Sights and sorrows

It was a slow start the next morning, as I'd had little chance to sleep.  Up at 4.00am to get the Bonus package.  The route leapt out at me almost immediately, so, happy with the plan, I settled back to sleep for a while, hoping to avoid the LA rush hour traffic. Finally left about 9am and headed north onto I-15, bound for Las Vegas, and the heat of the desert - yet again. The heat was cruel, even mid-morning, and I'd forgotten to get a bag of ice for my jacket, so had to suffer through it all.

I-15 in Las Vegas was a parking lot, as there'd been an accident on the north side of town.  I didn't feel good about lane-splitting up here where it's not legal, so just  bumbled along slowly like a lost sheep, getting hotter and hotter, both myself and the bike's oil temperature, almost to overheating stage.  Then another rallyist appeared in my rearview mirror, and drew alongside - Bob St George.  He shrugged, gave a "Let's go for it" look and we started lane-splitting.  Once clear of the parking lot, Bob soon pulled away, and I kept getting hotter and hotter.  By the time I reached Mesquite NV, for a fuel stop, it was obvious that I was badly heat stressed, so pulled into a McD's and sat for a hour in the airconditioning, till my core temps came back to somewhere near normal. But I used the time checking the route, making small adjustments.

Out to refuel the bike, I checked the oil as it was sitting on hot all the way up from Vegas..  But there was NONE showing in the glass!! Arghhhh! My bike never uses oil, at all!  Out with the litre I was carrying "just in case" and slowly poured, checked, poured, checked till the whole litre was used up.  Now it was looking better, back to normal. Bike and body revitalised, we hit the road north, bound for the next bonus.

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Mountain Meadows memorial            4,835 points             Daylight hours only
UT-18 between Enterprise and Veyo, Utah
N37 28.519 - W113 38.565

Take a photo of the memorial cairn. The parking lot is
about one mile from the main highway on a dirt road.
The road may be closed during rain. If so, take a photo
of the memorial that overlooks the valley to the west. It
is a short walk from the parking lot nearest the highway.

Category: Mass murder.

In September 1857 the Fancher party emigrant train from Arkansas was attacked by Mormons at this
site. On September 11, after a five-day battle, the assailants approached the embattled pioneers
under a truce flag. They convinced the emigrants to surrender peacefully and to be led out of the
valley under guard. On a prearranged signal, however, the Mormon militia shot and killed 120 men
and women, leaving only 17 small children to survive. It remained the worst mass murder in the
country's history for exactly 144 years until the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001.

Date: ________ Time: _________Odometer: ________ Code: MMM Approved: _________

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Church of Christ             152 points                   Daylight hours only
1075 S. Fir St
Cedar City, Utah
N37 39.547 - W113 04.214

Take a photo of the front of the church.

Category: Disorderly conduct.

Church of Christ minister Alfred Pehl was fined $321 for attempting to stop speeders in his
neighborhood by blocking the road and threatening the motorists with shovels and broomsticks.

Date: ________ Time: _________Odometer: ________ Code: CDC Approved: _________

The gentle light of sunset, reverberating off the surrounding hills.

That was it for bonus hunting for today, now it was time to settle in for the ride across I-70 almost to Denver.  It was cooling off a little and I was feeling much better.  The miles flowed by quickly, darkness falling as I was refuelling somewhere in Utah.

A glorious night for riding, swinging joyfully through the meandering hills, not too fast, not too slow - just nice.  A few cars passed me, so I can't have been going very fast, could I? Hahaha! A bright light blossomed in the darkness behind me, looming ever closer .  Another rallyist to share the night?  Yes, it was Bill Thweatt who pulled alongside in greeting, then he tucked in slightly behind and to the left, and so we rode, through the night. The depths of night was shattered by the light of our HIDs and associated lighting.  It was brilliant, an awesome display of light!  No animals were seen.  It was perfect.  We rode like this for ages, then ...

