The open road: 2010 summer trip day 22

Day 22: Boise, ID to San Jose, CA — 701 miles

It was a chill week in Weiser/Boise staying at my folks and my sisters. Mostly bumming around, playing with the kids and relaxing. But, all good things must come to an end as I’ve yet to find a motorcycle adventuring gig that’d pay well enough to feed a family of five, or, even just myself, for that matter.



[click to go to an interactive map]

The plan was to loosely caravan with the family in the car. What this really means is that I’ll see them when they arrive at our next stop. What can I say, my wife knows how it goes…

Crossing the Snake River into Marsing

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/3.5, 1/1600sec, 18mm focal L. @31 MPH, map

These anti-meth murals are all over Montana and Idaho.

Don’t Meth up your life — and so concludes this PSA

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/1250sec, 50mm focal L. @36 MPH, ~1mi from prev photo, map

It was Friday morning leaving out of Boise. There’s a short stretch to get to the Oregon border where the authoritarians keep you “safe” by restricting your speed to 55 and pumping your gas for you. It’s not like California is any bastion of personal freedoms (much worse actually), but, I’m digressing. Needless to say, the stretch of US 95 through Oregon to get to Nevada is one of my least favorite stretches of road.

My normal routine is to open it up on the clear stretches of road and then casually roll it back when there’s less visibility, or when nearing towns. Call me a skeerdy pants if you wish, but, the prudence has served me well thus far.

So, there I was puttering along after leaving Jordan Valley (never speed near Jordan — the local LEO patrols it often!), and luck would have that a Ducati and an F800GS sailed past with no such reservations about the Man. And it occurs to me that I must have been a greyhound in a past life, as I apparently can’t resist chasing a rabbit. Don’t fail me now, Mr. Radar Detector, cuz it’s Game On!

A rabbit to chase

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/1000sec, 70mm focal L. @72 MPH, ~60mi from prev photo, map

Owyhee River — Almost to “downtown” Rome.

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/1000sec, 70mm focal L. @52 MPH, ~3.3mi from prev photo, map

If you’ve never been through these parts, “downtown” is, ummm, being very generous.

REO — Also known as Rome VOR.

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/1000sec, 70mm focal L. @74 MPH, ~21mi from prev photo, map

I’ve spent many an hour tracking to/from the Rome VOR. Standard VFR flight using the VOR system from San Jose to Weiser would be: LIN (Linden), FMG (Mustang, near Reno), SDO (Sod House, north of Winnemucca), REO (Rome). Of course, with the advent of this new fangled GPS technology, you just punch in your destination and go direct, thus, cutting 14% off the trip by not following the “air highways”. With all the budget crisis we are in, I imagine that ’50s era technology is going to be decommissioned in the near’ish future.

Make’n time — My rabbits had no fear.

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.2, 1/1000sec, 38mm focal L. @72 MPH, ~9.1mi from prev photo, map

My rabbits maintained a good 75-85 pace for most of the run from Jordan to the Nevada state line. Nary a once did we see any Leo types to give us a judgement on our interpretation of 55 MPH. Rolling into McDermitt at the Nevada state line, we all pulled into the gas station to fill up on the dead dinosaurs. We got to chatting and compared notes about the F800GS versus the F800ST. Nice guys that were wrapping up a week’s ride, and it turns out we were all headed back to San Jose. But, alas, they were stopping in Reno for the night.

I thanked them for the fast attack through Oregon and bid them farewell after sending a text to my wife letting her know how far ahead I was.

Sawtooth Mountain — Not too big at 7200 ft

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.0, 1/1600sec, 31mm focal L. @75 MPH, ~61mi from prev photo, map

The stretch of highway from McDermitt to Winny is just as lonely as that of Oregon, but, they have the good sense to post it at 70. At Orovada, I spotted two state troopers taking a break at the convenience store and figured it was a safe bet that there’d be no other patrols along that stretch. 20 minutes later, I was zoning off as an oncoming, white SUV crested the hill 1/4 mile ahead. A few seconds laster, the radar detector goes into full tilt, snapping me out of the daydream. As I stabbed the brakes I looked down to see the speedo descending between 85 and 90.

The sheriff’s overhead lights start spinning red and blue.

B U S T E D!

We passed at the oncoming merge I had already started slowing down to stop and take my lumps. Checking the rear-view, I expect to see the U-turn, but, much to my surprise, the sheriff didn’t seam to be slowing down. Check again; nope, no U-turn. After 5 more checks, I finally believed what I was seeing and gingerly speed up to continue on my way.

Thank you for the warning, Mr. Sheriff. I’ll just keep it around 70, OK?

