Plans is what the day started with.....
- Shopping - Northern Tool and Hydraulic - I know where everything is, it was efficient use of time and I was through there in no time.
- Shopping - Harbor Freight - Even faster
- Shopping - Men's Wearhouse - This one wasn't efficient or fast but Matt was very helpful, did the best he could with what he had to work with, convinced me I needed more than I'd walked in for and overall, it went well.
Motoring down to the backroad that leads into the Whitman Swamp, I expected and was relieved to find no bugs this early in the season. It can be unbearable (and will be soon) when the season heats up with biting and irritating insects. I was alone there today and the quiet sound of water barely flowing by was comforting.....just what I'd been after.
The road in and out.......
I'd seen 4 Blue Herons on the way in and after sitting down on one of the old beached logs for a bit, an eagle that I'd seen almost hiding got curious enough to work its way closer. I'm not sure but it looked as though her nest was still visible through the branches almost completely leafed out.
Deciding that I'd received what I'd come after, the decision was made to cut my ride short and head home to get a couple of Mother's Day type things taken care of ( sometimes I am responsible) while the rest of the family was away.
As I was leaving the marshy area, I made a turn through an area of sticks as I've done so many times before. I heard a "ping" but again, that's something I've done many times before as well. Taking the long way home, a good 25 miles later with more than half of them gravel and a good distance yet to go, at speed on a major highway the Baby KLR started feeling funny. It was the bad kind of feeling funny.
Still a quarter mile from Rieck's Park (location of the Swan Ride every November) I took a chance with more throttle but the inverse in speed and made the park's entrance road. By the time I'd slowed down, the rear tubed-tire was as willing to mostly be to the right or left of the rim, not at all willing to stay centered where it belonged.
Getting off I started inspecting and was amazed to see that half of a spoke was missing, the half that connects to the hub. Looking closer, I realized that it wasn't half a spoke missing, rather 1/8 of a spoke. 7/8 of a spoke were poking into the tube and tearing it to shreds.
I had my emergency foam along, I had my pump. I did not have a spare tube, my tire irons or a patch kit. Out of desperation, I tried the foam, tried the pump, retried the foam and retried the pump. Only guessing, but it's safe to assume that the tube is a disaster inside. I don't think the "ping" that I heard was exclusively a small stick.
Cell phone at 20% (didn't bring the Iphone cord, carelessness the only reason), immediate family all 300+ miles away meant that some planning contingencies had to be made. I did manage to have a lovely day and a safe location going for me. I texted 2 friends, called 2 friends and wasn't hearing back from anyone. Phone off for an hour and then back on, no response and just before powering down again the phone rang.
Caller ID said "Mike" and Mike said "on my way......."
Above and beyond any expected call of duty, my bacon saved in a very big and much appreciated way.
So, between the time waiting for the call and then the time after the call for the Little Red Truck to appear, there was a lot of peace and quiet today (I'm able to discount the ambiance of the 100's of Harley's that went past on WI Hwy 35).
Twice in less than 12 months have I not been able to complete the journey, violating Peg's rule...."If you leave home on 2 wheels, you better come home on 2 wheels......"
I promise to practice, try harder and once again, really appreciate your help Mike!