Part 1: Getting Ready for the Return
This particular backfill begins after #6; Tuesday August 9th Pioneer to Fresno
. As a particularly long chronicle, I have decided to post it in parts for better organization.
Being late of start, my time in Fresno if I had kept to the schedule would have me leave on Friday August 12th after only two days’ rest. This was impossible for it took me a day to recover from the effects of heat stroke alone, and it would not allow me enough time to coordinate visitation with my family tribe or with my best friends, therefore I added an extra day to my rest and planned to head out Saturday, August 13th.
On Wednesday the 10th, I spent most of my time writing down the details and backfilling the previous day’s events since Bend, Oregon. My half-sistor took me out to Me-N-Ed’s Pizza Parlor at Herndon/West, and I pretty much scarfed down a whole medium pie by myself and likely a ½ gallon of water with it. I was so dehydrated from the previous day that my body hadn’t urinated more than a dribble in the past 24 hours, thus the effort was made to overtly drink liquids frequently through the day (and actually the practice remained for the rest of the trip, even if the amount was small). By Thursday afternoon I began to feel human again, though the ravenous thirst continued for much longer.
Friday, I moved my operations from my brother’s to my pal’s house and then we spent the afternoon finding stuff to affect repairs to the bike and running errands; Radio Shack, Bank, beer. Oh, did I say beer?
Forgive me but Fresno has one of the finest microbreweries in the county: Sequoia Brewing Company
. Um well… OK, perhaps it is the only microbrewery in the county
– but it’s really quite good and let me tell you how to get there:
Take any heading towards Fresno. You want to go to the Tower District which is nestled between Van Ness and Palm Avenues and bisected by Olive Avenue. It is a small liberal hamlet, a vestige carved out in the late 1920’s and 30’s just south of Fresno City College (at the time called Fresno State Collage), and is the arty heart of the city formed around the old Tower Theatre; a tall art deco spire-crested movie house built in 1939. Many of the homes surrounding the area are stylized as small English-storybook homes with highly pitched roofs, or Dutch-influenced cottages, with faerie accents, friendly gnomish-inspired topiaries, under tall street-lined sycamore canopy. If I won the lotto and moved back to Fresno, I’d have a house near here! The Brewpub pins down the second corner of the Theatre lot facing Olive Avenue; you can’t miss it. We enjoyed a couple of pints of award-winning thirst-quenching brew.
Saturday morning we got up early and I finally got around to doing maintenance and repairs. Lucky for me the heat index in Fresno was below 100°F for the entire stay, least I would melt into a puddle; the weather felt like mid-October rather than mid-August… strange. The downside to all this activity meant that I would be leaving far later than planned and I did not get to all the modifications. My friends fed me twice to be sure I was preloaded with carbs.
- Replacement tubes: On Wednesday I placed an order for inner tubes to replace the backups and rushed the delivery; these arrived Friday evening despite being marked as overnight-priority with delivery guaranteed by 3 PM Friday; UPS does not honor this if delivering to a residence. These were unboxed and packed within the trailer.
- 2nd-Motor Throttle cutout Problem: One theory for why the rear hub would cut out was that the blade contact within the Molex connector was insufficient; therefore I removed the wires from the plug and created a dedicated M/F bullet-type link which should eliminate all flakey contact.
- Cleaning: Degreasing and washing down the bike and trailer felt good and rewarding; nothing like a spiffy-looking machine to impress my fellow friends in San Francisco.
Finally, I departed about 11:30 AM. The exact route to Santa Cruz
I had discussed both with my brother and with my pal. There were really only direct two ways to go: via Pacheco Pass
or Panoche Pass
; the mileage was about the same regardless of the route. Brother had taken the Panoche Road
back in the 1970’s on a cross-country trek to Carmel and back and had warned me that the road was compacted dirt for part of the way. We had discussed the alternate route via Pacheco Pass
though it too has issues, namely that it is a very high-traffic Highway 152, and yet – we know this road very well. The big question and unknown was the condition of Panoche Pass Road (J1) after 40 years. The Plan
, as discussed with my brother then was to take Pacheco Pass and spend the night in Gilroy
, being a known quantity despite the high risk. However, my buddy told me that they had just taken Pacheco Pass Road last year and it was paved all the way between Mendota to Hollister; He said it had some rough spots – but that it was nothing I couldn’t handle. To add humor, he suggested that Panoche
translates from Spanish as “Night Bread”
, and started calling it “Night Bread Road”
. Finally he convinced me that Night Bread Road would be a lot safer than taking Pacheco Pass, and with that – I had to agree, and in doing so determined which direction to leave: North and West, or South and West. Mea West once said: “Given the choice between two evils, I’ll take the one I haven’t tried.”
And so – I gambled.
Don't go away... KF