Brenda returns from her LA visit to see Phil and brings back a nice souvenir cold. Sure enough, with incubation complete, it descends over me on the Sunday afternoon.

It goes into the classic Monday and Tuesday with watery eyes and nose running like a tap. 7 days left to it’s own devices or about a week with treatment as they say. Just Wednesday and Thursday to get through as its Friday OFF and my last 2 rides of the year at Turkey Rock.

Lack of sleep is beginning to hurt and energy levels are at an all time low. Just can’t get to sleep at night with constant coughing and whatever I do I can not get comfortable, either be that sitting up or in bed. The Trial comes and goes, 2 zero score cards are on the books and amazingly I had two good nights sleep on the Safari.


Great weekend with 2 x Zero Cards

Another week begins and its deja-vu once more and I’m right back where I was last week with watery eyes and running nose. Meanwhile as I suffer news is coming in of a mega fire over in Napa Valley with some areas that we frequent already devastated including our “bendy ride” and favorite burger up in Middletown . The Campground where we always stay is now the Evacuation Center for some of the homeless from the 1000 houses that were engulfed. While we discuss whether our annual visit is on ? or off ? the good old cold enters week 3 and shows no signs or doing anything different so its time for a visit to the Doctor.

Doctor is very helpful, thinks it might be pneumonia, but gives me anti-biotics and other drugs various. The “anti” either kill it or break it up and I’m coughing stuff up like a cross between a sludge pump and cement mixer! …….. but as always sleep is the penalty and I’m not getting any. …….. back to the Doctor who gives me some sleep pills. They come with NO WARNINGS and work exceedingly well. The ONLY problem is that although I can be up at 0430 feeling somewhat refreshed its impossible to know when the little devils are done? A “few” out of lane experiences is all I will say here!! No more pills then! these are far too dangerous.

The weekend arrives and still no decision other than Friday is called in as “sick day” ….. first I’ve ever taken ( more on this later). A lot of planning went into this trip but there are still 2 days left before departure so let the situation bounce along until a Monday morning Go/No Go vote is taken. Having come all this way we are ready to leave. Wise choice or not ? Light rain and damp roads so we will give it a try.

Stop in at the Bus Barn to drop off some papers, and set off on Leg 1 to Elko NV a distance of 575 miles on good smooth roads. The weather is pretty unpleasant with  low cloud, poor viz and drizzle mixed with longer periods of rain.


We wend our way out of Co and through some heavy rain in UT. Out on I70 I see they have put the speeds up to 80 mph but with vintage RV’s about 65 is just fine.


Coming out of Price

On 6 and  through Price the fall colors are not as good as usual but our timing is good and I50 traffic is reasonable as we go north up the Salt Lake freeway. More choices, night stop Toolee amid the 18 wheelers or press on for Elko 200 miles down the road. Brenda opts for a Walmart but these are not easy to find.

Mid afternoon, 400 miles in the bag, early feeding for the dogs and a beer or two for me. We are surrounded with “fast food” and KFC becomes tonight’s offering.


We dine well on KFC

Sleepwise I can get some but there are still some dangerous hangover “dreams” from those drugs. Early departure called for and with my personal medical condition climbing in the low 80% we are underway by 0610 and into yet more rain. Road directions are anything but clear but we are pointing in the right direction for the next 800 miles and now with a CA ETA of around 1830 tonight.


By about 1430 Nevada time  or now Pacific we are around Reno so  up Donner Pass and see if anything has been done this year? Well some improvement from the mid 2000’s but now there are chunks of concrete coming out AGAIN! it will be just as bad in 2 years!

Down to lower elevations and battling 6 lane freeways past Sac with bumps, holes and debris time for the big circle to the last 100 miles to Calistoga. Freeway keeps stopping and after a 10 mile crawl its a standard “Rubberneck” accident with truck and bike ……. stop, count casualties, then full power! Yes, I remember how pointlessly infuriating these were in our many years in Phoenix.

Eventually hit our northbound turnoff and now into full setting sun but amazingly our timing is still good and we roll in to our slot after 12.5 hours and 800+ miles.


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