Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tom Joad - Day Two, mile 600.3...

As I learned the hard way last year during my Baja excursion, planning your departure and reentry into the Pacific Northwest during the Winter months is a bit of a crapshoot. To escape the Pacific Northwest states during the Winter months, you have to consider weather fronts moving in, traversing mountain passes, and ambient temperatures at a particular time of day to get to your next destination. This trip was no different. I had to watch and try to predict snow storms, rain storms, and sub-freezing temperatures to gain a few miles in the hopes of gaining better conditions the farther south I traveled. And, once again, I evidently appeased the weather gods.

I woke this morning in Riddle, OR to a partly-cloudy 34-degree sky, but warming rapidly, and the sun broke through the clouds at 9:00am. The previous day southern Oregon was inundated with mixes of cold fog, freezing rain, and snow in the higher elevations. I was beginning to wonder if I would make it out of Oregon as I had planned. Again, I lucked out. I left Randy and Shannon's place to a relatively comfortable 41 degrees, and headed south towards the Siskiyou Mountain Summit unknowing of what I would encounter when I arrived. Again, lucky. I crossed the Siskiyou Mountain Summit at roughly 12-noon to a very chilly 29-degrees, but dry roads over the 4,300 foot mountain pass.

I crossed the mountain pass and dropped down into Weed, California to a chilly and very windy 41-degrees. Unlike my past Winter trips, I decided to invest in heated motorcycle clothing for this trip. Wonderful! I should have done this years ago. Regardless, I stayed relatively warm, comfortable, and hugely enjoying the passing Winter landscape.

After a brief stop in Redding, CA, and getting hit on by a group of pensioning widowers during a coffee stop, I blasted southward on Interstate 5 towards Sacramento, CA, my first wayward stop on my trek southward to Los Angeles and an extended visit with my brother Matt and his wife Colleen.

I finally rolled into my hotel in Sacremento, CA late in the evening after my GPS system got somewhat creative in my routing and unnecessarily routed me from I-5 through downtown Sacramento and to my hotel, when my hotel was located immediately off of Hwy. 50, ( ask my about when my GPS system nearly got my thrown in jail in San Francisco last year). Needless to say, I found the hotel, hunkered down for the evening, and prepared for my ride into Los Angeles tomorrow. Stay tuned to this bat-channel for more GPS blunders...

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