The Long Haul Home



Today was the pinnacle day of the trip. It’s odd that the day home would be such an event, but for me it was. I’d been a bit nervous on doing 500 miles in one day as the max I’d done was 400. In that day I was exhausted and this was 100 more.

Death Valley 2008 - 1

In usual Patrick fashion it was an early morning. Kickstands up at 05:59am. We were rolling before the sun was up. The electric gear was in full capacity: jacket, gloves, and socks as the air was crisp (29 F).

Riding through the park was really cool. You could see the sunrise in the rear view mirrors. In those few minutes I got to take in the expanse of nothingness that comes in the desert. It was so quiet and so empty.

Death Valley 2008 - 3

We had breakfast at the Ridgecrest Denny’s. From here it was familiar territory home, some 350 miles. The miles to Bakersfield flowed easily and were through town well before lunch.

I split off from the group to take Interstate 5 North for me to get some more freeway miles under my belt. I had lunch in Kettleman City at Taco Bell with the rest of California. The line was out the door, it was loud, and I spilled root beer all over the floor. Not exactly the rest in rest stop.

Death Valley 2008 - 4

The 140 miles up the freeway was the hardest part of the ride. Cars and trucks have wakes in the air much like boats do in the water. I had rough seas the whole way.

Death Valley 2008 - 5

I had a quick gas stop at 152 and 5: Sub 100 miles. I rolled into the bay area with ease. Seeing the Mtn View sign was a welcome sight.

Death Valley 2008 - 6

500 miles behind us and bike in garage, I celebrated! Now where else can we go that’s 501 miles away? “:-)”


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