The weather forecast had me on the lookout for increasing winds and chances of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Temperatures were in the 80’s and the skies partly cloudy. There was a thunderstorm to the south of me in New Mexico, but my path led me away from it.
Day’s distance: 489 miles
Total trip distance: 10,324 miles
My intention today was to travel through tornado alley while the weather was good. My destination was Taos, New Mexico. I did get to ride a bit of Route 66 and passed the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma.
I passed another mileage milestone soon after (really just another even number) …
and I crossed the Texas border …
In Texas, I was traveling along, occasionally glancing at the fuel gauge, I noticed that it indicated the tank was half empty. A short time later, it indicated it was full. This was concerning because I don’t believe the gods of travel would grant me such a gift. 🙂
I filled the tank since I was at a gas station and continued on my way hoping that this behavior was a fluke. I suspected the charcoal canister was clogged, or perhaps fuel-soaked and that it would clear quickly.
The behavior repeated itself and I stopped frequently throughout the day to release the vacuum. I was still thinking the charcoal in the canister, which is designed to clear itself in the event fuel gets in it, would clear itself.
This part of Texas had some big sized potholes in the highways and a lot of trucks, cattle feed lots, oil and gas platforms and equipment and man-sized smells that were mostly unpleasant. But it didn’t take too long to cross into the New Mexico border …
all while nursing an ailing bike, cause what else are you going to do when it is Monday and BMW service centers in the US seem to be universally closed on Monday.
My mood improved when I realized that my path was going to miss a thunderstorm that formed to the south. Soon, I reached the edge of the Rockies.
The weather was clearing some and no rain was predicted for the evening, so camping was an option and an alternative to heading into Taos. I found a spot at the Maverick Campground inside the Cimarron Canyon State Park.
The Cimarron River ran through part of the campground …
I did some research after dinner to better understand how the charcoal canister works. The fuel tank on the bike is a plastic, and a vacuum can cause it to collapse inward. It also can damage the fuel guage, a float inside the tank, as well as cause engine performance. I decided that I would have to have the bike looked at and planned to stop at either Colorado Springs or Denver the next day.