Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I Always Return To Barstow

It is another run to Barstow, this time to meet up with the Sizzling Hippie, and from there it will be a run into Death Valley National Park for a total desert immersion photo project.
This December morning is chilly. The temperature is only around 39, and since riding gear left in your saddle bag does nothing to keep you warm I put it all on. Well everything but rain gear.

I got  electric vest and gloves, and having learned my lesson from past winter rides I have long underwear, heavy trousers, leather chaps,  heavy smart wool socks, heavy leather jacket and liner, and just in case another polar fleece vest, and the liner from my massive 60 lb. Alaskan fxrg motorcycle jacket. This should work…
Leaving at 6:30 on a Sunday morning is great. I am south of San Jose headed to Hollister before most Bay Area residents even wake up and realize that they need to be somewhere else and the only way to get there is to get in their car and make some traffic…

Local Bay Area Resident Common Golden Eyes On The Move

All this gear is working well. I am mostly warm in spite of a persistent 39 degree temperature and 90% humidity. Around Priest Valley I notice ice along the side of the road. Aboot this time my smart wool socks tell me my feet are cold.  I was glad to make it into Coalinga to warm up and get some petrol.
On the leg to Bakersfield the weather radio warns of heavy fog that should be lifting around the time I get there. The temperature is actually warmer, but I can see the gray clouds looming.
 It gets colder as I climb up the 4000ft Tehachapi pass, and at the summit it is trying to snow. Over the top now and down the eastern side for a fuel stop…
On every trip there is always at least one Today it was at a gas stop just east of Tehachapi pass. He was just getting out of his car but already spotted my Alaska license plate and asks: How long did it take you to ride here? My reply is always 10 days.  no matter where I happen to be, when asked that question.  
And ten days answers their question. 10 days is a reasonable amount of time even if they ask how far away Alaska is.

The Alaska plate is always a draw, and I understand the curiosity   , but it’s remarkable no one ever asks how you could have possibly made it on two wheels riding on frozen roads, through northern blizzards, and the bone chilling cold of the Alaskan and Yukon’s interiors.

The Alcan Highway In Winter
Barstow is coming into view; it has been a cold but good ride. Maybe it will be warmer tommorw….



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