Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Saturday

Above: Lula and her husband

Me and Lula ( and Hubbs (hers, not mine. I ain't that way) made arrangements to meet up in Bridgeport between 10 and 10:30 then head in to the ghost town of Bodie which is about 5 miles west of the Nevada state line.
Me and Hubbs (hers, not mine. I ain't that way) had talked already and because it's about 3 1/2 to 4 hours for me IF everything goes right, I told him that if I wasn't there by 11 to just go on in and I'd meet them there.

Naturally, I overslept. I was an hour late getting out of the house and that was just getting ME out and on the road. I didn't grab lunch, water, nothing. I pulled into Oakdale to fill up and buy some water and when I come out, there's a big fucking hound sitting in the back of my truck waiting to go for a ride. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get him out. Finally after about 10 minutes he got tired of fighting me and split, looking all butt-hurt. He had no idea how close he came to being my dog.

Okay. I'm on the road. I remember reading in one of Lula's posts about how she felt like punching somebody in the head for standing her and Hubbs (hers, not mine. I ain't that way) up, so naturally I was hauling ass. I did not want to get head-punched.
I had about 40 miles of valley road that was fairly straight and I took full advantage of it, doing 80 and 90 mph where I knew I could get away with it and slowing to 65 where I know the cops worked pretty heavy.
Above Sonora, it started to get tricky. I started climbing in the hills and the road narrowed down to 2 lanes the rest of the way. Luckily, it was still early and traffic was very light. I think I encountered maybe 4 cars between the town of Sonora and Sonora Pass and they actually used the turnouts when I came screaming up their asses.

Then I hit the base of the Pass. A narrow, winding spit of a road, with a 26% upgrade on this side and a 24% downgrade on the other (that means for every 100 feet of road, it raises 26 feet. It's fucking steep), cresting at 9800 feet elevation. Rock wall on one side of the road, cliffs on the other and no fucking railing. My favorite road.
I hit that sumbitch as fast as I could and damned near kept my truck floorboarded, which means I got up to a whopping 40 mph at times. Again, I did not want Lula to think I stood them up and head-punch me.

I crested the Pass right at 9:30. I might actually make it it to Bridgeport by 10:30, thus avoiding a beating.
The fun part of the ride was over. Now I had to go downhill on a 24% grade. I have ruined brakes before on this road......
I managed to make it down to the base of the Pass into Leavitt Meadows and past the Pack Station and stables in record time, my cab filled with brake smoke and me actually starting to feel so good about making it that I kept it down to the speed limit the rest of the way into Bridgeport.

I pulled into our meeting spot, kicked open my door and got out and stretched the kinks out of my bones, then saw my friends headed towards me. I had made it from my driveway to Bridgeport in 3 hours and 10 minutes, my best time ever.

Off to Bodie!

Now never actually have met Lula and Hubbs (hers, not mine. I ain't that way) I was a little nervous. They sounded like good folks through email and on the phone and I really wanted to make a good impression, that's why I had on a button down shirt........
But at the same time, I didn't know just what kind of people they really were. You can only figure out so much from emails and a short phone call.
They also had never been to Bodie and were looking forward to seeing it. And Lula had posted that I was going to be their tour guide and that she knew I was going to do a good job. Nothing like a little pressure, ya know?

I shouldn't have worried. They were absolutely wonderful people. We spent the entire day there, walking around checking out the town, visiting, getting to know each other, laughing and joking. Both of them are completely down to earth people, the kind of folks that I felt comfortable with as soon as we met and shook hands.
After about an hour, Lula asked if we were hungry so we headed back up to the parking area for lunch. Sammiches, potato salad and ice cold beer. I was in heaven. My usual lunch at Bodie is jerky or whatever I can find in my glove box and warm water.
And that's how our day went. Check things out for an hour or so, go back and grab a beer and visit, hit the bathrooms, then back into the town. After a while I even quit watching my back to make sure I wasn't going to get head-punched.
After touring the town and finally the cemetary, we decided to call it a day and head back to Bridgeport where we stopped at the Jolly Cone and they bought me a bacon (Bacon. Mmmmm, bacon) burger for showing them around.
All in all, it was by far THE most enjoyable day I've ever had in Bodie. I had a blast, and got to make new friends. Thanks, Y'all!

Now comes the strange part. I hauled ass to get there in the morning to avoid standing them up and getting head-punched - it took 3 hours and 10 minutes, my best time ever.
On the way home, I took my sweet-assed time, even stopped off to dig up some sagebrush to plant in my future cactus bed, and I made it home in 3 hours and 5 minutes. What the fuck?

Lula took approximately a million pictures, then found out that her zip drive was fucking up. So she spent half the night emailing pictures to me 5 at a time and she's only about halfway through them. She was still at it when I got so fucked up I had to crash at 1:15 AM and started back up again this morning.
I will post pictures of the day a few at a time.


Just John said...

I visited Bodie as a kid with my father. I don't remember much of it, but I do remember parts of the drive being a real bitch.

hubbs said...

best damn tour guide ever, and you are a wealth of knowledge, I learned a lot of very interesting facts

wirecutter said...

John - If you're more than 35 years old, they've improved the road into Bodie since then. Even now the last 3 miles is a gravel washboard road that'll shake your fillings out.

H - Glad you had a good time!

Lula said...

We did, we had an excellent time. I felt like we learned more than if we would have taken some lame ass tour.

And there was no head punching!

Thanks a ton!

Tattoo Jim said...

hehehehe... head punching.... hehehehe...

Will said...

That does sound like a good time.