Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oregon to San Francisco

Camping is better than not camping.  Even the worst days camping can be, in many ways, better than a day spent on a couch watching reruns of some reality TV show.  Shows that make you wonder if reality can exist without cameras being present.  It can.
A few minutes before I stopped to take this picture, I came around a blind-corner to find a garbage truck going the other way, apparently late for something.  Very narrow roads!

So I found myself eager to camp, despite the facts.  Facts like (a) it’s March, not June, and (2) I’m in northern California, in the mountains.  The optimist might point out that the campground is empty, no noisy neighbors to listen to till the wee hours.  A feeling of solitude so thick it’s like a blanket of snow.

The Pessimist might point out that the campground is deserted for a reason and the it has snowed enough that the tent collapsed (not pictured). Being there alone, I either had to be both optimistic and pessimistic or pick one.  My tent was half full.

Two nights at each of three different campsites.  Levels of remote-ness ranged from next to lightly used road to completely out of sight in a several miles into a national forest.  

I had planned on spending a couple days riding the Ducati on one of the most spectacular roads in this part of the country.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate.  Saturday morning I woke to find the world turned white; several inches of snow had accumulated overnight.  No motorcycle riding that day.  But worse, the pavement was 3 miles away, so it didn’t look like there would be any van-driving either.  Snowed in, off the map, no cell service… does it get any better?  
This picture is from Saturday morning.  No snow at all Friday when I turned in...

Early afternoon that same day, light snow turned to light rain.  By 4 PM, the snow was melted away almost completely.  I could drive out.  But I didn’t.  Maybe the weather would improve and I could still ride a motorcycle, I thought to myself.  I stayed put, and Sunday morning woke up to find the world turned white.  Snowed in, off the map, no cell service….

This picture is from Sunday morning.  I swear, the snow was almost completely gone when I went to sleep Saturday night...

I know, it doesn't look like a lot of snow.  But the roads were dirt or gravel, and steep, and lots of drop offs. If I tried to get out and ended up in a ditch, it would be very expensive to get out.  If I ended up off a steep drop, it would be catastrophic.  Waiting for better conditions was the prudent option.  Sunday afternoon, the snow turned to rain again, and the snow slowly disappeared again.  This time I made a run for it.  

I’m in the Bay Area, just for a couple days.  As always, balancing “not long enough” with “too long.”  

No comments:

Post a Comment