I was unprepared for the breathtaking views on US395 east of the Sierra's. It looked like a lower elevation route to travel north but what I didn't realize was the towering mountains, some over 12000 ft, were mere miles from my vantage at 3000ft above sea level. The weather was cooler here and a southerly tailwind helped propel me up some otherwise challenging hills. It also gave me 120-140mpg at the fuel pump!
There were many lakes along the way and more dry lake beds, areas where drilling, drought and irrigation projects have combined to turn valuable lakes into dustbowls. I wanted to stop at every overlook and turn to absorb the landscape.
Camping not far from Mammoth Lakes at over 7000ft, I was quite surprised by the ferocity and suddenness of wind gusts overnight. Rain turned to sleet as the wind howled and cracked the leafless aspens above. Water dribbled into the tent and I had to secure my hammock tarp to make up for it. Rain and sleet up to 8160 ft in the morning and then a clearing afternoon with stupendous vista's and fall colors. I wound up passing Reno then onward up toward Doyle where some BLM land offered free camping. The wind was severe when stopped and I knew camping in the open would be miserable. Just then, a town park and recreational bathroom complex appeared on the left. The sun set and I tucked the bike away behind the building and slept inside. Overnight the wind ripped at loose metal on the building and signs outside let out a twang in the 45mph gusts. I was happy to have been indoors after a whole day of riding in the wind.
Today, now finally up to date, it hasn't reached over 50 and the wind is howling 25-30 from the south. It's good when I'm moving but stopping is a cool pain without much for shelter. In a section of "No Services for 70 Miles" I stopped in to a closed grocery store for a coffee and break from the wind. The red bandana tied to the neck of the mounted deer head caught my attention.
Rain showers parade across the expansive valleys in the Lassen and Modoc National Forests and I time myself between the downpours at 30mph and follow the gap in the storm up to Altura. It's nice to rest for an hour in the library and finally feel my toes again. The wind really takes it out of me and I'm looking forward to finding a sheltered spot to camp tonight. Miles to go before I sleep.
In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 69'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.