Monday, September 6, 2010

Not In California (Staycation Expedition No. 2)

So, I'm still not in California. But in keeping with my plan to visit nearby places I haven't yet seen, Staycation Expedition No. 2 was a geocaching ride to Organ Pipe National Monument, near Ajo, AZ (Round trip probably 270 miles.)

Again, I had to choose two of the three: water, rainsuit, lunch. I made lunch walk the plank and opted to forage for it along my way. I SHOULD have stopped for lunch at the Desert Rain Cafe, in Sells, AZ, to enjoy ingredients traditional to the Tohono O'odham people, such as cholla buds, mesquite beans, and saguaro fruit. But I guess having a new Ducati does something to your brain. I completely forgot that interesting eating opportunity. I'll definitely let you know about it next time I run up Kitt Peak.

Anyway, we've talked about this before. All hail the gas station hot dog!

And shouldn't every gas station in the middle of the desert have a casino? I'm a lazy gambler. Once I found out I had to buy tokens rather than getting to feed my money directly into the machine, I abandoned that idea. It's just as well. Little did I know, I was going to need my money soon enough.

Monsoon rains made the desert green and lush in areas.

Other areas, even just a few tenths of a mile away.... not so much.

Here's a nice view.

I should know, because I got to enjoy it for quite some time. This is exactly where my (practically) brand new, showroom spotless Ducati Monster 696 with only 1425 miles on the odometer sputtered to a stop. As in, not going anywhere. At. All. And, while AAA would keep me on hold long enough to drain my cell phone battery, they would NOT dispatch help, thanks to a glitch in my membership status. I stuck out my thumb, and hoped for the best.

It's always fun to make new friends while out riding.

When I emailed the above picture, and the one that follows to a friend (the very one who was instrumental in my acquisition of this bike - thank you, DN!!), with no explanation save the title "My Ride Today," he thought I had lost my license and the Ducati was being impounded. Sheesh!

Diagnosis: a seized exhaust valve in the horizontal cylinder. That's mechanic-ese for "Really, REALLY bad." And "Expe -eh -eh -ehn-SIVE!"

Good thing the repair is on Ducati's dime. I had three days left to the warranty!!


Cheryl said...

Wow! Usually those sorts of expensive repairs happen three days AFTER your warranty expires. Hope they fixed your baby up nicely!

Paula said...

Dealer's words: "It's gonna be a while..." *sigh* Glad I didn't sell the Kawi yet.