Breaking in the BMW R1200GS
After getting off of the Apache Trail, I decided to push on to CA. I
stopped to fill up and get some food. Then I set off on the interstate
to Blythe, CA.
participating in a fund raising event called the
50 States. It was put together and is being run by Brian and the guys at
Dual Sport Riders
of Louisiana. The object is to collect pictures of a bike, a DSRL t-shirt
and a state sign, with the goal being to collect all 50 states. Since it was
dark and the sign was close to the edge of the road, I decided not to try to get
the CA sign for the 50 State Race until the next day. That would turn out to be
It was around 8:00 PM when I got checking into the hotel in Blythe. Riding the
trail took much monger than I had expected, but it was definitely worth it. It
was the highlight of the trip.
Blythe to Holbrook, AZ
Not to disappoint, the sun was out in sunny California. I used to live in
California and my ex-wife is from Grover Beach, so I have been on this road a
few times. It seems like I should be headed towards LA, which is the route we
used to take every year to visit the in-laws. But not this time; it was time to
head north. As mentioned, I didnít get the CA sign the night before and I
decided not to make the 5 miles trip across the border to get the picture that
morning. I figured I could just get the sign at the Nevada border or in Needles.
Highway 95, the road to Laughlin, NV from Blythe, is a great 2-lane highway. It
has rolling hills and some great twists and turns. At points there are so many
hills that it feels like being on a roller coaster. The scenery is desert flora
with very few signs of life, which makes the ride even better.
I got the sign at the Nevada border, and took a few minutes to soak in the
views. Then it was off to Laughlin to get fuel. While filling up the tank amidst
the casinos (that is all there is in Laughlin) I realized that I still didnít
have the CA sign picture. I couldnít remember seeing a CA sign on Highway 95, so
I decided to head back towards Needles.
Eventually I had to come all the way back to Interstate 40 to get the CA sign.
There was not one in Laughlin, nor one in Needles. The choice not to ride the 5
miles across the border that morning now doesnít seem like such a good decision.
I was fooled by the 75 degree temps in Blythe and Nevada and did not wear my
heated gear or gloves. When I crossed the Arizona Divide at 7,350 feet, I was
getting pretty chilly and the heated grips were maxed out. I stopped in
Flagstaff, AZ to get gas and put my heated vest on. With a renewed sense of
confidence in my ability to ride in any weather, I hit the road again.
About 30 min later I started realizing that I wasnít all that warm. As I do with
most things mechanical or electronic, I immediately assumed the worst and
figured that my vest had stopped working. It was getting darker and colder, so I
began planning to stop for the night.
At some point I happened to reach down and notice that my vest had become
unplugged. Although difficult to do with my left hand and with gloves on, I
managed to get it plugged back in and got all toasty again. That was all I
needed to push on to Holbrook, which was my original goal.
Because I was getting in so late, I decided to stop at the Best Western Adobe in
Holbrook for the night. If I am staying at a KOA, I like to get there before
dark. It is easier to get the bike unloaded and some of the KOA offices close
early. If you have a tent, you donít need the office to be open. You can just
set up camp and pay in the morning. But you have to get the key for the cabin,
so you have to time your arrival when the office is open.