Sue’s Excellent Adventure

Tuesday, August 14th


Day 11:  Tuesday, August 14th

Hollister, California to Bend, Oregon     585 miles 


Monday really cooked me, between riding through the desert and then trying to ride the California coastline…  I was just fried.  Even a good night’s sleep on the mattress fit for a princess didn’t seem to break me out of the funk from the night before.  So when it was time to get up and get ready to ride again this morning, I can’t say I was very excited. 


Putting gas into a motorcycle in California is a challenge.  They are required to have these “Vapor-Catchers” on all of the gas nozzles, which work out kind of okay I guess, if you are in a car.  But when you are on a bike that is already taller than you, trying to get the nozzle INTO the tank, and then compress the black spring-like plastic to the point that it allows the gas to flow, and to do this without spilling bike all over oneself or the bike……   Well, let’s just say it was a challenge.  And yes, there was one or two profanities that escaped.  How did I solve the conundrum, you might ask? 


1…  Put the bike on the center-stand

2…  Slide the credit card and take care of all the financial stuff, pushing all the right buttons.  (This can be a challenge too…)

3…  STAND on the foot pegs or kneel on the seat if necessary, putting the spare length of hose under the armpit, using one hand to pull back the annoying black plastic that has ALL THE POWER at this point, and squeeze the handle of the nozzle.

4…  If Step 3 fails, REPEAT with more enthusiasm.

5…  Curse at the gas station attendant under your breath, and everyone you see for the next 15 minutes who has a California license plate.


OBSERVATION:  California.  I just don’t get it.  Most of the state is brown, or shades of golden brown, unless it is being irrigated.  On the other hand, there is some beautiful parts.  (See photo of Mt Shasta, below)


This morning I also was able to learn the fine art of lane-splitting.  I was lucky enough to find myself in morning rush hour in Sacramento, so I tested my skills by riding between the lanes of slow-moving cars and SUVs.  WOW!  One the one hand, what a great way to move through traffic jams.  On the other hand, how stressful!  I never thought my bike was wide until I was trying to ride between a Cadillac Escalade and a semi. 


Once north of there, I made great time to Oregon, stopping for just a couple of pictures on the way.


Songs in my helmet today included “This Land is Your Land, This Land is my Land…”  I think Woody Guthrie wrote that one, but I have to check on that.  And ...uhg… this one made me crazy…   “All the Gold in California…” 


NOTE TO SELF:  Consider buying an iPod for the next big trip.  These songs are killing me!


Tonight I am in Bend, Oregon.  Goodnight, Everyone!

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Finish & Wrap-Up