jc blog - tales of a modern-day nomadic hunter-gatherer

Follow jcomeau_ictx on Twitter This is the weblog of Intrepid Wanderer. You never know what you might find here; graphic descriptions of bodily functions, computer programming secrets, proselytizing for the antichrist, miscellaneous ranting and kvetching, valuable information on living off the land... if you don't share my rather weird interests you may want to try slashdot instead.

You can consider my Del.icio.us links an extension to my blog, as are my LifeTango goals and my other to-do items. My to-buy list is also public, but only for sharing any useful ideas that might be there; I'm not requesting charity, neither do I offer it.

You can find me easily in google searches, as jcomeau, jcomeau_ictx, or jcomeauictx. There are lots of other jcomeaus, but AFAIK I'm the only jcomeau_ictx out there so far.

If you want to comment on anything you see here, try the new Facebook comments, reachable by clicking the "[comment]" link at the end of each post. If for some reason that isn't working, go ahead and email me, jc.unternet.net. You know what to do with the first dot. Make the 'subject' line something reasonably intelligent-looking or it goes plunk! into the spambasket unread.

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MrCreditRepair.biz will fix your credit rating!

2009-09-29-0248Z

Back in Petaluma from the cold, damp nights of Mendo. Still drinking that smooth organic porter from Eel River in Scotia, CA. Got an interview for a small Odesk job lined up.

That email castigating me for my alcoholism was sent by none other than my fellow COS member Z, who is often criticizing me for one thing or another. That doesn't make what he said any less true, but somehow enables me to ignore it more easily. Thank Bob for slipping up and mentioning the name "Bill", whose name I hadn't mentioned in my blog. Then all I had to do was, when I got back to my laptop, look at the extended headers for the real sender of the email.

People who send things anonymously, or use "sock puppet" identities, aren't living to the same level of honesty that I, alcoholic though I may be, adhere to. So in my point of view, they have lost the right to criticize me. Got that, "Bill Peters"? [comment]

2009-09-27-0358Z

I found Blowing Rock High Country Ale for $5 a sixpack at Petaluma's Grocery Outlet. Its flavor, multiplied by N with N approaching infinity, is close to that of my mesquite pod beer. Somehow the blend of hops used in that ale matches pretty closely the flavor of the alkaloids in the mesquite beans.

Sitting around a campfire in Van Damme State Park with a crowd of BASK members. At least one of their members is in the hospital, and 3 more lost their kayaks today, or so I heard. Ocean kayaking can be quite dangerous. [comment]

2009-09-26-1956Z

Had fried oysters at the Fish and Chips joint on the south end of Ft. Bragg, and again at The Wharf. The latter at $14 was a far better deal than the former at $10. The non-touristy places aren't necessarily the best bet for value. [comment]

2009-09-26-1706Z

Last night I went with a bunch of kayakers to The Wharf in Ft. Bragg, drank some Anderson Valley Amber ales and ate all the free bread and butter Jeff, the bartender, would bring.

This morning I biked to Mendocino where I'm breakfasting at the Bay View Cafe, a tourist trap overlooking the bay. They don't accept credit cards, so it's coffee and a muffin for me until I find the bank, farther north into town. Free wifi here. [comment]

2009-09-22-2142Z

Remember last time I was on SPI, I blogged about the possibility of eating the nontoxic parts of jellyfish? Well, in a sushi place in downtown Petaluma today (can't remember the name of it, sorry) I had some jellyfish sushi. They don't prepare it on-site, but the chef said they slice the caps into strips and then marinate them. It has the consistency of raw seaweed. [comment]

2009-09-21-1751Z

My couchsurfing host took me kayaking Saturday and Sunday, the latter was in Tomales Bay with bioluminsecence swirling around our paddles in the moonless night. Lots of starfish in those waters, and from what I can gather from Google, they're edible year-round, as are sea urchins.

Saturday was in the Petaluma River, on which we parked at Dempsey's and had the beer sampler, plus the pub appetizer which turned out to be mostly salad.

Friday was the tour of the Lagunitas brewery, farther out of town, where we enjoyed hefty-sized samples of 5 or 6 of their brews.