Entering Winnemucca

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.0, 1/1000sec, 25mm focal L. @40 MPH, ~41mi from prev photo, map

Our last stop at the Griddle

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.0, 1/1000sec, 25mm focal L. @19 MPH, ~1.4mi from prev photo, map

After ~5 hours on the road, the kids were all too happy to get out of the car and I was more than happy to help distract them. Our formerly customary stop at the Griddle was overdue for the wrestles not-quite 2 year olds. And, I say “formerly” because we now stop at Sid’s just down the road. Sid’s offers unpretentious diner food, served with a smile — which is more than I can say after years of frequenting the Griddle. As an added bonus, you can get blueberry pancakes to appease the wee travelers, for which is is too much to ask of the Griddle.

The kids were happy to get out of the car

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/6.3, 1/30sec, 22mm focal L.

Train museum in Fernley — Have to take the kids someday.

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/7.1, 1/640sec, 25mm focal L. @33 MPH, map

Round about Fernely, I took off on my own and parted with the interstate whilst the family motored on to hasten the trip and get the wee ones home before they drove their mother completely mad prior to arrival. It’s a full car with the three car seats packed together on the rear bench and Valerie has hidden stashes of toys strategically placed to be pulled out at times when attentions need to be diverted toward more peaceful activities. No movies playing in that car!

Old F-111 at Silver Springs Airport — Wonder if they are starting a museum?

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/7.1, 1/500sec, 70mm focal L. @57 MPH, ~14mi from prev photo, map

The time was 4:06PM when this photo was taken. Must have been a “long lunch”?

Heal-to-toe, heal-to-toe — got it? Ohh, and smile for the video camera.

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/7.1, 1/320sec, 62mm focal L., ~30mi from prev photo, map

Wouldn’t see this in CA — I wonder who they voted for?

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/800sec, 70mm focal L. @40 MPH, ~3.2mi from prev photo, map

I made my way toward Lake Tahoe. I’d never been through these parts and was rather surprised by the sheer quantities of strip malls and suburban sprawl around the greater Carson City area.

US-50 — Down to Lake Tahoe

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/4.5, 1/1000sec, 27mm focal L. @59 MPH, ~9.3mi from prev photo, map

While Lake Tahoe is just a gorgeous area to have a cabin, it’s rather a pain to get around in. I’m sure there’s plenty of back roads to skirt around town, but I wasn’t feeling so ambitious and just puttered along and eventually made it out of town on CA-89, and then to CA-88.

Caples Lake on CA-88

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/6.3, 1/1600sec, 31mm focal L. @40 MPH, ~27mi from prev photo, map

Across the dam of Caples Lake

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/6.3, 1/250sec, 40mm focal L., ~1.0mi from prev photo, map

CA-88

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/400sec, 29mm focal L., ~2.7mi from prev photo, map

I left CA-88 in order to head toward the little town of Volcano. Seeing it on the map all these years, I’d never had occasion to check it out. I mean, it must have history getting a name like “Volcano”! Turns out some miners thought that the bowl shaped valley must have been caused by a volcano and the name stuck even though there’s nothing volcanic about the area.

back-road love

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.0, 1/80sec, 24mm focal L. @57 MPH, ~27mi from prev photo, map

There is a rather amazing network of small back roads in the area. One could explore for days and not ride the same road twice.

Nice Turrets — quirky castle-house on Ridge Rd.

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.0, 1/160sec, 62mm focal L. @43 MPH, ~12mi from prev photo, map

Must be historic — Can’t imagine any other need for barbed wire…

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/250sec, 18mm focal L. @57 MPH, ~5.4mi from prev photo, map

Just missed it — Was trying to capture my shadow on the barn.

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/6.3, 1/250sec, 18mm focal L. @52 MPH, ~3.7mi from prev photo, map

After meandering my way around the Sierra foothills, I was running out of daylight. It was time to suck it up make the fast dash across the central valley and into the Bay Area.

CA-26 — Catching the last rays of the sunlight

Nikon D70, ISO 500, ƒ/6.3, 1/100sec, 18mm focal L. @69 MPH, ~2.4mi from prev photo, map

The road over Altamont Pass is littered with nearly 5000 windmills of all shapes and sizes and the evening hours are prime generation time as the cool coastal air rushes over the hills to replace the heat laden air rising over the Central Valley. This all makes for a miserable headwind and bitter “welcome back” to the Bay Area. And yet, it’s always comforting to be home.

We’d left ourselves two days to settle back into “normal” life before the grind of work started where a thousand emails awaited my attention. Life on the road had been good.

Continue to the parting thoughts.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>