Sunday, September 2, 2012

West Coast Adventure - Day 19

Too much...that's what I think of the decision to try to ride nearly 500 miles was just too much. Yes, I could have ridden more, probably several hundred more. If I had really wanted to push it, I probably could have ridden 800 and been in bed by midnight...but that would have just sucked. As it was, 500 turns out to be more than I want to do in a day. Plans have been changed and it shouldn't be an issue between here and home.

To keep things short and sweet, the ride out of San Francisco was foggy. It was only 8:30AM and I was well north and east of the bay when I finally rode out of the fog. Sacramento was 60 miles up the road so that's where I stopped for gas. I had to stop 60 miles later to take a picture of the Sierra's and to take my sweatshirt off...moving away from the coast has it's consequences and one of them is heat. The Sierra range is what I would call forested desert. There are lots of green pines covering the mountains, but that's really about it. Not much else seems to be growing there, other than some short scrub brush.

Once you hit the California/Nevada border, the scenery goes through an almost immediate and radical change. You're still traveling through a rolling mountain range...but it's like they told the trees they had to stop growing at the border. One minute you're trucking along through a pine forest and the next minute there's nothing...just barren hills....and I think that's pretty much what Nevada is, barren hills. I know there are a few spectacular resort areas, but when I looked at a map of the terrain of Nevada this evening, I'm under the impression that 99% of the state looks just like these two pictures here.

The up side to this kind of travel is that the speed limit on I-80, after Reno, is 75MPH. No one goes 75. Most people were going at least 80, and no one cared if you were going 85. After Reno, the traffic thins out to almost nothing. So, I flat-footed it across the desert as quickly as I felt I could. I left Reno at about 1:30PM and I was at my hotel in Elko at 5:40PM. It's about 290 miles from Reno to Elko...and I stopped for about 20 minutes for gas and a drink in do the math.

I've shortened my plans to about 400 miles for tomorrow, we'll see if that makes the day more tolerable. Planning on hitting the road bright and early again...for me it will be bright and early...Hopefully I can break it into four 100 mile sections with half of those before lunch (and before the temperature breaches 85.)

Tomorrow is another day and another road. :)

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Chad Cole