With a new helmet and a new rain suit in hand, I flew down to Dallas on cattle-car airlines. A highschool friend of mine met me at the airport and took me over to where the bike was located.
Yep, it actually looked like the pictures. A blue R100RT. So I finished paying for it and followed my friend to her house. I hadn't been on a motorcycle for well over ten years, so the trip within the Dallas area was a bit exciting. I was surprised that I didn't dent the tank as I held on for dear life with my knees. I survived the short trip and had a delightful visit with my friend, her husband and the rest of her family.
I left about 0845 local and headed for home. My first little rain squall was just before Denton. Since the rain was warm, I didn't bother with the rain gear. After my first fuel stop, I headed West and dried out (for the most part). The clouds were looking a little more ominous, so I put on rain gear in Decatur for a pleasant little shower that lasted for about 30 miles. Then the weather and roads were great until just South of Wichita Falls where all hell broke loose for about 20 miles. Visibility had me down to between 40 and 45 mph. It was raining hard enough that there was probably an inch of water standing on the road becaouse it just couldn't run off the road fast enough. I didn't want to stop for fear someone would run me over. By the time I reached Amarillo, the rain had stopped and the roads were essentially dry. When I looked to the West the clouds seemed to be a bit lighter, so I kept going.
When I stopped in Tucumcari to pick up another tank of fuel, I looked to the West again. Once again, the clouds seemed to be lighter in that direction. So, once again, I kept going. I should have stopped in Santa Rosa because everything got sore just before Cline's Corners, but by then I felt that I was committed to getting home. I guess that I could have got a bit further West and stayed in Moriarty, but home seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Those last few miles seemed to take more time than the rest of the trip combined.
I pulled into my drveway at about 2230 hours Texas time. So a little over 13 hours and roughly 635 miles later, I had finished my reintroduction to motorcycling on my "new" 20 year old BMW Airhead.