Friday, June 17, 2016


Cache at Bridgeport

I awoke to a cold morning – 37 degrees. To make matters worse, again because of the dampness, my heated grips weren’t working.  I wore my rain coat over my jacket to keep warm.  My first cache of the day and my last California cache was at Bridgeport about an hour out.  It was an old tractor in front of a Napa store and the cache container was the tractor toolbox.  The heat buildup with my bike stopped apparently dried out the moisture allowing my heated grips to once again function and I was very thankful for that.

"Woof" cache

Lunch break on mountain side
At Bridgeport I veered northeast on Hwy 338 and was soon in Nevada.  I enjoyed my ride through desolate Nevada savoring the lack of traffic.  It was sunny and soon warmed up.  I stopped for several caches, one of the favorites being “Woof” which was a rock formation someone had painted to resemble a dog.  It made me even more homesick having been away from my dogs for eight days.  Another favorite was one where I had to hike up a mountain side to some caves.  I took my lunch along and ate it up there.  Here’s where I had my only loss of the trip.  When I got back down to the road I discovered I had left my pen up at the cache site.  I didn’t have the time or energy to go back and get it.  Between the hike up and back and eating my lunch took probably close to 40 minutes.  Only one vehicle came by in that time.

In the afternoon I was on Hwy 447 which eventually turned back into California.  This was Modoc County but I didn’t need one there as I had logged one in 2010 when I did Oregon.  I got into Lakeview, OR, mid afternoon which was my shortest day.  I would have gone further but there was nowhere to stay within 100 miles along my route.

I stayed at the Interstate 8 Motel which was old but comfortable.  After checking in I went out and picked up a cache in Lakeview at the IOOF Cemetery.  I then gassed up and picked up some milk and granola bars for breakfast the next morning.  I actually watched TV this evening for the first time on the trip.  I saw the movie “All The Way” and if Bryan Cranston doesn’t get an Oscar for his performance as LBJ, something’s wrong.

I had a quick breakfast in my motel room and got an early start the next morning.  It was 41 degrees when I left but very soon dropped to 34-35 degrees.  However, the sun was out and my heated grips were working so it wasn’t too bad.  I took kind of a back roads route to Pendleton going through Mitchell, Spray and Heppner.  However, somewhere along the way, Mitchell I think, I took a wrong turn and ended up doing some of the route twice.  It wasn’t the end of the world because this was absolutely fantastic motorcycle country.  I stopped for a few caches along the way and had lunch at a restaurant in Mitchell as  I had exhausted my carry along food supply.  This was to have been my longest day even without the extra miles.  It was nearly 7:00 when I arrived home having traveled 627 miles that day. 

Oregon cache at the Silvies school

About the Silvies cache
This completed my nine day 3,700 mile county quest.  I now have caches in 27 of California’s 58 counties.  What’s left are those in the north and central part of the state and although I still lack a lot of counties the distance won’t be as far and I think it will be a shorter and easier trip.  The freeway traffic did not bother me nearly as much as I thought and if my luggage hadn’t made my bike so wide I would have done more lane splitting when traffic was stopped or slowed and that would have made it a lot better.  As a whole I found California drivers to be the most skillful and courteous of any of the states I’ve traveled.  This was a pleasant surprise.  I also noticed a predominance of luxury cars on the roads.  I believe I saw more BMWs and Mercedes than I did Chevys.  It was good to accomplish this goal but really great to be back safe and sound.  

As a side note - I received just the other day an invoice from the Golden Gate Toll Bridge for $7.50.  It even had my picture on it from the back.  Ain't technology great! M/W


Kathy said...

I didn't realize Mike worried much about "safe and sound." I tried to discourage his going, but it seems like he's getting better at this motocaching. He's had some experiences over the years of traveling this way. My goal, of course, is not to have experience.

Chris said...

What's the story on the $7.50 bill? Do they snap your license plate and track you down? I don't remember it being a toll bridge when we were there thirty years (!!) ago.

Kathy said...

Well, discussion ensued here on the several electronic toll charges Mike received by mail. I said he must have failed to stop, but he says there was no stopping in that traffic. Apparently, if you regularly travel that route, you sign up and get your electronic gizmo, but if you're just traveling through, it snaps your picture and you're billed by mail. There's no fine if you pay before the deadline, but if you don't, the fine is hefty -- like $150.

Bottom line: best to find out about this before traveling.