June 28, Sunday
This was our get through San Francisco day, and the closer we got to the city, the worse the traffic was. Fortunately, most of the bumper to bumper stuff was going the other way. We stopped for a yummy lunch in Bodega Bay at the Sand Dollar, then continued our cruising speed in line through the outer suburbs and on to the Golden Gate Bridge. Wow. That was a fun little crossing. No wind to speak of, and the visibility was great. Sadly, the scenic view lots were packed full, with signs indicating such, so we just kept on cruising through downtown San Fran. We almost got sideswiped three times, but made it out the south end of town without trading any paint. We didn't stop for sight seeing, as it seemed that just an hour or two wouldn't do any justice to the town. Guess we'll have to come back another time. On south, following 101 again through San Jose then east on CA 152, the Pacheco Pass Highway to the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area. Things had gotten VERY hot once we turned away from the coast. Bear was registering 105 degrees as we
pulled into the campground. This place was dry, dry, dry. In fact, we didn't even put the fly on the tent, there was no way it would rain until November at least.
June 29, Monday
From the reservoir we continued east to CA 99 and on to Bakersfield. Temps where on up to 117 crossing this semi-desert which is kept alive and producing with irrigation only. Where it's not irrigated, nothing grows. By Bakersfield we'd both had enough of the heat, so we pulled into a handy Motel 6, hit the pool, and made it an early stop around 2:00 pm.
June 30, Tuesday
We decided that the best plan of action would be to awaken very early and get as much mileage in as we could prior to the temps getting crazy hot on us. Alarm went off ( or is that on?) at 4:30 and we were on the road by 5. This was a much better way to go, and we traveled southeastward on CA 58 at good speed in relatively cool comfort of ninety something odd degrees passing Edwards Air Force Base without seeing any jets. Ah well. After Barstow, CA we
jumped on to our first Interstate, I-40 mostly because we didn't have any choice in the matter. A short stop in Needles for fuel, and then we crossed the Colorado River into Arizona. I had gotten some advice from a Needles local, so once across the river, I pulled off at the first exit, turned down the first dirt road, and pulled to a stop about 50 yards from the river. A short walk through the sandy scrub vegetation took us to the bank of the river. Protective gear removed, and into the cold water we went. Highly invigorating, especially since the temps had climbed into the hundreds again by now. This was a great treat, but back on the bike we climbed, wet shorts and all, and things dried out pretty quickly as we rode on. We made it as far as Kingman AZ and pulled into another Motel 6 before we had heat stroke.
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