My 1st SADDLE SORE Ride Report “ Kinda”
Plan was to ride my 2013 Wee Strom with Dad in the Kactus Kilo starting in Kingman AZ. We hadn’t decided yet to do the Saddle Sore or the BBG but I was pretty sure I wanted to go for the Saddle Sore as this will be the most miles I’ve ridden so far.
I met my Dad in Ashfork AZ. and we headed to Kingman to begin our adventure at the Mother Road Harley Davidson. I’ve rode quite a few rallies on the back of my father’s Honda GL 1800, which is super comfy BUT now I’m on my own bike(Oh my yikes) and not to mention I’m kinda bare bones with a stock seat, my husbands 67 Nuvi, stock headlights ( well I bought the cheap LED versions at O’Reilly’s which I may have installed upside down cuz the brights were lighting up the sky and not the road), no aux lights and no aux fuel tank. On the upside I did have heated grips which my husband helped me install and an old heated vest which my Dad gave me, and it gets hot. My thought was- Well my Dad has all the good GPS equipment, I’ll just follow him!!
We arrived at the Mother Road Harley to ride the ODO check route and tech inspection around 1430. I was a little nervous I’d do something wrong for sure. I’ve heard and read stories about those who have forgotten Ins cards or registration or how certain people have had to ride the odo check route again because they got lost the 1st time. While standing in line to check in we see a familiar face and friend whom I hadn’t seen in a couple years, Andy Mackey. I met him during the first rally I’d ever been in. I rode pillion with Dad on the Goldwing. It was the LOE rally in New Mexico and what fun I had. I never thought I could stay awake long enough to finish a rally such as this but I did it and was very excited I could do it!! I was kinda hooked after that. We got checked in and rode the ODO route w/out any complications “whew”. Passed the tech inspection and got the rally packs. The Saddle Sore was pre-routed and had 4 bonus locations. We ate some great bbq for dinner put on by the Kactus Kilo staff and then headed back to the room. We added the coordinates to the GPS and hit the sack. Woke up at 0430 and arrived about 0530 at the Mother Road for the start at 0600. The IBA members were let go last cuz of course we’re all slow and pokey, haha!!!
Our first bonus location was in Jerome AZ. And as we headed east on the 40 with the sun in our eyes my Dad pulls off the road. Before we left I gave him a squirt of my sunblock and he apparently got some too close to his eyes. I felt so bad and his eyes were like flooding all the way back to Prescott. He called it off but told me I should go! I immediately hesitated and said I can’t go cuz…. well I don’t have a SPOT and one of the wires came out of the plug for my heated vest, which happened on the way up the mountain when temps got into the 30’s so I plugged in and it wasn’t getting hot-so no heat. As I rode with him home which was on the way to Jerome I really just wanted to keep going/ it was either do the rally or go to my parents house and watch the F-1 qualifying. I decided to ride! I haven’t rode a rally in awhile and have never rode my own bike this many miles yet and certainly have never rode alone this far! There’s a feeling you get when you ride for a lot of miles that is really kind of unexplainable unless you do it! I love that feeling! I gassed up at the Maverick near my parents house as my Dad went home!! Off I rode for my 1st solo Saddle Sore!!
As I headed for Jerome I saw the last rallier coming down through Prescott Valley headed towards San Diego and I thought “Wow I’m really behind and really don’t want to take the full 24 hrs to finish 1000 miles.” I put my Rally game on and focused haha! No extra stops except for gas! No fiddling around so I can catch up and see if I can be done in a timely manner. I have a 5.8 gal tank and if I go 70 mph I can average 55 mph. Well it’s really hard to do 70 mph the whole time or it was for me so my mpg dropped a little.
The ride over Mingus Mountain into Jerome is a beautiful twisty road and lots of fun. I arrived at the WWll memorial plaque w/out a problem. Hopped back on my bike and was so proud and excited I took my very first solo rally photo!! Yay!!! Hit the next bonus coordinates and followed the GPS which took me on a so called road which I thought was gonna put me back on track and did eventually after 3 heart attacks and a reality check of “ Oh my gosh I’m totally by myself, have to make my own decision and have to pick up my bike if I make a dumb one!” Well I made it out and remembered the wise words once stated by my husband and father “Don’t rely solely on your GPS, look around and be alert to your surroundings - the GPS may Not take you the way you need to go.” Lesson learned!
This is the WWll memorial Plaque which lists the names of several of the towns sons whom were lost to the war.
Next bonus was the Unconditional Surrender Statue which is in front of the USS Midway in Tuna Harbor Park, San Diego Ca.
