Trying to hitch a ride, Walker Pass above Lake Isabella (Day 10)
Cheree drove me to the top of the pass this morning so it was an easy lovely downhill ride to highway 395 that runs along the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. There are Joshua trees everywhere, I feel like I’m Bono and it’s 1987. The “TIRED AUSSIE …” sign was on the back of my bike in the morning and while I was at a rest stop a family asked me a bunch of questions. The teenage girl walked away shaking her head and muttering “crazy … crazy …”. They offered me a lift even though they were going a short way up the road and had a pick-up full of gear. I wasn’t tired yet so I politely refused their offer. No one else offered me a lift. I was enjoying riding for the first time. No significant hills, an emergency lane the size of a truck to safely ride on, and a warm heat emanating from the desert. Tall snow-capped mountains to the left of me, wide empty desert to my right and nothing but asphalt in front of me for hundreds of miles.
In the blink-and-you-miss-it town of Olancha, I pulled into a trashy-looking trailer park to camp. The place was run by Indians, the old guy who met me couldn’t speak a word of English but he called his son for me. His son had a map of India in his office and it turned out that I’d been to his birth town which was pretty exciting for the both of us. I’d be pretty excited to meet someone who’d been to my home town.
When it got dark, I started listening to some tunes on my mini-diskman and stood out under the flashing fluorescent “Welcome” trailer park sign. Big rigs drove past loudly every few minutes and it was still warm. I suddenly realised that I was enjoying myself immensely for the first time, just standing watching trucks going by in the night and listening to music.
Joshua trees along highway 14 (Day 10)
Walker Pass (Day 10)
View along Highway 14 from Walker Pass (Day 10)