Was gifted a 6-liter MSR Dromedary bag, my new #1 favorite water carrier. It can be reliably packed with other gear with minimal chance of leakage, unlike the Platypus tanks. [comment]

2009-09-18-1531Z

Napa's 1st Street becomes Browns Valley Road, bear left onto Buhman. Eventually there will be another junction where you have to turn right to stay on Buhman, then later a right onto Old Sonoma Road.

Probably should have taken Old Sonoma from downtown, it would have saved maybe 2 miles. Don't know why I'd ruled it out earlier.

Walking in a pleasant twilight made me notice the lack of mosquitos. Haven't seen a one since sometime before Burning Man.

Aa soon as I get to 121, there's a sign indicating a bike detour pointing vaguely off to the left. The right shoulder is blocked with those big concrete barricades. Not sure what the sign means but the only logical thing seems to be to walk against the traffic, in the eastbound lane's shoulder. So I do. There's one spot where that side has the concrete barrier too, and I almost despaired before realizing it was only for a few feet. Waited for a break in the traffic, and went around it. Construction ended after about 2 or 3 miles later, and a nice shoulder appeared before doing the usual "amazing shrinking shoulder" trick.

Not far after the Napa Rd. junction, there's a wide shoulder, but eventually, without warning, it turns to gravel. Almost wiped out. Paved area only about a foot after that.

Another bike detour sign pointing off to the left somewhere. Ignored it, Mapquest doesn't show a parallel road and I'll be damned if I'm going all the way to the bay and back just to please these anti-cyclist idiots.

Bear left onto 121 where 12 and 121 split. Then right onto 116; the 116 shoulder appears and disappears capriciously and without warning too. I sometimes think there are saidistic, cyclist-hating killers at all the state DOTs, setting us all up for "accidents". Well, if so, I ran their gauntlet successfully this time. Got to my friend's place about 0300 and left my stuff while I walked back to town and looked around. [comment]

2009-09-17-2219Z

Awoke in the park, and headed to Downtown Joe's Brewhouse. Joe poured me what he called a "black beer" from an unmarked tap. To me, it's a brown ale somewhat similar to Lost Coast's Downtown Brown. Ordered the burger from Patty, still missing the green chiles. Fries are crispy and good.

Plan to head to Petaluma tonight, avoiding route 12 as much as possible. [comment]

2009-09-17-1531Z

North Texas turns right to become West Texas. Next major cross street is Pennsylvania, follow it South and it becomes Cordelia Road.

Near Cordelia, I found a place to sleep out back of some well-lit building, possibly a water treatment plant. On awakening, I found a saloon only about 200 or 300 yards away. I might have made last call. Probably just as well I didn't.

Then I went South on Lopes to Red Top Road, then Northwest to Jameson Canyon Road. Under the I-80 overpass you will see the sign for highway 12 to Napa. Never saw any sign saying Jameson Canyon. Likewise, there were no signs visible to me for either Cordelia Road or Lopes Street until, in each case, I hit the first cross street.

Route 12 was horrible. At about 0430 there was so much traffic both directions, going freeway speeds, that I wasn't sure I'd even get a chance to cross it. The shoulder width ranged from about 4 feet to less than a foot. Traffic was hostile and passed me with only inches to spare.

When about 3/4 of the way up the hill, a cop pulls up behind me with the usual spiel about "concerned motorists". I kept my mouth shut, just answering the questions they asked me. Shortly the guy said that I'd passed the worst of it, and the shoulder would widen after the next bend.

Sure enough, crossing the Napa County line, the shoulder widens to about 6 feet. And it's either downhill, or I had a tailwind, or I was pumped with adrenalin, or perhaps all 3, because I went like a bat out of hell from that moment.

Where 12 comes to a big 4-way junction with a light, it seemed I should take a left but I was wrong, left goes South. Straight is to the airport. A right takes you North into Napa. Luckily, there is an ibahn hotspot on that corner so I could check Mapquest. Eventually that road becomes Soscol Ave. and goes right into downtown Napa. While still a couple miles from city center, I pulled into McD's in Napa about 0740 local time. They have sausage and egg burritos for a buck, not a bad deal.

