Summer 2009 tour - day 5 - 360 km (Linda) 430 (Don)

Started out as such a lovely day, with a good plan! We were heading to Great Sand Dunes National Park, then on to Cortez. Got to within about 6 miles of the park, and my bike was feeling very squishy and not steering well at all. Stopped for inspection, flat tire!

Of course, we have nothing to repair/replace with us. So hopped on with Don and we headed back to the bike dealer near where we stayed the night before. They did have a replacement tire, but couldn't figure out how to get the bike or tire together with the tools to do the fixing.

Pulled out the GWRRA (Gold Wing Road Rider Association) Gold Book - a listing of Honda dealers and GWRRA members ... each member can opt to publish what 'services' they are willing to offer - tour guide, host campers, trailer/tow, tools, etc. There are three listed for this town. Calls to these fine fellas not fruitful tho. Nearest dealer listed is three hours away.

Next up, pulled out the Rescue Plus service, spent a long time on the phone with them arranging to have the bike trailered to the dealer. Just as we're finishing up the call, the dealership fellas figure out that the owner has a trailer that he can use to pick up the bike. Yay! So off they go to gather up the stranded Wing. Turns out this fella also farms (we're everywhere, eh?) so they had a nice visit.

Meanwhile, this is an excellent opportunity for me to visit the nice Gray Goose Fabric/Quilt store spotted in town! :)

When the tire comes off, it is of course inspected for what went wrong. Discover nothing puncturing the tire, but there is a line almost completely around the inside of the tire that is disintegrated. Everyone agrees they've never seen a tire do that before. Shop is going to have their tire rep inspect it, may have to send it back to the manufacturer.

All fixed, off and touring again! It's almost 4 local time, and we're 4 driving hours away from our room for the night. Off we go - Hwy 160 from Alamosa to Cortez. Oh, this is a nice drive! Goes through Wolf Creek Pass, the GPS on the bikes showed us at 10,880 ft altitude; it's also the Continental Divide.

Local radio that I'm listening to happens to be playing "I Will Remember You" (Sarah McLachlin) and "I can only imagine" (Mercy Me) - absolutely perfect for the breathtaking beauty surrounding us.

Almost every corner holds another breathtaking surprise to inspire ...

Did have to don rain gear for a while again - nice lightening show but didn't get too terribly drenched. Most of the activity was just off to one side or the other to where we happened to be. Temps ranged from baking our brains while waiting to get the tire fixed, to 18 in the rainy mountaintops, back up to 28 coming into Cortez at sundown.