Friday 6th July 2001, Amarillo TX

Brigid had agreed to meet her friend, Lori McGinnis, on Sunday evening for dinner with her family. We departed Denver for Amarillo, a trip of approximately 440 miles, intending to arrive in Dallas on Saturday evening.

We had intended to stop for lunch after about 100 miles. However, as the Interstate passed through Colorado Springs, John suddenly veered off to the Business Loop exit. Brigid, who had been following too closely, did not have time to follow. For the first time during the trip, we were unexpectedly separated.

Brigid exited at the next junction and returned on the Business Loop to look for John. In the meantime John, realising his error, turned around and went down the main Interstate, to where we had separated!

Having failed to find John, Brigid got back on the Interstate and exited 2 junctions later at a gas station, where she bought fresh batteries for her CB radio and tried, unsuccessfully, to call him.

John, by this stage, was getting rather cross – and worried. Having expected Brigid to remain somewhere in sight of the Interstate, he tried to call Brigid on his CB. Unfortunately the hand held units have a very poor range.

This proving unsuccessful, John returned to the Interstate and waited at a safe place after junction where they had last seen each other. After a considerable wait, a red pick-up truck stopped and the driver asked ‘Are you looking for your wife? – She’s at the gas station down the road.’

Thus safely re-united we continued our journey. At Raton, NM, we took the 287 for Amarillo. It was a long, straight, boring highway and at times we were the only vehicles on the road. We were distracted for a time by the sight of a small aircraft circling overhead. Shortly afterwards we slowed up as we passed a Highway Police Patrol car.

Minutes later there appeared the familiar blue and red flashing lights in the rear view mirrors! Yes, we had been clocked by the aircraft doing 81 mph in a 65 limit. The officers were friendly enough, and did us a 2 for 1 deal – Brigid got the citation, and John got the warning!

We eventually reached Amarillo after dark. (American roads can be quite treacherous to motorcyclists at night. The huge 16 wheeler trucks often shred a flat tyre, leaving the debris all over the road.) It had not been a good day. If ever we needed a beer, now was the time. We arrived to find that a number of wedding parties had filled practically every motel room in Amarillo. By the time we eventually found a vacancy, most restaurants were closed and we had to settle for a snack in the nearby Waffle House – but the bar was closed!