Sunday, August 8, 2010

Klamath Aug 8

The next morning I got up early and packed up. I wolfed down a couple of Granola bars dipped in peanut butter. Those sit kind of hard, so I felt lucky wasn’t jogging home. Anyway I dialed in Salt Lake City into the GPS and got on the road. It was going to be 660-miles so it should be a good ride. I stopped to fill up at a small town and spent an hour on the phone visiting with my brother about the trip. The next stop was Drews Reservoir for a couple of quick pictures. The neat thing about this drive was there must have been a car show in Klamath Falls cause I met a ton of classic cars on the road all day long. Sorry no pics of the cherry hot rods. I

stopped in Sunnyville for a bite to eat. Then back on the road. Here is where I exited the mountains and entered the desert. After a hour a storm blew up; the high winds of the storm front create a dust storm that blew me all over the Hwy. Next the rain rolled in. I was expecting a hard rain and was surprised by a gentle warm mist. The sun was setting at my back at this same time, which created a cool double rainbow. I pulled off the road and shot a HDR from the shoulder of the road. At dusk I was driving through the Bonnieville Salt Flats. I had no idea that this was right off of I-80. In the twilight I could see a couple of Landsailer ripping around in the desert. I really don’t like to drive at night but I decided to push my luck to see if I could shave a couple of days off my trip. This was a decision that I would rethink later that night. My goal was to get to Salt Lake City or a little farther. I got to Salt Lake and used my GPS to look for a campground. Exploring several options I discovered that all the campgrounds here were for RV camping.

I was waiting on a stoplight at an overpass for I-80. It was about 10:30 and I was realizing that I was going to have to drive another half an hour to find a place to set up camp. Setting up a tent in the dark is without a doubt one of my least favorite parts of camping, only second to weeds that make you itch. While still at the stoplight, mulling over a cheap hotel, the driver of an SUV going the opposite direction decided to turn in front of me. I am not sure what happened to cause this to be a sudden decision, but the vehicle swerved over into my lane and ran over a metal street sign that was in the median between us. At this point the front end of the SUV popped up in the air making me less than comfortable about their ability to control their vehicle. Most importantly I was realizing that I wouldn’t have to set up my tent if I ended up in the hospital. From my perspective the next thing that was going to get run over was me. Watching as the vehicle moved closer, I made a lunged off the bike. Within a foot of hitting my bike they regained control and drove down the on ramp for I-80. I lay on the pavement a couple of feet away from my bike watching them drive off.

Next a teenage boy appeared from behind me and said, “ Are you alright man?” Finishing up the last word of profanity that I knew. I replied “ I'm ok but can you help me get my bike up.” The young kid helped me lift the bike back on to its wheels. I dropped the kickstand and started to realize how that I was shaking. The boy said,” Aren’t you hurt?” “No”, I replied. “He was really close but he never hit me.” The SUV was nowhere to be seen. The boy said ” Well I have to get home, take care.” I thought about calling the police but there wasn’t anything to do and I didn’t feel like standing around while he wrote up the accident report. I needed to find a place to sleep. The bike was still running so I jumped on and turned onto I-80.

Heading East out of Salt Lake City on I-80 at night was totally insane. The interstate twisted and turned and drops a lot. I put another hour and a half ride between Salt Lake City and me. By the time I got to Evanston I had forgotten all about camping and was ready for a bed. I found a Comfort Inn and called it a night.

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