Day Eighteen by Dave Schultheis
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 - Salida, Colorado
I was awake at 6:39 a.m. and got up at 6:52 - no sense in hurrying these things. I turned on CNN and looked out the window to bright sunshine. I did not know it at the time, but I would not be bothered again by rain on this trip.
I dressed, packed, walked across the parking lot for their Continental Breakfast (sour milk - yecch!) and then asked the owner of the motel for some rags for the bike. He gave me four of them, and I went back and wiped down the Road King. She looked great sitting in the early morning sunshine in the Rocky Mountains.
An older couple was staying in a room nearby and they admired the Road King while asking where I'd been. They were a little surprised that I had started the previous day in Hutchinson, Kansas. I think they were going back that same way.
I checked out of the Econolodge at 8:15 a.m. and refueled at a Texaco Station nearby. I took a couple of pictures of the snow-capped peaks surrounding Salida, then got on the road, westbound on U.S. 50.
As I passed through Gunnison, Colorado I stopped at a motorcycle shop but they did not have a smoked shield for my helmet.
Then I continued for another hour and found myself in Salina, Utah. I stopped at an Amoco Station for some juice and a sandwich, but another rider suggested that I might like the food better at the Subway Sandwich store down the street. He was right.
Then I stopped at the Best Western next door and they wanted $63 for a room. That seemed excessive and she wasn't dealin'.
So I went back to the Amoco Station and checked at the Scenic Hills Motel next door. The clerk said that she could do about twelve dollars better than the other motel. Only one thing, the door key was hard to work in the lock, but if I wanted the room, I could park right by the door and lock the bike to the stairway.
I took the key over and figured out how to open the door, so she charged me $49.88 plus tax and I rode over to Room 113, parked and locked the bike and carried my stuff inside.
The room had two double beds, no clock, no radio and *gasp* no CNN. I guessed that it would just have to do.
I put all my stuff away and took a shower. It was still early (before 9 p.m.) and the temperature was very comfortable, so I walked around the area. The motel was undergoing a massive remodel and becoming a Super 8.
The parking lot was a mess (gravel and asphalt debris everywhere); another building was being built next door, as well as what would eventually become a pool. (Gee, a swimming pool woulda' been really nice about that time.) Right outside my room there was a custom 1955 Chevrolet sedan sitting on a trailer. Looked like it was going to a car show.
There were several trucks parked near the motel, some with their refrigerator units running, but a seasoned traveler can't let a little thing like that bother him.
There was a Denny's restaurant across the parking lot that was pretty busy, but I'd already had my Subway sandwich.
I eventually went back in the room and watched a little television and then went to bed.
Miles for the day = 405.
Miles for the trip = 6310.
Number of stopped riders pulled over for = two. Twice.
Tomorrow: Hot, Windy, "The Loneliest Road in America" and staying with friends near Lake Tahoe.