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Arizona, California, Humbolt County, Phoenix

Days 120 and 121 First miles toward home


In the past two days I’ve ridden 5,306,400 feet from Humbolt Redwoods State Park in Northern California to Phoenix Arizona. That’s 1005 miles for the folks who were curious about the conversion.

For the third night in a row I managed a solid three hours of sleep. This time caffeine had nothing to do with it. What kept me awake until midnight were the folks who rolled into the campground in their RV after dark and partied it up until the beginning of the am hours just two spots away from mine. A tent does nothing to block the noise. When they were all finished celebrating what ever they were celebrating it began to rain. The drops were large and consistent and pounded the top of my little dome tent. This kept me awake even longer, not because of the noise, but because of the constant reminder of the long day of wet riding that was in store. Sometime just before 4am I fell asleep. My eyes opened at 7am and I skipped the chance to take another cold shower. Instead I vigorously packed, then started the Goose and let that baby idle real high on choke for a bit hoping that it would stir the rude campground neighbors. As I took off and passed their RV, I blipped the throttle a couple times to let them know I was leaving and to thank them for keeping me awake.

Next it was time to get on with the miles. Mile one passed. It was a rainy mile. Two fuel stops and two hundred miles late,r down the Redwood Freeway  or the 101, and it was still raining and I was twenty miles from San Francisco. My toes on my left foot were frozen, my rain gear did a decent job, and on the horizon I could see a break in the clouds. The little towns in northern California are storybook like. Their mornings start out covered in fog, they are surrounded by dense forests, and their inhabitants are friendly country folk. I never thought of California this way until I set foot there. The goal for the day was 500 miles. I did it a few days before and I knew I could do it again. Passing San Francisco was neat and some time in the future I’ll have to get a real experience there, for now I was just a passer-by. The San Joaquin Valley sits southeast of San Fran and I rode through it a few days before. I didn’t want to ride through it again, due to its monotonous straight sections, but it was the most direct route to interstate 10 east. I made my 500 miles for the day when I reached exit 253 and found a Motel 6 with a $35 a night room. Can’t beat that in California anywhere.

Day 121

Morning at Motel 6 came way to soon. For the fourth night in a row, I got three hours of sleep. As I write this I am exhausted. I know for sure that I didn’t fall asleep until after 5:30 am and I woke up at 8:39am. Tired, grumpy, and hungry, I began packing for another 500 miler. First I had to finish the post I started the night before, then grab some food and hit the road. By the time I began my trek on 5 south it was 10:30am. The goal for the day was at least the Arizona border and at best, Phoenix. Not much happened on the ride. I fueled up four times, pulled over when I spotted something neat enough to snap a picture of and kept pushing on. The best part of the ride came in about a 50 mile section from Beaumont to Indio CA when a super strong tail wind pushed the Goose along nicely. My gas mileage was the best it’s been and the wind buffering against my helmet was nearly silenced. That my friends, is interstate paradise, when it happens. My little stint in the easy life ended when I neared Joshua Tree national park and the wind started coming from the south with the same sort of force. Now my helmet was went into bobble-head mode and stayed there all the way to Phoenix, where I checked into a room and pray for a good nights sleep. It’s hard to be creative when you’re fighting exhaustion.

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About mikekrabal

I'm a fella who finally let the inner traveler come out. A non-standard sort.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “Days 120 and 121 First miles toward home

  1. Home?! I was gonna say your going to miss WA and OR but that right now is a REALLY good thing. Especially Washington. Going through the Mtn. passes on a bike right now would not be wise and a lack of heated gear would be torturous. Maybe if I can get a better bike I’ll make my way back east sometimes.

