Monday, August 8, 2016

Golden State Finale – Part 4

The log

Private Flipup

After breakfasting at the Subway I headed north on Hwy 49 toward the junction with Hwy 120 which goes east through Yosemite.  This was a fun road, mountainous and twisty.  I particularly liked one cache called “Private Flipup”.  It was a “Private No Trespassing” sign with the log on the back of the sign – pretty clever.  Upon the advice of one of my motorcycling friends from California I bypassed Yosemite and took Hwy 108 which heads northeast just north of Yosemite.  It too was a fun ride and it hadn’t gotten unbearably hot yet.  I stopped for one cache where I had to hike down a steep embankment to the site of a car wreck many years ago.  A little girl that was supposed to have been in the car was never found and they say her ghost can be heard on occasion.  The cache itself was under a little doll’s wig.

Lunch in Nevada
Big rocks
Cache location
Hwy 108 intersects US 395 which heads north.  I continued up 395 into a slice of Nevada where I stopped at a casino for gas and a pleasant lunch in the shade.  I then turned back southwest eventually getting on Hwy 88.  I needed a cache for Alpine County but there was one of many road construction areas right at the cache.  However, there was another one a little ways down the road which I had hoped to avoid because it involved quite a hike up the mountain side.  As it turned out I’m glad I did because it was one of my favorites called “Big Rocks; Little Homes” as well as being my only one for that county.  I then took Hwy 89 which hugs the west side of Lake Tahoe.  I had never seen Lake Tahoe and it is very beautiful but with heavy slow traffic.  I did make one brief stop to get another cache for Eldorado County.

Inn at Truckee
I continued on Hwy 50 to Truckee where I stayed at the Inn at Truckee.  It was one of the most beautiful motels I’ve seen, set back amongst shade trees and everything first class except their breakfast.  I was a little suspect when the starting time was 6:15 rather than the usual 6:00.  It was late even so and they had just frozen muffins and frozen bagels.  My back was sore and I hoped I could get a good rest for my next day which would be a long one.  I had dinner that night at a pizza place in a nearby shopping center.  Truckee is a beautiful town which for some reason is not what I was expecting.

The next morning I began a long hot day going through northeast California going through Sierra, Plumas, Lassen and Modoc counties. The first two were in forests and cool and pleasant riding but Lassen and Modoc was open rather desolate country.  I was impressed at how much Lake Alamor, Eagle Lake, Goose Lake and Lake Abert north of Lakeview, OR, appeared to have shrunk.  At places where the map showed the road hugging the shore the lake must have been a mile away with alkali flats in between.

I stopped at Lakeview for gas and a Sobe which I took to a cache in a shady spot in the cemetery and took a break.  I had decided to go all the way to Burns this day in order to make my last one shorter.

I got into Burns in the late afternoon having traveled 422 miles.  I stayed at “America’s Best Value Inn” which lived up to its name.  It was probably the nicest and least expensive place I stayed.  They had an indoor pool with a whirlpool which really made my back feel better.  The room was clean and pre-cooled, they had a house computer and the manager was very accommodating.  After supper at the Dairy Queen I picked up a couple of caches in town.

After a decent breakfast at the motel I headed northeast toward home.  This part of Oregon has some fantastic motorcycle roads and I was enjoying the ride.  I only stopped for a couple of caches and one was a DNF.  The only strange incident was on Hwy 12 in Garfield County, WA.  There were two motorcycles parked on the highway with a biker babe complete with fringed leather outfit in front waving her arms.  I assumed there was a problem so I screeched to a halt and left the highway in some loose deep gravel.  Then she said, “Oh, I didn’t mean for you to stop.  I just wanted to make sure you saw us”.  I very carefully extricated myself from the gravel and left the scene without even asking why the hell she was parked on a busy highway.

I arrived home a little before 2:00 pm and was grateful for the short day.  My total mileage for this trip was 2,614 miles, over 1,000 less than my first trip but it seemed like every bit as much and I did hit more counties.  California is a beautiful and diverse state but I picked the wrong times to make my tours.  I have now logged geocaches by motorcycle in 10 western states comprising a single area of over a million square miles.  M/W


Kathy said...

That's wonderful, Mike. I know it means a lot to you to see that map showing your geocaching accomplishments. What is your next goal?

Mike said...

I suppose the perfect conclusion to my counties quest would be to do New Mexico with one or both of my motorcycling sons.

Hallie said...

If you decide to do NM, I implore you to choose a comfortable time of year!