Well I’ve been talking about it forever. And after being convinced Saturday night at the bar, and surprisingly remembering it yesterday morning. My mom cried. A lot. I gathered my bedroll, toothbrush, and every scrap of money and little else. Obviously, my preparation level was… lacking. But with 16,421 on my odometer, I set out. Went from Los Osos to San Luis Obispo to finalize a breakup with a young lady who I’m deeply in love with. She insisted we could make it work. I made no promises and went out to my bike. I had left the key on and the starter didn’t respond. She saw this as hilariously serendipitous, claimed over and over that she plans to marry me one day, and after an hour of finding one of those jump boxes, I hit the road no longer single.

I’ll be honest, I think it would have started fine. After we got the jump box I realiz
ed it was in gear with the kickstand down. I’m a reasonably smart man, but only in the book variety. Not the common sense variety. Clearly.

Rode 101 to Paso Robles and 46 to lemoore. The heat was bad. It would get worse. I stopped at the fleet reserve there and chugged water served by a delightfully friendly lady whose name I never got. An old coworker, Swan, was there and we did some catching up and joked a bit. After attempting to drink a beer and smoke a cigarette I gave up and got back on.

Stopping every 60 miles and chugging water was the only way to survive the oppressive heat of the central valley.  North on 99 in Fresno. Stopped for water and gas in merced and had one of those “boy I had a 68 t100. Wish I still had that bike” old man encounter. Always enjoyable.

That’s where the heat finally had mercy on me. A few more miles to Sacramento to I-80, and a top off in auburn. Rode a bit with a very enthusiastic dude on a yellow Harley bagger.

Just west of Colfax, with the air deliciously cool, a guy in a truck ahead of me slowed. As I passed, he rolled down his window. Once I got over, he sped up and passed me. His kid, about eight or so, shit eating grin, was jumping up and down in his passenger seat giving me thumbs up. Threw up the horns and hung out with them until they exited. My grin lasted a good 50 miles.

Now, I’ve driven a cage over Donner pass many times. But with the current state of the road, dusk, and the thought of plummeting down the face of the mountain had me a little scared and the limited range of the headlight and fatigue really had me backing off the throttle. Usually it’s me doing the passing.

About 40 miles from reno I caught quite a bug collection on my visor. About 20 away the sky lit up. I didn’t worry about it though.

I swear, the mix of emotion I felt when I saw those strip lights is one of the most indescribable things I’ve ever experienced.

I hadn’t eaten all day but I couldn’t bring myself to eat once I got to my buddys’ house. And I couldn’t sleep at all.  Anxiety I think.

Gonna hang with the boys tonight and hit the road in the morning. Shouldn’t have a problem getting at least to salt lake city, maybe more. As always, any hospitality anyone wants to show will be greatly appreciated. Or come ride for a bit.

Also, I’m pretty unconcerned about typos since I’m blogging this from my phone. Have mercy, redditors.

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