At this point I never thought I’d catch up to the rest of the riders but I continued on. Somewhere in I think Kirkland or Williamson Valley my GPS again routed me onto another dirt road, which was a good road but I saw the paved road I was supposed to be on. I continued on the dirt road until there was a crossing over the railroad tracks to bring me back to the paved road! Haha well I don’t mind the dirt too much if it’s packed. Going through Yarnell and dropping off the mountain is absolutely beautiful and fun with all the twisties. Halfway down the mountain I passed the memorial for the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots killed fighting the Yarnell Hill fire on June 30th, 2013. It was the deadliest wildfire ever in AZ’s history. Before going south on the AZ 71 I Got some gas and A snickers bar for breakfast so I could eat on the fly! Breakfast of champions. Heading west on the Ca.78 I saw a border patrol office and realized how close I was to the Mexican border. It was desolate and truly out in the middle of nowhere but the road was fun. As I looked up while topping a hill I saw a vast sea if white sand-must be Glamis! It’s was so beautiful out in the middle of an ugly desolate desert!! While heading west on I-8 I saw a red GS, it was Andy Mackey heading the opposite way. He decided to do the route backwards haha!! As I rode in for a gas stop I met up with a couple other riders in the rally which thrilled me cause I caught up! This made me feel like I was going to be okay time wise ”whew!” As I was sitting in traffic a couple miles from the USS Midway I was hoping my GPS was routing me the right way. Ye of little faith cause it took me straight to it! Yay!! There were about 8 other ralliers there taking there pics which was encouraging for me! I hopped off and took my pic! This is an amazing statue and the USS Midway is in the background!
The Unconditional Surrender Statue and USS Midway!!
It’s a 25 foot tall statue. Totally cool!
Onward to Cima Rd. Near Nipton Ca. The traffic came to a stop 3 times riding through Riverside “Yuck.” I learned how well my ABS works! Just had to use the brakes hard 1 time but no skidding! I love my ABS!! Also rode in the carpool lane as much as possible which I think we’re allowed to do, right! I also saw signs saying something about charges for using the carpool lanes! I may receive a bill in the mail, haha! Live and learn. I made it to Cima Rd. And again saw a fellow group of ralliers at the gas station off Cima road! I thought they had gotten the bonus and we’re heading up to Boulder City. While riding up to the bonus I remembered the rally master saying “Don’t enter in the North end because you probably won’t stay upright.” Ugh I think that’s what he said! As I arrived I saw campfires and passed the 1st entrance. Stopping at the 2nd entrance I thought well which is the north entrance? It felt like east west to me and it was pitch black minus my low beams! Ugh I turned around and went back to the first entrance and there it was! Yay. There were 2 travel trailers with a group of campers around the campfire. I took my pic and as I was putting stuff away the group of riders showed up behind me! Yay I was okay with time and feeling good and my bike stayed upright! The campers told us they were the caretakers of the memorial plaque. They were very nice and let us turn around in there camping area. I didn’t get a pic on my phone as it was dark and not a very good photo but the plaque is called The Mojave White Cross WWl Memorial erected in 1934 and commemorating those who were killed in action during WWl.
Onto the USS Corvina Memorial in Boulder City Nv. As I headed back towards the I-15 I stopped to fill my tank and 2 co-ralliers pulled up to fill up too. I can’t remember names but one of them asked me how far it was to the next turn off? I responded with a kinda dumb answer “ I don’t know I just push the next coordinates and follow the GPS hoping I put in the right coordinates.” Haha! Well I made it to the last bonus which was the Southern Nevada Veterans Cemetery in Boulder City Nv. Again no picture but it was a large stone plaque commemorating the death of the 82 crew members who lost their lives while aboard the USS Corvina Submarine during WWII. This submarine was the only one to be sunk by a Japanese submarine in the entire war.
I took the last picture and headed over the Great Hoover Dam and back to Kingman. I was totally pumped thinking about how I did it, I’m almost done and didn’t even have to drink a Starbucks Double Shot which before the 2013 IBR Doug Barret told my Dad and I to try them when getting tired! We always carry 3 or 4 in the trunk just in case. Made it back to Kingman about 0145 and headed to the check in which was a church. I had the coordinates in the GPS but as I made the left turn to find it I didn’t see it. I looked around and drove through the area again but still no church! I think I was just tired and decided to head back to get a couple hours sleep and return before 0600 to check in. I made it back and found the church without a problem. Haha I must have been tired. I arrived at 0545 and the staff okayed my photos. Breakfast and certificates were at 0700. The breakfast was made by the staff which was fabulous and time for the certificates! Yay! My first solo Saddle Sore. There were others who received their first one too and we were all so excited! I wish my Dad was there and After much rinsing with water his eyes returned to normal and the important thing was he is okay! Despite him not being able to come with me we both agreed it was a good thing I conquered this solo! It was a huge confidence booster for me personally and sooo fun!!
Thank you to Matthew Hogan, his wife and all the staff who made the rally happen!! It was a great rally and all for a good cause!! You are all amazing and to all the new faces I met along the way! I can’t remember names but it was great to meet you and can’t wait to do it again next
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