Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We came home on the 10th of May

Quite a bit of snow out there
Snow is sticking to the windshield and our one bent wiper isn't helping

Monday the 10th of May we woke up to sunshine at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden NV. Since we were out of good breakfast food, we went over to the casino cafe for breakfast. The decision of the day was when to try to go home.
It looked like the storm hanging over the peaks would last too long into Tuesday, so we decided to try to beat the storm home. We encountered a fair amount of wind going up 395, but only traces of snowflakes before we turned up 80 and headed for home.
We had to beat the chain control as our small RV has neither 4 wheel drive or snow tires and we were carrying no chains.
It was snowing quite a bit but not sticking to the road as we came through the Agricultural check point and Wm asked about chain control. No, not yet we were told. So on we went as the snow was sticking more to the road side and trees.
Then the traffic slowed to a crawl and what's that--Chain Monkeys. And the sign vehicles must have chains or 4 wheel drive and snow tires. We keep on going. All there is on the road is a bit of slush.
Finally we get to the guy who can wave us on or send us off. He says 4 wheel drive right? Wm slightly nods and we are waved on. Well we are a heavy looking vehicle and our tires are large and heavy looking. So on we go. Wm is an experienced snow driver and there is still only a bit of slush on the road. Wm says we would slide if we don't go slow or brake suddenly. So we keep it under 40. Unlike some maniacs who blow past us. We see one later with a crushed front end.
It's a slow trip over the mountain and we keep on going past the highway 20 exit. Too much snow for that winding road. We take 174 where the road is only damp.
Later on we hear that the summit got 5-10 inches. We never saw more than 3. We could not have faked our way through 5-10 inches. So we got home by 2PM yesterday.
Wm said he felt a bit anxious about the whole adventure, but he looked cool to me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Heading Home from the Gila

William catches me at Catalina
Catalina Sunset
Tecopa Sunset

After our extra day of rest at Silver City we headed off to Arizona to see friends in Tucson. Catalina State Park was one of the ones not originally scheduled to be closed. Nice park with quite a few people camped right at the edge of Tuscon.
Chuck and Kathe came out to pick us up and we went out for a very nice lunch at a restaurant which did not mind that we stayed there all afternoon and refilled our glasses numerous times. We had a great time catching up and they promise to come up to Nevada City in October.
On Thursday we headed out to another favorite haunt, Tecopa Hot Springs. William thought that a gray, other road, on the map would be a good shortcut from highway 15 to Tecopa.
So at Valley Wells we took what is labeled as Kingston Rd on the map. Although the road started out as a paved 2 lane road there was no road sign on the road when we started out. Some 20 miles along the road split and we took Excelsior Mine Road. The road was now one lane semi paved with large non paved areas. But we were committed and continued on. In another 20 miles the road was not paved and the only thing that saved us was the fact that the RV has a high clearance. This was almost a 4 wheel drive road and for us was a 5 mph road at times as we went up and down past old mines. I was semi cheered by the recent tracks on the road, but was sure that they were all pickups. If we were not passing old abandoned mines, we were stared at by long horn cows and their calves. After we got over Tecopa Pass after the Smith Talc Road and onto Furnace Creek Road and the road had improved to regular dirt not a mess of lumpy, bumpy 2 ruts that seemed to be a road, we passed a small school bus that had recently broken down. The road was paved as we passed the road to China Ranch Date Farm and headed on to the hot springs. I had entertained Wm on the way with my idea for importing some Afghanistan refugees and setting them up in this forsaken area. Nuevo Afghanistan could be a great tourist stop. I had lots of ideas about how this could work.
But we arrived at Tecopa and it was time to soak. As this is a no clothing hot springs, the men and women are separate. On Thursday there was no one but me in the women's side, but on Friday, I had a fair amount of company. One older woman from Trona shared a lot about Susie's Whorehouse in Pahrump. She said it is a great place to eat and the tours are very informative. The girls give the tours, show you the special rooms and you learn about the girls and even about the rates. Wm says Pahrump is on his list to visit someday. With me.
After a drive through Death Valley we are here at Boulder Creek RV Resort just outside of Lone Pine.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Gila is over

Jon riding in the crit
Greg happy with his second in the crit and thinking of a podium in the overall
Jon Baker and Zach Davies after the crit in front of Lance's hide out RV.

The blowing dust and heavy wind got to my sinuses and I barely made it around for the crit yesterday. Our cat 2, Greg Krause, got 2nd in the crit and was looking for an overall podium after the Gila Monster stage. Jon rolled along in the back for most of the race to save energy then moved up at the end to finish midpack.
William wanted to leave me behind today. But I knew 2 stooges are better than one. On the way out I yelled javelina. We stopped and 7 javelina's, big to small, trotted across the road in the Mimbres Valley.
We just got out to the first feed zone on the continental divide and Wm had to answer a call of nature. Then I heard that the Pro 1 Men were coming early, 10 minutes early. I called but he was too far away. The break passed and I called again. This time he heard me and started to run back. The other feed zone people just cracked up. We made it for the pass to Jon. Zach and Chuck were midpack and got neutral feeds. We waited a while for Joe. But he was a no show.
So off to the second feed zone. Up at the top I saw a rider stopped at the side and yelled Chuck. We stopped and gave him a water bottle. He was dropping out and would head to Pinos Altos. At the second feed zone we fed Jon and Zach, then headed back to Silver City to check if anyone had driven the little red car up to Pinos Altos. It was gone, so up to Pinos Altos and a fierce traffic jam. We parked at the end of a dirt road in a pile of dog poo and William got out to walk into town and look for the boys. Jon and Chuck showed up wrapped in blankets. Chuck said he would sell his on Ebay as a blanket that Lance Armstrong might have used at the Tour of the Gila. Jon had finished only a bit more than 1/2 a minute behind Armstrong and Landis.
But then the best news of the day. Greg Krause won the cat 2 stage and when they counted up the minutes the whole race for the cat 2's. He was really the hero of the day with a really substantial cash prize. Chuck said maybe he would be so excited that he would just drive straight through to Boulder.
So goodbye to the boys until the Tour de Nez and the Nevada City Classic.