Damien’s girlfriend Jen washed my dirty clothes. What a sweetheart. I hit the road a little after ten.

Here is a natural dam made by mineral deposits and a big red mountain:

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Just west of Albuquerque I found the cheapest gas of the trip at $3.31. Not far to Arizona. There’s only one boarder between me and home now.

I-40 in Arizona sucks bad. Between the broken white lines dividing lanes, there’s an indentation that makes passing a somewhat harrowing experience.

Somewhere east of flagstaff I had a revelation. Friday night starts the San Luis obispo chapter of the vampires mc annual big ass ride thing. I’d planned on camping somewhere and having drinks in Anaheim with my buddy Jason. Instead I’m doing the iron butt thing home so I can hop on my Suzuki sv650 and go with them. Some time around dawn I’ll be back in baby’s arms.

A little after flagstaff I prepare for rain. That’s what the darkening mountains ahead mean. Luckily, I got very little of it. A little after the mountains the shitty indentations in the road disappear and I can pass without clenching things.

Somewhere in bat country I found the most expensive gas on the trip. $5.09, holy cow.

I noticed in the mountains east of Bakersfield that my headlight got brighter when I pulled in the clutch. This strikes me as odd and backwards. Twenty or so miles later, the bike cuts out altogether and won’t restart. Fuck.

Out comes the triple a card. Unfortunately, it only works for my mom’s car. Fuck.

Its okay, I have roadside assistance through progressive. After giving a ton of info, I’m informed that I do not, in fact have roadside assistance through progressive.  What the fuck, I’ve used it before. I guess when you renew a policy you have to specify that you still want it. This is madness, not Sparta and I’m pretty fucking livid now. I tell her to get me a tow and I’ll just have to pay for it. Only this pillar of mental accomplishment can’t figure out where I am. I thought “westbound highway 58 about 20 miles east of Bakersfield” was reasonably specific. I thank her for being exactly zero help and hang up. My phone is nearly dead, despite being plugged into an external backup battery. Fuck.

I call half a dozen tow companies. All either aren’t equipped to handle a bike or don’t want to get out of bed. Fuck you chino, wake up and do your fucking job. Never call chino’s tow at night. I apologize to chino for the great inconvenience I’ve caused him and hang up.

I start pushing up a hill thinking I’ll try push starting it coming down the other side when I encounter a call box. The nice and helpful lady got me a tow and informed highway patrol of the situation. The truck came reasonably quickly. The dude tells me that the call box lady never informs PSOE that using it nets the user quite a markup. An arm and a leg later and a few miles I’m dropped off at the uhaul where tomorrow I’ll rent a trailer and wait for family to pick me up for the last hundred and fifty miles or so.

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Until then, I’ve got a 24 hour donut shop.

I’m grateful that this happened so close to home. I’m wondering what went wrong. I travel led coast to coast and damn near all the way back. Close enough that I’m putting it on my resume. If I saw that is give that badass an interview, you bet your ass.

Current and final trip mileage: 23,226.6

Also: rear tire looking better suited to a car:
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And the 6805 mile moustache that’s about to come off:
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