photos from the first leg of my roadtrip


I got a late start on Sunday and made Wendover my first goal.  I still wasn’t exactly sure what sort of milage I would be getting with the windshield installed and the bike weighed down a bunch.  My fuel light came on and I started looking for a place to stop but every exit I passed had a big NO SERVICES sign bolted to the bottom of the sign so I kept riding.  Eventually I ran out of gas and when I tried pouring my two little reserve bottles into the gas tank they ended up spilling all over the place thanks to the ridiculously high desert winds.  I made it another 10-15 miles before..

I ran out of gas again.  I was 20 miles outside of Wendover and luckily still had cell service.  I called AAA and they said it’d take 30 minutes for someone to make it out with some gas.  I kicked back on the side of the road and read some of the Bike Snob book.  A hour later some tow truck showed up, topped off my tank and I was on my way again.

I drove for a few more hours and ended up stopping in Ely, Nevada once the sun and the temperature started to go down.  As I was riding into town I couldn’t help but notice all the billboards for the Hotel Nevada that proudly proclaimed free wi-fi, cheap rooms, attached restaurant, casino and most importantly the bit at the bottom that said BIKER FRIENDLY.  I rode through town past all the typical average bargain hotel chains and ended up outside this place;

It pretty much looked exactly like that when I pulled up.  There were a few Harley baggers parked out front and I parked my lowly jap bike next to them and went inside to check out their rates.  It turns out that the whole ‘BIKER FRIENDLY’ part on the billboards wasn’t bullshit and the discount they offered made their rooms comparable to any other roadside motel I’ve ever stayed at before.  Also Motel 6 doesn’t give you two free drink tickets to their casino bar when you check in, either.

The hotel was pretty nice and I ended up getting some food to eat in my room while I drank a real non-Utah OE and watched a Law & Order marathon on TBS.  After awhile I headed out to cash in my tickets.  Seeing as it was 11:30 on a Sunday night in the middle of Nevada the casino and bar were pretty dead so I decided to pack it in for the night but not before taking a photo of this plaque that was in the bathroom;

Classy.  I woke up pretty early, caught breakfast in the casino restaurant, topped off my tank then hit the road determined to make it to Mammoth before dark.  About two miles outside of town I saw this sign and had to immediately turn around and spend $15 on a jerry can and gas to fill it with;

The next two and a half hours were pretty boring with the slight exception of the twisty section of hills that would pop up periodically.  Once my tank ran dry I pulled over to fill it with the reserve gas I had and took another photo;

The majority of the drive on the 6 was just straight shot desert highways.

Once I hit California I was greeted with this amazing piece of graffiti;

In case you can’t read redneck it says “WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA: Destroyed by illegals & liberals.”  Sometimes when I am about to go to sleep at night I think about the type of person who thought it necessary to pull over and unintelligibly scrawl that on a sign.  Knowing that I’m not a xenophobic redneck living in your average Methburg in Northern California is extremely comforting and generally puts me to sleep with a smile on my face.

The rest of the drive was pretty average.  I was a little bummed that I ended up climbing the hills to the Sierras at the ass-end of a six hour drive because the sun was going down, I was getting cold again and I really just wanted to get off my bike and get something to eat.  The woods surrounding Mono Lake would be really fun to run through on a nice day but I had to power through them so I could make it to Mammoth before it got really dark.

I made it alive, ate some food then went out to the bar to see some friends I haven’t seen in awhile.  I had a beer then headed home to get some sleep before day 1 of Superpark.  More on that later.  I was planning on leaving today for Tahoe but it’s been snowing and windy all day and the prospect of freezing my ass off while being afraid of sliding off the road isn’t too enticing.  The first (and longest) leg of this road trip is over and I’m looking forward to the rest of it.  I’ll leave you with this photo of Joe Carter and his good friend Joe Carter;

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