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.
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.