Jump and the net will appear-Extended Adventure-July15-August 4, 2019

65swb45

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For the seven years Roger and I have played music together at parties, we haven’t had all that much time to get to know each other, since most of the time we were ‘on duty.’ This made the visit all the nicer, as we just got to hang out and finally get to know each other a little. Of course about 8pm the dump truck came out and we performed for the grandkids and the neighbors for about an hour. No pics. Roger and Dottie put me up for the night in their wonderful little motorhome they take out on all their camping trips. I slept well.
 

65swb45

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Day 17: Wednesday July 31st-Gardnerville

After Dottie whipped up a delicious scramble breakfast for all of us, it was time to push off again. Today’s stop wasn’t much further than the day before, as Gardnerville was/is only about 40 miles or so down the road from Reno. The scenery again was spectacular, and knowing I was looking at the eastern side of our very own Sierra Nevadas made it more interesting, as the prospects for exploring are much likelier (especially after talking with @powthief19 about it.)

On the spur of the moment I reached out to @gregnash who I knew was in the area. It didn’t work out, but hey, that’s how spontaneity works. As fate would have it, I got an important call from my son while I was on the road, so I found a nice parking lot to pull over into in Minden and spent the better part of an hour working through a new job prospect with him. Quality dad time.

Grabbed a bite to eat and then headed over to Chris’ place. Map app worked pretty good, other than telling me Palomino was much further up the road than it was. Good thing I was looking at the signs. After that, it lead me right in.

Chris also has a pretty big place, and he arranged to put me up for the night in a retro-cool Airstream behind his workshop.
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Onur

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Solid trip Mark. Glad I was able to provide some impetus for the “house call” idea.

Safe travels man.
 

65swb45

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Chris told me the second workshop, pictured in front of the Airstream was/is his father in laws. Apparently the FIL is also a big-time attendee of Burning Man, as he had an even more elaborate vehicle for getting around.
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Chris was just wrapping up a little work in his home office when I got there, but he was hella game to take the 40 out with me behind the wheel to test drive it. His build was only completed a few months ago.

So I grabbed all my doctors bags and we threw them in the 40 with some :beer: and snacks and headed out. Less than a mile later I stopped the truck and had Chris tighten up the left rear motor mount. A mile or so more and it was time for the right one. ;)Then we two-wheeled up a badly rutted, muddy two track towards Pinenut Mtn.
 

gregnash

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Bummed I missed out on meeting with you guys. Would have loved to see your new toy and hang out and talk cruisers. Maybe even given me some potential pointers for the forthcoming sale of my 60 :(..
 

65swb45

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Once I realized we weren’t going to get up the mountain until sunset, which meant we weren’t going to have dinner until late, I suggested we turn around and head back to the tri-tip.

Dinner was delicious, and we had a little concert afterwards, with some magical intermissions from Chris’ daughter. I especially enjoyed looking at the look on Chris' face during the performance. He has a wonderful family and a great house, and it felt like I was supplying the icing on the cake to a great life. Like all the others I met on this trip, he is a very lucky man.
 
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65swb45

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Day 18; Thursday, August 1st: flying solo again-Buckeye, Bodie and Lundy Lake

As usual, I awoke early, and after getting most of my stuff packed, which included retrieving my tools from Chris' 40, the family woke up and we had breakfast together before I took off. I spent a few minutes with one of Chris' map books because, believe it or not, even though I had brought maps with me for Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada, I had not brought one for California! I had plans to try and find/visit Buckeye Hot Springs, a place a few of my hippie friends had told me about that was near Mono. I had gotten Roger in Reno to make me a photocopy of the particular page in his macbook where the springs were, but the copy was not good. So I used Chris' map as a reference and marked up my photocopy and mentally crossed my fingers that it would be good enough.

Sure enough, as I was coming down the grade towards Bridgeport, I remembered Roger said the turnoff was at the bottom of the grade, and there it was. 10 minutes later I was parked at the top of the overlook, and made my way down a very steep hillside to the hot pools on the side of the river. There were a half dozen people there, hanging out, just enjoying being out of doors.
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I got in a good soak and was back in the truck by 11am, with the aim of making it to the ghost town of Bodie for lunch. Now I have been to Bodie before, and as someone who has spent a considerable amount of time in the last decade working on historic cabins, the fascination just isn't the same for me. I went to Bodie because I'd heard a rumor that a fellow land use enthusiast who was also on the BLM's Desert Advisory Council when I was a member was now working at the park. SO I made the long bouncy drive up the grade, disc brake axle parts bouncing around on the roof rack, and inquired about my colleague when I reached the gate. Nope, not there. So I ate my sandwich at the gate and bounced back down the hill.