Assuming these clouds burn off, going to get some sleep, then maybe hit the brewpub downtown. [comment]

2009-09-17-0355Z

Monte Vista becomes Foothill Rd, dead-ends at Pleasants Valley Rd. Turn left to go South towards Fairfield.

Pleasants Valley dead-ends at Cherry Glen. I took a left and got on the freeway. Almost at the end of the ramp, the sign said bikes prohibited. I was not about to turn around and head back up the ramp. Went to the first exit, only a few hundred yards away. There a couple of other bikers pointed me to Lyons road, a frontage road that becomes Texas St. Turned into the Texas Roadhouse for a 22-oz Firestone and a pulled pork sandwich. If I'm going to be an alcoholic, might as well get the best shit I can afford.

Gonna try and reach Cordelia by dawn, and maybe Napa by noon. [comment]

2009-09-16-1623Z

Remembered I didnt want any more long stretches of desert, mountains, or farmland. I want towns, restaurants and pubs every 10 to 20 miles. So I rerouted myself through Dixon, Vacaville, Fairfield and Napa.

Davis's 5th st becomes Russell Blvd.; there's a bike trail on the South side of the road all the way to County Rd. 98 and beyond. Left on CR 98 which becomes Pedrick Rd. The shoulder becomes intermittent. South to Sievers, make a right just before I-80. There are a couple of gas stations there. I parked in one brightly-lit spot and mounted the taillight I'd found weeks ago along the roadside.

West about a mile, make left on Currey which then becomes 1st Street and takes you right into downtown Dixon. On the outskirts I found the Buckhorn Bar and Grill. They have Bud, Bud Light, and Coors Light on tap for the locals, and some classics for the rare traveler: Fat Tire, Widmerweizen, and America's answer to England's Bass: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Dixon Ave. is actually A St. in downtown Dixon. So I missed it and went South to Midway Rd. instead. I got sleepy so spread my sleeping bag by the roadside and slept till predawn twilight.

Midway ends in a T, at which point you go left, curve around to the right, and turn left again so you are going South on Browns Valley Road. Follow it around some bends; it's pretty clearly labeled at the crucial points. Turn left on Monte Vista just before you hit I-80. The Panera is in the shopping center with the Petsmart. I got here about 9:15.

One of my previously anonymous blog readers sent me an email beating me up a little for my drunken rambling. Says I'm an alcoholic. I suspect he's right. [comment]

2009-09-15-2024Z

I finally found part of what I was looking for: California Vehicle Code section 21960 permits bicycles on the shoulder of all highways, including freeways, unless signs are posted indicating it is prohibited. About 1000 of California's 4000 miles of freeways are open to bicyclists under this. I have yet to find a map of which 1000 miles those are, though.

heading down West Capitol, I saw the sign for the bike path to Davis just before a Chevron station. Turns out the path goes right behind the station, so went inside for potato chips and a bathroom break.

On the way, I started falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the road; either the bike path adjoins the road at times or I inadvertently got off it. In any case, that's a dangerous way to be, so I laid out my sleeping bag in the ditch and got some sleep.

The trail seemed to come to an end several miles later, and I crossed the tracks and proceeded down a parallel road, but another friendly cyclist told me that the path continued right into downtown Davis. So I went back and looked, and sure enough it did. Pulled into downtown when the sun was just striking the tallest fan palms.

I'm now at the Barista Brew Cafe, after another nap in the park, enjoying their coffee, wifi, and power. No plans to move on until sundown. Hands still aren't getting noticeably worse, but no better either, so gotta take it easy. Also, the cracks in the heel of my right foot started hurting again after my last shower. [comment]

2009-09-15-0717Z

Found my way across the bridge on M street, but then got lost looking for the bike path to Davis. Another bicyclist, Johnny G, gave me good directions, and I finally hit another bar, the River's Edge Bar and Grill. Mobile Safari is having problems with the DNS, but ssh works fine. Drinking some Lost Coast tangerine wheat, good stuff. [comment]

2009-09-15-0516Z

Just walked past the Greyhound station. I'm so happy to be over that habit. Not that I'll never take the bus again, but I now have a far better means of transit available, and as long as I'm not in a hurry, I can't see subjecting myself to that tyranny of lines, hostile customer service, and idiot rent-a-cops. It was a phase of my life, and thankfully it's now over. [comment]

2009-09-15-0419Z

Accidentally wiped out all the notes I've made on my iPod for the last few weeks. If I was supposed to do something for you, I probably won't remember unless you remind me.

