even though we had left early, it wasn't early enough to get to see a fully prophetic sunrise, yet it was still a rather fetching sight from the mining tourist ghost town we stopped at. we roamed around this place, hours before it was set to open, and then headed back to emilys house. the three of us pitched in and made quite the breakfast. Emily was also headed to San Francisco for a week with her roommate Melanie, to spend thanksgiving with Melanies family and three of us planned on camping in Joshua Tree that night, about a 5 hour ride west, so she said we needed to eat up her vegetables otherwise theyd go bad. So we had a panful of hashbrowns and onions and eggs scrambled with green beans and hot garlic paste. It was fantastic and we all ate our fill. Joe said goodbye and Emily and I packed up our things and waited for Melanie to show up. Melanie rides a 1980 Suzuki 850 with the front fairings on it. A right pretty bike. She arrived, packed, and we left. I was excited to ride without my 50 pd bag behind me, but my excitement was shortlived. The lurch/pop acceleration problem showed back up quick on the ride, probably because I was giving her more go than usual in order to keep up with Emily. I pulled over and took the air filter off to see if this had any effect on it, and it didn't. We kept on moving, and then I ran out of gas. Putter Putter Stop. Emily was on up ahead and she called and brought me some gas about 20 minutes later. I wandered around the side of Interstate 10, looking at all the junk that people had thrown out of their cars. Lots of car parts, an unopened manual to a wire welder, a shower decoration shaped like a foot, numerous bottles of piss, and so much more. All within 20 yards of where Id parked Josie. There's no telling what you'd find if you wondered the entire Interstate. I was surprised that neither a patrol car or someone on a motorcycle didnt stop to see whats up. But I probably didn't look like I was in need of help, just a dude wandering along the side of the road, smoking a cigarette and looking at the ground. I found a small lizard running around in a bush, and chased it around until it disappeared down a hole. I also discovered a massive ant colony. The colony was probably two yards square and the ants themselves were almost an inch long. It was fascinating. There was a pile of something dried up next to the colony and I assume its what they predominantly eat. Emily and Melanie arrived back with gas in a gas can that the gas station had let them borrow. I found it to be a poorly designed gas tank at least for motorcycles, and I was glad that the girls were there, because in my misunderstanding of the way the thing operated I was about to dig out a huge plastic piece with my knife, before they pointed out that it just slides back. I gassed up, and told Emily that I'd prefer to just buckle my bag back on and them go on ahead since it was only about 2 hours before sunset and we had about 3 to go. They took off and I stopped at the next gas station, only about 4 miles up, to fill up all the way. After I filled up, I decided that I wasn't pleased with the way my bag was attached, and as I was tightening it, I pulled the bike over on her left side. FUCK. I picked her up quickly before it leaked out all the gas I just paid for and noticed that Id smashed the left turn signal on the front. What a day. She now wouldn't start at all, so I drained the float bowls and that got her going, but she wouldn't idle now. If I didn't give Josie a little love on the throttle, she'd just turn off. God damnit. I thought maybe if I just rode her for a while it might clear up. 100 miles down the road I stopped for gas, and she still wouldnt idle. I checked all the hoses, and a couple of them were loose on the side she fell on, and after I got them back on there good, she idled regularly. The sun set as I hit the California line and I once again got no grief about my missing plates at the checkpoint. I tested out the lurch/pop in 5th gear to see how it was, and it was nonexistent. Maybe draining the bowls did something for it? Im not sure, but she was spitting lightning all the way into CA. About 50 miles from the camp site exit, I thought about how Emily wouldnt have any service in the woods and there wouldnt be any way for me to find her. I stopped at an exit close to the camp and found myself to be correct. I gave Dave a call and asked him if he'd mind if I showed up at his house in Corona Del Mar a night early and he told me that of course he didnt mind and I was about 3 hours from his house. An hour into that ride, I hit rain and pulled over at a Chevron to wait it out. I talked to Moorepants for a while, and then talked to Larry the gas station clerk for a while before I decided to just see how far I could get. On the radar, there wasnt just patches of green with dots of red, there was Bright blue spots and a little purple here and there, but I judged that it'd passed, so got on the road. 5 minutes down the road, I realized that I was wrong. The rain stung and it was in the 40s. I got soaking wet fast, and pulled over into a Dennys to wait it out again. I ate some food, drank a bunch of coffee, and then put on every stitch of clothing that I had with me. I had an hour and a half to go and decided to just do it. This became two hours by the end of it, and it was the longest two hours of the entire trip. It was still raining, very cold, and I didn't know exactly how to get where I was going. Traffic was tearing along past me, scaring me out my wits. I weaved my way through the last of the mountains at very low speed and received a lot of attention from the horns of other drivers. At one point, I took a wrong turn, and as soon as I realized it and turned around, I saw a shooting star, on a cloudy evening. Pretty rad. I finally made it Dave's house an eternity later and could barely stand. I stumbled down to the beach to look at the ocean and talk to Josie for a minute, then walked the block back to unbuckle my bag and carry it inside. I could barely move from exhaustion and the cold, but I dragged myself up the stairs. Dave woke up as I was going into the bedroom that I was going to be staying in, gave me a hug, and told me to make myself at home. I took off my clothes, got in the shower that adjoins the spare bedroom, and began a long shivering sob in a ball on the floor.. Josie and I had always talked about coming out here to visit her Uncle Dave. She shouldve been in the shower with me, we should be crawling in this giant, soft bed together, but instead, I was cold, exhausted, and alone. I consoled myself with the fact that Id finished the ride across the United States and fell asleep very quickly.