A shot rang out!   Miles from anywhere.  My bike immediately lost power, so I signalled to Bill that I was stopping.  Bill had heard the "shot" through his earplugs, and knew I was in trouble!  The bike was still running, all gears were still there.  We looked at each other, and Bill said "There's nothing out here.  We may as well ride as far as you can manage while the bike's still running." 

Off through the night we trundled, very slowly, once reaching the dizzying speed of almost 60mph on a long downhill glide, but generally about 40-45mph.  Climbing the hills was tough, and slow.  It was running rough, of course, on one cylinder.  A signpost - it was 70 miles to Green River, UT.  What a looooong, tense time it took to get there.  But Bill patiently stayed behind me, dawdling along, shepherding me to safety, for which I am so thankful.

Green River  finally appeared, and we headed for the Super 8, to find another (unknown) rallyist's bike already parked there. We got a room, and crashed out, as Bill was leaving to continue his ride at 4am.  Thank you so very much again, Bill, for all your support and encouragement at this distressing time.  It was greatly appreciated. Being stuck out there in nowhere land all night would NOT have been nice.

I was on the phone early to Bob Wooldridge, Mr Fixit-extraordinaire, who'd volunteered to help coordinate rescue missions such as mine during the rally. I thought I'd be OK to ride the 100 miles on to Grand Junction, CO, so Bob started organising things on that end.  However, the bike got slower and slower, and by the time I was nearing Crescent Junction only 16 miles from Green River, I knew I'd never make it.  I pulled off the interstate at the solitary building - Papa Joe's roadhouse - and rang Bob, who then organised a tow truck to cart the dead bike to Grand Junction HD/BMW, who were waiting for me. 

Oh, it's a sad, sad sight! Just had to put the flag in, though!!

It was such a devasting, debilitating feeling to have worked so hard to get this far, to have survived the clutch glitch, the melt down through Nevada, and then for this to happen.  It was sickening.  I felt totally wiped out, so depressed.  But there was nothing I could do, except go with the flow, and accept what was to come. My rally was over.

The staff were waiting for me as the bike was unloaded and wheeled inside.  The first person I saw was rallyist Dave Biasotti, there to havemore minor repairs done to his (done days previously) final drive repair.  We commiserated with each other, although Dave would be continuing on and I wouldn't.  Phil, the technician, quickly ascertained that it "wasn't looking good" when the motor wouldn't turn over.  Fear was gnawing at my insides.  What if it was totally beyond repair?  How would I manage such an occurence, all the different facets needing attention, including getting the bike back to Australia?  Too much to contemplate!  I retired to the lounge with a coffee, to chat with Sam K., the BMW sales manager, a friend of rallyist George Barnes.

Phil appeared.  He was totally surprised at how little damage there was to the engine.  He'd been expecting it to be REALLY bad!  Most of his explanation went over my non-technical head, but basically it went something like this:  a bolt at the back of the cam chain tensioner backed out, causing the timing chain to jump a cog, which then caused all hell to break loose in the engine, resulting in the exhaust valves breaking or whatever, which must have been the "shot" that I heard. The parts were ordered from BMW NA, who, although spare parts orders were closed for the day due to the time zone difference, stepped up to the plate and organised a special delivery, the parts arriving at 10.30am the next morning!  Many kudos to BMW NA for this exemplary effort.

Sam K. had very kindly offered me a bed for the night, so we went out for dinner.  There was nothing more I could do - except wait patiently.  And plan!!  Even sitting in the tow truck on the way in, I'd had the laptop out, calculating "what ifs" just in case, by some miracle, I could get back on the road. Now I knew I would be back on the road at some stage, but my home-grown bonus points calculating spreadsheet was giving me bad news.  No way would I be able to get enough points to be a finisher in the hours left to me, even if I got the bike back soon. There was a Call-in Bonus due on the Wednesday morning, so I made that - just in case!