Walked South from Panera until I hit Fair Oaks, at which point I bore right to cross the bridge. There was no shoulder, then there was, then when I reached the bridge itself, there wasn't. It was pretty hairy, but there was really no turning back at that point, so I went for it and hoped for the best. Apparently I survived. On the other side, a fairly usable bike lane appeared, and I made it to my favorite downtown Sacramento bar, the Capitol Garage at 15 and K. The router isn't working, so I'll have to upload later.

I hadn't actually tested the new brake cable setup till I started across the bridge. It doesn't work; the actuator (probably not the correct term) now sticks out too far and the pedal hits it. So I'm using just the front disc brake, whose pad must have worn down to the metal because it squeals loudly when applied. One problem after another.

Had a 22-oz. Blue Moon, and will probably have something else before hitting the bike trail to Davis. After that, it looks as though 128 to 121 to 116 will get me to Petaluma. [comment]

2009-09-15-0002Z

Had an elk burger and a pint of Lagunitas Brown Shugga at the Flaming Grill Cafe in Sacramento, with Alex and Eric. For dessert, a sweet coconut porter from Maui Brewing Company. Why I'm drinking so much after being dizzy all morning after all the wine I consumed yesterday is not clear to me. I actually couldn't remember working on their computer the previous night, until Larry told me the password, at which point it partially returned.

Larry gave me one of his old rear wheels, which effectively solved my worst problem. It has a 6-sprocket cluster instead of 7, but I was never able to use the largest rear sprocket anyway, so my shifter works with the new wheel almost perfectly.

The width of the steel rim vs. my alloy rim was a problem since I had zero slack in the brake cable. But it turns out that replacing a brake cable is pretty easy, so it's now working. There's a Panera Bread place here in the same shopping center as Performance Bicycle, so I've got my coffee and Internet addictions covered for a while as I prepare for the next leg of my journey. [comment]

2009-09-13-1616Z

Got a late start out from Todd's, and first thing I noticed as I pulled away was that the rear derailleur, which has been intermittently freewheeling on the forward stroke from the beginning of the trip, is now totally shot. Pedaling does nothing. The bike is now a rather large, clumsy scooter.

First village I reached along Green Valley Road was Rescue. The Saturday special at the Rescue Roadhouse is an awesome Reuben for $5. Comes with homemade potato chips. A pint of Honey Moon completes the meal.

Left my coffee cup at Cozmic Cafe last night, but the universe provided me another one on the roadside today. Made some drivers angry picking it up, as there was no shoulder on Green Valley in Rescue. A bike lane starts in Cameron Heights, but ends later with no warning that I could see, and keeps appearing and disappearing throughout Folsom and Sacramento. But a very nice thing I noticed this trip is that many of the sidewalks are ramped all along them, not just at corners. This makes it easier for bicycles, wheelchairs, handtrucks and the like. Why can't every city do this? Ramps not curbs, what a concept! Hope it catches on.

Passed a couple of raucous-sounding bars, then heard some bad karaoke singing coming out of Mooney's bar. My kind of place; must be friendly if they tolerate that! Went inside for a pint of Firehouse, then went on to cross the river.

At the last second, a sign appears at the bridge on Riley St., "No Pedestrians Beyond This Point", typically with no indication where pedestrians might cross. I ignored it.

Hours later, I'm in a McDonald's just blocks from Ambervision's place, breakfasting on two Sausage McMuffins, 2/$3, and hijacking an unsecured wifi signal. Need sleep and some special tools to work on the bike. The latter is easy, all it takes is money. Sleep, and places to pee at night, are hard to come by in cities. [comment]

2009-09-12-0158Z

Went to sleep once I found a suitable-looking spot. Woke up Bear Beach Cafe across from where I'm camped. Nice but weak coffee. Ordered the Mark Twain omelet, roasted peppers, sausages, and lots of fresh veggies. Good but not a great deal for the money.

