"Back in the US ..."
I hightailed it for San Diego, passing the area of amazing rocks on I-8 again. I love those rocks. Those rocks rock!! But I still didn't stop to get some photos. Bummer! Maybe next time?
It was good to catch up with Mike and Kit Lynch again, and relax with them over a lovely steak dinner, before tumbling into bed relatively early. There was a little bit of amusement earlier in the evening, when Mike found a trespasser in the garage. It was a tiny (baby?) ringtailed possum (well, that's what it would be called in Oz, anyways!). However, when Mike started to close the garage door, hoping the possum would scamper down and run away with all the movement, unfortunately its tail got snagged in the lifting mechanism, and it was stuck there.
At least this gave me time to grab the camera and take some pics of the little fella. He was NOT amused, and bared his sharp little teeth, although he was probably more afraid than ferocious, truth to tell. Eventually, we managed to persuade him to leave, with judicious use of long handled brooms and the like, and he disappeared into the surrounding darkness. Next morning, I found the little blighter had been, before discovery, in my tank bag, eating some goodies I'd stashed there. Is nothing sacred, these days? Haha!
The usual BMW club breakfast was well attended the next morning, and I caught up with some members I'd met prior to going south, and so recounted some of my adventures to while away the time between each mouthful of yummy food..
But, all too soon, it was time to say our farewells yet again, and we separated, with me heading off north yet again, bound for my US base, Moxee, WA, another 1700km stint in short time. I pointed the GPS at Gerlach, NV, the "spiritual" home of LongDistance riding, up towards the north-west corner of the state. Once away from the Interstates, it was pleasant riding through some lovely countryside through eastern California, then into the drier high desert plains of Nevada. I took mostly backroads, which were still good 2-lane roads, and I could travel pretty quickly.
Even though it's desert, there is still lots of things to look at - the differing vegetation as we ascended the plateaus; the sheer beauty of the nothingness; the wide, wide blue sky devoid of clouds; the stunning geological rock formations; the colours of the landscape. Across I-80 at Fernley, out onto Hwy 447 in the falling dusk, and passing through Empire, a small village. An enjoyable day's riding culminated in arrival in the darkness at Bruno's Saloon, the hangout of LD riders, where I had a late (sandwich) dinner then checked into Bruno's motel nearby.
Morning. I dawdled over a great western style breakfast in the Saloon, then headed out, northwest across the vast emptiness, after a very brief (too brief, I must go back) visit to Guru Lane, the rock memorial to LD riders no longer with us. It's a lonesome road, with very little traffic to break the peaceful quietness. Up hills and down dales, long sweepers and some tighter corners occasionally, just to keep one on one's toes. Very little wildlife, just a few birds here and there, partcularly around the marshy waterholes, and a couple of jackrabbits.
From Hwy 447 to Hwy 299 across the Californian border, joining up with Hwy 395, a major north-south inland route, traversing the length of California, through Oregon and on into Washington State. I was pleased to be on this road, as I needed to check out a few places and things in readiness for a future Iron Butt ride. The scenery varied greatly along here, and held my interest all the way. Lots of lakes and mountains and plains and trees and a few animals.
I'd ridden some of the northern Oregon stretches of Hwy 395 back in 2005, and it was good to remember sights, happenings and places as I passed. But all good things must end, and soon I was back onto I-84 for a short distance, then veering off onto I-82 which would take me to Yakima, and out on US24 to Moxee.
I was at my "home" in the US, after 6 months in Central and South America. It was good to see Roy and Shelley, my hosts, and their animals, and to pat Gus, my faithful but dusty R1200GS, patiently waiting for me.