Day 5 – January 18th 2015
0345 – I hear yelling, screaming outside my room. Oh wait….back up.
I had a really hard time finding a room in and around the Modesto, CA area because of a youngster soccer tournament. HUGE one at that. So, I rode to this town called Ceres. I think it was. Got a cheap room at the Howard Johnson’s. How bad could it be? I should have left once the overwhelming smell of bleach almost knocked me out but I was bagged and turned on all the fans that I could and kept the door ajar for as long as I could. I thought was there a murder in this room? JK. I would not sleep in the bed I used my sleeping bag and my own pillow and don’t get me started on the shower.
I also got bit by what I think was a spider. My right temple had this huge bump, it was throbbing and felt like my temple was burning. Then later on in the day I felt such pressure around my eye socket and temple and there was a hole in the centre with a red ring.
When I met up with a friend who I met while I rode x country in 2014 he agreed, SPIDER bite. Ouch, that sucker got me real good. Anyway, that’s nothing compared to my wake up call.
After I hear all the Spanish-speaking yelling I had to go look. Went outside and saw a bunch of guys and gals, wasted and initially just seemed like a guy and girl were fighting. So, I went back in. Then I hear LOUDER yelling. Poke my head out again, now it’s about 0400 and things went nuts. I guy put his foot through the upper balcony room window, a girl was yelling something in Spanish as if she was sticking up for whomever was in that room. I got the manager up, told him to call the police and ambulance. I had a feeling someone was getting hurt and I was correct.
Saw a bunch get into this silver old Grand Am, got the plate number and 6 jumped into the car after whatever they did was done in the room and sped off. Then these two dudes come out of the room, dragged themselves down the stairs and both were bleeding all over. One had a slice to his chest, foot and head. The other was bleeding from his hand and gut. He asked me for my phone I said the manager called the cops and ambulance. He was like “NO NO NO cops I need to call my friend”. I said no way dude the cops…and low and behold three cop cars showed up before I could finish my sentence. The guys were quickly taken by the Police and one came to me. Told him what I saw, gave him the plate number and my cell and I said if you need anything else I will be packing up my bike and leaving ASAP. He never did question me more, I must have missed the ambulances while packing and I was out of there by 0530. Needless to say not a great nights sleep!
I so needed a coffee so I stopped off at Starbucks. How appropriate eh? BMW and Starbucks…😍 There were some highway Patrol guys there and I had to park right next to one of their cars. So, NO ticket just a photo-op.
Every morning starts off with some fog. Some days more dense than others. Good thing it’s not that cold or this would be freezing my shield. Seems to burn off as the day progresses and if I am not in a valley area. I am very pleased with the Amber covers I got for my AUX lights. They really make my bike stand out which is such a good feeling that I am being seen from the rear and front.
It’s orange picking season. Seems so weird…it’s chilly out and time for OJ. Between the vineyards and OJ crops this area of California seems to be thriving.
I took a bunch of back roads to Three Rivers to meet my friend Paul. I was supposed to get there early so we could go play in the dirt like we did back last June 2014 in Montana. But…..well…while I was enjoying the terrain changing I had no idea that my bike would get that dreaded EWS code after I filled up with gas in Three Rivers and our dirty day turned into maintenance day.
As I got closer to Three Rivers, never heard of this town before until this trip…the sun poked its yellow head out and my visibility was perfect. Got warmer too.
What a great road leading into this little town that is the gateway to the Sequoia National Park. I have heard of this park before but never have been there…now that was a great way to end a long day full of weirdness and battery issues.
Back to my bike not starting. I pulled up to a Chevron Station and I saw Paul on his red Beemer. I pulled in, he left looking for me lol and then he finally realized I was getting gas. Long story short, I went to start my bike and it was dead, yet I got the EWS code and seemed like I had power from the battery. This has happened before. I would let it sit for an hour and it would start. Not this time. So, Paul and his brother Dave both decided it was my battery. Me, being the traveler could not let this slide without trying to get a new one. Paul and Dave were very understanding that the dirt would not happen and Paul and I rode after we jumped my bike to Cycle Gear and got my new battery and I bought better jumping cables and light weight gloves that I forgot at home.
Paul taught me how to change out the battery. I have never had to get a new battery before but he was a good teacher for the future and me. I am not a techie when it comes to my bike but I am learning as I go.
No Lithium in stock and this was cheap. $89
This took quite awhile and we had to eat. Paul insisted I go see the General at least and he said I could do it even on lack of sleep. I am so glad that he insisted and I could make it. I was tired but that road up the mountains, 8000 feet woke me up. Hairpins galore. Tiring hairpins and on the way up we had a lot of space between us and the cars. On the way down was another story….dark and traffic.
Late start was because of my battery.
What a cool park and the mountain road is beautiful and the retaining walls impressive. But the Sequoia trees? WOW.
This is General Sherman…the LARGEST tree in the world
I was lying on the ground trying to get a better shot
I really wish I could add more video clips but the WIFI sucks. I will add them later.
Paul gave me a souvenir…Sequoia pine cone. So small for such a HUGE species.
We walked around for a bit and tried to beat the crowd that were just about to head down the road. We were not so lucky as we were coming up. Ended our ride with a beautiful sunset and in traffic. Still…such a great way to end a day that started out so poorly.
Mines BIGGER Paul. 😵
Day 6 was decent as well…I will get to that another night…I am beat. I have gone about 3800 KM’s so far and have about another 5000 if I make it to NY. Pace myself!