After some more sleep, went to Rojo's for an Alpine Burger with fries, and a couple pints of Newcastle. Spending way too much this week, but justifying it because I had so little nutrition at Burning Man. Not that that justifies the beer...

Reached Echo Summit, elevation 7382 feet, about 0345 California time. No shoulder for long stretches. Pretty hairy. Got to Silver Lake about 6 and decided to wait till 7 and if it didn't open by then, to keep plugging towards Placerville. About 10 to 7 a Korean guy comes from next door to open up. Before I know what's going on, the front door is propped open and the coffee is ready. Nice guy, but with the typical Hanguk reserve. Being a Mainiac, I can appreciate that.

Dropped the bike last night and knocked the handlebars out of alignment. Am now noticing significant damage to the pedal axle, very wobbly. That will probably be the first thing I work on, once I reach Sacramento and can camp out at a bike shop.

Had a tuna salad sandwich and 22-oz. Moylan's Kilt Lifter ale at Fresh Pond. On the advice of one of the ladies there, I took exit 60 to the Safeway, and Pony Express road into Placerville. The road changed names a few times, but it was mostly downhill into Hangtown (the nickname for Placerville because of all the people hung there) with few problems.

I met James, a handsome young guy of Norwegian extraction, at the Pine Lodge bar. He was inspired by my trip and wants to do something similar. They have Fat Tire and some other good brews on tap but no wifi.

Then in Hangtown I met Todd and his young son Asher. Todd bought me a beer at Cozmic Cafe. Good place for vegetarians but the Albacore taco was satisfying. I'm staying at their place tonight, and will get another 5 miles headstart to Sacramento in the morning. [comment]

2009-09-10-1301Z

The hill out of Carson City is about 7 miles up. I had made less than 5 of those when a lady cop came by for the second time complaining about all the calls she was getting. She was trying to blame it on me for acting so strange, and was coming up with all kinds of suggestions as to what I should do. One of those was to check into a homeless shelter, and I said, "I don't do homeless shelters. And I'm not homeless." I don't know whether the cop called someone, or if a concerned citizen just stopped to help, but a lady with a pickup truck offered to take me up the road, so I at least got a ride out of it. As I was walking the bike to the truck she said, "Try not to kill her, OK?" I said "Geez." She said something about crazy people, and I said, "I do some crazy things, but I'm not crazy."

After I was let off, I crossed the line into South Lake Tahoe, California about 4 AM and found Mickey D's open 24 hours. The manager and one worker were apparently asleep or screwing in back; I hollered several times and finally had to go around to the other door to trigger a buzzer before someone showed up at the counter. Had my usual $1 sausage biscuits, and a coffee.

Now I'm at Safeway drinking more coffee in front of a nice gas fireplace. There's wifi here. Got to stay awake until about 9, then find a place to crash for at least 4 hours, hopefully 8. [comment]

2009-09-09-2321Z

Forgot to mention that the universe has been quite generous to me even without people's direct participation. I lost the life vest I'd been using as a sleeping pad, and found an even better one the next day. Then not far down the road there was a stuff sack full of something. Took it with me, and it turned out to be a sleeping bag; very likely the best I've ever owned.

Still haven't hit route 50. Really hot out, and I'm chilling at Starbucks. But they keep playing the same goddamned album, early Beatles. [comment]

2009-09-09-2105Z

Last night I met Smitty and Derek at a Starbucks somewhere South of Reno. They are young survivalists, quite aware of the possibility of societal collapse, and it was refreshing to talk with them.

Lots of people see my bike and trailer, ask if I was at Burning Man, and when I tell them my story, say "That's crazy!" or even "You're crazy!" but with respect or maybe even admiration. I do believe I'm inspiring people. Not that they'll give up their cars and destructive lifestyles any time soon, but the seeds are being sown.

Other people have been gifting me food and money. A gambler having a streak of good luck handed me $25 last night.

