we started talking with them. Two hours passed quickly, and I knew again how Voni and I are so alike, kindred spirits in beliefs and common sense, and we share many of the same experiences. Voni is a celebrity in the BMW motorcycle community because she has logged over one million documented miles on BMW motorcycles. Yes, one million.

Voni always wears red:

Voni and I even talked briefly about my car wreck (good, sympathetic advice for me), and of course, bikes and riding. I heard the story of how she and Paul started riding all those years ago, and the rest, as they say, is history. We talked for over two hours, and it was the one of the best conversations I’ve ever had. Finally, we got around to talking about Hal’s current bike problem, and Paul suggested using a can of the product “Heet,” which is supposed to get rid of extra water in (bad) gas. Paul had a can of it, so we “borrowed” it to see if it would work.

Eventually, we left to go back to Taos, and after adding the can of Heet, Hal’s bike was running almost normally. I knew Paul would know what to do to fix it! In Taos, we picked up a can of Heet at a hardware store to replace Paul’s. Then we went to an Albertson’s to see if we wanted to get something to eat for dinner. After wandering around for a while, we decided that since we were in one of our favorite places, why not enjoy every aspect of it and eat at our favorite restaurant.

Back in the hotel, we sat in the grassy courtyard area for a while, just as we had two months ago, enjoying how beautiful it was, and is. We had a glass of Merlot to celebrate another wonderful day in Taos, then went to dinner (we did not ride after drinking wine!).

Tomorrow we will go back to the rally site early in order to hear Paul and Voni’s presentation titled “What could possibly go wrong?” And we’ll probably stay all day. The rally will be in full swing, and after dinner tomorrow night it’s mostly over already. These great times go by way too fast.

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