Day Nineteen and Final Thoughts by Dave Schultheis
Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - Fallon, Nevada
I was awake and got up at 5:40 a.m. Pacific Time. The mattress clearly needed replacement as it was seriously worn on one side. I slept on the other side but kept feeling like I was rolling into a hole. I dressed, packed and loaded the bike, and checked out of the motel at 6:30 a.m. It was cool, although the sun was up, about 54 degrees Farenheit.
By the time you get to Fallon, U.S. 50 is out of the mountains and a less strenous ride, but somewhat more congested by civilization here and there. On the other hand, it's wide and fast in many places, and that is an improvement. I made it 50 miles into Dayton NV, just short of Carson City, for 91 octane fuel at a familiar Union 76 Station, where it was 62 degrees F.
Into Carson City, left (south) on the main drag, where U.S. 50 and U.S. 395 are the same for a while, then west on Hy 50, over Spooner Summit to the most beautiful sight a person could see. Many times from the moment that I saw it that day until the moment I am writing this report, I have thought of how I would describe the beauty that is Lake Tahoe near the end of along trip.
And I still don't quite know how to say it. I wish I had a "guest writer" help me find the words to describe the beautiful blue of the Lake, with the mountains rising to the west, and the feeling it gives me of being close to home.
I still have the picture in my mind's eye and wish I could share it with all; but even a camera could not do it justice; you'll just have to come and see it for yourself some day.
As Hy 50 turns south and goes along the east side of the lake, I got into Zephyr Cove NV, found the post office, and there are still no signs identifying it as the post office, but I know the secret of finding the branch post office that says "Zephyr Cove" in big letters, on NV 207, the Kingsbury Grade, just of Hy 50.
A few minutes later I rolled into the parking lot of The Horizon Casino Resort Hotel in Stateline NV at 8:25 a.m., put my player's card into a couple machines and lost a few dollars, then got back on the road again shortly thereafter.
Moments after leaving the parking lot I crossed back into California where I could share lanes again; and I did, almost immediately, right there in South Lake Tahoe near the turnoff for Pioneer Trail.
I stopped for phone calls; called Dave Clements to brag about my ABCs of Touring photos, tried to reach my South Lake Tahoe friends, then drove by their house, but they were not at home.
Just west of South Lake Tahoe is the community of Myers, where CA 89 peels off Hy 50 and goes over Luther Summit. The road conditions sign said that Hy 89 was open but that Hy 88 would be closed between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for construction near Silver Lake, so my decision was, "Let's go!" I knew I had plenty of time to get there before 11:30 a.m.
There was road work on Hy 89, with "escorted" one-way traffic for a while. At Pickett's Junction I turned west on CA 88, where I soon encountered more road work and "escorted" one-way traffic either two or three more times.
However, I was able to get by the construction at Silver Lake in plenty of time, and there was even more good news, the temperature was warming up as I approached Jackson CA. Over the space of not that many miles it got warm to the point of being hot again. Good ol' California in the summer time!
About 30 miles west of Jackson I stopped in Clements CA at Lay's Restaurant at 5 minutes to noon for a turkey sandwich lunch, then continued into the outskirts of Stockton for 91 octane fuel at an Exxon Station at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
The rest of the trip is mostly perfunctory, I do it on auto-pilot. However, I am always alert up to the time I pull into my own driveway. It's not wise to let your guard down, especially so close to home, because there are idiot drivers everywhere!
You can skip this paragraph if you're not interested in the route: SB CA 99, WB CA4, SB I-5, WB I-205, WB I-580, SB I-680, NB I-280, Meridian, Willow Glen post office, Wolf Camera and Albertson's.
I reached my driveway at 3:20 p.m. Pacific time, where Barney was so happy to see me that he almost wagged his tail off.
Miles for the day = 316. Miles for the trip = 5939.
It was great to meet so many folks and to renew some old acquaintances.
Thanks go to several folks for routing suggestions in the Texas portion of the journey: Odin, Gopher, PocoCJ, RickR, TW and the heekster.
Thanks to my aunt and uncle in east Texas for their hospitality enroute.
Thanks to Tim O'Brien of South Carolina for being such a good co-rider for four days.
Thanks to Roger and Karen Elmore and to Amanda Hargis for working so hard to make their get-togethers so successful.
Thanks to the Hay family on Joplin, MO for their hospitality enroute.