Road construction on South Virginia gave me a travel lane all to myself last night. Some steady uphills, nothing very steep. Later a sign said for all bicycles to turn off, but didn't indicate an alternate route. Thought about ignoring it but glad I didn't. NV route 429 is old 395, and it was very lightly traveled. When it ended, there was one more climb then a descent into Carson City, the state capital. Slept on a museum lawn then had food, beer, and wifi at Firkin and Fox. [comment]

2009-09-09-1319Z

This is from way back when I first posted about the citation I got, but I have not found a way to cut-and-paste on the iPod yet, and until recently it's been too much of a pain to haul out the laptop. This is a response from one of my blog readers. Now, I don't agree with everything this guy writes and don't like some of the epithets he uses, but I appreciate his thoughts and in this case his reply was a welcome balm. Though I do love my lady friends, sometimes a guy friend can provide just the right perspective.

Read that about the cop, what a fucking annoying maggot. As if it should be against the law to take a leak in the first place. The usual acknowledgment is that if one makes the effort not to be public about it, it isn't considered public. The frightening thing is, he is a cop. Regardless of the law, if someone is taking a long bike trip, inevitably they have to take a leak at some point. Regular public servant... He should have just found out whether you were passing through or not or planning on living in the park permanently, been impressed at the sheer distance of your road trip, and then let you alone. A regular patriotic defender of freedom, that jackass. I'll use what little network I have and tell people to boycott Steamboat Springs for a year, because of it, it will probably cost them 100 times as much as they get out of your ass. Sometimes, my network isn't so little. As if the maggot hasn't done that himself a few hundred times in his pathetic existence...

Next time, bullshit an asshole like that. Wear some organization's button, and claim to be on a nationwide trip to raise money and awareness for veterans or cancer or whatever, and you might evoke what little conscious, human responsibility or social responsibility a wanker like that might possess and avoid the fascist judgment trip altogether. A fascist toad like that will otherwise judge you, the judgment won't be good or fair, and he will try to make you pay for annoying him and wasting his time, from his fascist point of view. If you avoid the judgment by supposedly being on some great public service mission, it would evoke the guilt trip if he would fuck with you, and he would leave you alone. Hell, next time, actually make an arrangement, even if its only one neighbor pledging a 100,000th of a cent a mile, with you actually paying the penny to the Red Cross or whatever, give blood and get a Red Cross button, etc... so its not actually a lie. At least, not any more of a "little white" lie than a fascist can be a public servant, anyway.

I guarantee the psychology will work, he would figure you were both public servants, and if he can't respect another public servant, he can't respect himself. One big happy family of public servants... Do it for the DAV, then actually donate $10 to the DAV at the end of the trip... cheap insurance. Otherwise, the cop could care whether you were a disabled veteran or not. Avoid the fascist judgment altogether - work the system, I guess, or it will work against you. "Honorable defender of disabled veterans" is better than "annoying indigent hippie freak". For all the asshole knows, you actually were on a charity ride. The strange headshrink thing is, it would appeal to what little conscious he might have before he fucked with you, and keep him from fucking with you, but it wouldn't bother him at all if he learned it after he had fucked with you.

Technically, there should be no difference between Jesus taking a leak on the side of the road and Charles Manson (or Marilyn Manson) taking a leak on the side of the road, but you know the cop wouldn't give Jesus a ticket for it, especially when the cop has done it himself a few hundred times just like any other male (or female) on this planet. And you know that Manson would certainly get a ticket. In the case of Jesus, it comes down to the cop knowing the law is wrong and nature and Jesus are right. In the case of Manson, it comes down to "I don't like Manson". In extreme cases such as those, we would probably do the exact same thing.

His kind, if you asked him if he has ever taken a leak outside, after he gave you the ticket, would deny it. Most cops actually want to be protectors and not fascists, in my experience, but his kind is out there too.

Whether you make the effort to avoid the judgment or not, its like having your leg fucked by a faggot dog, either way, isn't it? This society sucks that way sometimes.

