Wow. It was a long day. Turns out that if you don't have rain, then it's hot. I mean HOT, hot. Really hot. It's not like that's news about the desert, I guess I just haven't been dry enough to experience the typical effects of the Great Fireball in the Sky.
I left the Clown motel in the morning and was feeling unusually casual about the time. I headed to Yosemite and visited Mono Lake as well. Yosemite was lovely, though I didn't make it into Yosemite village. I got two stamps for the Master Tourer challenge. The way *to* Yosemite was just as nice through a fire-scorched, tree-lined pass with it's own lake as Yosemite was.
I figured out my music yesterday and have had tunes now when I want them, but it's more like 'guess that tune' than listening to my favorite music. With the wind noise, earplugs, and other issues, the first part of most songs starts with 'who IS this?' I'm not sure if I'm better off without it or not. I mean she's not a great conversationalist, by any means, but, then again, neither am I, so it was going ok without the soundtrack.
At Yosemite I met some bikers from Chicago who'd come through the Grand Tetans and spoke highly of the experience. I'll have to see if I can make it there while I'm in the area. Yosemite was beautiful and I was still feeling very lax about time. Perhaps because Yosemite was the only park today and the rest of the day would be back in Nevada headed to Oregon. I parked the bike to have my lunch on the side of a stream and took some photos.
From there I was back on the road to Nevada and was markedly sad that I'd spend another day passing through so much desert. It's beauty has been outdone by it's apparent lifelessness from the saddle. I think I'd have an accident trying to pull over for pictures if I actually saw life there. Not happening at 75 mph.
Interestingly, Fallon, Nevada is 'the oasis of Nevada' and might as well have been Maryland. I don't understand the hows and whys, but it was a nice break.
I rode for another couple of hours stopping for gas at each town, which today were about 1 hour apart. There were more possible stops today, but that was a good distance for gas and for water breaks. I could only go about an hour before needing to soak down again to beat the heat. I wasn't feeling well today anyway (unrelated to riding) and it made everything a bit harder. I was reminded again that you'd better be ready when you head out here...
NO GAS FOR YOU!
And, not for the first time, I passed a sign warning drivers not to pick up hitchhikers in the area. No, really! The first was in New Mexico in the middle of nowhere.
At Winnemucca, Nevada, I'd planned to stop for gas, but decided that I'd quite had it for the day and 12 hours on the road, even with Yosemite's rest in there, was a respectable day and I needed a break. Plus, I needed to change the oil in the bike and wasn't gonna want to get back on the road after that. The guys at Auto Zone where I changed the oil were great and I was thankful that they made my life so easy.
The next morning I hurried to get out of there for John Day, Oregon (6 hours) with hopes to make Walla Walla, Washington (4 more hours) before the Whitman Mission closed. So, skipping the shower, I packed the bike, grabbed a banana and was on my way...