back to Death Valley
February 13, 2005
Back to day two....
Another early morning, but this time, Peter wasn't feeling very
He ate half of
his breakfast and proclaimed himself fine for the return trip, so we
packed up and headed back out of the park on Hwy 190.
my first time actually seeing Hwy 190 west of Stovepipe Wells --
I've always ridden in after dark and then left via Nevada! I
made Peter ride in front so that I could get some "riding"
It got pretty cold and foggy as
we left the park. We stopped for gas at Olancha again, and Peter
wandered inside the gas station to warm his hands for a while (I was a
good girlfriend and didn't mention that the dork OWNS heated
My shoulder started really hurting at
the end of Hwy 14. I injured it a long time ago, knocking a vertebrae
out of alignment; it likes to act up at really convenient times, like,
y'know, 300 miles away from home. I spent most of the way into
Tehachapi crying inside my helmet and clenching my jaw from the
By all accounts, I should really hate Tehachapi. I've
come through a few times and been way too warm; I've come through
and been way too cold. Last time we were here, Peter ran out of gas.
Today was the agonizing shoulder pain. Once I sat in the Chevron
parking lot trying to force down a couple of saltines and Gatorade
through stomach cramps. But the truth is, I've always liked
Tehachapi. I guess repression is really the key to successful
We ate lunch at the Cattleman's Cafe,
right next to the Chevron station at the first Tehachapi exit (heading
north). It had really good food -- Peter proclaimed the burger to be
the best he's had in a long time and actually filled out a comment
card letting them know.
The trip up I-5 was uneventful other than the usual influx of
moronic drivers. I swear, I-5 is a breeding ground of
We stopped for gas in Panoche, right before getting
off of I-5; I switched my visor to my clear shield. Almost
instantaneously after getting back on the road, it was covered in bugs.
Covered. Could not see. I'd just gotten onto Hwy 152 to head
back over Pacheco Pass, and didn't want to stop, so I was happy
when it drizzled a little bit -- I thought maybe I could use the water
to clear the visor. Well, no -- I only succeeded in smearing bug guts
ALL OVER my visor. Ewwwwwww.
"Gee," I thought, "I wish it'd rain just a little
So it started pouring. POURING. It's now dusk,
we're riding over a two-lane mountain pass with mental wizards who
cannot figure out to turn on their headlights despite (a) dusk and (b)
raining, and it's pouring like nothing else. Oh, and did I mention
it was cold?
I don't have a problem with riding in the
rain, so I'm cruising along Pacheco Pass at like 75mph in the
pouring rain...poor Peter doesn't like doing so (he hates to
ride on wet roads, but I didn't tell you that), but he was doing a
superdooper job. I was so proud of him!
We crossed the pass
and made it to Hwy 101 -- the main superslab that takes us home -- just
as it became completely dark. I'm happy to announce that the
Nikwax on my jacket did its job, and I had nary a wet spot at all even
after 100 miles of deluge.
So that was our trip. Peter was
a remarkably good sport through getting up early, running out of gas,
freezing, not feeling well, and riding in the rain.
Though he did
sort of get a look of terror when I asked where we were going next....
Here's a map of our
Trip stats (aka "gotta love the GPS"):
- 1233 miles
- My max speed: 109mph (hey, it's the
- Moving average: 65mph
- Moving time: 18 hours,