#139o CA155 Woody, CA

Fleeter Log #139o
CA155 Woody, CA

Day 21 - Tuesday
May 5, 2009
70 miles
Kernville, CA to Bakersfield, CA
Interactive Spotwalla map

I woke up this morning, took a few seconds to figure out where I was, then rolled over, and went back to sleep. The bed was comfortable and I was tired. I entertained the idea of just staying here for the day. After allowing myself an extended snooze, I rolled out of bed convinced the prudent answer was to load up and move on.

Kernville is an intriguing little place with plenty to offer that would keep me busy for the day, but the lack of Internet and higher room rate than I was used to paying had me strapping my bag onto the backseat of the GS by 9:30am. I thought I'd just make a short day of it and settle in early this evening somewhere in hopes of catching up on some sleep.
(click on any photo to enlarge)

The clerk at the Kernville Inn had a breakfast-to-go sitting at her side as she shuffled the papers that would officially send me on my way, no longer in the care of the Kernville Inn. I realized that I was on the hungry side of the morning and inquired where one might go for a good breakfast. Not one to hold back on the good stuff, her answer was the same place where her breakfast came from -- The Cracked Egg. I could find it just up the street off the main square -- a small place where the locals and regulars tend to go when breakfast calls. After checking out of the Kernville Inn, I take a turn or two around town, to get my bearings and see what the town has to offer in the daylight. Then I stroll through a local outfitter, but find that time spent looking at what the Kern River Valley has to offer just makes me second guess my decision to move on down the road today. This area seems to tug at some place deep inside me making me think I want to learn how to fly fish. Maybe some day I'll do that, but today I think I want to find breakfast before I leave town. I have time -- it's going to be a short day.

The Cracked Egg Cafe is easy to find and parking is not a problem. I head in to check the menu and get a fill up. Indeed, it seems that I am the stranger in town. Everyone else in the small dining area seem to know each other as they chat table to table and with the staff. I am invited into the conversation as the locals ask where I'm from and where I'm headed.

After finishing my omelet and a second cup of coffee, I head out into the bright sunshine to saddle up for the day's ride. I didn't get very far. Didn't even get a leg swung over the saddle, when two KLRs pull in and park next to me. Meet Dennis and Tim from Tulare, California. They often pair up to ride together on their two wheeled adventures that take them far and near. Today they are heading to Death Valley for a few days. But before getting anymore miles into the day, they're stopping for breakfast. The Cracked is a regular breakfast stop for them--just less than 100 miles from home. After spending several minutes talking bikes, routes, etc. while standing around outside, they offer to buy me breakfast. Since I already had breakfast, but was enjoying the company, I joined them back inside for another cup of coffee. The locals smiled and welcomed me back as I re-entered and the waitress poured me another cup of coffee, commenting that I was still on the "free re-fill" rule. This time I enter through the doors and am treated as a regular.

Eventually, I leave Kernville behind even though it is so late in the day that I again toy with the idea of staying another night. But I'm packed up and after all this sitting around, I'm getting itchy to move down the road. Funny that -- I can start getting "road tired" after so many days on the road, but then less than 24 hours later I'm getting itchy to keep rolling to see new territory unfold in front of me.

During my extended breakfast, I heard more than once that CA155 west through the Greenhorn Mountains would be a worthwhile ride. So I head south back along Lake Isabella to catch California State Route 155, locally known as the Garces Highway. I twist and turn, climbing up into the mountains with Black Mountain to the north and Pine Mountain to the south. I arrive at Shirley Meadows to realize that I am sitting amidst a Californian playground.

The scenery is beautiful and the road is intoxicating as I twist and turn my way through the Greenhorn Mountains.

Kernville may be worth another trip. I could spend days with roads like this in the vicinity and the Kern River to play in!

Hotshots are called in to fight fires that firetrucks can't reach. They have been called the "Green Berets" of the Forestry Service. The Fulton Hotshots are the local outfit called upon to fight forest fires.

Glennville, California one of the few small communities on CA155 between Lake Isabella and Bakersfield.

In Woody, I leave CA155 taking Woody Road to Granite Road which will take me into Bakersfield via Oildale.

Views as I travel south of Woody, California.

When exploring the backroads, one can slow down and stop once in awhile without worry of traffic. The entire way from Woody to Oildale (30 miles), I saw no more than three vehicles. I pulled over to see what I could find when straying off the path.

I find signs of a life gone by.
I think about the quartz gold that was discovered on nearby Blue Mountain in 1894. Those miners that 'rushed' out looking for gold had some superb views as they worked the granite.

The empty shells I found along the fence line may be a clue as to how the coyote left this earth.

Halfway House, a town only visible on my GPS screen, and some of the more detailed maps, was where I found this plaque declaring the site of the Butterfield Stage Station known as Mountain House. The Butterfield Line ran from St Louis, Missouri and San Francisco, California from 1858-1861.

I pass through Oildale as I close in on Bakersfield. Road signs in the area read like the energy stock pages on Wall Street: Standard Road, Getty Freeway, Texaco Parkway, Petrol Road, Oilfields Road, Farmoso Road, etc. I'm sure all these pumpjacks are a beautiful sight to someone, most likely the owner of the mineral rights, but I miss the open view of the rolling hills.

Today was only a short 70 miles, but the afternoon was packed with twists, mountain views, pines, rolling grassy hills, and still I have a chance to settle in early tonight. I find a very good price at a beautiful place. The Quality Inn on the north side of Bakersfield is maintained like a pricey resort. The inside courtyard has a stream running through lush tropical vegetation leading to the inviting pool. The outside rooms with drive-up access reflect the glow of the late afternoon sun on the freshly painted goldenrod doors. Color is provided by the pink flowers blooming between my room and my GS. Inside the fluffy pillows and pillowtop mattress await me.

Tomorrow I start my trek back east. I have 5 days to get to Moab, Utah.

Copyright 2009 Fleeter Logs

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