August 24, 2009 Manteca To Susanville
I pulled out of the drive in 64 degree weather with a robin’s egg blue sky overhead and wondered why the heck I was leaving. But it is not in my nature to stay very long in one place these days. I don’t want anyone to start throwing dirt on me.
And I felt like they should start. I was hurting all over after a rather bumpy day of jet ski riding and one good softball game. My finger looks like it is getting infected again. I think I have done serious damage to a couple of toes by banging them into stuff. And I cut one playing ball. Don’t ask. I thought that it could not get any worse. As is the case so often, I was wrong.
So I headed up Highway 4 out of Stockton which is designated Ebbetts Pass Scenic byway. No argument from me on that. Mile for mile, any season, any vehicle, this has got to be one of the best rides I have ever been on. Starting out in the fertile San Joaquin valley where they are harvesting watermelons and tomatoes by the truck load it climbs up into the golden foothills that are studded with oak trees and cattle. Then it winds up into the Sierras to about 8,700 feet and it just keeps getting better and better. Alpine lake is along side the roadway and it has to be one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen.
A lake in the Sierras
Once one gets to the top, the descent into Nevada starts and it is better than the climb up. It is like a roller coaster ride coming down with lots of twisties that leave little time for taking in the scenery. What fun.
But on the way up I had a bit of a mishap when a bee or a wasp hit me right between the eyes and stung me. Dang! I did not know there was anything that could hurt that bad. It made me want my mommy. Think about getting an ice pick jammed into your skull. I thought seriously about turning around and calling it a trip but I soldiered on. After a few hours the pain subsided by spreading all over one side of my face. And then the area beneath my eye began to fill with fluid and swell shut. It was my good eye too. I am not sure this mug can take many more direct hits like this.
I came down on the Nevada side and wandered around out in the desert for a while. I took the Comstock Highway to Silver City and Virginia City and they are pretty much like they were in days of old. There are still people there mining for silver. These towns are all above 5000 feet in altitude so the temperature was really quite pleasant.
Old Saloon in Gold Hill
I finally made it to Carson City and stopped for lunch at Thurman’s Road house for a BBQ beef sandwich and some non alcoholic fluids. And then it was on to the Pyramid Lake Scenic Byway which oddly enough takes one around Pyramid Lake. It is an Indian reservation but since gambling is legal in Nevada the Indians don’t have anything to do but fish. Not a bad life ay?.
I pushed on to Susanville which is back in California since I did not want to get involved with the traffic in Sparks and Reno. I met some bikers as I was checking in for the night and they told me that putting beer on a bee sting was good for it. So I have been doing that from the inside out and so far nothing has improved. Maybe I misunderstood them. I look like I have been in a fight and I guess I have. The bee won. I am going to stay in and keep the treatments up rather than go out and scare any kids. If it is not better in the morning I am gonna have my corner man cut me.
Its just a flesh wound
Now my scooter has been purring like a cat on a heater grate. Since I had the software redone to ‘fix’ the steering issue the bike has really run well. And while I use to average a steady 30mpg no matter how I drove this thing, today it has been getting 37 mpg and I have been doing between 70 and 100 most of the afternoon. The steering gremlin has not bothered me at all today so that is very good.
#610 by Lake