Friday, June 30, 2006

Jackson Wyoming

Jackson Wyoming according to the map, but everything around town suggests Jackson Hole. Ok, been asking around and it sounds as though the town is Jackson, but Teton village is in Jackson Hole and called Hole because it’s a trappers term…whichever, if you check out the map, look for Jackson Wyoming. Thanks to John and Chris had a floor to sleep on last night and a shower to use this morning the Wausau contingent were taking a bus tour today of Yellow Stone, 4 days on the road and they need a little R&R from the bikes. Me, you know it, on the bike to see the park. Got up early since to rest of them were so could have breakfast with them and Dale had a good suggestion, I could just follow the bus and make all the stops they do and save myself $50 to do the tour, well, maybe if I had been ready that early in the morning, but I figured on showering after breakfast, remember this is a vacation for me to so when I can sleep in, I’m going to. Notice the picture of the bus stuck in the ditch, that’s why I rode the bike so I didn’t have to deal with that, it wasn’t their bus, but I’m sure those people weren’t too happy about the situation.

Made the loop thru Yellow Stone and although it may be one of the most traveled National Parks, I wasn’t awestruck like I have been with some of the other places I’ve seen, don’t get me wrong the scenery is definitely worth seeing and something different to see, but maybe because I’ve seen so many of them, it didn’t have me looking at something saying wow, or a capital WOW which is still reserved…used it once in my life for a different reason. Ok, back to Yellow Stone and the adventures. Well, after leaving the Wausau crew from breakfast started getting ready for my travels and packed the bike just in case I didn’t end up back in Mammoth Hot Springs and wouldn’t you know it, those Space Saver bags are failing me that now it tougher packing all the cloths I have along than it was before. They are either starting to rip or don’t seal any more, but I’m sure they weren’t designed for the abuse I’m putting them through, remember how I remember how things use to be built to last? Not these days.

Finally got everything stuffed on the bike and ready to roll, and the other thing I forgot to mention, although they got rained and sleeted on yesterday, this morning, beautiful sunshine. Made a trip back to the gate I came in on since I missed the Wyoming sing so got to cross 2 states in a matter of minutes…I guess that fails in comparison to being in four states at once, but I thought that was quite an accomplishment. Also had to get a picture of the 45th parallel, halfway between the Equator and the North Pole and do you realize the same is over by Wausau? Chris told me the name of the place, but maybe he can help out and put a comment out there with the name…I guess I have another place to stop at along the way – just to make the connection and bring it closer to home. You can see from the pictures there is plenty to see and once again, thanks to me stopping that’s why you get the pictures you do…yea, I know maybe not the greatest, but with the camera failing me as much as it is, doing the best I can with what I have.

Of course the main attraction at Yellow Stone is Old Faithful and that’s where all the buildings and special highway to get to and from are, but I was more impressed with some other places such as Dragon Mouth Springs, had to take a video of that just to capture the sound it makes and it does sound like a dragon, not that I’ve ever seen on, only in the movies. Other places worth seeing was Yellow Stone River, lake, the Sulfur springs and the mud volcanoes, all pictured somewhere along the line. Made it to Old Faithful and although we had been joking about how good my timing has been on my travels so far, just missed the last eruption so am gonna have to wait almost 90 minutes for the next - checked out the map and how far I still had to go and was debating on staying and eventually calling it another night in Mammoth, but you can see, that didn’t happen. It was time for lunch anyway so good time to get that in and wouldn’t you know it, my cell phone worked so made a few calls to those who care. Finally time to blow and you can see, there was a buffalo laying between the crowd and the hot spring that when it did start blowing the buffalo started heading toward the crowd and of course they all scattered, but hey, I stood my ground, he’d have to get up on the boardwalk before getting to me so if I had to move quick, I think I could’ve.

Debating on doing the entire loop back to Mammoth, but according to Chris the canyon just sought of Mammoth was worth seeing so although threatening weather was approaching I went for it anyway. Ok, get there and thought about staying, but still plenty of sunshine to burn that I might as well head south for Salt Lake City, another reason I ended up in Jackson, or Jackson Hole to some of us. The other reason I didn’t push it any further is there’s a Harley dealer in town and maybe they can fix my stereo, according to Chris, maybe it’s just a fuse…let’s hope so. Oh and back to the timing thing and that maybe my timing wasn’t that good, well on my way from Old Faithful to Mammoth asked a park ranger if it was worth the drive and although he said it depends on what you want to see, he told me that a motorcyclist was killed a couple hours earlier just north of where we were…hey, time wise, if I would have decide to head north and come back to Old Faithful later, you never know, could’ve been me so I’ going to go with my timing being great once again.

