Day Sixteen


"Ride Like The Wind"

September 20, 2002

Lordsburg, NM -
Tucson, AZ

359 miles

4:58 riding time

3 Passes Today
50 Passes To Date


Today was the last day of bagging Continental Divide passes -- 50 total! -- and the beginning of our long trek back to Seattle via Los Angeles.  Singing the lyrics of Chris Cross' "Ride Like the Wind" hit song, we finally rode the last stretch down the Great Divide to touch the border of Mexico.  The moment was a combination of elation at achieving the primary goal of the trip, to ride the Great Divide from Canada to Mexico, tempered with the bittersweet certainty that the trip will soon be over.  Nevertheless, it was a great day of riding in southern New Mexico and Arizona.

I wanted to add some commentary about overcoming my fear of commitment—don't worry, I'm not going to start talking about marital relations—and finally affixing my 'Gizmo Pass' plaque to a tree somewhere in southern New Mexico.  When I spotted the sign indicating that Ted Nugent himself was cleaning that section of highway 60, it just seemed that fate had intervened.  I knew that laying claim to my piece of infamy, with Ted as janitor, was the right decision.  Thanks Ted!  And by the way, do you read Ted's sign the same way that I do; that there's only one person in that organization, a single 'Sportsman' and not 'Sportsmen', albeit clearly of one mind?

The final leg from I-10 down to the Mexican border was desolate.  We saw plenty of evidence of how harsh life can be out in the desert.  There were very few signs of human life in this area.  We saw several herds of cattle grazing along the road.  We had to slow to 15-20 mph to make sure they weren't going to bolt into the road.  A hawk were circling with snake in claw, looking for a place to settle down and eat its prey.  Whizmo spotted a tarantula on the road and stopped to take a picture.

Canada to Mexico across 50 passes ... we made it!

When we got to the border at Antelope Wells, there was nothing there but a small building defending the border.  I went in and said hello to the border guard, interrupting his newspaper reading.  I gave him a W&G card, and told him we wouldn't be crossing.  Somehow he managed to contain his disappointment—he nodded.  I then told him that we had just completed a border-to-border trip along the Great Divide from Canada to Mexico, and that we'd be headed home now.  Somehow me managed to contain his curiosity about our grand feat—he nodded again.  (Antelope Wells is the southern terminus of the Great Divide bicycle route, so perhaps he gets more intrepid souls than us all the time.  We're a dime a dozen.)

Whizmo and I shook hands and congratulated each other.  Months of planning had paid off nicely.  What a nice feeling of accomplishment.  As our thoughts turned to the long journey home, Whiz pointed out that we were also at the farthest point from home - 1340 miles from Antelope Wells to Seattle as the crow flies.  (By the way does anybody know why this saying specifies a "crow"?  Why isn't it "as the turkey vulture flies."  Hmm.)  With that, we turned our Teutonic ships north and west towards home, and began the conclusion of The Great Divide Tour.  It felt great to be heading in a new direction, heading home to spouses, family, and friends.  And home to the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest.  Traveling is wonderful for a variety of reasons, and one important one is that it makes you appreciate home, wherever that may be.

Coming into Tucson, we experienced the highest temperatures we've experienced on this year's tour.  Freezing our fannies at Rogers Pass in Montana (30°) seems like it occurred last century.  We have a long ride to LA tomorrow - 520 miles.  We're going to leave at about 3:30 am so we can get most of the miles behind us before the heat of the day catches up with us.  You can't ride too long in this high heat without suffering consequences.

Rummaging through the mailbag, I find a few items that may be of general interest to our audience.  I thought it might be a good time for the ...

Whizmo & Gizmo Public Service Announcements 

Up first, John Nave wants to let everyone know that there will be an LA to Barstow motorcycle ride the Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.  The Speed Channel will be covering the ride, so you might be on TV if you go, unlike poor W&G.  If you're interested in more details, contact John by clicking here.  John is going to be the emcee at the awards ceremony.  John, can you just FedEx us our awards?   Thanks!

Colin Mackintosh dropped us a line to let us know that his Hungry Wolf Cafe is for sale in the Canadian Kootenays.  You cannot imagine a more beautiful spot than where the Hungry Wolf is located and Nelson, one of our favorite all-time small Canadian towns is close by.  He suggest that anyone interested in a change of lifestyle should get in touch with him by clicking here.  We met Colin two years ago during the Spaghetti Tour. He promised us he would buy us a big slice of lemon meringue pie and large cup of coffee if we'd help him sell the cafe.  Colin, can you just FedEx us the pie?  Don't worry about the coffee.  Thanks!

John Helms has been pestering us with funny anecdotes, hoping that we'll eventually print one. So here you go.

I have a true story that happened this weekend. I was in West Lafayette for the Purdue football game and to visit my daughter. I was sitting at the bar ordering a beer and a waiter came by with a basket of what smelled like very spicy, hot wings. I jokingly said to him that they smelled good and made a gesture like I was going to take one. He looked and me and said, “Go ahead, but they’re hot!” I declined because I had already eaten and I had had their wings before and they weren’t very good. We joked back and forth a couple of times about how hot the sauce smelled and he finally said that he had seen several people get physically ill after eating the wings with this sauce. I showed my amazement with a big “Oohh!” He carried on the conversation by telling me that he, on many occasions had cleaned tarnished coins with this sauce at which point I had to challenge him with a slightly intoxicated “No Way?!?” He said, “WAY!” and then said “Wait right here, I’ll be right back.” Well, he came right back with a small dish of the sauce and a very tarnished penny. He took a very small amount of the sauce and rubbed it on both sides of the penny and said “Let that set and I’ll be back in a minute.” About a minute later, he reappeared and wiped the penny clean. To my complete surprise and amazement, the penny looked brand new. So, I guess the next time I eat Buffalo Wings my first thought is going to be, “How much money has been in this sauce?”

