As we left Sacramento I made one of my famous cynical remarks about the run to Wells being the worst of the trip and the Coyote kindly humored me. He does that often as he has learned I am very good at saying stuff that proves to be dead wrong, or dumb, or both. Sure enough the Wells run was absolutely beautiful. (You know, I wonder if I could have a career as a reverse soothsayer. For example; “I will buy this lottery ticket but I know I won’t win.” and then having said that I would win, right?!)
We had a smooth run over the mountains into Reno and headed across Nevada in very nice weather. The whole setting was great all the way through to Wells. We had an amazing sunset at our backs with clouds above compressing all the red light against a ridgeline. We also noticed a very large mansion, cupolas and all, on a mountain in the middle of nowhere. One of Howard Hughes old places, maybe?
Then there was a huge dust cloud just south of the freeway. As we approached it, we figured out it was blast dust at a mine in the Humboldt National Forest. We didn’t know what they were after there exactly, but it was an impressive sight. We also saw a few sheets of rain, like white veils covering the countryside. Fortunately they were all in the distance and they stayed right there leaving us literally high and dry.
(Photo: Ruby Mountains near Wells)
Once while I was in the lead, I had about a three-quarters view of the Coyote and his bike in my right rear-view mirror. It was a hell of a sight: the badass-looking biker framed against the clouds and a beautiful sunset. Hell, even Battle Mountain (Remember the old giant “BM” commemorated in white rocks on the side of a mountain?) looked pretty good that day.
Along the way the Highway Patrol stopped us. It was the first time for either Al or me– while on motorcycles, that is. We had been in the hammer lane, the speed limit was 75 and I had the cruise control set at 80. We both noticed the trooper as we passed him and didn’t think much of it. We did move to the far right lane, though.
He caught up with us and sat in the hammer lane right off to our left. I just kept the cruise set since I didn’t think he would bother us. I figured he was just looking over our bikes, but then the old lights came on, so we pulled off. I started to climb off the bike and walk back to where the patrolman was talking to the Coyote, but he instructed me to get back on the bike and keep it up off the kickstand. This meant I would be straddling it with both feet planted pretty firmly. It made sense after I thought about it a little. I couldn’t be much of a threat to him if I was busy holding up 800+ pounds of bagger.
After he finished talking to the Coyote he came up to me and said I was going around 85. I told him I had the cruise set at 80. He said he usually didn’t worry about folks who were going less than 10 MPH over and that we better get our speedometers checked. I said “okay” and he let us hit the road. The Coyote said he told the trooper the same thing: his “speedometer said 80” and that is where we were cruising. We both still believe his radar was off by 5 MPH, but there sure wouldn’t have been anything to gain from arguing.
(Excerpt from: "Badass, The Harley Davidson Experience", https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004U7LZBC)