After spending a week at Pahrump Pair of Dice SKP…and many hours studying maps, checking weather, etc. I finally could leave. Unfortunately, I could not go north out of Pahrump. The weather would have stalled me big time, so I backtracked. I took the back way out of Pahrump to get back to I-15. Back way is thru the above images, being part of Death Valley’s front door. No, I did not want to go see all the flowers that have blanketed Death Valley this Spring. It was too windy, I just wanted to get out of there. So I went.
From I-15, I then went to Highway 58 thru Tehachapi and oh my goodness – it was beautiful. I have never been thru Tehachapi in the Spring time, just in the Fall when it is all brown and hotter then blazes. Absolutely gorgeous, it reminded me of Switzerland – the hills, how green it was, snow on the peaks, as I descended the grade that starts in Tehachapi and drops to the Bakersfield valley floor – the hills were blanketed in pink, then golden flowers. Just beautiful! Unfortunately, you will have to take my word for it, as there was no place to pull off and take pictures.
My goal on that day, was to get past Bakersfield and get on I-5 then stop, but as the sunshine decided to show itself once again… I kept going. I reached just south of Coalinga. I so rarely travel the interstates, I knew I did not want Highway 99 – horrible roads and wall-to-wall truckers, but I-5, you have got to be crazy Melinda!!! As it turns out, it was a beautiful, smooth trip north. Occasional rough patch of highway, yes there were truckers, but nothing as bad as I have experienced on other roads in California.
For the next day, I had to figure out if I was going up the coast or up I-5, so studying more weather charts, forecasts, even scanned quite a few web cams on both routes. You see, there is a major winter storm moving into northern California & southern Oregon and I was going to run smack into it. This storm already stopped me from going north out of Pahrump. So I have a tendency to really do my research. If I was going to the coast, I needed to figure out how to get around San Francisco to get over to Highway 101. (that’s how I came down in January). If north on I-5, needed to get around Sacramento. This time the best path is straight up I-5.
The trip on I-5 up to Highway 12 to cross the California Delta (still so beautiful) to Fairfield on I-80 onward up to I-505 to go around Sacramento and back on I-5 – was such a pleasure, it surprised me. There really was minimal traffic, everything is so green and pretty… so when I stopped to get gas, jumped out of my rig and was flattened against the side of my rig… whoa! What’s this? The guy pumping gas across from me laughed and asked if I was ok. I said, yes, just wasn’t expecting the wind. He said “you came from the south, didn’t you?” Yes. He said, “you are lucky!”. Apparently its been blowing hard for 2 days up north of Sacramento. Yes, indeed, it has been a wonderful tail wind, wish I weren’t so tired, or I would keep going. Tempting yes, but not wise, so pushed to Red Bluff and am stopped for a couple of nights.