DAY 14: September 08, 2011 (Thursday)
38 miles north of Susanville, California to 30 miles east of Susanville: 68 miles (484 thus far)
Up at first light and gone before sunrise. Waited to eat breakfast farther south, until it warmed up a tad, but by the time I was starving at Eagle Lake, the sun was baking my back like a mini furnace. It was working up to be a day in the 90s, but there was no shade, so I ate standing up from the trike as light traffic drove past. The air was full of sights and sounds: eagles, frogs, and pronghorns I adjusted again my left front brake, realizing there is a huge steep downhill with curves into Susanville that I will encounter later today. The grade coming up out of the Eagle Lake basin was a killer due to the increasing heat and precious little shade mid-day. Gary would not have liked it one bit, in fact, it took all my reassurance to remember that the challenging uphills are what makes me stronger, until I became one with the effort. This was like Doak Mountain before Klamath Falls … only much much longer! There was a cooling breeze in the shade of ponderosa pine trees at the summit, with a grand view of the lake far below and long away. It wasn’t the final summit however, and many false summits stood between me and the grand prize of a 6% downgrade for 4 miles into Susanville. How sweet that was! Where Hwy 139 ends in town is a library right next to Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, so I updated the Trike Asylum website with the CCTE progress, and then procured some fresh veggies, blueberries, and V8 Juice at the store. No one messed with the trike while I was in the library for about 40 minutes. The air conditioned library felt great – didn’t want to leave, with outside temps now past 90 in this town. I refilled all my water containers, which had dwindled down to nearly nothing, and it was only 2:00 PM. It would have been a big mistake to have taken the Nevada Hwy 447 route as originally planned … Hwy 395 would be much safer. I was told by a few folks hanging out around Grocery Outlet about a KOA Kampground about 15 miles east of town, so at about 4:00 PM, I set out to camp there, a decision brought on by the unsettling people who were talking with me, eying my trike, and just hanging around doing nothing (there is a state prison just east of town, and a federal prison a few miles farther on, so there is a high percentage of the inmates’ families that take up temporary residence in Susanville – it’s definitely not your typical country town). The day is so hot that every car and eighteen wheeler that pass me on Highway 395 at high speed is a welcomed event, as they provide a super cooling blast of air. The larger and faster the vehicle, the better! The prior days of this journey I thought were hot were only warm by comparison to today. Thirty miles east of Susanville, having come upon no KOA along the way, I pulled into a mini-mart convenience store and gasoline station to get a sandwich and some V8 Juice. The sun was close to setting by this time, so I asked if there were any place I could pitch my tent and not get hassled. The store manager pointed to a large storage bin adjacent to the store and said to put my tent behind it, hidden from the highway. The station was a 24/7 affair, but I was so tired that I had no trouble sleeping, and it sure beat sleeping on the trike! Second week of CCTE now complete!