Monday, January 4, 2016

Day Of Dust

After exploring the ruins of the Salton Sea it was nice to have modern, clean, quiet lodging in Brawley.
Awaking in the morning I noticed it was a bit breezy. Nothing much just the wind was blowing. It wasn’t the warmest morning, but there was no ice on the bikes, or pavement. A good day for riding.

We passed on the hotels toast bar and settled instead on Brownie’s Diner. The locals were already filing in for breakfast when we arrived. One old cowboy seated just behind the table the hostess took us to asked me if it wasn’t a bit cool riding this morning. I said it was, and thought he would inquire aboot the wires for my electric gloves, but he didn't.
Breakfast was good, service was good, the price was right, but my eggs for my Denver Omelet did not come from Colorado. I suspect local chickens were working overtime, driving up the cost of imported eggs.

Local Chicken Makes Good
After breakfast Siz was heading east, and I was heading west. We searched around town for some petro and said our good bye’s after filling our bikes.
The wind was still blowing and I though it strange that the fellow from the convenience store was outside the door with a broom sweeping up the dirt that the wind had blown in the doorway, especially since the wind was still blowing in more dirt, and you could see clouds of it coming right down the street.

Had I turned on my weather radio or checked the weather forecast earlier   we would have known that this was dangerous extreme weather. But I hadn’t. It was just a windy day….

Riding out of town towards highway 86 clear of the shelter of town the wind had really picked up, and so did the blowing dust. I wondered how the fellow with the broom was making out back in town.

 A bigger concern at the moment was the power line running parallel to the road I was on. The big telephone cable strung below the high voltage  circuit on top was whipping up and down in the wind. That cable was  bouncing, flying  up and down a lot. I started thinking aboot what I would do if a  large piece of  power pole with live wires attached came flying at me, and would my bikes electrocution imminent dash warning light work this far below sea level?

Finally up on highway 86 the dust was getting intense, blowing small drifts across the highway, and making it harder to see.

You Can See Strange Things In A Desert Dust Storm
None of this weather seemed to faze the Californians in cars. They all hurried ahead; all trying to be in front of each other, so they could get to where they are going first!
I Hope I Haven't Made A Wrong Turn
I pulled in at Salton City to evaluate my chances of survival, in the dust and wind, use the toilet and call a friend in Palm Desert to see if she would trade her new BMW 680i for my bike.  She was interested but said the car was nasty dirty from all the dust and would have to clean it up first.
Pressing on the wind sort of died down around Palm Springs but picked up just north of there, the dust was not as bad, however the traffic did pick up and finally ground to a halt somewhere along     I 15.

All of the Californians that were happily racing ahead of each other were now parked  in neat rows, motors running cell phones in hand. Drivers texting passengers so they would all know they were parked.  I only had a 15 mile run on this highway, but the exit was still 10 miles away as I split my way through at aboot 30 mph in a gusting wind.
Finally highway 18 Apple Valley and a cold run to Palmdale, where I used all the technology on board my bike  to find a nice room and got out of the bitter wind.

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