Day 3 - Lone Pine to Dixon

Good News Folks!!  I'm not a fowl after all.  Slept in until 6:30 this morning.  Feeling great now, jet lag finished with.

Jack knocked on our door at 6:45 while we were still getting ready.  I think he had been for some time.  We went to the servo across the road to check the tyres of the GoldWings.  Mine were down a few pounds, probably not even worried about by the rental company.  Here's something different, air aint free!  Got to pay for everything in this country.  Three quarters (fancy having a 25c coin) gets you three minutes of all the air you can get - in three minutes.  Everything fine and off we went.  Don't forget to drive on the right!  OK!

A long straight road north to Bishop, where we had intended to stay.  There was a big horsey type carnival going on so it looks like we made a good decision yesterday.  We stopped for breakfast at a place called Jack's.  Jack thought it was a good idea.  Nice brekky.  Yep.  Big.  Lots of coffee top-ups was good.  We got out Jack's computer to decide on a route for the day and the waitress got into the act with her and Jack discussing road numbers.  All the roads are numbered rather than named.  Don't know how they remember it all but the two of them worked out where to go.  Charleen and I lost the conversation in short time.

Back on the road and we started to climb.  We started out at 3000 feet above sea level but very soon were at 6000 and still going up.  Before the morning was out we were travelling at an average of 7000 with the occasional 8000 feet hill.  They put up a roadside sign at every thousand foot level.  When you consider that Mt Kosciuszko, Australia's highest point, is at 7310ft, we were higher than we had ever been before.  And we were travelling beside the Sierras which were much higher than we were on the road.  Some were above 13,000 ft.  This is something Charleen and I have never seen before so we were having a great ride with the scenery, while Jack was getting bored. 

He wanted some curves.  We had a Lexus chase us down one hillside which was fun.  Eventually we came to our turn-off to Lake Tahoe and we chased a Subaru Outback up the Sierra Range.  That was a bit disappointing as he was a little slow and refused to pull in to several turn-outs along the road.  Subaru drivers just aren't what they used to be.  Speaking of Subarus, there are heaps of them here.  Mostly Outbacks with a few WRXs and very few Foresters.

Anyway, we got to Lake Tahoe South.  A collection of HUGE multi-story hotels and casinos.  We were in Nevada.  The place was buzzing for the holiday weekend with traffic rivalling the Gold Coast at Christmas.  We stopped in at a gas station for a drink and sat on the grass under a shady tree.  We saw our first squirrel.  Small and grey with a huge tail.  How cute.

The plan after here was to take highway 50 which is a many-cornered run down the mountains towards Sacramento.  Great idea, but we didn't count on the holiday traffic.  I mentioned it was busy, well the road into the town was chockers as well.  We passed about 5 miles of crawling traffic, then there was a constant whoosh whoosh of passing cars for the rest of the way until we got to Placerville, 60 miles away where we turned off.  By the time all those cars get into Tahoe is it gonna be packed!  Glad we were going the other way.

At Placerville we turned on to California 49 and had a great 25 mile ride to Auburn with many corners advised at 25mph or less.  Naturally we did more.  A great little run.  But still hot and our temp gauge registered 106F at one stage.  What's that in C?  Dunno - someone google a converter.  Hot is what it is.

We refuelled at a servo called Noisy Nevilles or some such weird name (Later edit: Rowdy Randy's - I kid you not) and the fast-pay pump asked me for a zip code.  It didn't accept 4152 so we had to see the lady inside to do a prior pay.  She wanted to know how many dollars worth of fuel I was going to put in.  How the heck would I know?  So we were able to watch Jack refuelling his and picked a number just above that.  She promised to refund me any surplus.  How strange.  Nice lady though and wanted to know how we rode a GoldWing from Australia.  She had ridden a Harley Sportster to Sturgis and that had shaken her apart (her words not mine).

Back on the road and we made our way back along 49 for a bit to get onto the Interstate 80 and travelled that for quite a while amongst bags and bags of traffic until we got to Dixon where we parted company with our erstwhile guide Jack.  He is off south to stay at his parent's place for a couple of days while we head north and west to the Pacific coast above San Francisco tomorrow.  We will catch up with Jack as well as Deane in a week or so, out in Utah somewhere.  But that is in the future.

Here's some more piccies from my back-seat photographer.

Loading up at our Lone Pine motel

The mountains are spectacular

We saw a herd of Elk

The male stands guard

Small patches of snow up there

Brekky stop

Could you get much more aircon deviced on that roof?

Climbing into the Sierras

House on a rock steady foundation.  How steady are the rocks above?

A great example of a glacial moraine

Lake Topaz near the border of Nevada

Someone told us America doesn't have roundabouts

South Lake Tahoe beach - looks like deco rather than sand


Holiday weekend traffic

The bike sure looks small against those mountains.

Oncoming traffic was banked up for miles

Bridge over American River. 
Old bridge in foreground is a popular swimming spot on a hot day


Chasing Jack - one of my favourite pastimes

A record temp for us on the I-80 through Sacramento

Next Day