California Love: Chasing Lightning on Route 58
By the time we’d pulled in to San Luis Obispo, the sun had packed it in for the night and a wet fog hung on Route 1. It had been a great day of riding.
The following morning I woke up to the sound of a steady rain tapping against the window. I got out of bed to look out the window but it was still dark out. The only thing I could see were the circles made by the rain falling in the lighted hotel swimming pool below.
The rain stopped while we stood outside packing up the bikes to get on our way. Thunder rolled over the mountains to the east. Hoping for the best, we set off on Route 58.
The western side of 58 is really a nice ride. It isn’t the most technical road, but there is something I like so very much about riding its curves through the golden hills. There was a sense of peacefulness to it.
Well,.. except for the place where the people from the Hills Have Eyes apparently live. Kenny surmised that the shirts were trophies from all of the other hapless travelers that stopped on the road, never to be seen again. I didn’t really want to test out his theory so on we motored, continuing east.
The fields were so dry. There was a large section that stretched out, burned black from the roadway far up into the mountains. It was a dramatic contrast with one side of the road being bright yellow and the other black.
We kept skirting around the edge of a pretty nasty storm. As we rode on, it always seemed like it was over the next hill. We watched as lightning danced from the clouds off to our right.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared to be out there in the lightning. There was no shelter, no place to wait it out. At best, we could do nothing more than turn around to get away from the storm. As I mulled these things over, the road turned away from where the storm looked the darkest.
Then as we approached the town of McKittrick, the storm was right in front of us. Lightning began reaching down from the clouds and shaking hands with the ground.
My heart was thumping away in my chest as I slowed to a stop. What to do, what to do?
As we sat on the side of the road for a minute a tumbleweed rolled in front of us. It wasn’t waiting around to make any decisions, it was just getting the hell out of there… and so would we.
More Posts From This Trip:
- Here It Is! The Greatest Road Sign In The World
- Hello, San Francisco - So Good To See You Again
- California Love: It's Time to Hit the Road
- California Love: Mount Hamilton and Lick Observatory
- California Love: Seaside Sandwiches in Big Sur
- California Love: Chasing Lightning on Route 58
- California Love: Rendezvous at the Big Shoe
- California Love: Golden Fields on Hot Springs Drive
- California Love: Sequoia National Park
- Hello, Handsome! Hayward, California Muffler Man
- California Love: Finding Gold on CA 49
- California Love: Rain on the Sonora Pass
- The Tiny Topaz, California Post Office
- California Love: Holy Hail on Monitor Pass
- I Think I May Have Opened Pandora's Box
- Heading North Through Lassen Volcanic Park
- Muffler Man: Hat Creek, California
- Long and Lovely - California Highway 96
- OMG - I Saw Bigfoot in California!
- A Symbol of Hope and Inspiration on California's Route 36