And finally, I received this mail a couple of days ago offering me millions for just a bit of effort.  Check it out:

-----Original Message-----
From: Mr.Davidwest Isaac. [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2002 7:26 AM
To: Gizmo
Subject: Mail from Davidwest isaac.

Dear Sir,


I am Mr. Davidwest Isaac, Manager with IBA Bank Lome, Republic of Togo. I got your contact from a close Associate of mine who works with the Togolese Chamber of Commerce and Industry upon my request for a trusted and reliable foreign businessman or company. He however gave me the assurance that you can be trusted to handle a transaction of this magnitude.

A German Mr. Wolfgang Schinister, 66 years of age and a prosperous farmer had in our Bank the sum of US$3.2m in a domiciliary account. He named his wife, Mrs. Helga Schinister as the next of kin. Unfortunately, two of them were killed in the recent plane crash involving concord AF4590 in Gonesse, France. Effort had been made by the management of my Bank through the German Embassy in Lome-Togo to contact any of the deceased children but to no avail, as we were made to understand that the couple had no children owing to the skeletal information available to the Bank, it has so far been impossible to reach any of the relatives. The option left for the Bank management is to declare the deceased account dormant and revert the funds to trading on behalf of and in the interest of the Bank.

In order to avoid this development, my Colleagues and I now seek your permission to have you stand as a distant relative to Mr.and Mrs. Wolfgang Schinister, so that the funds would be released to you. We will prepare a document to show that you are a German and a relative to Mr. Wolfgang. All documents and proofs to enable you get the funds will be carefully worked out on our receiving your consent to this proposal, we would immediately obtain for an order of mandamus from the Federal High Court of Justice on your behalf recognizing you as a bona-fide relative to the deceased and subsequent application for the release of the funds to you as the beneficiary, through the Central Bank Of Togolese.

May I assured you that this Transaction is 100% risk-free, as we have taken care of all necessary modalities to ensure a hitch-free transaction. To this effect my colleagues and I have agreed to compensate you with 20% of the total sum US$3.2m for your kind assistance i.e provision of a nominated foreign account to accommodate the fund for us.

If this proposal is acceptable to you, please contact me strictly through my e-mail above for further details.

Best Regards.


In a fit of W&G generosity, I'm passing this offer along to you.  You see, I don't need the money because the Powerball Lottery is up to $21M today, and I figured out that the winning numbers will be 23 - 1 - 14 - 4 - 7 (w-a-n-d-g).  After you collect your money from MR. DAVIDWEST ISAAC, just FedEx me my fair share for giving you the lead on this exciting opportunity.

Headin' for the border.

Thanks Ted, I know you'll keep Gizmo Pass
nice and clean

Road kill, picked clean.  Maybe a small coyote.

Why does a tarantula cross the road?  Whizmo was going to pick him up and put him in his hand for a better photo, but he thought maybe it might scare the spider and he didn't want to do THAT.

Gilbert at Hachita NM Food Mart 45 miles N of Antelope Wells.  Heck of a nice guy.

Starting the long trek home.  Average traffic speed was 85-90 mph.

I-10 near Tucson.

We give you some numbers that might win!
Check the article for this amazing offer!

In a fit of harmonic convergence, W&G's odometers both turned magic numbers today.  Giz rolled over 11,111, and Whiz hit 22,222.

The Soul Train was rolling down I-10 today.

The 4K Truck Stop offered us $10 in
TruxBux, but we told them
we were holding out for Bean-o sponsorship.

Trailer Queen returning from Ruidoso Rally.

Tucson Skyline.

Lordsburg gas station payment window. 
Sign here.

The last divide pass of The Great Divide Tour.  We're still smiling.

Contest #11 - Creative Caption Contest Results

Like our previous caption contests, it was another outstanding effort from all our contestants.  It really brightens the day for us road-weary souls to have a great chuckle at the end of the day reading the submissions.  And the winner ..... drum roll .... Steve Dolan of Park Ridge Illinois.  The raw simplicity of Steve's caption reveals a profound understanding of the inner turmoil the artist must have felt while painting this work.  Steve, you 'da man!

Half of a cheek off of plumb

While selecting Steve's caption as the winner, several other captions elevated themselves from the pack during the three-hour deliberations::

Dan Newell (Medina ,Washington) Forget botox, all-natural free-range organic bees eliminate pesky wrinkles, frown lines and flabby skin
Tom Boyle (St. Paul, Minnesota) Moon Light O'er the Till
Glenda Revelle (New York City, New York) Cover illustration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's
"The Great Ass-Bee"
Dale Pestes (Troutdale, Oregon) Fifteen consecutive days in the saddle had left Whizmo with a festering case of monkeybutt.  After dismissing Botox as a potential remedy, he came to the realization that natural injections would be the only effective treatment.


!!!  New Contest - Music From the Road III - New Contest !!!

OK folks, here's the final music contest, 'Music From the Road III'.  We have assembled an even more challenging series of musical clips for you to identify.  We're going to help you with a few hints. 

Hint #1:    There are 12 selections.
Hint #2:    Two of the selections are from soundtracks.

Click here to hear Music From the Road III.

Here are the rules:

  1. One entry per person.  No revisions.
  2. There are 26 possible points - one for each song title (12 total), one for each artist (12 total), and one point for identifying each soundtrack from which two of the selections were culled.
  3. The earliest highest scoring entry is the winner.
  4. You have three lifelines.  Use them wisely.
  5. Even if you only know some of the selections, send 'em in.  There are many ways to win W&G prizes.

When you have assembled your best guess, click here to submit your entry.