Early to rise

It’s cool and dark, with mist on the bike, but I know that won’t last long. I push out to the street, away from the sleeping guests. There are some morons who would start up and rev the shit out of their engines next to the rooms, but not me. I’ve learned to be respectful. You never know when someone might recognize you by the side of the road and try to chase you into a ditch.

After a brief engine warm-up I’m off once again at oh-dark-thirty. Believe me when I say I’m a little stiff this morning. The stiffness will work itself out farther up the road, but I’m glad I still work out with weights, otherwise it would probably be a lot worse.

I’m on new pavement now, with lots of sunshine to show me the way. I don’t see any construction, although there are signs that there had been in the weeks and months earlier. So much for checking road conditions in a bar. I wonder how often that bar girl travels north on this road to Reno. Probably not often, which seems to be the case for most people. They’re not travelers.

I’m settled in now, and the miles are piling up. The road is good, the weather clear, the day warm. What more could there be to life on this day?

First comes Carson City. I stop for breakfast at an empty restaurant, answer the questions put to me by the waitress when she sees my map, and wonder why the place is empty. Will I pay farther down the road? No, she says. It’s just a slow morning. Oh good!

Reno flies by faster than I had thought it would. For some reason I thought Reno was larger than it actually is. Why? I don’t know. I’m glad I’m not stopping though. For a gambling city in Nevada, it doesn’t look too healthy in the economic sense.

At Susanville I head west on 44. Although I’m not close to the jail, I wave anyway. It’s a minimum security place, but that doesn’t matter. I’m glad I’m not there.

At the junction with 89, it’s north again, and I sail into Mt. Shasta on Interstate 5 for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Damn I wish all Mexican restaurants could be this good! Who would have thought in the middle of nowhere there would be a meal like no other? And Mexican at that!

Just a little farther north on the 5 and I’m turning off onto 97 for Klamath Falls. It’s hotter than a pig, and I’m tired. I stop for gas, park in the shade, drink some water, take a break. I look around and spot a movie theater and contemplate sitting in on a matinee for a couple of hours in air-conditioned splendor, but change my mind. It’s late, and I don’t want to ride 97 in the dark into Bend.

It hasn’t gotten any cooler up here, even with the elevation changes. That surprises me.

It’s almost dark. Bend is a welcome sight. I find a room, take a shower, and walk over to a peeler bar that I spotted on the way in.

No Canadian girls dancing here, but there’s one or two that look pretty good in the dim light. Not bad for Bend.

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