Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vision Quest: Day one

This was the epic drive day, hours of sitting and increasing the size of our collective carbon footprint.  In total, we spent about 8 hours motoring up the eastern edge of California.  The main compensations are the amazing views: The Mojave desert and Joshua trees give way to sage brush and pine forests up high.  Mt. Whitney, Lone Pine, Mammoth, Dead Man's, Devil's Gate, Conway, Bridgeport, towns, passes and mountains for a lifetime rolled by, or rather we rolled by them.

This photo from a tour several years ago--much drier this year!
Finally, in the early evening, we arrived in Susanville, probably the largest town in this corner of California.  With a community college, prison, agriculture, tourism and other industries, Susanville has all the bases covered for a bike touring holiday.  We'd escaped college for a while, hoped to stay out of prison, and had no plans for becoming farmers, so that left tourism--cyclo-tourism of the first order.  But where to leave the faithful Subaru and trailer that carried us and our steeds so far north?  Whilst stewing on this problem, I hit on the idea of using a professional storage business.  We'd be gone for two weeks, give or take, so I wanted the rig secure.  Big Sky Discount Self Storage was the place I called first, and Dani, one of the owners, was amazing.  When I told her what we were up to, she allowed us to park free of charged in her gated, locked storage area.  Thanks, Dani, you're the best!  Just down the road was the RV camp where we spent the night in the area featured in the top photo.  These two establishments are close to a decent pizza joint, a Starbucks for the morning, and a good super market for any last minute supplies.  Perfect!  Also, the storage place and RV campground are on the return route, so excellent there, too.

We quickly packed the bikes, parked the car, and headed for pizza--feta, roasted tomatoes, a short pitcher of Moose Drool ale--damn good chow.  Salad bar, too.  We pitched camp in darkness (don't forget your LED headlamps) and crawled in, anxious for the start the next day. 

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