[comment]

2009-09-08-2317Z

Sent off my $45 fine after printing up the forms at Office Max for only 65 cents. By Friday I should be a free man, without the threat of a warrant for my arrest hanging over me. And it cost me just over $50, thanks to court clerk Judy Plumb and Steamboat Springs City Attorney Colette Erickson, who foiled asshole cop Kelliher's devious machinations. May he piss on an electric fence and fry his tiny prick. [comment]

2009-09-08-1848Z

A third priority item on which I should spend some time and money: obtaining the knowledge, tools, and spare parts necessary to maintaining my bicycle and trailer.

Got some sleep in the grass behind the bus stop shelter across from the Atlantis casino on S. Virginia. Going to take care of that goddamned citation and get that monkey off my back once and for all. [comment]

2009-09-08-0919Z

Found a 24-hour laundromat on the corner of Victorian and Rock in Sparks. Having a restroom, it solved two of my most urgent needs. Sleep is a third, but that will probably have to wait a few hours. [comment]

2009-09-08-0837Z

I made at least 30 miles for day 2, and I'm calling the return trip complete. I may continue to post mileage and road condition updates, but probably not. Once I pay my peeing ticket to Steamboat Springs, CO, no particular urgency attaches to anything I do for a while, so I'm going to take things slow and see if my hands can heal. And I'm thinking about doing something to ensure I have a steady stream of income for next year.

Next stop on the journey will be Sacramento, to visit some friends there and get some good sushi. After that, the bay area. [comment]

2009-09-08-0357Z

It felt like almost all downhill from Pyramid Lake to the Reno metro area, but that's impossible unless M. C. Escher designed this corner of the universe, since the Truckee River runs into the lake. Drinking a Guinness at Bully's in Sparks and have a 2/3 pound Hall of Fame cheeseburger on order. Now to fill you in on what happened since my last update.

Met Kim and Lynn at a pullout after the 61 mile marker. They gave me some cold beer, and a ride almost to mp 18. Then I stopped for an Indian taco, $6 and coffee, $1. Coffee not very good, and there's not much to the tacos, but I like the frybread. Then stopped at the Nixon Store at about mp 15 and paid $10 for a lake camping permit.

The headwind to the lake smelled like shit, and the first beach looked like it. Met Wolfgang at Popcorn Rock Beach, where I had camped in 2006, and he brought me to Crosby's bar at the marina in Sutcliffe.

Guesstimating 13 miles from the Man to Gerlach, I made 76 miles to mp 8 of highway 446 by midnight of day 1 of my return trip. 42 miles of that was gifted.

The dried sagebrush of the Pyramid Lake area, when burned, gives off an aroma that smells to me like apricots.

Another bicyclist, apparently from the Burn, has passed me twice so far. I waved, but apparently he has no interest in stopping to chat.

The first milepost on 445 is 32, and turning onto that road changed the partial tailwind to a partial tailwind, which could account for my progress. The Pyramid Lake store is not far past mp 31. Beer bought there can be consumed on the picnic table outside, and you can fill your water bags from the sink if you buy something.

The burger was good. My first real meal in over a week. [comment]

2009-09-06-1052Z

There's an all-night Thai food stand in Gerlach, a traveling business that follows festivals. Lucky me. Good coffee and BBQ kebabs with peanut sauce over jasmine rice, $9.00. [comment]

2009-09-06-0846Z

Left Burning Man about midnight. No less than 3 police cars stopped me. The last pair of assholes told me I had to walk in the dirt or on the opposite side of the road. The first option is next to impossible, and the second is suicide. So I'm sitting by the roadside for a while before srarting again. It's probably Burn participants complaining about me. One had hollered "fucking freak!" at me as he zoomed past. [comment]

2009-09-05-2216Z

HOTD, Hair of the Dog, is arguably the best hangout at Burning Man 2009. At 6:00 DNA, easy walking distance from center camp, kitty-corner across from a microbrew bar, open about 18 hours a day with live music much of that time, it's a pleasant way to spend a dusty day on the playa. [comment]

2009-09-03-1841Z

Spotty net access at Burning Man, and where there's a good signal, invariably someone is hogging it with VOIP. Thank goodness for tcpdump and pingflood! Connection drops enough times, the offender gives up, and the rest of us can get our email. I haven't gotten caught yet! [comment]

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