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Old 06-18-2006, 11:49 PM   #9
Riding the World
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: 1st igloo on the left
Oddometer: 888
Two day to LaVerne, CA

I rolled out of Vancouver late and started motoring the SLAB known as I-5. My goal was to only stop for fuel (fuel, bathroom, drink, cliff bar) and stretch the legs for about 15 min. I wanted to get as many miles as possible behind me before shutting down for the night. I don't like riding at night with the deer factor. Ipod on, wheels rolling.

I got a crazy idea one the early part of the ride that to save time in the morning, I would not pitch a tent. I planned on sleeping on the bike. It was warm enough and very few bugs. Where should I do this? Well, I have noticed a lot of motorhomes parked at Wal-marts across the country (camping). So, I just had to find a Wal-mart.

Man, it got cold in them hills in southern Oregon. It also got dark. I had to have a warm place to pitch my bike (No tent tonight!). So I rode into the night until about 10 when I came upon Redding, CA and a Wal-mart.

I motored around the lot until I found a shaded spot (from the street light) and pulled in behind a motorhome. After a quick dinner snack of tuna salad and cracker (package deal so no clean up) I set up the bike to sleep on.

The Helmet and tank bag went on the back UBag and the bike cover went over the bike. With the helmet on the back it created a perfect one-man tent - if you were only 5 feet tall. I crawled in and slept - kind of. The passenger seat was my worst enemy for it stuck up and created a lump in my bed. I slept on my side, on my back, with my feet on the bars, on the panniers, on the UBag. I tried it all. In the end I woke at 5am ready to roll. I was tired from working so hard to sleep, but I did get some sleep despite the noise from a lawn blower and kids whooping it up for a bit. Yeah, I worried about someone messing with bike - but what a shocker for them to have the bike come alive - besides, I was packing more that clean underwear for the travels.

When I awoke, refreshed (yeah, right), I crawled out of bike to see that there were no motorhomes left in the lot. They must have gotten the memo that told of the cleaning that involved gas blowers... Whatever. I survived and fired up the beemer for a quick ride to Denny's for coffee and toast.

I was heading down the slab by 6am with the same game plan as the day before except I needed to get to LaVerne before 5pm for a family event. Not 30 minutes later a trooper went flying by me (I was doing 80). A minute later I was passed again. By the third one the mind began to wonder... I came up to the accident 5 minutes later. A mini vana on the other side was upsidedown in the middle of I-5. 30 yards in front of the van a guy was laying on the ground, no one around him despite a minimum of 10 cars/trucks/semi's parked all over that side of the road. Troopers were talking to other drivers. The thought of that guy on the ground was unsettling for several hours down the road. Another reminder to stay alert of other drivers and yourself.

I traveled 150-180 miles a shot before filling up, drinking something, and a cliff bar. A couple of stretches later I would hit the road again. Half the time listening to a book the other to music. Gotta love an iPod.

By 10am I was over 300mi into it and getting sleepy. It was time to remove the sweat shirt and jacket liner. It was heating up outside. The closer to LA I got the more traffic there was. I have come to the conclusion that people don't care about the price of gas. There were so many large pickups and SUVs running about 90 that gas mileage must not be an issue. Of course these same people pay over $10 a gallon for bottle water and who knows what for a coffee...

I got to LaVerne at 3 and that left me 2 hours to decompress after the last stressful hundred miles (CA drivers fly on big roads). I am once again complete (with Gina) and as a bonus the rest of the family is here. We have three days here to do the family thing and maybe hit the local bike shop before we get back to business. We are ready to get on with our travels and looking for the beauty in every state we go through. The ride will be slow, no SLAB, and we will camp early. No Wal-mart camping from here out...
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