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Published: February 21st 2011
Me with Sean and Ruth
Moments before I fired up the bike and rode off for more adventures.
REDDING, Calif. - I’m not used to stopping for the day at 3:35 p.m., but it felt pretty good to get off of the bike and into an air conditioned motel room in the 97 degree heat of Redding.
I covered 424.3 miles in 6 hours and 40 minutes of riding today and I’m poised for a 315-mile jaunt tomorrow to Monterey with an afternoon/evening foray down to Big Sur.
Sean took me to a spectacular little German bar and eatery called Prost! last night. They have all of the great German standards on tap and their outdoor patio features tables and benches from the Spaten beer tent at Oktoberfest in Munich. I had a brat and sauerkraut and a liter of Spaten Optimator.
I was up by 5:45 a.m. today. Sean and Ruth got up to chat and see me off and I rolled out onto NE Fremont St. about 7 a.m.
I was dogged by clouds and temperatures in the mid-50s as I rode south on I-5 and I stopped to put on the Gerbings heated jacket liner. I stopped for gas and a McDonald’s breakfast of coffee and parfait at Cottage Grove and pulled
into a rest area a short time later to shed the jacket liner.
A guy was panhandling outside the men’s restroom with a dog on a leash and a sign saying he was laid off and had kids to support. It may have been a scam, but I liked the dog, so I gave him a $5 bill in exchange for permission to take his picture.
I stopped for lunch and gas at Ashland – the last time on this trip that I had to deal with Oregon’s annoying law that requires a gas station attendant to assist with the refueling process. Lunch was a $1.29 Burger King double cheeseburger washed down with water from my Camelbak.
I chatted with a couple who were eating outside with their 15-year-old Australian shepherd mix. They said they moved to Ashland so their daughter could go to college, but hope to move away as soon as she graduates. The guy said the extreme left-wing vibe of the campus and the town make him crazy. I could sympathize.
The folks at the California fruit inspection station waved me through, apparently convinced that I wasn’t transporting any produce or dangerous insects.
I gave him $5
Down on his luck with a family to feed. I found this guy at a rest area in central Oregon.
The motel here looks like it started out as a Howard Johnson’s because it has those little cupolas on the roof. The room is kinda musty, but the price is right and it earns me points on my Choice Hotels account.
Also, the bifocal sunglasses are perfect for letting me see my GPS clearly while not interfering with my ability to watch the road ahead. Who knew they could be had for just $19.99? They do need nose pads, though. And my left in-ear monitor has returned to life. And I’m enjoying the hell out of having two ultra bright and fully functional headlight bulbs.
Sean further lightened my load this morning by volunteering to ship my big black and yellow waterproof bag of camping stuff home for me, so I don’t have to schlep it around the rest of my trip.
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