After our brief visit to the Pacific, we headed east on rural roads which was very pleasant as we had very little traffic to deal with. California Hiway 58 was particularly fun with a lot of twists and turns and then roller coaster hills and valleys. Whee! I love it when you feel like you're catching air off the top of rise as you enter the downside. Good fun!
When I think of CA Hiway 58, I usually think of the slog across the Mojave and it really isn't very interesting until you get to Tehachapi. But the western side of CA Hiway 58 is fabulous!!!
We took a little break here - the middle of nowhere on CA Hiway 58 where there is a humongous solar ranch.
So, after lunch, we bundled up again and headed out into the thick fog that now had freezing ice pellets pounding down. It was nerve wracking! My new LS2 Metro helmet has it's own proprietary pinlock type shield. It was a piece of shit and didn't work at all. That meant, I had to leave my visor up most of the way just to see. GACK! Fog, freezing ice balls, bad traffic. This part was NOT fun. I was thankful when we got over the summit and started heading down into the Mojave and the weather improved greatly. I was also thankful for my heated pants, jacket and grips!
We were moving along quite nicely heading to Barstow when about 15 miles out of town, traffic came to a standstill. Both lanes. No movement. Then we got to move like one car length, then another, then another. Eric suggested we lane split. Ummmm, no thanks, not with the Beastie Bike and her big hips. Besides, I've never really done it before and just the thought intimidated me. (Actually, during the 2011 Iron Butt Rally, I did lane split in Pennsylvania on route to the checkpoint in Buffalo). We even had a dude driving a motorhome tell us it was okay for us to lane split in California. That was nice!
After several miles of this stop and go, the highway merged from two lanes to one lane and everything just became that much more congested. We were getting some serious slow riding skill training! Eric started to look for alternative routes on his GPS which pretty much meant off pavement. I wasn't too sure about that. I was tired and really didn't want to go exploring. I was ready for my cocktail and a hotel room. The motorhome guy told us traffic was clearing up about 5 miles up the road at the intersection of Hiway 58 and Hiway 395, so we just stuck it out. It took a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG time to get to Barstow.
Although our route today was just over 300 miles it took us hours and hours and hours because of the traffic jam. This meant it was dark when we got to Barstow. Ever since I had Lasik eye surgery, my night vision sucks and I was having a tough time merging onto the Interstate with all the traffic and brake lights and stop and go on the Interstate! Yuck! We took the first exit into Barstow, pulled over at a Chevron station, refueled the bikes and parked while we searched for a hotel.
The Super 8 where we had stayed a few days prior was already booked up. Too bad, because it was a decent room, spacious and clean. Eric was able to book us a cheap room at the Days Inn. I've found that just like Super 8, it can either be a gem or a shady place. Unfortunately, this Days Inn was on the shady side. No, really it was awful, tiny room and filthy. Gross. Yuck. Do Not Stay here, ever! Don't let the somewhat tidy exterior fool you. This is a nasty place. Oh well, I was happy we were parked for the night and I could finally have my cocktail and relax.
The next morning dawned with blue skies and more chill. I snapped a few photos before we departed again wrapped up in all our heated gear.
Now, the Beastie Bike has about 13,500 miles and is overdue for the 12,000 mile service. I have an appointment for next week down in Las Vegas. We'll see how that goes.....
Thanks for following along. It was nice to take a little trip in the middle of winter. We have a Baja California, Mexico trip planned next month so stay tuned!