June 02, 2011

Well, here we are in Key West. Today was fairly straightforward. We left just south of Atlanta at 5:00am and arrived at key West at about 7:30pm. About 800 miles (1300 km). The only major screw up was that I didn't turn on the Spot correctly so although the lights were flashing - no messages were being sent out. Sorry! I did warn you however.
   Yesterday our start was a completely different event however. Things started going wrong right at the beginning. I put the little bike on the side stand in the parking lot where I met Charles - turned around and it promptly went to sleep (fell over and laid down). Broke the port side mirror and the throttle lock (crude cruise control) . Of course it happened in front of some well wishers that were there to see us off. Lynn returned home and got my old kick stand that had been modified and repaired in Florida in the spring and we took it with us. I'll change it tomorrow. So much for new original equipment parts!! Next up was U.S. Customs. I went through without issue but Charles admitted to having over $1000.00 on him. Off to secondary inspection and an hour delay while I waited and worried in the parking lot outside the compound area. So- off we went, an hour and a bit late. Sometime around the middle of Ohio I spotted a motorcycle dealer (to find needed parts for the little bike) and it was 9:00am so I turned at the next overpass to return. Just about then Charls' bike started to exhibit some unusual electrical activity. It ran to within about 200 feet of the Motorcycle shop and quit. While I was inside getting a new mirror Charles started to trace wiring etc to find out what was wrong. To make things short (no pun intended) it turns out that the brand new battery put in as a precautionary measure only a few days ago shorted internally and was now useless. Three hours of searching all over for a replacement we settled on what was available at the motorcycle dealership. A 20 amp smaller battery to replace the dead 30 amp one. So, the Old Girl now has a Honda Heart. I'm sure she's mortified.

Charles at work

We really did look deep.  Whoo'da thought a brand new battery would be faulty. You always suspect the almost 30 year old bike wiring.

It worked fine however so once again we were off and running. Rest of the day went well except for stopping several times to find a new throttle lock for me, No luck. Unfortunately this is more annoying and serious than it at first seems. I can no longer lock the throttle on and use my right hand. No food, no photos, no stretches or exercises for that arm. Bummer! Continued to look today and still no luck. We'll try at bike dealers here in Key West tomorrow. If that doesn't work I'll have Lynn send my spare to somewhere we can pick it up on the way north. I was going to bring it - but thought naaaa - never broken one yet why bother. 'Nuff said.

Hopefully we've managed to crowd all the screw ups into these two days and the ride will be flawless.
Why am I writing this.......I know it's B.S.!

Yup, we really got here.
    So tomorrow is our rest day and Sat. morning early we're heading north as far as it is possible to go. Until the road ends some 12,000 KM north at the Arctic Ocean at Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay)
      Some notes: Deadhorse is the town (of about 20 people) and the airport. Prudhoe Bay is the same location and has about 500 migratory oil field workers. It is the name of the bay on the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean) and the north slope oil fields. So the names can be used interchangeably to describe the same location. Confused yet? You should be....I am.
     In any case it's now late and time for bed.
Good night from the sunny south. Oh yes forgot to mention - it hit 101 deg. F (38+ C) today just east of Orlando. Warm day.
(and Charles - who is snoring already.)

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