But I kept plugging away, refining everywhere possible, at a much shortened version of my original route (which had been over to Gay, MI, then Canada etc).  Suddenly, something registered in my strung out brain - there was an error in a formula in the spreadsheet!  WooHoo!  It wasn't including the first five lines of bonus points!  Yea! I frantically did a double check - YES, I could still be a finisher, as long as I got the bike by 6pm Wednesday! The feeling of elation at being back in the rally was almost overpowering.  I was bouncing!

The planning shifted up a notch.  I'd have to go 86 miles back to Crescent Junction to get a receipt, as proof  I'd ridden the whole rally.  Fortunately, I'd got one before the tow truck picked me up, too.  So the first 3 hours of my rally ride wouldn't be worth anything, as I then had to turn around at Crescent Junction and come back through Grand Junction to continue on towards Denver.  Oh, well, but them's the rules, so that's what I had to do.

Back to the dealership with Sam.  When rebuilding the engine, Phil had found another small part that needed replacing which wasn't in stock.  What to do?  Take it out of a used 1200GS on the showroom floor!  Wonderful! It was all systems go, at last.  I took possession of the bike and rode away amid profuse thanks, at 5.15pm, back to Crescent Junction.

Here I am, mobile again! The driver of the white truck stopped and wanted to chat, unfortunately.

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Rest Bonus - no specific location                 6,003 points             Must start on Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Stop for 5 or more hours. Document this stop as follows:

___ at the start of the rest period, obtain a machine generated receipt with date and time from a
location, for example, a gas station, a motel, a store, etc.

___ at the end of the rest period, obtain a machine generated receipt with date and time from the
same or nearby location in the same town

Our preference is that you also include your motel receipt with this bonus if you motel it, however, it is
not required.

WARNING: We are giving you wide latitude on this bonus with few restrictions so that you may have
the flexibility to use it as needed. However, we want to stress that if you are caught bending the rules
in the slightest, you will be expelled from the rally. This bonus DOES NOT mean ‗get a receipt and go
collect bonuses.‘ It means stop and rest.

Date: ________ Time: _________Odometer: ________ Code: R5 Approved: _________

This Rest Bonus suited me beautifully, as it would place me just near the first of my remaining few bonuses, which was daylight only.  So I rode on through the cool of night to Georgetown, and grabbed a motel there to cover the requirements of the Rest Bonus.

It was pretty chilly the next morning just on dawn, riding through the Rockies, but I didn't bother with even a sweater - I was so pumped at being back in the rally! On one of the passes, the thermometer was reading -1.7C .  Life is good! I like the cold.

On a long downhill curving righthander, I happened to glance over to my right, and was absolutely stunned, shivers running up and down my spine!  There, just out from the treeline, standing quietly, an unmoving statue, stood the most magnificent full racked bull moose!  Almost hauntingly beautiful, the mists swirling gently around him in the dawn light.  I'd not seen any other moose at all on this trip to North America, and I'd only ever seen one other bull moose, up on the Cassiar Hwy in BC. This guy was only about 70-80 yards off the highway and didn't flinch at my passing, other than to sedately swing his massive rack to watch me as I passed, my body twisting to look back at him for as long as possible.  That experience really made my day, and is the one outstanding memory, imprinted forever in my brain, of the rally overall. This rally was panning out to be a definite goer - I would finish it for sure, now!

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Police car                    4,568 points                     Daylight hours only
22 miles south of Walden, Colorado
Rand, Colorado
N40 27.245 - W106 10.916

Take a photo of the police car and its occupant. It is parked next to the Rand Yacht Club on CO-125
on the east side of the highway.

Category: Crime fighter.

This town has found a unique way to maintain a constant vigil by its small but dedicated police force.

Date: ________ Time: _________Odometer: ________ Code: COP Approved: _________

This was an easy bonus, right on the roadside.

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JJ‘s Bar              267 points                  Anytime
201 E Custer St
Laramie, Wyoming
N41 18.553 – W105 35.688

Take a photo of the exterior of the building.

