Tuesday, August 25, 2009

25 Aug – Bishop, CA

Gavin and I rode to Barstow together in the morning. Barstow is a Route 66 town with a rail line passing through. It is also the start of I40. But for most people it is a hot dusty town on the edge of the Mojave Desert just over 100 miles from LA. Motels are cheap so it is a popular place for motorcyclists to overnight. US 395 runs north from Barstow and was the road I needed to take to get to Stockton. Bishop is just an overnight stop though VSP tells me there is a bakery here famous for its turkey sandwiches. US395 runs east of the Sierra's and goes through the Mojave desert, a desolate wasteland of sand and sagebrush. To my right (East) is what looks like a huge salt pan shimmering in the sun with an occasional sign inviting you to go there. "Death Valley 102 miles" the signs say. I will have to leave that invitation for another day, I'm already feeling the heat at 40 C. All the riders you see are in long sleeve T shirts – me included so dehydration is a serious issue as is the hot air coming up from below the helmet and drying your eyes. As the sun drops below the mountains to the West and the shadows fall on the road, there is a marked cooling to be felt and the riding becomes more pleasant. For all that it is 10PM as I write this and it is over 80 F outside. I am consoled by the air conditioner at full blast and a can of beer sitting in an ice bucket. I guess somebody has to do all the rotten jobs.

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