Day 4 – My Humbling Lesson (785.6 KM’s)


I woke up early this morning thinking I won’t wait for Cabelas to open and buy a new SPOT device, I will head southeast and get some mileage under my belt. Sun was shining, packed up quickly and headed towards what I thought was Casper, Wyoming.

THOUGHT! Now, I could just not admit this stupid mistake but I shall share because this trip is all about learning, making mistakes, seeing what works and doesn’t. Stuff like that.

785 KM’s for the day. Sounds pretty good eh? Well, it would have been a very productive day if all the KM’s were in the direction I should have been heading.

My lesson for my life is when adding routes to your GPS trip DO NOT HIT REVERSE direction. I actually got on my bike and headed northwest for 90 miles until I realized I had been this way yesterday. I had good music on, the direction felt NOT right but hey it’s my GPS? Then it dawned on me…OMG I am so not going the correct way. I yelled in my helmet “SHIT”. Pulled over and sure enough my GPS was sending me home.

This picture is of the wrong way…so, what this did was actually make me ride over 310 KM’s out of my. I was like holy crap, now what? I shared this secret with one of my neighbors at home and she said after I said Saint Christopher wasn’t looking out for me…”Maybe he did keep you safe, maybe you went in the wrong direction for a reason? Maybe you “needed” to go back and get that SPOT, I think you are right where you are supposed to be.”

At this point when I got the TM I was indeed in Cabelas parking lot with a Gen3 SPOT in hand. My neighbor has known me for a while but only since Cheryl left have I really gotten to know a few of the great mom’s/friends/wives they are. This person, and you know who you are…is wise and I have been bothering her with TM throughout my trip.

She was right, it was bothering me that I did not have a device that worked. Not only because my Connect malfunctioned but I really do feel a bit better being out here alone with tracking and roadside assistance just in case. Oh, and SOS. So, my day of riding did not really begin at 0700 like I planned, it began more like 1330.

Not a lot of pictures today. A lot of catching up riding. I only made it just past Casper, WY. The winds once again were brutal and I also am getting sunburn on my face with wind burn. My neck is has a bad rash. Not sure what exactly is causing that. I am using the same gear etc, except I think the collar of the Altitude is rubbing me in the wrong way.

Other than that I am holding up. Good thing I worked out quite a bit before this trip or I do believe I would be really sore. I got hit with only one weather storm cell today. I rode around another. I rather get rid of this head wind, x winds and get more of a tail wind.

Gas mileage is crappy, using 5L/100KM but I remember this happening on my 2010 BMW F650GS going across the nation as well. BAD mileage heading east, great mileage heading west.

Not sure what is going on with my pants. Look like oil but it’s not. Like I said yesterday I will see what happens after I wash the suit. Weird on the leather part too.

So, I am not going to bore you pics of yes, I-90. I hopped on to an Interstate to make up for my mistake in the morning. Made for a fast almost 500 KM’s.

As my new friend and neighbor would say, “things happen for reason Leslie”. And I guess my mistake today was not a mistake after all. BTW, my colleagues think I am crazy riding two wheels except one. But I know myself and I also know it takes about 3-4 days to get into a long trip.

I was right. Something clicked today. I am feeling better…problem solving my own on the road issues. Ones I never had to, like navigation.

I am the happiest when I am on my bike. My sister asked me is this therapy? I said…ummmm YEP. It is really. For those who read this and understand what a bike and ADV touring does for the soul, you know what I am talking about.

I promise to take more pics tomorrow and focus on the direction I should be going right at the start. I cannot really believe I admitted to not paying close attention but I did.

51 thoughts on “Day 4 – My Humbling Lesson (785.6 KM’s)

  1. I hope you now realize how people have lost their lives, by putting too much trust in following their GPS devices. One problem occurs when one travels East for days, months and then turns around and heads back west. A momentary Slip and you might take the eastbound sign again. So it happens without GPS too. Many adventurers rely on more than just one device, to show them the way.

    Have fun and stay dry.

  2. I don’t even own a GPS for that reason, call me an old fashioned girl, but I prefer a map. Yes, I do get a bit lost at times, but, not by many miles. Everything for a reason, but most importantly, you enjoyed the ride! Relax and keep on keeping on!

  3. I have done that before.. It made me laugh as your reaction would have been the same as mine.. SH&T! yelled at the top of my lungs in my helmet.. Ride safe and I am glad I found your blog. Good stuff.

  4. Awesome….well life happens and I like you always try to talk out my mistakes and not try to hide them. That is how we learn and grow to be better people.

    Safe travels!

  5. Too funny. I’ve done that before, but not with the GPS. Just took a wrong turn at a ‘Y’ in the road and went about 30 or 40 miles before I realized I had to be going the wrong way.

