I still cant seem to post a report without an incident!!
I left San Francisco for the Sierra mountain range and when i stopped at the lights on the way out of town, I looked down the left and right side of the bike to check everything was OK. To my disappointment, the seals i had just replaced between the water pump and engine to stop the weeping coolant had worked at stopping the coolant but it now weeped oil onto my right boot.. Not a significant amount and with spare oil, i continued..
As i climbed, I was cautious, fully aware I was sharing the road with others…
What a ride, I was completely taken back by the scenery and absolutely loving being on the road again!!
I just kept climbing and climbing, finally wearing the chicken strips off the side of my tyres.
Eventually coming off the back of the range and into Nevada, only to see a gentle reminder of home.
I camped that night a few miles south of Carson City on an Indian Reservation, probably illegal but i didn’t have many options. It was a great little river spot and i kept hidden behind some bushes. I couldn’t wait to get into a can of cheeseburger macaroni i had stashed in my panniers.
Before i even set up the tent, i was heating it up on my beer can stove..
I discovered soon after that my spoon had been misplaced somewhere. Probably in the garage back in San Francisco.
I made a mental note to collect some plastic cutlery from a fast food chain in the morning but I didn’t let this hinder my enjoyment of a quality canned meal!!
In the morning I checked for some more replacement seals at the dealership in Carson city and when that was unsuccessful i headed east into the desert.
The goal was to reach a junction in the highways at Winnemucca where i was to meet fellow inmate Wheatwacker (Martin) on his return leg from Alaska. I had been staying at his place in San Francisco.
The headwind was intense and i only just made the next fuel stop in Orovada.
After refilling I called it quits for the day and set up camp in the community park. The wind was amazingly strong so i built a windbreak from a nearby park bench and the bike. It almost gave me an uninterrupted night of sleep.
Still heading north, the scenery changed like the accents of those i spoke to.
At midday, I decided to take the scenic route 55. It was the “July 4th” holiday weekend so i stopped in Napa to search for a spare rear tyre as everything was about to close. They are also much cheaper in the US.
The guys in the Honda shop sent me to Cycle-gear in Eagle where i grabbed a D606 and met Yoidaho in the car park, she told me about a bar at mile 161 or route 12.. I penned it on the map and set off.
Later that afternoon i was in McCall by the lake, the 55 was beautiful but full of traffic and people making the most of their long weekend. The lady in the gas station told me i should stick around for the evenings fireworks but when i explained how far i had to go and would probably camp out. She asked if i had my bear spray!!! “BEAR SPRAY….” “ahhh No… Do you sell it?” I asked. “Nope” she said, and i wont lie, she provoked a fear within me.
On the way out of town to join highway 95 again, the traffic was stopped for a car waiting to turn through the oncoming traffic. I employed Latin American lesson 101 and went around the outside of the cars in the slipway.
Unfortunately the local sheriff was first in line of the waiting cars. I was nervous as i watched him in my mirrors as he followed me up the road.
The speed limit was 25 mph and as i havenÂ´t had a working tacko cable since Patagonia (no idea of speed or distance for about 40 000kmÂ¿) so I took a guess but didn’t want to portray my fear so overestimated by 10 mph.
Well yea, you guessed it!.. The lights and sirens went off and i very intelligently pulled off the road.
The guy was nice about it; no overtaking to the right, 10 mph to fast, then a few questions.. Where from? to where? and when? and then he ran a quick check before shaking my hand and wishing me luck.
Ill be honest, i did idolise the thought of being wanted in one state, but probably for the better i was let go to ride.
A moment or two later i entered…
and immediately thought that if only the cop had caught me here…. I could tell him whose BOSS in these parts!!
My bear fear certainly wasn’t aided by the increase in references to the beasts…
but again, i was loving the ride…
The ride up route 12 at the end of the day was exceptional!! The whole way along the river, putting on the full lean in the turns as i almost had the road to myself.
Insects….. thwap…….thwap…thwap,thap.p,p,p,p as i slapped my way through the occasional cloud of pests.
I made it to the bar at mile 161 that night, and good thing I did. I met Dennis and his Harley. We shared a beer and then the bar manager bought us another before telling me that i could camp for free behind the kiosk…
Denis planned to sleep by the fire that night but i found him in the morning, sleeping upright on the toilet in the heated campers bathroom. A true tough guy, apparently he had been up there for a few days.
In the morning after breakfast he guided me through to Missoula for a coffee where I met Isaac004 who was off to conquer the Great Dividing Road.
The socializing had put me behind time but eventually Dennis took me out to highway 93 and pointed me north.
Up and around Lake Flathead i went, joining a swarm of Harley’s doing a circuit. I put my feet up on the highway pegs and pretended i was one of them with my leaky exhaust making an equal racket.
It had been recommended by some Alberta boys to take the Chief Mountain border crossing in Glacier National Park. At first, i was really glad i did.
but as i climbed up the mountain pass with a string of other holiday weekend warriors, i got a little wet by passing showers. Like the idiot that i am, i had lost my jumper in San Francisco so was missing a layer. This with the increase in altitude, I really began to feel the cold.
Then it was just a joke!! I began to contemplate all survival techniques id committed to memory as a teenager!!
This was not one of them.
Then my bike began to gain power and my hands got some feeling back and pretty soon i was on the other side of the pass..
Thank you United States, it has been an absolute pleasure…