Northwest Adventure 2014… Day 3

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ June 30, 2014/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, Northwest Adventure 2014, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Williams, Az

Odometer reading at departure:19974

Time:7:00

Weather Conditions: 58 degrees and clear

Daily High Temperature: 107

Destination: Oakland, Ca

Arrival time: 02:40am (June 29th)

Odometer reading at arrival:20827

Daily Miles Logged: 859

States visited: Arizona, Nevada, California.

We decided last night to push for an early start due to the miles that are listed as our daily goal. Since we are now two hours behind central time, I was hard pressed to sleep much past 4 am. I felt optimistic that the day ahead would be attainable given the beauty of Gods creation that lay ahead.

We had a terrific start to the day as the landscape changed from greenish brown to the vivid browns and dark red hues of the desert. This was my first time experiencing the desert in person, much less on a motorcycle. The heat does lack the humidity like we have in south Louisiana, but the heat was oppressive none the less. I purchased a few insulated water bottles that came in very handy in keeping the effects of dehydration at bay as well as the revit hyperkwel neck wrap.

We were treated to much of what the desert has to offer… Heat, more heat, and yes, more heat. However, the star of the afternoon was the beautiful Sierra mountains lining the Mohave desert roadway towards California. One notable road was in Laughlin, Nevada where the road undulated like a roller coaster so much so that, from my perspective, Jon and Randall looked like wackamoles bobbing up and down on the hills. I would enjoy revisiting the Mohave one day, perhaps in winter…

Lunch was a quick subway sandwich that gave us a reprieve for the scorching heat and after a quick refueling, we pressed on through Death Valley and on into the Inyo national forest on our way to Yosemite.

Yosemite in no way disappointed us from the amazing views and sterling roadways weaving throughout the park. I couldn’t help but feel a profound appreciation for teddy Roosevelt and his stewardship of Gods creation in the national parks. Unfortunately, we arrived late in the day and missed out on a few of the highlights. Kudos to Jon, the trip planner and master tour facilitator, for crafting a route that both served our need to get to Oakland as well as take in some of our Heavenly fathers handiwork.

This is my longest day in the saddle thus far… And although not technically considered an “iron butt” ride (see www.ironbutt.com), I would suggest that most iron butt rides are puny in comparison to the 850+ miles we laid down today! We not only saw 107 degree temps, and temps in the low 50s, the desert, the majesty of Yosemite, but we also were treated to a 50 mile ride on an unlighted mountain road that would make the tail of the dragon look like a training ride. I dare say that this was a route that was intended to be experienced near the end of the day, however, we had no idea that the day would be 19 hours of riding… I learned through this experience that 1) it is not yet my appointed time to meet my maker and see my grandparents or Riley and Grace, 2) that even though I had a frustratingly slow tempo to the other riders in our group, I made it, and 3) sometimes, you just need to know when to say uncle.

As a comical sidebar, and to show you what a great sense of humor our Lord can have, after the first 20 mlies of this long exit out of Yosemite, we made a brief stop at a convince (inconvenience would be more like it) store to see if there was a place to eat… Burger King and something else that was not enthusiastically received by our group, I told Matt the following: “I know one thing, if the next 20 miles are like the last, I’m going to just park my bike and go sleep under that tree…” It was so dark I couldn’t tell that there were no longer any trees near our location… And we pressed on through he next 20+ miles of hearts topping twists and turns…

Dinner was at Denny’s, after midnight I think, and the ride in to Oakland was marked by our group getting separated on the interstate and the lead pack exiting for fuel. Randall called me to see of our progress, but by the time we spoke, Trent and I had already passed the exit that they took. I told Randall that we would exit at the next exit, which happened to be 47B on whatever godforsaken roadway we found ourselves on at nearly 2am pst. We were advised to look for a gas station and then wait for their arrival… This exit must be the only one California that doesn’t have a single fuel station for over as mile from the exit. I called Randall back and told him we would see them at the hotel, which I think we did, because they were they the following morning!

That’s it for now as the pillow in the room is calling my name and I can no longer refuse the sirens song….

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