Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Reno Nevada to Coos Bay Oregon

During the night, someone stole Sherm’s mug from the holder on his handlebars. We had a discussion about what motivates people to do things like this but the bottom line was that Sherm would not be able to drink coffee or water while riding for the last leg of his journey.

The mighty Atlantis Casino did not have any coffee we could find anyway, so we checked out and headed north on I-395 towards Susanville California. At the Nevada California border, we stopped at Bordertown, a small, quiet casino and restaurant for breakfast. It was a good one. After we were fed and (more important) caffeined, we bid Steve farewell since he would be turning north towards Alturas before our next gas stop. We rolled north and, as planned, he turned off just before we stopped for fuel in Susanville.

After Susanville, we headed across northern California towards Mount Shasta on beautiful two-lane roads. There were redwoods and meadows, hills and curves. It was a thoroughly enjoyable ride. Sherm and I kept up a continuous conversation on our CB radios as we went, solving most of the problems of the world. Near Mount Shasta, which was ringed by clouds, we turned north on I-5 and rode until we were across the Oregon border where we stopped for fuel.

As we got back on I-5, Sherm radioed and said his speedometer had stopped working so I pulled off at the next exit and he led back roads into Medford. From behind I could see his taillights were out as well so we figured he had blown a fuse. We stopped at a Jack-In-The Box and found, sure enough, the taillight fuse was toast. After replacing it and blowing the new one at once, he disconnected the trailer and the next one was OK. Good that the short was isolated somewhere in the trailer wiring so he left it disconnected and I went second to provide signal lights for the cars behind us.

We ran up over a series of summits on I-5. At the last one, Canyon Creek Pass, I commented on how it was less dramatic than the others. Little did I know. We were coming downgrade with concrete center barricades and Sherm ahead of me just out of sight in a left hand curve. I was passing a logging truck when I came around the bend and saw a sea of stopped brake lights. I had a quick glimpse of Sherm going to the right shoulder as I grabbed all the ABS brakes I had and looked for a gap. Since I was in the left lane and could see an RV locking up behind me, I squeezed up against the left barricade and tried to get out of the line of fire. The ABS performed flawlessly and I stopped sort of the car ahead while the RV driver ended up slightly right of me. As we moved through the stopped traffic to join Sherm, the logging truck driver looked out and said “Close one”. It seems that a lane reduction had backed up farther than they expected.

Pleased that we had avoided certain disaster, we headed a little further north and then took another excellent two-lane road that led us to Coos Bay. Finally we were at Chez Acord where we met Pat and the “girls”. Pat is a very nice lady and they put us up in their 5th wheel, which had been moved into their driveway for the occasion. Pat made a very tasty supper and we retired relatively early.

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