Day 3

It was a nice clear day when I awoke at 530 and started packing up camp.  On previous trips I could pack up camp in about an hour but it took longer, probably because I hve more stuff and it needs to be arranged just so.  I wanted to ride a bit before breakfast but north of Winnemuca is pretty desolate.  I asked some utility workers about eating in Orovada and they said there was a great place but on Sunday it is probably closed.  So I ate in town and hit the road.

US 95 runs north through a valley that has peaks that still have snow on them.  The grass was turning golden brown but the rest of the plnt life was very green.  I was surprised at the number of small creeks that were flowing through the culverts.  The water looked clear and inviting.  As I got closer to Oregon the peaks diminished as did the number of streams.  In Oregon it was distinctly dryer and the growth in the desert was greatly reduced.  At one point I stopped for a stretch in the shade of and abandoned RV resort/campground/restaurant/gas station.  There was nothing else around for miles.  Someones vision flourished for a time and then went bust.  Through the windows you could still see things like utensils and napkin holders.  The gas pumps were stuck in time at $1.87 per gallon.

Getting into Boise was a bit of a pain because I stayed on 95 too far and had to come from the west on a congested single lane road.  Once in town I missed lane splitting in the traffic.  I sure love that about California.  I decided to make it a shorter day and camp at Lake Cascade.  I wanted to rest a bit and catch up on writing.

I got to the campgrounds and found that they are all right on the lake and out in the open.  The sites are geared toward RVs and everything is very well done.  I do not like camping in the open.  Across the lake to the west where snow capped peaks that brought a steady breeze over the lake.  I got camp set and was ready to relax and make a dinner of instant potatos and a concoction of canned chicken and vegetables.  I am experimenting with how to eat a bit healthy and low cost.  I had to use my panniers to make a wind break so my stove would work but it still had a hard time.

About the time that the main course was finishing a big dark gray thunderhead across the lake had formed and the wind was howling like hell.  I realized that shit was going to get real in a big hurry.  I scrambled to batton down my gear and get everything else into the tent.  By this time the wind had blown fine sand into the tent because that is what the tent pad was on.  In the process of getting things put away i looked over and saw a bald eagle streak by on the wind about 20 yards away.  I have never seen one on the wing before.

I got in the tent and started wolfing down my food so I coud be ready for what was next.  I did not get to finish.  The wind blew so hard that my tent was going to get destroyed unless I braced that two walls on that side.  I had to brace the tent for at least a half hour that way.  I few of the gusts were so severe they knocked my away from the walls.  The rain fly stakes did not hold in the compacted sand ground so the fly was flapping and I thought they might shred.  All the while I was hoping it would start raining because I knew that would mean the winds would subside.  all the while I was forming a plan to shelter in the bathroom building if need be but that would mean abandoning my tent to be destroyed, along with who knows what else

Finally the patter of rain started hitting the tent, but it did not sound like rain because it was ice balls.  Then a bolt of lightening hit so close that the flash-bang had no tme delay and I felt the shock wave.  Ha, you’ll never get me, I have ripstop nylon to stand in your way, held up with nice metal poles stuck in the ground.  In a few minutes it calmed down and I could leave the tent and secure the uprooted stakes by placing my panniers on them.  Then it started to rain, but never very hard, and the wind died away.  I read my Yukon Gold rush history book  while and went to sleep.  In the morning it was dead calm.

Nothing was lost or damaged and I packed up and left.  I did have to straighten the aluminum tent poles a bit, they got bent before I was inside bracing the walls.  I will try never to camp in the open again.

I think the adventure has started.

Total distance for day 3 was 321 miles.


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