080913 At Battle Mountain

I have been a bit remiss writing this up. On the 6th I flew to San Francisco. The journey was pretty good. I wasn’t able to select my preferred aisle seat from the check-in. I begged but go nowhere. However  I had a middle bulkhead seat, which meant I could get out easily. I was between 2 young men, both very pleasant. BA were rather generous with a rather good Tempranillo. I was tired but could not sleep. I tried the Oxazepam, 3 at half hour intervals. No obvious effect but I wasn’t panicking at the end of the flight. We got in at about 15:00 local. I had some time to spare as I had booked a motel near the airport. I found the airport has a left luggage facility, then got the BART downtown. Buying a ticket was really difficult, though BART isn’t a fraction as complicated as London Underground. You look up the price from a list. When you use a card, it gives you $20 as a base. If the price is less you have to use Dollar and Cent buttons to decrease. The trip to town was worth it. I had a bite to eat and a beer at the Embarcadero, then walked down towards Fisherman’s Wharf. Didn’t quite get there. I was going to get a cable car back but you have to have change. I didn’t, so had to walk. BART again, picked up my bag and took the transfer to pick up my car. The Avis guy was a bit odd. I had booked a Focus size car. Of course he wanted to sell me something bigger but somehow I ended up with a bright scarlet Fiesta. I always have trouble finding the cars. I ended up on the wrong floor, but I got there at last. My motel was called The Renaissance. Not sure what was reborn but it was a standard motel. I had my own sat nave, but fixing it wasn’r easy. After falling off several surfaces it ended up on the side window.

I consumed a fair bit of my duty free brandy and got up a bit late. Had a nice conversation with a Danish Harley riding lady. I missed breakfast but got off OK. I drove past Sacramento to Auburn, where I have stayed in the past. The Eidelweiss Diner is still there and provided sustenance in the form of a Ranch Breakfast, which is everything you can imagine scrambled together.  On the way I passed a sign for a workwear company. It seems they ‘cover every crack’. Have they seen a british builder?

I stopped once more for petrol and water, in Ferndale which is where the speed limit goes up and the traffic goes away. I was in at Battle Mountain just after 18:00 and met lost of the usual crowd. Wonderful. Some of us went off the Mexican restaurant which was as good as ever. Then a relatively early night. I didn’t sleep well. I could not find my long camera lense in the dark and kept worrying, which was daft. It was there this morning. Looks like I have not forgotten much at all.

No sign of the Obree team but I found out from the motel they are not booked in until today. 

This morning was a bit leisurely. I managed to miss the work team going out to the course ;-). I spent this morning meeting old friends and photographing machines. Burrows has asked me to submit the tech article early so I need to gather everything.

I also showed around my Kestrel 4000 weather tracker. Good reception. I was able to find the data to program the barometric pressure and have set up the units. The vane stand won’t be here 1st day, but we can record everything else.

This afternoon we have the main pre-race meeting, where I hope to meet my team.  

The car works very well and is economcal. If it had a manual shift and less soft suspension it would be very nice. There is the question of a name for it. It is small and red so I thought of The Zit, but it is quite nice. In the interests of good taste I avoided The Tit and The Clit. I came up with The Scarlet Pimple, but it could be Pimpernel. A tiny scarlet flower and also ‘They seek him here, they seek him there”

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