  6. I’m just Back yesterday from a 3500 mile run on an Explorer
    Had a similar GPS F/U but the simple COMPASS saved me the embarrassment

    A Sunnto type can be bolted to the brake resivior plate

    Get a compass today

  7. New jacket & new helmet combo might be the issue with your neck . Get a little compass for yourself & bolt it on somewhere visual . It happens so keep on going . Be Safe .

  8. I enjoyed your last entry and applaud your decision to tell about going the ‘wrong way’. I’m a believer in things happen for a reason and that was your path for that day. Your experience is how you learn and it is encouraging to those who have yet to start their own journeys. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip , thanks for sharing with us.

  9. Oh, I have done that too only to feel a sense of Déjà vu :-)
    Glad you got a new Spot. It’s all part of the adventure, the good and the bad.
    I have been through that area more than once, I really miss it, I need to go back, feeling very nostalgic after seeing these photos :-(

  10. I really enjoy your posts, Leslie; and admire you in “going it alone”. I’ve been riding for over 40 years, and I’ve never taken a trip by myself; not that I really want to. But, I do have one suggestion: do you listen to music or the audio book while riding? If so, try turning it off. You may be dismayed at first by the silence, but after awhile, you will start to hear your own thoughts and start to hear (and see) all things around you. Try it for a few days; unwind and enjoy the trip. And, quit worrying about dirt on the riding suit. A clean suit is an unused suit. The dirt/grime adds to the patina ;) I just read that you are going into a storm. Avoid lightning! Alter your route if need be; take a more southern route. Lightning can strike far from the storm itself. You don’t even need to be under dark skies at all to be hit. Good luck and may your journey be all you hoped for!

    • I turn off all music and books for at least a few hours a day. But I find listening to something relaxing and I can still think, hear and work things out in my head.

  11. A little GPS advice…whenever I am on a trips with many way points or connections that could become confused, I take a grease pencil and write the days routes on my windscreen, left of center and in the order they will appear as I ride throughout the day: 95S, 202W, 83EW, 16N ect…end of the day, I wipe off the used ones and move the list up..this way I can check the headings my GPS is giving to me. As soon as I get back on trail, I match the first sign/marker to my list NOT the GPS!

  12. Leslie, I am really enjoying your posts. You are growing and learning (and so are we!) as you go.

    Re: the wrong-way-miles, you are always right where you need to be. Don’t give it another thought.

    And my favorite quote, although I don’t know who said it: “Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul.”

  13. Great reminder, thank you! Not sure if of your route but if you need a pillow I am in Park City, UT most of the time…. when I am not out on my GS chasing boys (tehe). Safe travels! Carrie (I am on the FB ADV Gals page with you)

  14. Another great write-up, Leslie! Counting down the days myself and can’t wait to hit the road next month.

    I believe there are always powers at work which we will never understand. I’m not a religious person by any stretch but know there is something going on outside our realm. As others have mentioned, obviously you were meant to go back the way you came yesterday. Maybe to keep you away from another horrible storm, maybe any other number of reasons which we’ll never know. But you’ve got your new SPOT in hand now which you’ve made clear is important for your peace of mind, and that’s the important thing. And besides, what’s a trip without a few wrong turns :)

    The consumption doesn’t seem extraordinary to me – the winds blow mainly from east to west in the part of the states you’re in, and with the loaded bike/un-aerodynamic panniers, the engine is working to keep you at 100–120kph… it’ll settle down on your return journey and the bike will probably feel extra lively!

    Looking forward to the next entry!

  15. Um, yeah, GUILTY! But, in my defense, I was on I-5 in the dark and I stopped to get gas in my GS after almost running out on the freeway…I was rushing to get home…and I rushed the wrong way. It’s easy to laugh at it now…especially since I’m apparently not the only one! Keep going, you’re doing great!

  16. Keep it up girl! You don’t have to respond individually…yet! Cuz I’ve got more of your adventures to read. I’m comparing the Altitude jacket to the mens badlands jacket- so your input has been good and you are sharing and learning goodstuff -and I so relate with your navi issues, but really I say there’s no such thing as going the wrong way by accident on your bike, especially with good music and scenery worth seeing x2- ha! Snd my therapy is my 2010 f800gs…Go girl, don’t look back and vroom vroom!

  17. I’m glad you were able to obtain a new Spot. Great for your peace of mind. We all make some wrong turns in life; yours was just an inconvenience, just time and fuel. I have been watching your progress. Keep going, you’re doing GREAT!

  18. Whoever says that they never ridden in the wrong direction at the least once are either lying or just have not ridden enough! :) Appreciate your honest post!

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