Back down the highway for another jaunt, down the grade to Mono, I kept my eyes peeled and made the turnoff for Lundy, another recommended stopping point. I was not disappointed. The panoramas were Sierra epic, and I ended up taking a spot in the campground directly below the lake. More than a few people stopped to ask about the Karma Cruiser, and were surprised at the adventure I was on with a 50 year old truck.
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I spent the afternoon and evening quietly, until I decided to walk my garbage down to the main dumpster. On the way there, I heard the faint plinking of an acoustic guitar. So like a moth attracted to the light, I just walked myself into a stranger's camp on the way back and introduced myself. The husband kind of brushed me of, said he was just a plinker, while the wife seemed a little intrigued. So I walked back to my camp and took out my guitar to play for no one in particular. Fifteen minutes later, the husband walked into my camp, apologized, and invited me back to their camp for the evening.

Funny story. They've been married 20 years, and while they were dating, they discovered they had not only gone to the same high school at the same time, but that they had actually had a class together! He said he remembered her as one of the preppy girls he would never go for. And she remembered him as one of the stoners she'd never go for! Same kind of funny as @Poser and ShaNaNa.
I don't remember their names, and I didn't take any pictures, but I will remember the evening. One of the things we spent some time talking about is the part of each of us that is a loner, and the space between, even when we are involved in relationships and marriages.
 
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airon23

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Time to change you signature line Mark before someone thinks you are out until next August 12th;)
Great write up!
 

65swb45

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Day 19-21-August 2-4: Bristlecones: the Carnefest.

I may have mentioned earlier on in this travelogue that the widow of my friend who was killed in a bicycle accident back in March Carne Lowgren was planning a celebration of life with some of his friends. So I had simply adjusted the schedule for my adventure so that my return to CA would coincide with this gathering.

While this shuffle resulted in the creation of the longest of any of my road trips, it was a good thing overall. It really gave me a lot of time to get away from my routine and think about this stage of my life. And thinking about the loss of close friends is one of those things we do during those times. @HENDOG told me about a friend of his he planned to sit on the proverbial porch with in old age talking about motorcycle adventures. That friend is gone too.

Being camped next to Lundy Lake and its stream, the humidity launched through the roof as soon as the sun hit the canyon. I was soaked by the time I finished packing the Cruiser. I made a beeline for Bishop to stock up on food for the gathering.

While dining on an early-ish lunch, another desert friend called me about our next adventure, a trip to the Ventura county fair the following weekend. This helped shake me out of the past and back into a good frame of mind before heading up the mountains.

Our hosts had reserved 3 adjoining group campgrounds about 10 miles from the Bristlecone Forest. Three campgrounds seemed a little excessive to me until they explained the reason why. Between two of the attendees, they had 450 watts of solar and enough batteries to guarantee that we would have a fully amplified stage for our musical adventures. And we’d bought out the whole neighborhood!
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65swb45

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We ended up with 5 guitar players, one keyboardist, one banjo, one sax, one bass, three percussionists and seven vocalists. Out of 40 people, that was a respectable number of musicians.

I had emailed Deb (the widow) while I was in Wyoming to remind her that due to space limitations I was traveling without my music books (which are now about 12” thick).

Well as soon as I arrived in camp, she invited me into the motorhome (first time she’d driven it since he passed) to show me that she’d organized five identical 1” notebooks of songs she wanted to cover during the event, one of which was for me.
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While going through the notebook, I started sobbing, remembering the great music Carne and I had made together. Once I got done crying, I was in good shape to lead the ‘band.’ And lead it I did.
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I got in an early morning hike on Saturday, which was very nice,
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and spent the remainder of the day visiting with old and new friends. Saturday night was a long, typical party, starting with a potluck that had food for three times as many people as we were, followed by an acoustic session around the campfire before returning to the stage.

Deb ended up sitting next to me and sharing a microphone. She had that same old songbook with her that she had when I first met the two of them 7 years ago. And when I needed words to a song she wanted to sing, she opened the book. Eventually she commented that we had come full circle to the extent that now it was me sharing the book with her. I am still struggling with that comment.

The end of the journey was very anti-climactic. The overnight low Saturday night was only 65, and at 8000 feet, that’s a telling sign that the valley is going to be a scorcher. So I packed early and was on the road by 8am, with an early lunch stop in Inyokern.

I discovered on the road down the mountain that Karma was popping out of second gear. I guess I will have to make an adjustment to the shift linkage. The last time I touched it was when I installed the header for Tony 25 years ago, so it’s probably time.
 
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