Sunday, December 1, 2013

Is Rt 395 boring? 217 miles, 11 curves.

I am going to give this Rt the Thumbs-Up for a quality road tour.   For a mid-westerner who has never seen the Rockies, it's a nice introduction and a very relaxing out-there-by-yourself drive.  Today I drove north from Adelanto on Rt 395...  250 miles starting a move to Winters, CA.   395 originates just south of there. so I can say that I drove that previously.   Locally it is just a commuter route from the Victor suburbs to Rt 15, heading south to LA.  A Friend told me that she loved this road.  Cousin said it was boring.   This evening I tried to reassemble 6 hours of video clips... boring...   But the ride was not.

The first 50 miles was straight (well, it's all straight) with local traffic until getting past Barstow
and away from holiday travelers.   Once I was about 100 miles north of there I was usually driving alone and the pavement is in great shape.   Signs start welcoming travels to the Eastern Sierras and the mountains quickly become snow-capped and towering on either side of a wide desert valley.   As I drove further north a few cattle ranches appeared, mostly angus.  I don't know what they feed these guys... they certainly weren't in prime pasture... But they looked beefy and well fed.  The day started at 3,000 ft elevation.  The first sign I saw for elevation was 4,000 and that stayed the same all day.

Death Valley is about 100 miles east of 395.  Will have to keep that in mind as a possible route when eventually heading south.

Not much green grass until way up toward toward Bishop, 200+ miles.   Gas stops are about 50 miles apart and there were NO fast food or franchise hotels until reaching Lone Pine.   That was the first town on Rt 395 and had plenty of local color and tourist appeal.    Being this far away from metros makes a nice drive, all in itself.   

Most of the afternoon I drove alone and often there were no vehicles to be seen on the northbound side.   No tractor trailers at all... perhaps because it's the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.   At one fuel stop I met a group of Harley bikers from Bakersfield.   Otherwise I think I only passed 5 bikes all day.

The drive was helped by favorable weather.   Temps in the low 60's most of the day and calm winds.  I had to stay but no struggling with any highway details.

Bishop is a colorful town with lots of unique shops and the first of the snow ski equipment outlets that I have seen here.   The signs look like ski areas begin here and will continue as I head north toward Tahoe.   The tourist map pegs about 20 tourist destinations from here north, so Sunday should include some stops and photos along the way.   

The video was def boring...  I will eventually post it but there's not much to see.   The helmet cam doesn't do a good job on scenery so it's mostly white lines and fence posts.  The video didn't capture the wind... the smells, the feeling of the pavement.   The looks of the drivers who passed me when there was space.  Didn't show the looks of the drivers who shouldered their way past in double yellows.    I didn't click a single frame with the camera...   This was a day to ignore everything except the wheels...   My plan was to enjoy the ride... and that I did.


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