I had decided last night to keep going south and east -- it's where the storms aren't. I planned on riding some additional sections of old historic Route 66 which always makes me happy. So it dawned on me as I was riding today, it's because I was using today as just a way to get from where I was to where I wanted to be that I was feeling the way I was. This was just a "bridge" day -- the day to get from Point A to Point B, and because it was that and there was no other reason, and nothing to do/see along the way that I must have been feeling the way I was.
Point A in this case was Dublin, CA -- Point B was either Barstow, CA or Kingman, AZ. I'd be heading south on CA-99 through the San Joaquin Valley towards Bakersfield. I suppose this could be considered a cousin to US-23 which has been named the Country Music Highway as it winds through Kentucky and Tennessee for all the old country stars who were born on it -- and its the road the hillbilly's took north to jobs during the depression. The San Joaquin Valley is where the dust bowl Okies of the depression ended up, and Bakersfield is where Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and Dwight Yoakum all come from -- and I had a playlist of them all loaded on my I-Pod. However heading out of town my mood reminded me more of Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Morning Coming Down".
130 miles down the road in Fresno I stopped for lunch and decided I'd try IN-N-OUT burgers. This chain is all over the south and southwest and in California -- but not in Seattle. I have had friends rave about it, and have created a FaceBook page demanding they come to Seattle, and it's apparently all the rage. There was a new one in Fresno so I thought "what the hell". The line through the drive up went out on the street for half a block, and it was standing room only inside. I ordered, and sat outside in the sun waiting. It took a while, but they brought it out to me, and truth be told, it wasn't all that great. You know I'm a burger fanatic -- and this one was good, but not that good. Not enough to warrant the lines and the crowd. It reminded me of when Krispe Kreme came to Seattle and Tony stood in line for three hours on opening day. However, KK's are in my book, worth that wait.
In Bakersfield I turned east on CA-58, past the orchards dotted with oil wells which which mark the south end of the great San Joaquin Valley, and started the climb up the Tehachapi mountains. And for some reason now I was feeling the joy of the ride -- perhaps as I realized I was going to make Barstow, and perhaps because I planned on getting off the main road and taking a side road for a bit up to a railroad engineering landmark I'd always wanted to stop and see -- Tehachapi Loop.
Back across the street at the Holiday Inn they even apologized for the railroad noise and there is a little flier in the room saying that even with triple-pane windows some guests find the noise bothersome and they do have free earplugs at the front desk. Not for me. I'll sleep tonite to the sounds of trains, and dreams of the old road heading east before the freeway.