Category: Hate crime

Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, met two men at this bar, then known
as the Fireside Lounge, on the night of 10/7/1998. They subsequently robbed, pistol whipped, and
tortured him, leaving him tied to a fence in the mountains to the east of town. He was found comatose
18 hours later and died a few days later. The killers are serving life sentences.

Date: ________ Time: _________Odometer: ________ Code: LRM Approved: _________

The owner holding my flag, outside JJ's bar

As I hesitantly pulled up outside this place, looking around, a voice behind me suddenly said, "Yes, this is the right place, if you're another one of those rally riders." It was the owner, so he offered to hold my flag for the bonus photo. The sense of "belonging" to the rally blossomed yet again.

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Goshen county courthouse             288 points                Daylight hours only
2125 East A Street
Torrington, Wyoming
N42 03.931 - W104 10.979

Take a photo of the courthouse.

Category: Escape.

In this courthouse Eric Livers was sentenced to 3-6 years in prison for buying stolen property. He
escaped from a halfway house in Cheyenne, fled to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and called his
former employer to have Livers‘ last paycheck forwarded to Portsmouth.

Date: ________ Time: _________Odometer: ________ Code: TOR Approved: _________

This was also an easy roadside bonus photo.

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Crazy Horse Mountain              4,980 points                  Anytime
Entrance, Avenue of the Chiefs
(US-16/US-385, 4.5 mi north of Custer)
Crazy Horse Mountain, South Dakota
N43 49.192 - W103 38.377

Take a photo of the large sign pointing the way to the entrance to Crazy Horse Mountain.

Category: Destruction of private property.

A vandal took a hammer to Korczak Ziolkowski's magnificent sculptures that used to line the entrance
leading up to the visitor's center. In 1939 Ziolkowski worked as an assistant to Gutzon Borglum on the
Mount Rushmore memorial before beginning this epic project in 1948. After the sculptor‘s death in
1982, the work continues on this memorial through his family. In their 60+ years of labor on this
monument, the Ziolkowskis have never accepted a dime of government funding.

Date: ________ Time: _________Odometer: ________ Code: CHM Approved: _________

I nearly boo-booed here, as I hadn't read the bonus listing  for this bonus properly, nor recently.  I turned off the main road and went up the driveway almost to the toll booth before stopping to belatedly read the listing.  Oops, I didn't need to actually enter the site!  But with nowhere to turn around, I had to plead ignorance and beg tolerance of the booth lady and ask if I could go in a short way to turn around and exit.  She laughed, and I got the impression that she'd been confronted by this very dilemma several times before, and quite recently, too!

Now there was just one remaining bonus to get. But time was marching on, and I was pushing to get there before 5.00pm, made worse by the long stretches of road construction I'd encountered, requiring, for some unknown reason, a pilot car.

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Visitor's Center               5,837 points                                    8:00am – 7:00pm
(Next to the parking lot at the base of the formation)               (After Sept 1: 9:00am – 5:00pm)
Devil's Tower, Wyoming
N44 35.418 - W104 43.219

Take a photo of the painting that hangs above the
fireplace in the visitor's center. Note: Your ID flag
does NOT have to be in this photo.

Category: Cross-breed adultery, bear baiting.

Although at least 20 tribes of Indians have treated this spectacular site as a sacred place, few of their
legends describe clearly why they have wound up antagonizing the bear in such a fashion as the
painting suggests. The Cheyenne story, however, is specific. It refers to the discovery by one brave
that his wife, who had been hiding some deep scratches on her back, was actually having an affair
with a very large bear. If true, that could easily account for the ill will between the species.

Date: ________ Time: _________Odometer: ________ Code: DTW Approved: _________

On arrival at the park entrance booth, running close to time, I flashed my Nat Parks Pass, and asked if I'd make it to the Visitors Centre before 5.00pm, as I didn't know how much further it was.  "Oh yes" she says.  "We're open till 7.00pm.  Next week is the change of opening times."  Phew, I'd done all that rushing and panicking for nothing.  But I was here, and I had my (probable) last bonus of the rally.  All I had to do now was make it safely back to Spokane. If timing was good, I could possibly go to the Sandpoint ID bonus, but it wasn't necessary, as I had just over the Finisher's minimum point requirement.  There was no reason to bust my gut trying to get more points, and possibly come to grief doing it.  After all I'd been through, I'd settle for just a Finish, thank you!

