Tuesday had to be a better day, right? I had stopped at an O’Reilly’s in Clearlake the previous evening and picked up some Gorilla Super Glue to repair my boot but it has to cure for 24 hours so I was wearing my street shoes today. They’re okay for riding but no so great for tramping around after geocaches.
On the way out of Clearlake I stopped at a shopping center, picked up a cache in the Walmart parking lot and got breakfast at McDonald’s. It was a nice morning and Hwy 29 heading south out of Clearlake is a motorcyclist dream. It was twisty beyond belief, heavily wooded and little traffic in the beginning.
I picked up a couple of caches for Napa County. The second one was at a lake that reminded me of the South. There were what looked like miniature Live Oak trees with what looked like Spanish moss except upon closer inspection was much finer.
It was now getting much hotter with temperatures ranging from 104 to 108 degrees with considerable road construction requiring waits in the heat. I was making a lot of stops eventually picking up caches for a dozen counties in this one day plus several DNF stops. I carry an insulated bladder in my tail bag filled with ice water but I ran out late in the afternoon. That was really bad but perhaps worse was yet to come.
I pulled off on a side road to get a cache along a field entrance that was graveled. I put my kick stand down and was getting off my bike not realizing that it was on a slight forward slope. As I got off the bike rolled forward collapsing the kick stand and down went the bike. I had installed crash bars so the bike wasn’t damaged but the problem was getting it back up. With my luggage I’m sure it weighed 500 pounds. I squatted and put my back against the bike the way you’re supposed to lift it but I didn’t keep my back straight enough and really hurt my already damaged back. I learned too late a valuable lesson: Always put your bike in gear when you park on uncertain terrain.
Approaching my destination of Stockton, dying of thirst and with an aching back, I still needed a cache for San Joaquin County. It was getting late and as I was heading west into the sun it was so bad I had to steer with one hand and shade my eyes with the other. I made a detour on the outskirts of Stockton and found the cache I needed only after an unsuccessful try for another one foiled by road construction.
I finally arrived at the Day’s Inn around 7:30 pm after 13 hours on the road. It was a so-so place but did have a lobby computer that allowed me to upload all the caches I had logged to date that I worked at until they ran me out at 10:00 pm. Earlier I crossed the busy boulevard to a McDonald’s and got their two cheeseburger deal keeping one for lunch the following day. To be continued. M/W