Cordillera

This photo was made in the San Bernardino Mountains at a pullout on Route 330 with the Lumix G1. The view of multiple mountain ridges is toward the east.

I hadn’t rode any distance on the motorcycle for several weeks, but my throttle hand was itching from the time I woke on Saturday morning (February 4, 2012). The sky looked relatively clear from the valley. Sometimes the views from the San Bernardinos are not good above the clouds hanging over the Inland Valleys, but there had been mild winds the day before, and there is rarely any visible smog in the winter. I had a full tank of gasoline and decided to make a run through the San Bernardino Mountains. I packed the Lumix and a thermos of tea into the Road Star’s saddlebags, then rode the freeways through Riverside, Loma Linda, and San Bernardino to Route 330.

I expected to ride up 330 to Running Springs, take Route 18 east through Big Bear Lake, then circle back out of the mountains to the south on Route 38 through Mentone. It would be a three-hour ride if I didn’t stop too many times.

The air was relatively warm at home when I started, so I didn’t spend any time thinking about how cold it would be in the mountains. I was under equipped, wearing a couple shirts and a windbreaker. There was a medium weight jacket in the saddlebag. A few miles past Running Springs, patches of snow began appearing between the trees along the road as the temperature abruptly dropped. I stopped, pulled on the jacket and slipped glove liners on under the leather gloves. The electric glove liners would have been appropriate, but they were in the garage at home.

After a few minutes spent watching the skiers at the Snow Summit and Rim Nordic areas, I made a  u-turn, turning back toward the valleys. Since my hands were freezing up, I didn’t have any desire, or even a bad reason, to be cold for another thirty miles. Back home, I looked at the odometer reading of 92 miles. Not a bad ride and it “blew the stink off”, as is sometimes said. My throttle hand no longer itched, which is something that a ride across town to the grocery store wouldn’t have accomplished…

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