Hit a few sprinkles because of that impending weather threat I referred to earlier, but just kept riding thru most of them and they were nothing, that is until I go close to the southern exit. All of a sudden it was a downpour and thought, nope, I’ll be out of this soon that just kept riding, well, not the case and you know you get wet a hell of a lot quicker than you dry out, am dry now, but it took 70 some miles before that happened. Something special about my travels today, I passed over the Continental Divide five times today, yep, 5, the loop thru Yellow Stone crosses it twice within a 10 mile span and then on my way south out of the park, hit it for the 5th time. Ok, now I see something worth seeing, the Grand Teton’s, now that’s worth a wow. I heard they were something to see from Mike at the Roadhouse in California and the other place he told me to check out was Jackson Lake Lodge and what a site…another place I want to revisit and share the experience with someone. Anyway the Grand Teton’s are definitely worth seeing and riding along. Hey, that reminds me, while driving thru Yellow Stone notice a couple in front of me, yep, slow car where I saw the driver paying a lot of attention to the road and the vehicle in front of him and his passenger just looking out the passenger side of the vehicle…that’s why seeing these places on bike is the only way to do it, you get the full panoramic view instead of just one side of the vehicle.

Jackson (Hole) and need a place to stay and thanks to Julie, she calls a few hotels for me, but the cheapest rate in town, $98, maybe camping will work and although that’s still $35, oh well, that’ still cheaper and it’s in town. Well, talking to the people running the campground told them how I want to get to Salt Lake City for the Tabernacle and such and the guy said they are Mormon and asked me if I knew how many wives they could have, hey, I learned that one in Zion and told him one, unless you live in Columbia City, hey, that’s an ‘A’ for me. Anyway they just happened to have a small spot left and next to five guys in town trying to work for a living three of them from Croatia. Well, there’s Daniel, Matthew, Ivan, David and Drazen and you might be able to figure out which three of the five are from Croatia, ok, you can only get two? well, Daniel is a brother…get it now? Here the place to visit while in town is the Million Dollar Cowboy and just missed dinner there that ended up there, Burke’s with a great bartender Katrina and another customer, Tom who’s in town on business. Was talked into trying the Elk chop and it was awesome…very tasty. Now, more therapy, but I got two viewpoints, one from Tom, who told me that women are cold hearted when they decide they’re ready to move on, but Katrina said maybe there’s hope cuz sometimes women aren’t sure what they want and may go back and forth, only problem with that, sometimes you do more damage than good…ok, I think I get the message and that goes with the lesson a few days ago, actions speak louder than words – time for me to move on. Jackson pictures.

Mammoth Hot Springs Wyoming

Mammoth Hot Springs Wyoming which is in Yellow Stone National Park so I made it from Kalispell Montana to Wyoming and figured since I had to meet the Wausau klan, yea their all white, better skip Glacier National Park…right. You can see from the pictures that I did make it thru there and once again, more beautiful country to see. Wanted to get on the road early today, but forgot that I lost an hour, you know, going from Pacific Time to Mountain, so as soon as I saw what time it was, figured I better hit the road – oh how I long for Pacific Time.

First major problem with the bike, the speakers went out so stopped at the local Harley shop to get it fixed, but no luck, they are just coming off the state HOG rally and have the national one coming up this week in Billings so have no room, not even for the out of towner’s…ok, so now I’m back to riding like I use to, no music, just the sound of the bike and the wind blowing thru my hair…I mean bald head. From there, needed medication, no not for therapy, but stopped at the local Walgreens to see if they could help me out. While there had to call my buddy, Steve who builds these places to see if it was one of his so he could move me up on the priority list…no luck, but hey at least Steve now has my blog site address. It didn’t take that long and the ladies were great help…I know, missed a picture opportunity and names because these were a couple of hot looking Montana pharmacists.

On the road to Glacier and when I got there another park fee so when talking to the ranger said, you know how much I’ve already spent on entrée fees, I should’ve gotten the $50 pass, well wouldn’t’ t you know it, if I show them my receipts from the other parks, they’ll apply that to my $50 fee. And to think I was going to send all my paper from my side bag home, but decided to wait and it was a good thing I did since I still had those receipts…got a discount and once again, timing was everything…more on that later.

