July 18, 2015 – Day of my Departure to Route 66. Bad Omens Ahead!

Sometimes the best laid plans go to waste.

For months I was looking forward to spending two and a half weeks riding my Harley-Davidson from Ajax, Ontario out to Barstow, California via Route 66.  The plan was to take plenty of photos and try my hand at video logging and perhaps even use that footage to make a one person documentary about travelling this historic road.  Things turned out quite differently than expected and I am indeed lucky to be back home alive and in one piece, but that’s a story for another day.

Everything had be planned and packed up for my long trip.  I was supposed to get an early start and make a video of the departure.  That’s when things went awry.  While trying to video myself just before leaving, the expensive high speed 64 GB SD memory card in my camera failed!  I took it inside to check it out on my computer and the SD card was dead, nothing would bring it back to life.  Without such a specialized card, I could not record the videos at the highest quality possible.  So, it was a trip to my local computer store and I was lucky to find another suitable SD card, but that hurt the wallet a bit.

Not only did this bad SD card cost me time, I lost some trip related footage I recorded the night before.  Who knows if I’ll ever be able to restore those files.  I finally got rolling around 11 am, a full 90 minutes later than expected.  There was a heat wave in effect, the first time in years the greater Toronto area experienced temperatures over 30 C.  This was not a problem, as I don’t mind the heat.

As I made my way towards Toronto, I was prepared for the inevitable traffic on the 401.  The traffic was in full effect and it cost me even more valuable time.  I finally got a reprieve from congested roads towards Milton, Ontario.  After lunch, I crossed the American border without any problems and my goal was to arrive in the greater Chicago area by evening.   This meant riding over 850 KMs virtually non-stop with only the occasional break at a gas station.   This long ride took me across southern Ontario, Michigan, bits of Indiania and Illinois.

The weather was gorgeous when I left, but a combination of the heat wave and a cold front moving in meant there would be storms ahead.  The rain came down hard and fast in Michigan and my afternoon ride was a wet one.  The unsettled weather resulted in a swift drop in temperature and I had to wear a leather jacket underneath my rain suit to stay warm.

I made this video of my ride from Ajax, Ontario through Michigan in the pouring rain, followed by clearing of the skies and a dryer ride ahead to Illinois.  The first bit of the video is a time lapse sequence from home through Toronto.  The rest is real time footage as the storm worsened and then abated.

So, after a failed SD card, a late departure and crazy rains, I finally made it to the Chicago suburbs by mid-evening.  As it turns out, finding a motel was not so easy, everything was booked up and I had to check into to a really crappy one further outside the city.   I was exhausted and wanted to make another quick video before heading to bed.  That’s when I discovered my brand new camcorder microphone was malfunctioning, a mere two days after I bought it!  Bad omens indeed.

Trying to get another camcorder microphone in Chicago the following day turned out to be a real nightmare, but that’s for my next post.




2 thoughts on “July 18, 2015 – Day of my Departure to Route 66. Bad Omens Ahead!”

  1. Rob,
    Great pictures and must have been a great trip.
    glad to hear your going to be riding a classic sometime soon. I am very impressed with the blog. great work

    1. Thanks Ray! I appreciate the positive words. Once again, I cannot thank you and Tammy enough for your gracious hospitality and friendship.

      Insurance adjuster coming tomorrow. He says the Road Glide is almost certainly a write off and said good things about our local Harley dealer. I just hope the Electra Glide Classic I’m eyeballing will still be for sale when I get my insurance cheque. I’m stoked about getting a Classic 🙂

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