Tired of being treated the way we're treated going through security, we've decided to forego being trapped in the long, thin, silver tube and drive rather than fly unless time restraints make driving impossible.
And it's pretty difficult to put a Suzuki motorcycle in the overhead bin, isn't it?
Big Bubba couldn't seem to find anyone competent to turn wrenches on the old BMW R80RT. He was having some sort of difficulty with it at every turn, so I had decided to take "Roswell", my 650cc Suzuki V-Twin out and trade it for the old "airhead" BMW.
In the extreme Phoenix heat the water-cooled, much newer Suzuki will be more reliable for him, and I LOVE riding the old beater BMW and have a little more mechanical knowledge to keep it puttering down the highway.
Road trip! I loaded Roswell into the bed of the truck and Sara Jean, Lucy and I pointed our noses West.
Two days and 1700 miles later, we arrived in the land of sand-for-lawns and Saguaro cacti.
It's HOT. But remember, "It's a DRY heat".
Having experienced that desert heat now on several occasions, my immediate response is-
"So is an oven".
I figured two-wheeling with 95 degrees and almost no humidity would be comfortable.
I was wrong. It's like riding next to the dinner rolls cooking in the OVEN.
There IS a benefit...
Nights are wonderful. Remove the sun from the equation and you're no longer a grape being turned to a raisin. Clear, dry air makes night riding near-perfect.
But that Arizona sun is brutal. If the temperature is above 90 and the sun is shining, riding longer than about half an hour is not only uncomfortable, the possibility of dehydration makes it dangerous.
Big Bubba once ran out of gas on Interstate 10 and waited an hour in near 100 degree heat for the Auto Club to bring him fuel. He had no water. Disoriented, he couldn't tell the Auto Club where to come help him. When he called to tell me his predicament, from half a continent away I started making phone calls to AAA, and the State and local police.
We both learned valuable lessons that day.
The last night of our stay we loaded the old Beemer into the bed of the Dodge.
The next morning I loaded the rest of our stuff.
When traveling, I always load my computer and the transformer for it first, to insure I don't inadvertently leave it behind. I tucked it into the pocket behind the driver's seat for easy access should I need it somewhere along the line. I then walked the minute-or-so walk back to Big Bubba's apartment to get suitcases, pillows, etc. for our trip home.
Five or six legs back and forth to his apartment, and we're all loaded and ready to go.
We all hugged and said our good-byes, and two of us plus dog joined I-10 for Tucson and beyond.
Our first stop was Ruidoso, New Mexico to visit "Old Prairie Dog".
There, I grabbed our pillows and toiletries, then went back to get my laptop.
The pocket was empty.
Now I'm confused...
Maybe I just THOUGHT I loaded it?
Call Big Bubba... "Is it still there?"
Someone had to be watching as I loaded the truck and saw where I put it, then in the time it took me to return with more stuff to load, they grabbed it and the transformer.
I later found they had also taken my digital camera.
Yeah, my homeowner's insurance will cover the loss. But there's a $500 deductible involved there, and the laptop was over a year old. Is it worth filing the claim?
Not to me.
I ate it.
Ordered a new laptop for $700. It came with "Windows 8", and I hate it. I was comfortable with the old laptop and miss it terribly.
I've learned another valuable lesson...
We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
What a world we live in.
That computer was double-password protected so I don't know how anyone will use it. How much is a "HOT" laptop worth at a Pawn shop?
Same with the camera...
Without a way to recharge the battery or download the photos, what's that worth to anyone other than me?
And the worst part of it is the reminder that the country is NOT a place where you can trust your neighbors.
You have stuff? There are people willing to risk serious trouble who will take it from you, even if you just leave it for a few seconds.
How terribly sad.