Rather than ride through some more of those great roads in the mountains, I decided to ride down to the BMW dealership in Bakersfield and get an oil filter and look for a Ram Mount gizmo I need.
Big mistake. Hour and a half of grueling freeway. Got to this fairly large multi-line dealership to find this stunned kid with a stupid hat masquerading as a parts guy. First off, he didnít know what an 800GS was . . . ok, maybe he is new. Asked for an oil filter, he tediously looked through the parts fiche for the part number. Found it and a couple of minutes later, proudly produced said filter.
Anything else? Well, yah, also need a crush washer Ė most parts guys almost produce it automatically with an oil filter. Back to the fiche, searching and searching. Finally comes up with a number and notifies me they have none in stock. WTF? What if I had dropped in for an oil change, how would your shop do that without a crush washer . . . use the old one? I didnít want to hear the answer. After a bit of encouragement that there must be one somewhere and him steadfast in his insistence none were in the building, I left.
I guess Iíll take a detour to Phoenix and get one there.
Of course, I am the ultimate idiot in this situation as it would have been really swell if I had just remembered to grab one off the shelf at home and through it in the bag but that would be too easy.
Then had a really nice ride up the Kern River canyon Ė thatís dead ahead.
Here is Lake Isabella, also really drawn down. Notice the remainders of the old trees poking out of the water?
Then the rest of the day in the desert riding fast and straight. I think the desert has its own beauty and while I wouldnít want to have been a pioneer wandering around on horseback or in a wagon I quite enjoy riding through it Ė particularly when itís only the high 80ís.
Stop in a little town in the middle of nowhere for gas Ė glad I donít need much. Kind like being back home . . .
Across the street from the gas station I notice a casino. Think they are really poor here . . .
Upon closer inspection of the sign . . . just a good sense of humor
Wound up in Indio for the night at an ok hotel along old Hwy 99 that had long ago passed its prime.
Ask the guy at the desk for restaurant recommendations within walking distance and it was a choice of 4 Mexican restaurants. Went to the best one and had a meal of taquitos Ė good. My waitress was a young girl recently moved from Mexico who was really struggling with her English and since I struggle with my Spanish we got a real Spanglish conversation going. One of my frustrations in trying to communicate in Spanish is that my brain doesnít work as fast as they speak here. So getting people to have a bit of patience and speak like they would to a little kid, I can eventually figure most of it out.