Thanks to my good friends at Jim's Imports in Wichita, KS
Kansas was proving to be much the same as Oklahoma but the temperature was still dropping as I proceeded further on. I didn't make it too far into Kansas when I ran into another dilemma.
About twenty miles into Kansas I had to slow down to a toll plaza. Shortly after the border Interstate 35 had turned into a toll road. I was soaked and all my money and things were stashed away to protect them from the elements as well.
I slowed down to pull over just prior to the toll booth so I could get to my wallet and my money. As soon as I slowed down the front headlight went out completely. I switched back and forth to the low and high beam and neither one worked. I thought it was pretty strange that both filaments would burn out in such a short period of time. I was worried that there might have been a short or something got damaged from the rain.
There was nothing around so I had no place to pull over and work on the bike so I proceeded to the toll booth where they gave me a toll card. I really didn't need to get al my things out anyway. However, I still had to put the card away to protect it. It took some time getting everything back inside my plastic bag and inside the inner pocket of my coat which was inside another jacket. I then had to pull off at the next exit which was immediately past the toll plaza. I pulled up to the side of the booth and got off of the bike. They told me that the fee was eighty cents. I had to get all my stuff out again and hand them the money. Then I had to put everything back together and headed down the road in the dark. Luckily my tail light and the amber park lights were on and I left my turn signal blinking to warn other vehicles. The next town, Wellington, was several miles down the highway, where I found a hotel to stay at until the morning.
I got all my things off of the bike and up to the second floor to my room where I turned the heat all the way up and enjoyed the warmth for the duration of the evening.
The next morning I went out and worked on the bike to see if there was an electrical problem or a blown fuse. Everything appeared okay so I assumed that it must just be the bulb. I was still concerned about the fact that both filaments burned out in such a short period of time.
Rather than get back on the toll way I took highway 81 up to Wichita and to a Yamaha dealer that I looked up in the phone book. The ride wasn't too bad and I even stayed fairly dry since it wasn't raining.
All the guys at Jim's Imports were very helpful and friendly. They all seemed real enthused about my trip and all took an interest in helping me with all my problems. They had a bulb and replaced it for me. I asked if they had a front tire that would fit and they did. So I got a new tire for the front of the bike and went ahead with another oil change. I stayed around for a while and talked to everybody and really enjoyed my visit.
The afternoon was coming on so I resumed my ride on to find a Kinko's to work on my web site and email.
I was planning on taking Interstate 135 north towards Nebraska and, again, avoid the turnpike (I-35). While I was there on the internet I pulled up a satellite image of the area and noticed that Interstate 135 was covered in rain and it was headed towards I-35 as well. I quickly got my things together and headed up 35 to try to avoid the heavy rain.
I rode off into the darkness and boy it got dark. With all the clouds around and no city lights it became extremely dark. The rain soon caught up with me and blanketed me until I got to Topeka where I stayed at a motel there. They had a small Laundromat in the motel so I was able to dry all my clothes.
In the morning I went to a hardware store next to the motel to get another cheap tarp since the one I had was falling apart quite rapidly. I have discovered a clever way of wrapping the bags with the sleeping bag first and then wrap the tarp around that.
Like a big burrito, everything is staying quite dry.
Except for the driver.
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