Rode K100 back home 400 miles from the city region to the forested north (Nordwald) last week. Problem was entirely eliminated. Had lights and good starting all the way. You guys helped me fix the problem here: viewtopic.php&f=19&t=9972
The ride back was a hellish one or should I say Teufelish. Although it was one of the hottest and most humid days on record here, it was necessary to come back the day I did. At St. Paul the highest dew point in history was recorded. It was brutally hot.
Anyway, I left the southern Michigami (Lake Michigan) port city of Racine near Milwaukee in dense fog. That soon cleared and I took regular highways to Oconomowoc where I stopped for gas and to do some research in the library (Schoolcraft's 6 volume work on the American Indians). When I came outside an hour later the heat REALLY hit me and I still had hundreds of miles to go. Anyway, I saddled up and got on the freeway then. Lots of road construction but I kept repeating: "Just get past Madison" like a mantra over and over.
Finally I did make Madison (lots of truck traffic there where I-90 comes in) and just kept pushing northwest. By the time I reached New Lisbon I was played out and felt lightheaded under my helmet and needed gas. So I stopped, gassed up, drank some hot water out of my canteen and rested in the shade. Took off my riding boots (DDR Heer surplus) and strapped them to my pack. Put on tennis shoes instead. Kept helmet on.
Pushed on again, this time saying: "Just get past Eau Claire." But that was a long ways off and the heat and humdity were awful. Also had aches and pains by that time too. Not a good riding day plus I'm getting old. Then I had an inspiration. I knew a spot where a small clear brook with a sandy bottom ran near the freeway. When I got there I exited the freeway and stopped. Stripping off my clothes I laid down naked in the creek. Ah heavenly! White pines all around. Cool limpid water. White sand bottom. A lovely spot but all too soon I had to push on!
I told myself that once past Eau Claire I would stop in a nice air conditioned restaurant and have a light meal and a cold beverage. Finally I did make Eau Claire (the highway was full of tar bumps!) and once past I pulled off in a small town at a Hardee's fast food joint and had a fish sandwich and 5 big glasses of Cherry Coke and never urinated once. I must have been dehydrated. Boy did that Cherry Coke ever taste good! I stayed there a long time writing in my notebook and felt better when I got back on K100. But that feeling didn't last too long.
An hour or more later and I was within 50 miles of home when the sky ahead to the north turned the darkest black. It was the first of 3 tornado belts I would cross! I pulled over in a veterans' cemetary and put on my raingear (British milsurp) and pulled on my boots in a little shelter there. The temperature dropped at least 20 degrees. When the storm let up I pushed on and the sun came out. But a few miles later lay another black belt of sky. Crossing a low broad swamp (I was in the northwoods now near Stuntz Brook) I looked at a strange cloud formation and remarked: "Gee, that looks like a funnel cloud!" It was. A mile or two down the road broken spruce and balsam trees were lying across the highway. I stopped and a woman in a car behind me who also stopped said the wind had picked up her car and moved it over on the highway. Luckily I had missed that--by seconds!
Pushing on again I was almost home now when yet another black tornado belt appeared ahead of me. This one seemed to be centered over my home! Still I headed there. Fresh limbs were down and water was running everywhere. It was black like night. Lighting blitzed up ahead. But I bumped down my road and driveway past some washouts and made it home. Only then, as I opened my shed and pushed K100 inside did the rain really start to come down in buckets. Three storm belts and I never even got wet!
A week later I'm still cleaning up the storm damage. Broken uprooted trees all over my property, including a huge 100 year old red pine by the river. Also lost my computer and modem to a lightning strike. Good thing I have spares. But K100 got me home. Now I have to go back out for photos to illustrate the legend of the glittering lost Chequamegon silver mine somewhere deep in the Lake Superior forest.
Thanks again for your help!