I leave Tulsa when it was still dark so no photos as I passed thru Sapulpa, Bristow, Depew and Stroud. By the time I reached Chandler the sun had come up and I found a couple of landmarks mentioned in the guide book;
I had a closer look at the old Cadillac and found that someone had left it there to try and find a buyer;
I go thru Warwick and find a motorcycle museum in an old gas station. I was way too early as it didn’t open for a few hours – pity as I could see a lot of old dirt classics thru the window including bultaco’s;
Just a bit further up the road in Arcadia is a round wooden barn that was built in 1898;
And the ‘Pops’ gas station that boasts over 700 different soda pop flavours;
I got thru Oklahoma City and then Yukon (Garth Brooks territory);
I get to El Reno and check out the Canadian County Historical Museum;
I take a couple of photos around town;
About 4 miles out of town I stopped at Fort Reno. The Fort was established in 1847 and the buffalo soldiers were at one time stationed there. Later during WW2 it became a prisoner of war camp for about 1300 Germans;
Next up was Geary – I was looking for a particular attraction, “Pony Bridge”, which had featured in the move The Grapes of Wrath which starred Henry Fonda. I go into town and can’t find it;
I go into a local diner and get directions – I had passed the turn off on the way into town;
I go past Hydro and find ‘Lucilles Service Station” that has been restored and is still on the original Route 66;
I keep going along the old highway;
Only about 5 miles further up the road a new Lucilles Diner has been built;
I then checked out the Route 66 Museum at Clinton;
I later stop at Canute and take a few photos;
I cross the State line and get back into Texas;
Only another few miles and I get to Shamrock where I am staying for the night;
Fred’s starter is now giving me grief and he is now getting temperamental to start.
I get up very early and there is no life in Fred’s starter at all. A guy and his wife who are in the room next to me come to assist and he uses a test light on the starter – its getting power but not engaging. We give the starter a tap with a hammer and it makes a difference but not enough. I think its just the solenoids in the starter that need attention.
We try to push start Fred and he will not start. Next we try a tow and after a couple of goes he fires up. I quickly get everything on him and then I notice there is petrol steadily streaming out of his overflow pipe – this is a totally separate issue which has happened before and relates to the float sticking in the carby. My new mate gives me an additive to put in the petrol that should fix it. The only trouble is that the sticking float is flooding Fred when he is idling and making him run rough – not good for keeping him going when I can’t restart him!
So I head off hoping that I don’t stall, I get to the first town and pull in to fill him up with petrol. A guy comes over and tells me that he isn’t open yet and as I go to take off I stall %*&^%. Luckily Fred started with a quick push from both of us and away I went.
I only get a bit further up the road and the heavens open up with one of the heaviest downpours I have ever been caught in – its so bad I am getting blown over with rain and can’t see my hand in front of my face.
I take the first exit I see and stop at a gas station. I pull up next to the pump and I am trying to fill Fred up while I keep a few revs on the throttle (he wont idle). You guessed it, he stalled. I go into the station and there are about 4 farmers sitting around a table having breakfast. I tell them my plight and one (the youngest) gets up and gives me a push – no luck as I can’t get the back tyre to grip as its too wet on the ground. One of the other guys volunteers to go and get his ‘lariat’ and soon comes back with a genuine cowboy rope. After a short tow, Fred fires up and I am good for 400 klms as long as I keep him going.
So I ride for about 350 klm (soaking wet but drying off) and stop to refuel. As I ride up to the pump I am thinking “don’t stall, don’t stall, don’t stall”. Yep – stalled again. I fill Fred up and I see a couple of lads in a U-Haul truck and ask them for a push. Fred fires up after about 2 metres and off I go again.
I just keep on riding as that was my intention anyway given that I had done that entire section of road in the opposite direction. I cross into New Mexico and fill up again. This time there are no issues as the problem with the fuel leak is now resolved itself and Fred just purrs idling. I leave him running while I finally get a coffee and something to eat.
About now I decided that I would just keep on going for as long as felt ok and not too tired. I go thru New Mexico and into Arizona. I finally get up enough courage to let Fred idle while I take a couple of quick snaps;
I keep on rolling along and riding thru the Arizona desert as the sun was going down was a highlight. I end up actually getting to Fontana which is about 80 klms short of Los Angeles. I try and contact Mick as I was hoping to stay with him at his hotel but no luck. I am way too stuffed to do any more so I just take the first Motel that I can find. Massive day on Fred having done a lazy 1800 klms and I work out I have been awake for over 22 hrs.
Next morning I get on to Mick and I decide that I will try and come home with him – means dropping a few days off my trip but I couldn’t see the point of sitting around over here killing time and the Fred starting problem.
I have breakfast at the Motel and get everything out ready to put on Fred. I try to start him and nothing. I see a couple of Mexican gardeners and get them to give me a push – nothing after 2 attempts. I try the starter and booooom – fires up.
I then take off and its around 90 klms on 6 different freeways to get to Schumachers where I drop Fred off for his return home.
One of the main freeways was grid locked due to a massive accident where a truck had taken out 2 cars – one of the cars was split in half with the front half upside down hanging off the barrier. I would still be caught there if I hadn’t done the old lane splitting trick.
I park Fred and its a 2 minute exercise as they do everything in regards to getting him sorted for shipment. I should see Fred in Melbourne in about 4 – 5 weeks which will hopefully coincide when I go over for the MotoGP.
Just before I leave Fred I try his starter one more time and he fires up first time – good grief Fred you can be a smartarse!
I then catch a taxi (goodbye $45) and catch up with Mick. The big fella has had a huge night that ended up in him destroying a whole chicken.
So all there is left to do now is to confirm my change of flights – this task I have given to my wife and to say she is thrilled at the thought of being on hold with Webjet for 2 hrs is an understatement. I will however remember to get her favorite perfume as a thank you (she is reading this so I am crawling. Ha).
I will be doing a final blog when I get home to cover off on a few things.