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Day 17





Day 17; Barstow, CA to Las Vegas, NV
On the road at 8;30 and in the driveway at 10;30. Home sweet home! Today's highlight simply HAD to be Baker, California, home of The World's Tallest Thermometer. Try not to be jealous.
Summations, ruminations, rants, raves, and awards;
Summations;
The Little Woman and I rated the trip as a success, our first extended road trip solo. The scooter ran great, we were generally packed and dressed appropriately, and the route proved to be excellent. Not bad for a rather sketchily planned trip. No accidents or incidents, although I lost the battle to a nasty cold in Oregon. Even sunburns were light and infrequent. The Chatterboxes worked flawlessly until the last day (today) when I failed to charge them. Duh!
Ruminations;
America (what little we saw of it) is really cool. What a plethora of viewpoints. Mountains, fields, oceans and rivers, desert and woodland. Great stuff. And the frosting? The old man celebrating 90 years of age, 45 years as a deacon, and 50 years of sobriety. We wouldn't have celebrated the first two if he hadn't celebrated the third one. And it was great to see the family.
Rants;
Cupholder. Cup. Holder. I can't break it down any more. A fifty dollar cupholder and it doesn't hold...well, cups. 12 ounce can of soda? Too thick. 16 ounce bottle? ditto. Water bottles, MacDonald's cups, Big Gulps, no, no, and no. Finally, a Circle K 32 ounce cup fits- halfway down until it hits the shoulder. So you can't fill it or it is top heavy. Cup. Holder.
What possesses people who are driving below the speed limit on a two lane to speed up when they move over, when the passing lane appears? Happens all the time.
Not exactly a rant, but it sure would be nice if farmers put a sign up, indicating the crop.
Raves;
God bless the farmers! Man, can they grow stuff.
The loggers in Washington state put a sign up indicating when the area was replanted. Wow, is that cool, when you see the growth since 2000, for instance. Did you ever think about it like this? 'Paper or plastic.' If you use paper, the tree that provided the paper cleaned the air and provided valuable oxygen until it was processed for paper. Then three trees replaced it. Plastic? From oil. And the paper rots and turns to topsoil. If your house is twenty year old, the trees that were logged to build it are now replaced. Okay, off the soapbox.
Wifi. I missed the revolution, but EVERY motel we stayed at (and we found some sketchy ones) had wifi, including the cabin with no plumbing. One motel in Bandon didn't, but we found one that did. Unbelievebaly cool. A few glitches here and there, but I got posted and e-mails every day.
Look at the photo of my bike. See the little triangle? That's an air duct. There's one on the other side too. You turn a aknob and those doors open. It deflcts cold air away from your feet, and lets heat from the engine run over them. It works incredibly well. Just one of many clever ideas on the bike. Like the vanity mirror in the trunk. And the kickstand sensor that won't let you leave with it down. How do I know it works? Right!
The highway people. We have great roads in America. Smooth (with some exceptions), safe, roads with rest areas.
The Little Woman. She doesn't seem to be the daring type, but she is there, through thick and thin, rain, lightning, heat and cold, enjoying the ride.
The Awards for The Trip;
Longest Straight Road;
The Great Basin in Nevada. Must be 20 miles, like the edge of a razor.
Windiest Road; (As in winding, not blowing)
Highway 12 in California. Sometimes you swear you're going to take a turn too fast and run into the back of yourself.
Best Vista/Viewpoint;
Tough one. give it up to Mt. Rainier National Park. Being up with snow patches in August gives it the edge. And the trees, fresh green from the rain, were awesome.
Stupidest Move I Made;
Cascade, Oregon, around the lake. "Oh, it turned to a gravel road. Well, that shouldn't last long." 24 miles.
Biggest Nag;
The city park by our motel in Auburn, Washington. It had eight signs, 'don't do this', 'don't do that.' The stupidest sign? "Please don't play in the dirt." It's a park!
Best Meal;
For me, it was the Mahi Mahi in Oakville, California, wine country.
Worst meal;
Bandon, California. Medicre food, they got Sherri's order wrong, didn't give me the dessert that came with my meal, and terrible service.
Best Motel;
Tradewinds, Seaside, Oregon. How can you beat rolling over in bed and seeing the crashing surf? I'll tell you how. Having a 'water waster' shower that hurls you against the wall when on full blast. it filled th etub halfway with the drain open. Standing ovation for the Tradewinds!
Lastly, ridng amotorcycle on a road trip is so much fun. On a bike, you particiate in your environment. When we rode past the onion fields and could smell them, or the freshly mown hay, or the ocean breezes, you are part of your surroundings. Cars, especially with climate control, isolate you from the outside. Whether it is the fresh pine smell after a rain or the sage of the desert, the bike keeps you in your surroundings. People are prone to talk to you when you have a bike, too. Driving by, people will give you the thumbs up sign, and invariably people ask where you're from and where you're going. Sure, it can be cold or hot or wet or windy, but that is life on the outside. I don't want to live life on the inside.
tomorrow, I'll post my regular Monday blog. and stay tuned, as Wednesday through Sunday I'll be on a whirlwind tour of Haiti. No bikes, but an adventure nonetheless.
Thanks for riding along.

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