The first few hours of my trip just about ended me.
Soda Springs Road was great as always.
The gate was open at the old snow tunnels on Donner.
The evil box named Zumo beckoned.
I had gone over many maps and gps views and determined that there was a road that would get me to the east side of Donner Lake without ripping though any back yards. There was about a 2 mile stretch where I would need to ride the active Southern Pacific right-of-way.
Let's talk about an article I read in National Geographics' Adventure magazine..entertain me for a minute here. The author had written about getting ourselves into life threatening situations without really knowing that we had done it..due to like conditions to experiences past. He gave an example of himself hunting for relics in ghost towns. You see, his Grandmother had an ashtray that looked like a coiled up snake, he associated this ashtray with relic hunting and nearly picked up a real western rattler ready to strike. Or another example of the woman giving rockclimbing lessons. She had stopped while gearing up to answer a students question. While talking she bent down to re-tie her shoe and her mind decided that this knot was the knot that would tie her into her harness..the price of the 70 foot fall was nearly her life. I grew up riding railroad right of ways...I thought I had taken the article to heart, yet within 3 hours I had done it to myself.
I had plenty of room to get out of the way of the first train.
It was here that I decided to take out my ear plugs so I could hear the next one. The riding wasn't too difficult until the tunnel. I stopped, shut off the bike, listened and looked for oncoming lights.
Things were going fine until I slipped off the ties into the shale right at a concrete culvert. There was no way I could go further in the shale, I needed to get the bike going the other direction, turn around and take another shot at it. The struggle that took place here was extensive..bike upside down at one point.
It took me about an hour and a half to get set for another go at it.
I managed to climb the shale and get back on the ties. No sooner had I gotten back on "track" than I heard a train coming down the hill. These trains were really moving, I'd say close to 60 mph coming down the grade. I glanced over my shoulder and saw lights already..back down into the ditch I went. I started to put it on the side stand and realized that there would be no room between the bike and the train for..ME!!! I shoved it over onto it's right side and jumped over it. I could hear the laughter in the trains whistle.
Whew, dodged another train..I'm a dumba$$.
I shot up onto the ties and got serious about getting down the rails before the next one. I made it down to where the road was.
Walked over to scout it out..I was going down this road no matter what. I had to wait for another train. This one was really long, locomotives in the front/middle/back. I layed in the dirt catching my breath.
I scavenged a bunch of wood and built ramps to make it over both sets of tracks. Down the road and came out in the state park at Donner Lake.
A victory of sorts?