March 5 2013 by Jason Fogelson
Finally a morning without frost on my motorcycle -- but today is the day that I head home. Oh, well. I've got the perfect excuse to return to Nevada later in the year: Undiscovered country. I'm still eager to ride up to Ely, and I really want to take that ride across the state on US-50, "The Loneliest Road in America." Carson City beckons, and then there's the whole northern part of the state that I didn't even plan to touch on this ride.
Today, the job is returning home to Los Angeles. I fuel up with a good hot free breakfast in the breakfast room off of the lobby at the BEST WESTERN PLUS North Las Vegas Inn & Suites, then load the bike for the ride. Man, I slept well last night! The bed was really comfortable and supportive, and the temperature in my room was just right. Sometimes simple pleasures are the best.
I don't need a map to get home -- I'll be riding the exact reverse of my route here along Interstate 15 South. It's sometimes hard to visualize the fact that Las Vegas is actually north of Los Angeles -- seems like it should be south somehow.
I love the new Mighty Ear Plugs. Pushing a thousand miles plus, and I have used the same pair for the whole trip. They're comfortable and really block out sound. I have discovered that they're somewhat adjustable, too -- by bending them a little, I can control how much sound they let in. Great product; highly recommended and quite a deal at $7.95 for two pairs.
I'm a little bit on the fence about the Buffs from Buff Sports. They definitely perform as advertised, keeping their shape through multiple wearings and providing warmth and protection. The issue I had is that they're a little too snug for my head and neck. I've got a gigantic melon head (I wear a size 7-7/8 hat, sometimes even a size 8) and my neck is 18", so I'm definitely in the 99th percentile. Try before you buy, and I'm sure you'll be more satisfied than I am.
The new Harley-Davidson FXRG Gauntlet Gloves are winners. The gauntlets fit snugly over the cuffs of my jacket, blocking out unwanted cold air from getting up my sleeves. The pre-curved fingers are perfect for riding without bunching around the grips. Thankfully, I didn't have to test the waterproof qualities of the new gloves, but if they're anything like my FXRG Jacket, they'll be great.
The jury is still out on the Pivothead video system. The glasses were as comfortable to wear as regular sunglasses, which is great. My challenge with the Pivothead glasses is that I couldn't tell if they were recording or not when they were in my helmet, and I can tell from the video that I downloaded during the trip that I accidentally turned the camera off when donning the glasses under my faceshield. So, I thought I was recording, but I actually wasn't. Bummer. Not a total loss, though. The Pivothead glasses still work great for a POV walking tour, as long as you're conscious of where you're looking at all times, and avoid too much head bobbing or sudden movements. I'll have to play with these more before I make a final decision -- but for now, the old reliable GoPro Helmet Hero is my adventure video camera of choice.
As for the Cardo Systems Scala Rider G9, it's two thumbs up. It delivered great sound out of the box as promised, and surprised me with its ease of use and extraordinarily long battery life. Even on a long day's ride, the G9 outlasted my iPhone in navigation mode. I was very pleased with the G9, and might even invest in one for my own personal use. Remember, I'm cheap -- so this is a big deal.
I stop for gas just outside of Baker, California -- home to the World's Largest Thermometer, which would show 50 degrees today (if it were working). I avoid the famous Bun Boy Restaurant, having had that experience in the past (once was plenty). Instead, I stop for lunch at Peggy Sue's Diner in Yermo. It's a very charming stop and a step back in time. Be sure to visit the Dinersaur Park behind the restaurant.
Cruising on home to Los Angeles, I'm sad that this trip had to end so soon, but happy that I was able to jam so much activity into my days. I'm kind of proud that I visited Las Vegas without spending a dime on the gaming floors, and still saw some memorable sights and had some delicious meals. I wish I could have gotten to Ely and Carson City, but the fact that I didn't gives me some hope that I'm finally mature enough to be flexible. We always talk about the joy being in the journey, not the destination, and this trip proved it. The weather was a challenge, and rather than let it break me, I bent and redirected my energy in another direction. I know that I've learned from the experience.
Now that I'm home, I'm faced with my constant concern: Where should I ride next?
Miles ridden: 325
Total Miles for Trip: 1,231