Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Break Day 2

I was up and ready to ride at five, but it was pitch black outside. I tried to go back to sleep, but it didn't work. I broke camp at six and started off at 6:30. It was still dark, but getting lighter. Where I camped was actually at sea level and it was a bit nippy and windy when I started out. Nippy would become the least of my troubles in the next two hours.

I was headed to Mammoth Lakes. As I climbed out of Death Valley it got colder and colder. I stopped and opened a pair of hand warmers and learned a valuable lesson. You see, a person needs to plan ahead when using hand warmers because it takes 15 - 30 minutes for them to become warm. I needed them warm 30 minutes ago. So, I also put my bar mitts on and discovered another problem. With the bar mitts I couldn't operate the turn signals, or cruise control. With them on my fingers didn't have the room to operate them. Because there wasn't anyone but me on the road I decided it would be OK. At Lone Pine I had to stop and find some warmth and coffee. The waitress said, "Look we got one of them fools on a motorcycle. Where might you be going hon?" It was 20 degrees air temperature and 0 wind chill. She then told me most of the roads I was planning to travel were closed and there would be ice and/or snow on the ones that were open. So since she lived there and I didn't want to get any colder I made the decision to turn around and look for a warmer route.

I choose to backtrack and go across 178 into Bakersfield. From there I would go north on I 99 to Merced and 140 east to Mariposa. In Mariposa I stopped at the Visitors Center and the lady got me a discounted rate of $49.95 for a motel with WiFi service. It was a very nice motel and close to options for dinner. I tried to connect to the Internet for an hour, but my lap top just wasn't having any of it. I will be checking to see what I did wrong when installing the wireless cardbus adapter.

I was only 43 miles from Yosemite, on the west side, and the road into it was closed because of snow and ice. So much for my plan of going around to the warm side of the mountain.

On a brighter note Petunia has now been getting better mileage. It is up to 33 mpg. Partly because of the slow pace and possibly that the wheel bearings are finally seating in. Here is the route that I took today.

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