Turn Left for S.America.

6am the garage doors rise to reveal a still unwelcoming darkness.

6.01am I’ve lost Tom.

 As I pull out of the garage, he’s nowhere in sight. Not even a red glimmer from distant tail lights. God this guy rides quickly. So in hot pursuit I race down to the first set of traffic lights. There’s only clear road ahead, no Tom.

The GPS lets me know a call is coming in, but as I’ve not switched on the headset, my shouts of “Tom, Tom, is that you?”, only resound within the confines of my helmet.

 

This is not a good start.

I park up and ring.

 

Tom turned right from our house, rather than left and so, he looped himself round a few roads, to end up back where we’d started.

Once that was sorted out we started the journey again. This is the fourth departure. The official departure from the Tea Festival. The unofficial departure from the Tea Festival, to which we’d returned so that additional footage could be shot and now, two departures from home.

The day which had started inauspiciously, deteriorated further, when the oh too short respite from rain ended and the Gods deluged my gusset area with wetness in abundance. This would be 6:30 ish. It stopped raining at 9am and restarted at 9:16, to last for long enough to become uncomfortable. Tom however was tootling along happily in front, seemingly oblivious. His 650 single was a constant audio accompaniment, so much so I often dropped back, just to clear the air.

 

Oregon offered better climatic conditions, although due to our clever planning, we did manage to avoid every point of interest which this State had to offer, by sticking to the I5 all the way.

We stopped for fuel, we stopped for water, we saw a gas station and a Walgreens. We did have a late lunch in a small town just off the I5, where I tried to convince the staff that if they licked a baby, the flavour would be uncannily similar to Spam…it is, try it yourselves.

California bought warmth and Mt Shasta, as spectacular as I remembered it from my Death Valley trip. Fresh snow had fallen on the summit and the low sun caught it with an irridescence and pink hue, like frosting on a bun.

 

Trudy and Chet were our couch surfing hosts. Me in the main house, Tom in  a rather spledid Yert in the garden, underneath the imposing Mt Shasta.

 

Splendid people. Opening their home to two smelly bike riders that they’d never met before.

Chet will have to add a comment about where we ate, but suffice to say, the “probably the best burger” I had, could well live up to its nomenclature.

 

Tomorrow the ocean.

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