U.S. 395

When roadtripping, road selection is everything. Well, okay, maybe not everything. Who you are going with plays a big part too. But since I am stuck with little old me, road selection is key. The right road offers views, interesting local flavor, and something more than just McDonald's and 7-11s. When you are talking road trip on a scooter, add to that little traffic, frequent enough service stops, and slow speed limits, if you can manage. U.S. 395 between Carson City and Mammoth Lakes fits the bill perfects (except for the slow speed limits, but you can't have it all, eh?)

When thinking about this adventure and what routes I might take, Saxtor suggested 395. Not knowing anything about what I would be looking for in a route or road, I committed to nothing, but did commit the suggestion to memory. Through a funny occurrence of out of date maps, local suggestions, and weather, I ended up on 395. I can't say I've been on a more breath taking stretch of road.

Anyway, since I am sitting on a sidewalk in the town of Lone Pine, CA writing this with the most tenuous of internet connections, I'm unable to add the usual spice of wit and pictures. I'll write more soon.
Friday April 27 2007File under: travel, road trip

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Harry, I Cant Feel My Fingers

Last night, I camped near Eagle Lake, just NW of Susanville, CA. Elevation: 5000 ft. Pulling in just at sunset, I set up camp under a juniper(?) tree and fixed some Frito chili pie over my hobo stove. As I sat watching darkness slowly fall over this weird and wonderful landscacpe, I reflected on what diverse countryside I saw in just 1 day at 35 mph.

Flash forward to morning. Being able to see your breath while still in the tent isn't a lot of incentive to get up. Camping where you probably shouldn't be is. Lo and behold, it is even colder outside the tent than in. Heavy frost covers scoot scoot. Wearing almost every item of clothing I brought, I still had to stop every 20 minutes on the ride in to Susanville to warm up. Luckily, hot chocolate and hash browns were waiting at the local casino.

As the sun starts to rise and the elevation falls, it looks to be shaping up as a great day for my ride into Reno and beyond!

For those who don't get the picture or headline, listen to this
Thursday April 26 2007File under: travel, road trip

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The Columbia River

The Columbia River is just awesome. Not "awesome" in a "totally tubular" or "Mom, those were some awesome potatoes" kind of way. We are talking "awesome" like aweinspiring, full of awe, etc. Driving along the Columbia gives you vistas around every turn. Driving along the Columbia on a scooter surrounds you with the vistas as well as the sounds, smells, and even temperature and humidity changes (which do add to the overall feeling.)

As I proceeded east, the sky ahead was blue and the sky behind was grey, which is quite typical of east of the mountains vs. west. Having that great weather made for the morning's scoot all the more enjoyable. I crossed the river at The Dalles and before I knew it, I was out of beautiful river gorge country and into beautiful rolling hills grasslands country of Eastern Oregon.

(Oh, but just before I crossed the river, I came across this sign that I couldn't help but take a picture of.)
Tuesday April 24 2007File under: travel, road trip

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The Civilized Leg

Three days in with about 500 km down, I'm starting to get into the road trip mentality; equal parts of extremely tangible logistics (Stop for gas? Left or right? Is it going to rain?) with the extreme intangibles (illogistics?) (I am where I am. Neither "left" nor "right" is better.) These first 3 days have been wonderful; relatively few miles per day, a comfortable place to sleep each night, and a chance to figure out the newness that is long distance scooter travel.

Today, however, the civilized leg of the journey is over. No more comfortable places to stay. No more frequent service stops (which are so handy for my 1.3 gallon gas tank.) No more semi-familiar terrain. Today, I take off on the wilder side. The "plan", as such, has me following the Columbia River east out of Vancouver to the east side of the Cascades before heading south on the back roads of Oregon. I'll eat when I'm hungry and I'll camp when I'm tired. This "wildness" is going to be an adventure. But that's what I in it for, right?
Tuesday April 24 2007File under: travel, road trip

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Road Trip!

"Road Trip!" Those words have always evoked a spectacular sense of freedom for me. In my day, I've gone a few doosies. There was the high school road trip to mythical South Whidbey. And who can forget Duck Itch Lake up in Canada? Both the eastward and westward Marilyn roadtrips were not to be forgotten as well.

The time has come for a new page in my road trip history. Much like the road trips of yore, this one is about the journey as much as the destination. What makes this one different, however, is that there will be no sleeping in the back of the car, picking up hitch hikers, locking the keys in the car, or blasting the stereo full blast. This road trip is just me, Scoot Scoot, and the open road. So with my sleeping bag bungeed on, a shiny new trunk for my laptop (can anyone say "internet addiction"?), and perhaps an unrealistic sense of enthusiasm, I embark. Stay tuned to BdW for reports from the road.
Sunday April 22 2007File under: travel, road trip

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