Things were looking up. I had accomplished what I felt would be the most difficult part of my trip and now I was headed back. The only two counties left on my list were big ones to the north and east bordering Nevada and I had several caches lined up in those. The next morning after the motel breakfast I headed east on Hwy 58. It is a great country road with practically no traffic. What a change! Within the first hour I stopped and picked up two more caches for San Luis Obispo County to add to my phone caches found the previous day.
|Old Bus Stop (?)|
Soon I was back in Kern County where I had picked up a couple of caches two days previous. I did stop for another called “The Old Bus Stop” that looked like a roadside outhouse that I thought was interesting. At Bakersfield Hwy 58 turns southeast so I took Hwy 178 northeast. This is a great motorcycle road. It was along this mountainous twisty stretch that I ran across the only rude California driver I encountered on the whole trip. I soon caught up to a car behind a minivan going slowly down the mountain. Even though there numerous places to turn out, the van would not let us by. When we finally got to the bottom and the car was able to pass the passenger gave the van driver an extended middle finger salute. In numerous other situations like this, drivers were always quick to let me pass at the earliest opportunity. Hwy 178 took me to Isabella Lake again and from there over to Hwy 395 was the same route I had ridden two days previously but I didn’t mind because it was great ridding and the sun was shinning.
|Lucky Joshua Tree|
My last stop in Kern County was at the “Lucky Joshua Tree” which was a Joshua tree made of horseshoes. Even though it was hot with no shade I had a lunch from a left over calzone from last night’s dinner. I used the motorcycle engine to heat it and it was quite tasty.
It was now afternoon and I was in huge Inyo County. This is desert country about like Nevada. I stopped at my first opportunity to pick up a cache called “Little Lake Hotel”. It was a site where an entrepreneur had stated a town in frontier times that flourished until bypassed by the railroad. It had been very hot but as the afternoon wore on clouds began forming and you could see storms all around. This was high elevation country. I stopped for two more caches in Inyo County before getting to Mono County, my last one.
|Stormy at June Lake|
It was getting late in the afternoon when I stopped at Lake Crowley for my first Mono County cache. It had cooled considerably and was looking very stormy but I just had about 15 miles to go to my motel at June Lake and as I had avoided the storms all day I made the bad decision to chance it and not put on my rain gear. The storm hit suddenly and furiously. Once the deluge hit it was too late to dig out the rain gear. Not only was it cold but raining heavily with ¼” size hailstones. By the time I reached June Lake I was soaked and chilled through and through. There were two or three caches located at June Lake but they all required hikes and I was in no condition for that especially in the rain.
My room was comfortable and had a hair dryer that I used extensively to dry my gear. I had dinner at a nearby restaurant and the rain never quit until some time during the night. To be continued. M/W
|Big rocks at June Lake|