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National Parks - 2012 Trip - Day 4

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Start Location: Carson City, NV
Ending Location: Hesperia, CA
Miles Today: 397
Trip Miles: 1316
States Visited: 4
National Parks: 0
National Monuments: 1
Low Temp: 64.4° F
High Temp: 106.9° F
Min Elevation: 2401'
Max Elevation: 8163'

Route Map:


Today was a weird day.  We started out having to deal with heavy, congested traffic the first 10 miles or so until we got out of the Carson City area. Then we hit a construction zone within the first 40 miles.  We lost about 15 minutes or so waiting for the pilot car once again.  At least the construction zone was more interesting than some of the other ones we've been in.  There was an almost sheer rock wall on one side of the road and it looked like they were blasting to remove rock.  They weren't blasting of course while we were present but they were up on the face of the wall in large bucket lifts preparing to place charges.

We were at 7000 to 8000 feet all morning and the temperatures were in the mid 70s - a nice ride.  Then around noon we dropped to about 4000 feet and the temperature went up to the mid 90s - a little hot for our taste.  We thought that would be the worst of it but the temperatures kept going up and reached a max of 105 or 106.  

Then about 3:00 we had stopped for gas in the middle of nowhere and were just getting ready to leave when about 50 Harley Davidsons pulled into the station.  They were obviously involved in some type of organized ride because they had two big vans with them probably carrying gear, spare parts, etc.  We were all dressed in our leathers, it was very hot, we were tired and we didn't want to stop so we didn't get a chance to see what they were doing or where they were going.  We passed what appeared to be a rally sometime during the day so they may have been heading there.

Linda talked to a lady at the station who was going in the opposite direction and she asked if they would hit rain.  We told her we had gotten a few drops earlier but only enough to drop the temperatures for about 10 minutes.  She told us we might get some rain heading south.  Unfortunately she was correct.  The skies started to get dark and we could see lots of rain and lightning off in the distance.  We skirted the rain for a while but eventually the skies opened up and it rained hard for about 20 minutes.  There were no overpasses to stop under so we just kept going.  The temperature dropped 37 degrees in a few minutes and it actually felt pretty good.  The rain stopped about a half hour before we stopped for the night and, although we weren't completely dry, we were comfortable.

Well we'll be done with 395 tomorrow and it's been a decent ride.  A lot of the road is 4 lane and some of it even divided.  There were a few curvy sections but, for the most part, the speed limit was 65 and we had few problems.  There were plenty of gas stops but you had to watch and plan carefully since the price for regular ranged from $4.19 to $5.19 a gallon sometimes in just a short distance.

Tomorrow we will be in Joshua Tree National Park.  We actually saw several Joshua trees during the day but I'm sure we'll see many more tomorrow.