Wednesday, September 06, 2006

On the road again

Campsite in the hills just west of Bodie ghost town. A nearly-full moon on the rise.

9:00 p.m.

Camped in my tent on a hillside just a mile or so from the ghost town of Bodie, California. Evan planted the thought to come here. There’s just a few more miles of dirt road leading through the open desert landscape and down into town. No campgrounds out here, so I had to adapt. Took a trail off into the brush. It was marked “for wildlife study”.

Tried to remain inconspicuous as cars passed in the golden sunset. Out in this chaparral, a motorcycle, tent and camper stand out if anyone looks in this direction. After sunset, a caravan of perhaps ten vehicles left the town, slowly making their way west.

A hawk repeatedly swooped by in the twilight, squawking. I wonder if I erected the tent near its nest? I’m beneath the eastbound flight lanes, many jets passing high overhead. A nearly full moon rose before sunset. I’m camped at about 7,000 feet. Not sure how cold it’s going to get.

Very inefficient packing this time. It will once again take some “getting used to”. Without the top box, I have to learn a new system of securing luggage. No back and neck ache, no carpal tunnel symptoms. At least right now.

I'm happy to be back in the world of smells: sage, cottonwood (like corn), creosote, pines and firs are among the day's memories.

Same site, looking southwest, the Sierra Nevada creates a rugged horizon. Jupiter in the twilight sky, the lights of Lee Vining shine in a distant valley.

Up at 7:30 this morning. It took the next 4-1/2 hours to pack and clean up. Had to leave behind numerous articles I had intended to take: ax, trowel, bike cover, tennis shoes, fleece vest, and much more.

Bid farewell to Henry at noon. 59,300 miles on the bike. Immediately I noticed the clutch is "mushy", brakes are squealing. Things feel “weird”. And then there was the weak justification for taking this journey.

Need to rediscover travel mode. Wrote a note to Jessica and went over to the Veteran’s Building to leave it on her car, but couldn’t find the car there. Went by her apartment, but her car wasn’t there either. I continued on.

At the post office, I emptied mailbox, sent off my motorcycle registration form. On to Sonoma and a stop at Artisan Bakery for coffee, an old tradition (habit).

Took highway 12 east through Lodi to highway 88. Mid-to-upper 90s in the Central Valley. I was sweating profusely. Snacking along the way, drank some Gatorade (from the powder Toddy had left behind), and munched brownies, a gift from Cooper and Heather.

Didn’t feel like I was seeing anything new until I was east of Lodi. Over the Sierra by way of Carson and Monitor Passes..

So, what’s this trip all about?

No comments: