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6 May 2018, 10:15 PM CT, Harlingen, TX

Rolling right along, 490 miles today, 1,554 total. More than I expected, but I did have a goal this morning of getting to Brownsville. I am about 25 miles short of that, but I decided it was time to stop. I am almost one day ahead of my preliminary plan. My preliminary plan had been to reach Brownsville tomorrow evening. I will not be keeping up this pace. The US highways today were virtually the same as an Interstate, that's how I got more miles than I had anticipated. I doubt I will stay a day ahead of the plan, too many things can slow me down. I did not put a single day of rest in the plan. Normally I do. So, when I need to take a little R&R, I will do it.

Thanks to Phil and Dean. Both responded to my comments on the oil leak from the air cleaner.

That's Dean on the left and Phil on the right, toasting with wonderful chocolate shakes, winners of my contest four years ago to guess the number of traffic lights on US1.

The conclusion seems to be that nothing is wrong. As Phil said, "The oil problem is caused by blowby in the motor. Not a concern. Possible solution is to let the oil level drop a half quart from the blowby and it cures itself. Some guys use a cotton device taped on the bottom of the air cleaner to absorb the excess. Not a problem to be concerned about."

I followed Phil's suggestion, taping a piece of a cotton towel to the bottom of the air cleaner with duct tape. After 200 miles, perfect! Not a drop of oil on my leather water bottle holder. After 300 miles, not perfect. The duct tape had come off. The air cleaner is too hot, it melts the sticky stuff on the duct tape, leaving it rather gooey. So, I decided to just keep riding and, being a Harley, slowly but surely it will burn some oil, then I will be good. I had the bike serviced shortly before the ride, and maybe they put in a little bit more oil than in the past. I do not remember this ever happening before.

I rode through Houston about an hour after leaving this morning, the view of downtown was absolutely gorgeous as I rode up a ramp making my left turn to leave I-10 and go south. I could not take a picture for you though, not enough shoulder, and traffic was heavier than I would like to have while sitting on a narrow shoulder. So, I will have the image in my mind for the rest of my life, and you have nothing. Sorry.

The terrain was flat south of Houston. Perfectly flat. Lots of farming.

A railroad ran along the highway pretty much the entire distance. Normally two tracks. Made me think of Route 66, always a railroad next to the highway.

About 20 years ago I was invited to make a speech at a meeting on HDTV (high definition television) on Padre Island. I declined. So, I decided that I had to see Padre Island this time, it was only 30 or 40 miles out of my way.

I rode to the beach and discovered that I would have to park in the sand. That's not for me. I took this picture from a distance so I could leave my bike on the paved road, there was not much of a shoulder.

I saw my first cactus!

South of Corpus Christi, and Padre Island, there was a windmill farm that just went on and on. Probably several different farms.

That's all I have today. Tomorrow I will be off to Brownsville, I want to see how big the Rio Grande is at its end. Then on to Laredo, also on the river. My plan for the next few days is to ride along the border to Big Bend National Park, then I will head to Phoenix on the Interstate.

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