Day 7 Continued: 275 Miles; Leaving LA; Deserts; Snow on the Eastern Sierra Mountains; Mt Whitney; Death Valley; Bishop, California; You Don’t Start New Journeys with Old Maps.


Leaving El Segundo was sad; saying goodbye to my amazing son Colin. I love that boy.
The only thing that saved me on the hot interstate through LA was the California law about “white lining” where you can ride on the white line between cars. It beats being stuck in a traffic jam with an overheating engine and temper. The ride between cars is exciting and scary at the same time.
I took I 405 to 5 and then 14, the antelope valley freeway, which is essentially a ride through the Mojave Desert. You pass amazing ochre-colored rock formations, and dark green and jade colored bushes, as you head past Edwards Air Force Base up towards the beginning of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Desolate but beautiful. Then Big Red and I hit highway 395 and headed north.
We passed Manzanar State Park north of Lone Pine, the location of an internment account, where for three years during World War II 1000’s of Japanese Americans were forced to relocate.
The town of Independence came upon us. I had considered staying at Ray’s Den, a place I’ve stayed at twice before, but something told me to keep moving. The beautiful snow-capped Eastern Sierra mountains were on my left and the road to Death Valley on my right, between Mt Whitney, the highest summit in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m) and Badwater Basin in Death Valley at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level.
I stopped at McDonalds because I was thirsty, and also because the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile was parked across the street! Now there’s some excitement for you!
I ended up in the town of Bishop, Ca. and checked in at the Mountain View Motel. It was a short walk from there down to the Mountain Rambler Microbrewery and Rusty’s Saloon, where I spent the evening talking to locals, hearing their life stories and watching the beginnings of a few amorous adventures. I’m in no hurry.
My own path is unfolding as I ride. There’s no map to direct me. It’s a new road that I can only discover by riding and trusting. Krishnamurti said: “This other road is not on the map, nor can it ever be put on any map. Every map is a map of the wrong road, the old road.”
Safe riding.

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