    Posted by nwroadrat | February 12, 2012, 8:48 am
    • Unfortunately I ran out of money and am forced to retreat. I learned a lot about travel and budgeting from this trip and it will not be the last big one for sure. The other thing I realized is that I just didn’t need a year to figure things out. I’m returning home with a much stronger sense of what I want to do next with life. When I made it to southern California, I decided not to find a job and instead, I just kept traveling. It was like an addiction. No worries though, the plan has been modified to a trip around the northwest sometime in July or August to finish what I started. I still hope to meet up with you on the road sometime. Thanks for keeping up with me and feel free to keep in touch, especially if you head east. You’ll have a free place to stay in WV. I’ll continue to blog all the way home.

      Posted by mikekrabal | February 12, 2012, 9:04 am
  2. I’ll join you if it’s in August!

    Posted by igordmitry | February 12, 2012, 9:45 am
  3. HI,
    BOB, MY BROTHER IN LAW YOU MET IN LUCHENBACH TEXAS, TOLD ME ABOUT YOU AND YOUR WEB SITE. I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR POSTS AND ENJOYING THEM’.
    AS A LONG TIME, LONG DISTANCE BIKER I WOULD RECCOMEND ROUTE 50, DUBBED THE LONELIEST ROAD IN AMERICA IF YOU HAVE TIME.
    ALSO, ALTHOUGH IT WOULD BE WAY NORTH ON YOUR WAY HOME CHECK OUT THE BEAR TOOTH GAP OUT IF BOZEMAN MONTANA IT GOES TO THE NORTH ENTRANCE TO YELLOWSTONE
    RT 50 IS STRAIGHT AND THE GAP IS HIGH AND TWISTY.
    STAY SAFE AND ENJOY
    DICK

    Posted by RICHARD ANTONIUS | February 12, 2012, 3:11 pm
    • Hey man, first off, nice to here from you and thanks for checking out my journey. Bob is a great guy and I’m glad to have met him and John there at Luckenbach. That bear tooth highway must be spectacular. I have met so many folks, on this trip, that have recommended it. And route 50 sounds great too. Lonely roads make for great pictures and great thinking time. Due to my financial situation I have to head home for now, but a plan to the north west, in the summer, is already underway and my friend Igor has already shown interest in joining me. I have to finish what I started, so I’ll get out there and ride the bear tooth highway and see it all when the weather allows. I’ll keep writing all the way home. Feel free to keep in touch. Take care.

      Posted by mikekrabal | February 13, 2012, 6:59 am
  4. You’re pushing too hard. You get careless when you’re tired & don’t have enough sleep. It’s approx 800 miles from El Paso to Houston. It’s really not so important to be here at a certain time. Nothing in the world should have a time limit. My plan is for whatever day you get here is for You, Wilma , John , & me to meet my Brother-N-Law & Sister -N-Law in Houston for some of the best Bar-B-Q in our area. My Bro-N-Law has ridden lots of the same ride You’ve been on. He’s around 80 and still rides a motorcycle every day. You’d never know he’s near 80. He’s been all over the U.S.A. & Mexico on a cycle. Also Beliez. They’ve both followed your trip on your blog. Can’t wait to meet you. Says you’re always welcome to stay at their home.
    For the last month, it’s been high 70’s & mid 80’s. Now, you’re going to see snow heading here. Unbelievable ! Please be careful . If neeeded, I can take my sons 4×4 Chevy truck & enclosed trailer & come pick you up. Only thing is I absolutely have to go to the Va. hosp. in Houston on the 16 th. We’ll work Luckenbach around that. Before or after. Ron has never returned one of my calls. I’ve called him 6 times’.
    It’s midnight. Hope your sleeping right now, you need it. friends, BOB

    Posted by Asa Bob Hearn | February 12, 2012, 11:13 pm
    • Honestly, I have no choice. If I don’t cover ground at this pace, I’ll be out of money before I make it home. I may not make it too Houston today. San Antonio looks like the most reasonable goal. I plan to call you midday to check in with you and make a plan.

      Posted by mikekrabal | February 13, 2012, 6:51 am

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About Me

My name's Mike Krabal and I am from Jefferson County WV. I'm a thirty year old guy who still believes that you can be anything you want to be. I'm on a mission to find out exactly what that is.

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