This was the only non-rally-bonus photo that I took, as the sheer magnificence of this natural edifice was staggering.

The home run - I was headed for Spokane. But before I could get out of the VC carpark, I was collared by a couple who rode Harleys and knew about the IBR, and that it was running right now.  They were astounded to learn that I, as an Aussie, was actually in it. So we chatted for a while about the rally, as I was much more relaxed now, then I headed out to the restaurant near the Park entrance, where I had my daily meal, such as it was.

It was a long haul ahead of me, about 1350km/845miles to Spokane, and I had 12hours + another I gained through the time zone change.  I could do it easily, barring accidents.  It was wonderful how the miles flipped past, hour after hour.  Darkness fell at last, a beautiful night for riding, cool and clear.  That finish line was a mighty magnet, believe me!  Sometime in the last couple of hours, I met up with some other riders, also heading home to Spokane, and we leap-frogged back and forward through the rising dawn.

I had decided early on in the night that I wouldn't attempt Sandpoint ID, so was able to take it easy, stopping every couple of hours, alternately for fuel or refreshments/bathroom breaks.

Several of us rode into the hotel parking lot at the same time, at about 5.38am or thereabouts.  What an amazing feeling to see all the spectators waiting for us!  Warchild did his thing, taking down my final odometer mileage reading. Voni Glaves was hugging me.  Bernard P. from Oz was there to welcome me, along with many others, cheering and applauding.  What an overwhelming, emotional moment!  The bike was parked, eventually, after which I managed to get my foot tangled in my comms cord as I was getting off, and fell face down on the pavement, although luckily the bike was on the sidestand and stayed upright.  Laughs all round - who cares?  Not me, I was HAPPY!

Checked in with Ira Agins to officially stop the clock and finish, and got a great big hug!  Then off to get my room.  Time to sort all the paperwork.  Then TravellingStrom.com (Richard Winter) from Oz appeared at my room to welcome me back, as he'd still been upstairs and had missed my arrival. Off to scoring, then just relaxing during the afternoon, as I was too hyped to sleep.

with Dave Biasotti, in the scoring room

Relaxing with Richard in the afternoon.

The Finishers' Banquet - no LD Comfort underwear to be seen!! - was fabulous.  The food on offer was good, and plenty of it. We managed to get a table of mainly Aussies (including the honorary Aussie, Bill T.) and a couple Canadians, so Richard stuck an Oz flag in the middle. After the meal was completed came the part we were all waiting for ..... the speeches.  Then Bill Thweatt, on behalf of the riders, graciously presented a lovely bouquet to Lisa Landry, RallyMistress extraordinaire!  Thanks, Lisa!

Bob Higdon, the Route Master, took the stage.  It was about to happen ...

"The first [called out in reverse order]of the finishers, riding a BMW 1200GS, with 77, 252 points, Margaret Peart, of Australia". WOW!!! I had done it - I was an IBR Finisher.  My heart was pounding joyfully as I walked to the front to receive warm congratulations from Mike Kneebone, and hold that finisher's plaque, platebacker and badge in my hands.  Oh!  What a feeling!  Walking on air!

                                                       Thanks, Richard, for the use of this photo.

Leg 3 route, revised

Pink: Leg 1        Blue:  Leg 2        Green:  Leg 3            Red exclamation mark:  breakdown point.

Some time after the completion of the rally, an LD rider, Brian Casey, cleverly masterminded then made available these wonderful maps of the riders' chosen bonus locations.  Many thanks to him for this! Posted with permission. 

 

One happy lady  -  IBA #402

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