My Most Memorable Motorcycle Touring Image What image always sticks in your mind from your MC touring? For me, it's the gas pump leaning at 45 degrees. I can see it still today. The year was 1972 and my grand tour, planned with my buddy who bought his first road bike just for this journey, was a winter trip to Big Bend National Park, Texas. We both had Moto Guzzi 750 Ambassadors, heavily loaded with all of our gear, mine mostly rolled up into an old army put-tent. It was to be a camping trip, and while I had done extensive motorcycle camping in New Mexico and points west, I had never undertaken anything like this, neither distance nor weather, and my buddy and never been on a motorcycle tour period, but had extensive dirt-bike experience. We decided to leave on Christmas day. When we awoke that Christmas morning the temperature was 18 degrees Fahrenheit, and my buddy backed out. Not me! I waited until about noon, the temperature had risen to about 32, and off I went. First stop was Amarillo Tx, about 150 miles. I hit snow squalls as I arrived so spent the night in a motel. Come morning we had six inches of snow, so another night in the motel. By noon the next day the roads were plowed and temp up to the lower 40's, so off I went. That day I made it to Odessa Tx (265 miles) and the temp was now 70 degrees. The days travel through the South Texas plains was very cold, and my motorcycle attire consisted of long johns and farmer's coveralls, but somehow it was not too bad. The Big Bend Park was wonderful, the temperature was warm, and the cottonwood trees had leaves. All was good. After about ten days touring in the vast park, I awoke one morning to several inches of snow. No weather alerts or other communications in those days, so the sudden change in weather was a total surprise to me. By then, especially prompted by the weather, I decided to head home to Rolla Kansas, which was about 650 miles. The wind was strong and it seamed that the motorcycle was in a heavy lean like in a constant turn, and I was blasting along at 70-80 mph, determined to get home. At some point on the Texas South planes, somewhere around Plainview TX, I pulled into a gas station. The gas pumps were not vertical but tilted over at a 45 degree angle. Only for a moment I had that vision..then boom as my bike fell over. I had pulled up for gas, was frozen solid, and never put my feet down but just fell over. That vision sticks with me today very vividly!