Started out in Murdo, SD this morning, with the wind blowing like mad. After 50 or so miles, it was time to gas up. I pulled into Presho. The first thing I notice is all the pumps are out of order. So I get off the bike, and notice that my leg didn't bump the tail bag like usual. I turn around and look, and see the tail bag rolled over the back of the luggage rack, but still attached. Then I see the smoke. The tail bag had been sitting on the muffler for who knows how long, and it burned right through. Also, my riding overpants were stuffed under the bag, and are now long gone. I pulled off the bag, and the folks in the gas station brought me a wet rag and water to put out whatever was still smoldering.
The tail bag
The damn electric vest that I never did get to work
My fleece jacket
The souvenier hat from the Sci-Fi museum
The owners manual from the new bike
A bunch of anti-fog visor wipes
Hand and toe chemical warmers
My irreplaceable Held Galaxy gloves got singed, but might still be wearable. My tour books and other papers are singed, and the hotel room smells like a campfire now.
I needed gas, but all I could get there was 89 octane w/ 10% ethanol. Ick. Put a gallon of that in and headed east some more to Kennebec, which was supposed to have a big gas station. They also only had 89 octane, but not the gasahol kind. Filled up on that, and kept going east. I stopped in Mitchell for some lunch, but couldn't eat since I was feeling pretty crappy about how the day started. Gassed up on 91 again, and off I went. Made it to Rochester, MN tonight, after a few more gas stops.
The wind out here is something else. It's never-ending, and brutal. My neck hurts from pushing on it all day, trying to keep my head from getting blown off. And it tossed the fuel economy of the bike right out the window. It finally eased up about 30 miles outside of Rochester. I hope tomorrow it won't be as bad. I'm going to try and get an early start and get to Chicago to see some more friends.
At first it only looked like I lost what was in the side compartment.
I hope very fine steel wool can clean this up.
The burned up manuals, the melted thermostat for the electric vest, and the crispy Sci-Fi hat.
A closer look.
The electric vest melted, and burned a hole in my jacket.