Hot day, all plans detoured.

August 9, 2012

Today was kind of everything planned went wrong, maybe wrong is too strong a word, everything went somewhere else.


Starting with missing the 28 out of Carson City. I thought : “ Uh..  Was that it?…” I was going 100 km/hr in traffic zig zagging big mountain side curves and turning around seemed way too much trouble.  I thought : “ Well, the 50 was the other plan.” so I went with it.


Went through Tahoe without stopping, except for the traffic lights, which were numerous. At one of those a big guy on a very expensive looking sport BMW bike pulled next to me.

“Hey, you rode all the way from Canada?”

“Yeah! Ottawa.”

“Cool! I have a boat here, I live about an hour away so I come on the bike…”

We exchanged a couple other platitudes and the light changed and he took off. I got caught behind an old man in a pick up truck who turned then could not decide which gas station he wanted to go to so I never saw the BMW jockey again.


The road became really gorgeous. Very curvy. Very mountainy. I was very happy. Then a few of us happy go luckies, got caught behind a red old school Jeep going 50 km/hr the speed limit is 50 miles per hour…   maybe he was Canadian? I swear the guy was doing that on purpose. It made me laugh to thing of the frustration rising for each and every driver accumulating behind. But the bike is still fun to ride slow or fast so I was enjoying myself. It went on for quite a while, finally, a passing lane appeared, I floored it, leaving him behind and resuming the great riding.  A Grey Volvo followed my example passing the Jeep, but  no car can corner like a bike so I soon left him behind.  I had the whole road to myself…   Until the road work.  After that we were a slow caravan of vehicles, lumbering down the road.


Finally, the signs for the 49 appeared and I took a left. It was starting to get really hot. I rode until I saw the sign for Amador City and I thought , lets take a chance and see what that is all about.  I drove into this little hamlet. What a surprise, the full on Cowboy town. I walked around, wanted to eat a bit but all the food places were closed, so I took some photos and headed back out.


Then came Sutter Creek, another cowboy town but bigger, more touristy, I found a coffee place with WiFi and wrote the earlier post.

I was feeling tired. Wondered if that was the heat, left over fatigue from my night ride 24 hours previous or something else. I just did not feel that great. I hit the road and that is where things started to get funky.


I started to just want to stop for the day. But couldn’t see any campsites. I followed the 49. I am looking on the map and cannot figure out where I went… I know Jackson is part of it, but I can’t see where I went. I remember seeing Bit Trees Park and took a road off of the 49. Ended up at a cave place with zip lines and suddenly I had to stop my heart going way too fast and a sense of panic coming over me : heat exhaustion. I had my jacket on and that was too much.


I got off the bike, barely managed to park it, went inside, got some gatorade type stuff and sat down for a while. I asked if there was camping there, there wasn’t but the big tree park is up the road…

after about 20 minutes I went back out, got on the bike but without the jacket and somehow that felt really, really bad… I couldn’t imagine if I was to fall… that asphalt is 100 degrees F… Yeesh… but if I wear the jacket I’ll get too hot… so I got back on the road.. arrived to the next town… see a “Big tree” sign turned and ended up in yet another cowboy town but this time it’s all about wine tasting and buying expensive stuff and you know… I can’t remember where the heck that was… I got off the bike there. I’m starting to feel panicky. I am riding really poorly, I have a hard time making decisions, I can’t figure out what to do next… so I went in a place and got lemonade. Sat for about 30 minutes. Calmed down. I looked on my phone (it has the BEST GPS function) and realized that the road I was on was taking me back directly on the 49. With purpose I got back out, by this time it’s starting to cool off so I can wear the jacket.


I get back on the 49 and realize I had been in this town before, and the next… I made some sort of loop… totally weird and I don’t really get what I did. I finally hit new territory, ride for a while,  then I see signs for Yosemite. I turned… end up on a mountain road with these 355 degree turnaround riding behind a motor home, my engine is starting to heat up as we are going 25 mph it’s still 90 some degrees out and there is no air and I’m going too slow and it’s getting tough… I pulled out. Waited. Started again. I see a sign for a campsite, turn. I finally get there… I am not impressed. I feel so tired. I park the bike at a site. Yuck. I thought. Campground in California are not yummy. Too many people use them and there is not enough rain to cleanse the places, so they are dusty, dirty little spots.


I stayed about 20 minutes… didn’t feel like staying, didn’t want to unpack the bike, could not imagine repacking the bike in the morning, didn’t want to put the tent on the ground or the sleeping bag on the table because it’s too dirty. I laid down on the table’s bench. Closed my eyes.


I got back up, grabbed that phone again : So much distance going East  towards the 395 so much distance going West back to 49… OK, you can do this. I told myself. I got back on the bike, headed back out, back down the mountain, got stuck one more time behind someone terrified of curves and deep ravines in a very fancy white car. We were 3 following him and he would not, for all the money in the world, have pulled out at one of the many pull outs, to let us go free.


Finally back on the 49.


Ooops, detour. Take 120.




I take 120 for what seemed a long, long time. I ended up way, way out of the way of where I thought my way was. I landed in yet another cowboy town, bigger than the other two.  There is so much traffic, we’re crawling along and my engine’s temperature is doing it’s own crawling, going up very fast, 110, 112, 114, 115… I know 120 is the “stop everything” temperature, I had just looked it up in the manual the day before… Damn! Finally we got moving, the motor cools off, phew… Where am I? I had not studied the 120 so I don’t know the names of the cities, there is a sign for 120 and it doesn’t say East or West… damn!


It went on like this, then the scenery flatened. The towns became ugly, approaching civilization and I finally saw a sign for the 99.


I headed South. Out of Modesto, major traffic jam. Road repairs at 8 PM, we’re all asked to move to the left lane and when we get near the workers, drivers gawk, almost stop…  Geez…  It clears up and I keep going. Oops will need some gas:  not a problem around here, where civilization is, gas stations abound, not like in the boonies. I got some gas, got going again. It’s dark now. I swear the days are shorter with this Pacific time zone.


I am now on the lookout for a hotel, anything. I see a motel 6, 39.99 but there are no exits for miles and miles, I finally saw “ Motel row” in Merced. They are all here : Super 8, American’s Best, Holiday Inn, and more. I see motel 6, pull in there. Got off the bike. There are 2 rooms left, a smoking one and a non smoking one.


“non-smoking please.”


“You can leave your bike right here in the light close to the office, so it will be safe.”

“Well thank you!”


So I landed for the day.


No magic night in a forest under the stars. A Motel 6. But I am burnt. I need the rest. I noticed that my chin was all red and the skin all dried out, never seen that before… maybe I had some kind of something… maybe that was why I was so tired. But now I am safe, sound, I will sleep like a log and tomorrow I’ll get into San Dimas.


I still can’t quite grasp what is taking place now. Davidian had said : “Be” and I found it to be the most useful advice in a long time. Just be. Not be happy, be free, be all you can be. Just be. Then life comes to meet you and you’re ready because you “are”.

Love ya all.



2 Responses to “Hot day, all plans detoured.”

  1. Aaron Says:

    Just please be safe with this heat. It’s no joke. I’m glad that you are able to understand your heat exhaustion before you get to far behind. Hydrate and take your time. We will see you soon.

  2. Charlotte Says:

    Oh lord… the joys of an air cooled bike!!! I can’t gaurantee you won’t get a ticket, but when it gets like that I use the shoulders. Most of the cops would understand… (I think). Good thing you got some AC that night. : )

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