Link 22: Big Storms and City Lights

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Leaving Rawlins it was cool so I layered up and we set course for Denver. I had hoped to go through the Rocky Mountains but the winds had really picked up and the chance of the roads in the national park being closed had us sticking to the interstate.

The landscapes are beautiful

Somewhere about an hour out of the city I had to get petrol and more importantly take off as many layers as possible, it was hot! I had almost forgotten that you could ride a motorcycle with just your protective gear and not like the michelin man. Thankfully I did that because as we arrived on the outskirts of Denver the traffic was terrible and the heat coming off the road was pretty bad.

Finally arriving in the city, I pulled up at the Grand Hyatt (thanks Amex points) much to the horror of the swanky valet attendants. Taking off my helmet, my sweaty hair all stuck to my face I could see them giving each other sideways glances. As soon as I said, “It’s ok I will park him myself”, they were totally relieved lol.

Downtown Denver

My amazing luck with friends continued as it turned out Rick who I met up in Canada at the orchard was also in Denver for the weekend for a tradeshow. We met up in the cities cool downtown area and had a great dinner. Tonya joined us on Facetime and we all agreed to have a farewell party on my way back through Vancouver in November.

Rick and I hanging out in Denver

The weather has of course continued to be a thorn in my side as a tropical storm, Rosa, blew in from the coast of Mexico. It was due to cross the desert of Utah this week, exactly where I was headed. The national parks and natural wonders of Utah are for me, the highlight of this trip. So rather than give up on that, I decided to head south and then west, to try and avoid the storm and wait it out.

With a good few days to pass and being in the middle of nowhere, I realised the best option was to head to Sin City, Las Vegas! With lights, places to see and endless people watching entertainment it fit the bill for a nice little break before the final few weeks on the road.

First though, we had to get there. I checked the weather and it seemed likely that we would cross the tail of Rosa at some point during the ride. It had been down graded to a tropical storm from a hurricane so I figured it wouldn’t be any worse that what you find in Asia. Hmm might have miscalculated that just a wee bit.

Blue skies behind and a wall of black ahead

The air was thick and heavy and a few hours into the ride we were faced with Rosa in the distance. Stopping to make sure everything was closed up properly and take a couple of photos of our impending doom, I still didn’t have an appreciation for what was coming.

The drops started to fall and within seconds it was pouring. The rain was like a thousand tiny needles hitting me through my gear, my helmet was soaked in seconds and I couldn’t see a thing. The roads flooded and everyone slowed down to a crawl, visibility was next to nothing. Like most of my fellow motorists I pulled off to the side of the road to wait out the worst of it. Somewhat less comfortable on a bike as you have no option but to sit there in it.

We rode right into that downpour you can see in the distance

Thankfully my new waterproof gear is working perfectly so although I was soaked on the outside I was still dry. It was a scary few minutes and not one I would purposefully repeat. With the storm behind us we made good miles all the way into Las Vegas, arriving early afternoon in the heat.

Another major storm had been forecast for Vegas that day and we were lucky enough to arrive before it descended. Having an early night I was fast asleep when the most incredible claps of thunder shook the windows and ripped me from my sleep. It initially sounded like bombs going off and I was absolutely terrified. With a great view across the city and into the surrounding desert, I opened the blinds and sat watching the storm in the middle of the night.

Vegas Baby!

As I said earlier this week, I have really struggled to feel ok about taking ‘time off’ during my trip. It is hard to remember that on a journey this long it is no longer a holiday but your life. So with that through my head, I have tried to relax and make the most of it. With a view of the infamous strip and a pretty cool resort style pool, I haven’t struggled that much 🙂

Blue skies and an awesome pool, life isn’t too hard here

Luck has been on my side here, no not in the casino, but with another amazing coincidental meeting with an old friend. Jodi and her boyfriend Olly are in the USA on a big family holiday but they split off on their own for a couple of nights in Vegas, and it just happened to be this week.

Olly, Jodi and I

Catching up over margaritas and nachos it was so great to see a familiar face from home. We decided to see the most amazing show and wow it did not disappoint. Absinthe is a comedy acrobatic show with jugglers, roller skaters, tap dancers and so much more. It had us in stitches and in awe the entire time. I was so glad I had the opportunity to see it and share it with friends.

What a show, Absinthe

Less than a month to go, yet still so much to do. Regardless of the weather, we need to start heading east early in the week. I can’t believe we are nearly on the home run and I am busting to get into NYC the end of the month.

Let’s see what mother nature can come with us next week. Storms, snow, heatwave? It’s anyone’s guess!

Love Kylie and Yogi x

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