Today we got up at 4:30 so that we could hit the road as soon as the sun started to come up and try to beat the heat getting to Bakersfield, California. It was 48 degrees in Williams when we left a little after 5am, so we had put the liners in our jackets and I had my heated seat and grips on. 10 miles down the road the temperature jumped up to 70 degrees, and I had forgotten to start our GPS tracker, so we pulled off on an exit and removed our jacket liners and I started the tracker.
It turned out that this was only the beginning of the crazy temperature changes, as it continued to fluctuate back and forth between the low 50’s to the low 70’s, including one point where it dropped 15 degrees in less than a mile, that was pretty wild! I realize these temperature fluctuations are normal here, but that just doesn’t happen where we live unless you run into a storm of some sort, so we were amused by it. Eventually we went over a mountain and the temperature jumped up over 80 degrees and continued to climb and by the time we made it to Barstow, California where we stopped for lunch, it was 98 degrees.
We had initially booked a room in Barstow and planned to stay there, but since we were ahead of schedule, we decided to go on to Bakersfield today instead. When we arrived in Barstow for lunch, I seriously considered just staying there and getting up early again tomorrow to get to Sequoia, but after we ate lunch I was feeling a lot better and we decided to go on to Bakersfield after all.
The temperature continued to rise and when we finally got to our hotel in Bakersfield, it was 105 degrees and felt like an oven. While I was checking us into our hotel, Dwayne was standing outside under the awning with the bikes waiting for me and a lady who was waiting for her sister to get checked in asked him where we were from. He told her that we were from Southern Indiana, a little north of Louisville, Kentucky, and she asked him if he knew where a certain town was. The town that she named was the town that we live in, and it turns out that her grandfather had been a doctor there years and years ago and she used to spend summers there with him when she was young. So not only did I randomly run into people that I know from home in Albuquerque, NM, we ran into a random stranger in Bakersfield, California who had a relative that lived in our hometown and she herself had spent time there. When I told my mom about it, she said that my great-great-aunt had known the ladies grandfather. Seriously, could this world get any smaller?!
We’ve spent the evening doing laundry and charging all of our electronics so that they will all be ready for our ride through Sequoia and Kings Canyon tomorrow, and now I am up to date on my blog entries. We intend to get up at 5:30 in the morning and get everything ready to go before breakfast starts at 6, and then we will be heading out shortly after that.
Mileage for today was actually 437.5 because I forgot to start the tracker the first 10 miles.