Posted by: mckenzie68 | September 3, 2011

Day 17 – WPFG Adventure – Mr Murphy again…

So what a terrible sleep, so sore, an I did not take anything…yeah my fault, what the heck was I thinking!  LOL  I was on the road quick again today, with the intention of putting in a super duper mega huge epic ride, in other words a long day in the saddle.  =D

Once on Hwy 74 westbound I noticed immediately that this Interstate highway is not crowded, in fact there were hardly ANY vehicles at all!  Although there was not much to see except farmland and trees, it was so nice not to have to be on edge all the time due to vehicular traffic.  The weather was very hot and humid and was 34 degrees Celsius by the time noon rolled around!  I felt like a pig in a blanket…tee hee!  =D

I decided to stop for a break in Springfield, IL and as I pulled off the interstate I noticed vehicles everywhere, pulled off the side of the road, and people standing there like they would for a parade.  As I drove to a nearby mall I noticed two firefighter ladder trucks with their ladders extended to the sky and put together in an arch.  I knew then that it was to honor someone who had passed away.  I pulled over near the intersection and turned off my motorcycle, and I asked someone what was going on.  There was a nice family nearby and the father explained that it was to honor a young soldier who had been killed in Afghanistan.  I took a couple of pictures as the procession approached and then saluted as it passed by, then the most amazing sight I have seen, hundreds of motorcycles, vehicles all in the procession, carrying flags, there was a police escort to make sure that no one blocked the procession.  It was very emotional for me and others even though we did not know this young man.

I went into the mall to grab something really cold to drink and spoke to some really nice people, one of whom was very helpful in terms of my trip.  She helped me realize that I am so fortunate, and how much I miss my lovely wife while on this journey.

I looked the motorcycle over as I always do before each ride, and noticed that the final drive had started to weep oil!  This was not a good thing as there have been many documented final drive failures on the ADVrider.com website, and I did not want to experience one at highway speed.  It did not look too bad at that point so I carried on, stopping regularly to check it.

Eventually I reached Hannibal, MO and decided to pick up some full synthetic gear oil (in the weight specified for the bike) and looked for a place to stay.  I drove all over Hannibal with no luck and then went westbound looking for places to stay, and lucked out in Macon, MO!  YAY!!!  I settled in, and of course first order of business…HOT TUB!!!!  Oh yeah baby!  It felt so good on my aching body…

I then got to work on checking the final drive, and replacing the fluid with some fresh synthetic gear oil.  I took off the rear rim, drained the old oil which looked normal, it was the right quantity, and poured it into a clear plastic glass so I could look for metal fragments, there were none.  So the leak was not bad, which is good news as I was really concerned that Mr Murphy had managed to finally get me.

I added the fresh gear oil, and as I proceeded to button everything up there was a loud thunder clap nearby!  I looked west and sure enough there were some very ominous looking Dark Clouds (probably Mr Murphy’s buddy) bearing down on the hotel.  I took some quick pictures and worked like a crazy man to get everything done, and then the skies opened up!  I had lucked out again!!!

Storm after storm have went through the area, giving me quite the show and keeping me indoors…I do not want to get hit by lightening!  Tomorrow looks to be a little cooler which is fine with me, and should allow me to get across Kansas to Colorado…it is going to be a good day!

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