Wednesday, October 5, 2011

XC Trip day 12

Sequoia National Park was next on our list. We had to ride south out of Oakhurst to Fresno, then turn east to head into the park on Rt 180. The ride was fine, we followed Uncle Richard since he knew the area, and I was happy to just follow and sight see. I almost took that too far though, as we were cruising through some farm land I spotted a falcon flying over a field on my right. I looked at it for maybe two seconds and looked back at the road just in time to catch myself from riding straight into a ditch. The road had made a gentle turn to the left and in my distraction I had stayed straight. One more second of me trying to ID that falcon would've been disaster.

It was a very strong reminder to keep my focus on the job at hand. Anyway, we got to the park, waved my pass and we were in. Just to discover that they had recently resurfaced the road with a layer of fresh tar, which is then covered with pea gravel. So for the next 40 miles the best we could do would be about 30 mph, slower in some of the tighter turns. There were cars and trucks building up behind us, since we were apparently the slowest things on the road. I passed Unc. Richard and pulled over to let the traffic through, and check our map to see how much further we had to go. My Garmin suggested that we had another 2 hours, but it turned out that I'd set it for the south entrance to the park. In fact it was only another 15 minutes to the "Giant Forest", which is where the General Sherman tree is.

The General Sherman sequoia is the most massive living thing on the planet. It's heavy.

We headed out of the park and ran into more road construction, which held us up another half hour, and when they let us through we still had 20 miles of 30 MPH speed limit. We were heading to Unc. Richard's house in Santa Maria, and wound up getting there after dark. It was a loooong ride. I did spot a B17 parked at an airport near the highway, but I don't remember which airport it was, and I didn't want to repeat the morning's distraction.

A Giant Sequoia

The General Sherman

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