Coast to Coast Update from Dave H
Hello gang and welcome back.
Many folks escaped the Willamette valley for a well-deserved break over the holidays and we’re glad you’re back–safely. If you haven’t yet reported workout distances (Mark), or have missed a few weeks, and still need a New Year’s resolution (Mark), boy have I got an idea for you! How about joining in on our journey (Mark)? A few of the columns on my spreadsheet remain blank (Mark) and we could use your efforts (Mark) to help power our way across the US of A! Not to single out any one person, but…
Speaking of the spread sheet, you’ll notice a slightly modified but much easier to read version this week. We can all thank rower-turned-biker Dean for that. I gladly accepted the outsourcing offer and we’ll be using this format in the remaining 10 weeks of our journey. For those who reported previous weekly efforts after the fact, I have added those figures into our total. So, (Mark) if you still have those erging distances from previous weeks, I will add them. And by the way, if you report a figure and I don’t show it—please let me know. I do miss a few things! By the way, I am impressed with the variety of winter time activities you have reported to me. So far I’ve seen elliptical machines, dancing, skiing, biking, treadmill, and running. The only one I had to disallow was D2’s request to include watching basketball games. What a diverse group we are!
Let’s get on with it. Leaving Sonora Junction our journey takes us south on I-395 past Mammoth lakes—which are really big. There is in fact a Mammoth Lakes high school rowing team.
We then pass through Bishop, CA which has a cool (actually hot) springs which we visited. You enjoyed it—trust me!
Then through Big Pine—home of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
Then to Lone Pine, home of the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History which exposes the area’s frequent appearances in Hollywood feature films and the Lone Pine Film Festival. The Alabama Hills, west of town, are frequently used as a filming location for Westerns and other movies. The Whitney Portal road was used in the 1941 film High Sierra with Humphrey Bogart, which culminated with a shoot-out between Bogart’s character (Roy Earle) and the police, at the foot of Mount Whitney. Bet you didn’t know that!
We then travel through Inyokern (which sounds like a Slavic insult) on our Way to Boron. All the while, we are passing next to Death Valley which is known for many things: Its average annual rain fall 1.5 inches (just slightly more than Eugene), highest temperature of 134 degrees, 153 consecutive days with daytime high temperatures above 100 degrees (1991), the Badwater area is the lowest point in the western hemisphere (-282ft), and still it has the following number of species: 51 mammals, 36 reptiles, five amphibians, 5 fish, 346 birds, and 1,042 plants. I wonder who counted them all! During the Pleistocene era, the floor of Death Valley was once a lake; Lake Manly stretched for a hundred miles, and was as deep as 600ft. Wow!
Our next way station is Boron; home to California’s largest open-pit mine, which is also the largest borax mine in the world. If you’re old enough, you may recall the television commercials showing the famous 20 mule teams hauling wagons full of borax on their way to the soap factory. This was no small feat; they traveled 165 miles out of Death Valley to a rail car facility at Mojave, and climbed from 190 feet below sea level and over a 2,000 foot mountain pass. Today we have scrubbing bubbles! The rest of the history is here.
Here we turn east toward Arizona on I-40 and head to Barstow on our way to Needles California—home of Snoopy’s brother “Spike” who’s one friend is his cactus.
After Needles, we’re off to Kingman, Arizona—a city made famous by the song about Route 66. Get your own kicks there—and here:
A complete routing of our trip is here. I got frustrated with Yahoo and switched to Google this week. Hope this works for you.
So, that’s it. We traveled a very respectable 686 K this week and so far our trip total is 2,842 K. We’re on schedule to arrive in Glendale, Arizona (one of my previous residences) by next report. Can’t wait to see the hot air balloons again! By the time we get there the Duck fans and Tiger fans will have all arrived and filled the city so I’m thinking a “virtual visit” is just about ideal for our group.
Take care, keep on rowing or erging.
See you on the water (soon),
Bonus trivia question:
What is the name of the Auburn mascot and the Ducks mascot? The first response gets a bonus prize of 20 K added to their next week’s total—provided they go that far on their own too!