South to Patagonia

Seventeen days of blue skies and 80F weather ended before dawn this morning, It was 69F and the streets were wet when I looked out the window. 80% scattered t-storms was the forecast. We rode the seventeen bikes up from the underground garage and parked them on the street & sidewalk. Occasional rain made the final loading interesting. Breakfast at 0700 and group leave at 0800. It wasn’t raining as we pulled out into traffic. Trying to navigate a group through rush hour traffic and stop lights was OK. Soon we were on the Autopista and heading south. Kevin would pull in first at the toll booths and the group would pull through one at a time and wait in the lane until Kevin paid and went back into the lead. The process went well.

Thirty-six miles later we were out in the country. We were on a four-lane road that had occasional toll booths, but motorcycles had a narrow lane that was free. Rain started again about mile 70. Gentle and scattered at first, but soon became a storm. We stopped for gas at mile 120 and it became a deluge. The station was soon full of bikes, cars and trucks seeking refuge. We waited about an hour and four of us decided to press on. The storm continued for over an hour, before clearing a little.

Landscape looked like Illinois and Iowa, with flat, straight roads, corn, and cattle feeding on open grass fields. Pioneer Seed Corn signs adorned the fences. This gave way to Kansas and Nebraska with wheat fields and acres of sunflowers. Four green John Deere combines, two pickup trucks and campers sat in a recently harvested wheat field. They looked like they traveled around the area harvesting under contract. We were now in the foothills and it began to look like Colorado, with high hills in the background. The roads were now twisty and fun to ride. Parks and monuments were around us as we cruised into our hotel. We parked under shelters and unloaded the bikes. The sky then unloaded on us. We were VERY happy to be off the bikes. The lights kept going off in the storm while we ate dinner. Lightning flashed in the sky. Storms took out the internet, but we were warm and dry. The forecast wasn’t much different for tomorrow. Glad the bikes were undercover. It ain’t fun loading up in the rain.

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