Total miles: 324 miles
Estimated travel: 5:15 hours
[Friday - August
21, 2009 ]
At long last, it's all setup and ready to roll. Baby's a little
heavy on the rear side, but once I'm moving, I really don't notice the
weight much. The acceleration is a bit held back but what do you
expect with so much stuff pilled on top.
I get out of Dodge and have to come right back. I forgot my
Camelbak, but I thought it is important enough to make Nu wait another
couple of minutes as I run back into the house. We're starting
off a little late this morning. When we finished the breakfast at
Denny's, it's 10:00am. That's alright, as with last year, we
should be able to plow through the miles.
It's a Friday people! Take it easy. You don't have to run
us over as you're rushing to work. Wait a minute... are you
really in that much of a hurry to get to work? Despite the
desires of a small set of people to turn us into peanut butter, most
cars and trucks are leaving us alone. Most people simply signal
and move on by when they get a glimpse of our load. Some folks
can't help but slow down just a tad to have another gander before they
speed on by.
I don't think it's just me as Nu makes the same comments. You
tend to think that traveling at 60 MPH that it would take a long time
to get anywhere. On the contrary, it seems like we arrive at our
destinations and way points much faster than expected. Is it
because we're less buffeted? Is it because we're relaxing and not
paying attention second by second as to where we're going? I
don't know, but the ride is pleasant, enjoyable, and moving right
along. From Azusa to Kramer junction, there is no stopping in
between. That's a good 96 miles. The only reason why we
stop is so we can fill up with the Astro Burger shakes and grab a
little something to eat. I order their yummy Gyro and Nu had a
chili no cheese dog. Without describing more than what is
necessary, it appears that drink milk shakes helps us with acclimating
to Mammoth's high altitude. As a result, we make it a tradition
to stop at the Astro Burger every time we head to Mammoth Lakes.
Our favorite food stop at Kramer junction.
Family owned and has been around for at least 20 years.
Once again we're off. Man it's hot. Again we're riding in
desert temperatures. The bike is showing temps up to 107F.
The lowest we get is 102F. It's a hair drier folks.
Johannesburg, and Ridgecrest passes on by. Our next stop is
Pearsonville to fuel up the bikes and to activate the cool vests.
Most likely the temps aren't going to drop any lower until we reach the
high altitudes of Mammoth Lakes. 158 miles and 2.6 gallons.
Nu only puts in 2.3 gallons. That equates to 60 MPG for the 8GS,
and 69 MPG for Nu's 650GS. Insane. I can't complain.
It makes for a really cheap trip in terms of fuel.
Once more we're off. This time around the 104F temps doesn't seem
to be so bad. In fact, it's a little on the cold side. The
cool vest is doing too good of a job cooling me off. I actually
started worrying about hypothermia, but the coldness reduces the
further we go.
All in one shot from Pearsonville: Olancha, Lone Pine, Independence,
Big Pine, Bishop. Not bad, 116 miles in one sitting. Of
course we have to stop at Bishop for some beef jerky. If it
hadn't been of Mahogany Smokes Meats, we would have kept going. A
woman got out of a van and asked us, "Where are you guys going?"
We passed them or they passed us. I don't which is it, but what
ultimately came out of all this is, "I can see all that stuff you have
strapped to your bikes." We informed her that our ultimate
destination is Mammoth and Mono lake.
No more cowboy jerky?! What? No way! You got it
folks, our wonderful FDA has mandated that all jerky meats are to be
smoked at a much much longer duration. As a result the clerk at
MSM told me that they don't produce cowboy jerky any more. If
they did, the jerky would be better used to break rocks instead of
being eaten. Oh man! Why can't things be left alone.
Why should the big government get involved and ruin our beef
jerky? That's messed up. Can't a man have his beef jerky in
peace? Oh well, spicy beef jerky and teriyaki jerky it is.
Good news? The habanero jerky is still there. Bad
news? My body no longer accept chili acids. Arg! What
has this world come to. I can't even eat habanero jerky without
my own body rejecting me. Ugh. Mild jerky it is. Such
is the price to pay for age/wisdom.
Once again illegally parked at Mahogany Smoked Meats.
Funny thing is everybody else followed suit.
Up towards Mammoth Lakes we go. I only hope it's cooler than down
here. If it's 101 at Bishop, perhaps it's in the mid to high 80's
What a wind. We're being knocked back a forth like rag
dolls. Fortunately, we're weighed down enough that it's still
manageable. An RV passes us. We'll see him soon enough up
the grade to Mammoth. Most cars can't manage anything more than
55-60 up this stretch. There he is and there he goes.
What's this? It looks like the 395 is being repaved. I
don't remember this stretch of the Hwy being that bad off, but I guess
the state thinks it's due. Unfortunately this also means the road
is narrowed down to two lanes. We get stuck behind a big
rig hauling cars, but it all clears up soon enough.
It's starting to get dark. The mountains are cause a premature
sunset. Where are we going to stay for the night? We tried
the campsite near Inyo Crater, but it's already occupied by a big
RV. Oh well, there are two other choices. We can go to Lake
Mary or head towards the Mammoth Resort. I don't care much for
the resort so we try our luck at Lake Mary. As we near the lake,
a bear cub dashes across the street. I guess I can't say that I
don't see wild animals in Mammoth any more. This is a first more
me after so many years visiting Mammoth. If there is a bear cub
running around, that means the mother is not too far behind.
Thank god I have a motorcycle and can out run an adult bear (e.g. bears
are known to be able to sprint at 33 MPH). This is all the signs
that we should be really careful with our food. Regardless of
whether the food is vacuum sealed or otherwise, it needs to be locked
up. Unfortunately, I don't have a bear proof container. I
question the validity of using our panniers as bear proof
containers. I know the panniers are air tight but I don't think
it can withstand the forces of a bear. We ride around a bit and
find the camping area entrance. Luck for us there is an open
spot. After polling the campers that are already here, we find
the right person to pay the camping fees. $21 later spot 47 is
ours for the night. This site is a pretty nice facility.
This is my first time camping at Mammoth. Most of the times we
stay at a hotel or a condo in town. As expected the campsite
manager tells us to put all of our food into the food locker.
Good there are lockers at the campsites. We don't have to supply
our own. All trash have to be dispensed of in the bear proof
dumpster. No trash should go into the food locker. The good
news is the bears are interested in the food only. They don't
care much for us. I was advised to also put away toothpaste and
lotion. Especially the lotion that have fruit smells. I
don't have lotion that smells like fruit. For that fact, I don't
have lotion period. For the sake of our safety, we locked up
everything that we think the bears might be interested in.
By about 10:00pm, we've finished with the tents and are finishing up
the last bit of lasagna. Pretty good for rehydrated camp
food. It's been a while since I've had this stuff and I'm
reminded how good camp food can taste. It's actually better than
MREs. It's sad but good at the same time. I'm able to get
cell phone signal at this campsite and report home. All is well
and we're ready crash for the night.
Day 2 - Gasoline and Pumice (Respect the
Pumice! Respect it!)
Day 3 - All that is needed to get back
Written on: August 24, 2009
Last modified: August 25, 2009