Monday, July 30, 2007
Alturas on the Rebound
With heavy hearts we departed Burns, OR this morning. It was windy overnight, and the sun came up over a cloudy, chilly plateau. Most of the group decided to leave early (around 6 AM by most accounts). Ron & Liz stayed behind to install yet another alternator with the help of Chuck and Will. John & Judy took the point about five minutes ahead of this late group, as we headed down Hwy 395, through the high desert. No sooner than we were on the lonely road out of civilization did I notice that my temp and tach gauges were doing odd things and reporting impossible readings. Since these two electrical gauges share a common ground, it didn’t take too long to figure out why my RPMs were gyrating between 0 & 6000, and it was a relief to discover that we really weren’t boiling at 235+ degrees.
Hwy 385 out of Burns is a lonely, desolate road…all desert paintbrush and tumbleweed. Very little traffic frequents this route. About midway between Burns and Lake View, a foolish little girl flipped her junk car off the Highway into the jimson weed. She was ok, but the junker will never be the same. We came on an Enterprise Moving Van the day before out in the desert that took a flip or two into the brush. Upside down cars in the desert sand are always an eerie sight. These roads are narrow and monotonous, and the shoulders are treacherous, just waiting for you to make a mistake.
Once in Lakeview, we planned to wait for the group behind us at the “Perpetual Geyser”, so we checked in at the visitor center to ask where this amazing local attraction might be found. The helpful lady told Judy that the geyser was closed because of the water shortage…? I guess they shut down the geyser to save water. But if they shut the geyser down, then it’s not perpetual…right? Is there a secret perpetual valve on the perpetual geyser? Who decides to shut the geyser down? The nice lady at the Chamber of Commerce? We never did see Chuck & Nora, Will & Carla & Chris, or Liz & Ron, but I bet they’re just as disappointed as we are about that geyser. Maybe they ought to change the name to the Periodic Geyser, or the Insert Coin Here Geyser…
We rolled into California, and stopped to take a pic of the big “Welcome to California” sign at the state line.
There was a rustic old building full of junk/antiques on Stateline Street, and when the owner saw us stop, she promptly locked the front door and drove off to lunch.
We’re going into town to see who’s here in the ritzier part of town.
Guess What? You’ll never believe who just rolled up to our door at the Broken Spokes Wagon Wheel Motel…BOB MENEELY!!! Patti’s here, too! Whoopee!!!
John & Judy