Another great national park and you can see from the pictures that there was a lot to see and for your benefit, there were a lot more stops for photo opts than usual. Since the camera isn’t cooperating and there were too many shots to be taken, made a number of stops so the hour and half it was suppose to take from one side of the park to the other took more like two and a half hours. Finally to the other side and I better book it if I’m going to make Yellow Stone before the sun goes down. Now this is the Montana country I here so much about long baron roads with nothing but prairie around and you have to like the speed limits around here…70 so that means I can make up time and do 80 – except for the curves, found that out too soon since I crossed the center line and got back just in time as the oncoming traffic was bearing down on me…ok, at least it wasn’t because I was messing around with the camera and I paid better attention to the speed markers for the corners. Got to ride some gravel too since there was two 10 mile stretches under construction, but again made up the time with the speed limit and even with the cops passing me, from the other direction of course, no problems with the law.

Hit a bit of rain and if I would have just kept riding the next mile would’ve been out of it right away, but at least put on the leather and although my back got a little wet, and I mean just a little, I was now suited up to make the rest of the journey without having to make another stop to gear up. Today I was also happy to be a Cenex card holder because when running on empty thought I’d be running into the same thing as New Mexico, no towns or gas for miles, but hey, look what I found, the only gas around and the only way to get it was with a Cenex card…once again, I lucked out on gas.

Made pretty good time and while it was still early enough got the Mammoth Hot Springs where the Wausau group is staying. Checked at the front desk and they said yep, their checked in and in a cabin, but we can’t give out that information. Great, they’re expecting me and you can’t tell me which cabin? Well, drove by the cabins and saw a few that had bikes parked by them and figured must be the ones with the covered bikes…can’t let’em get dirty, but since didn’t have phone service couldn’t call to find out where they were - did at least leave a message for Chris that I was going to hit the restaurant while it was still open and at least eat before trying to find them. Well, guess who I saw when I walked into the place, yep, there they were sitting at a table just finishing up with their salads and waiting for their orders…once again timing is everything and what’s that other one that might be getting old? ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ It was great seeing them all again, and had fun telling them about my journeys. Sounds like I lucked out in the weather department too because their trip today was thru sleet and a heavy thunderstorms, but I at least brought the sunshine with me for the rest of the week. Chris and I had a good time visiting like usual and spent time talking about the two women missing from the group, had fun with them in Tomahawk, but oh well, that was a long time ago that you just have to move on…ok, their loss because Chris and I are still riding – yep, more therapy. Tomorrow I’ll tour Yellow Stone and see where I end up. Getting anxious to get home because if I’m going to make New Hampshire sometime next week, gotta boogey. Not highspeed pictures.

Kalispell Montana

Kalispell Montana and today was all about riding with some great scenery along the way. Not too often making plans on being somewhere by a certain time, but since this week I am, figured I better get as close to Glacier National Park as I can. Plan is to meet the Wausau crew, yep curlers and the same group we rode with last year in the Tomahawk rally, at Yellowstone Tuesday night that means put the miles behind me somewhere. Had to plan my leaving this morning according to the ferry schedule and when I looked at it last night thought I’d shoot for he 9:20 and made it with time to spare. The ferry ride didn’t help since it’s about a 45 minute ride, but it did give me time to study the map and ask one of the crew which would be a better ride for the day to get here. Well, not only him, but others thought that might be a bit of a stretch in a day, but they don’t know how fast I drive. Ok, finally off the ferry and decided would head north a short way on the interstate and take the scenic route. Glad I did to, except for the rush hour around Seattle, but once out of town and in front of the slow people had a great ride. It was also fortunate I took Highway 2 because look who I got to meet, Jill (aka, Flo) and her daughter Lauren who makes a hell of a shake…it was great. You can see Jill was ready to have her picture taken cuz just after I shot the picture of the restaurant, the door flies open and she poses…like the spirit. Had a great time visiting with her and Lauren and if you ever get thru those parts, make sure you stop in and ask for a shake from Lauren…killer shake.

Went thru three states today, Washington, Idaho and Montana and they all had a little something different to offer. Crossed the Johnson pass in Washington and although saw signs and lanes for adding or taking off chains, didn’t think the pass was that bad…steep in comparison to others, but that might be because some of the other passes I’ve already gone thru are closed during the winter and this one is open – what thinking on my part, right? That’d be the only thing I’d think since the others had signs whether the pass was open or not, so it works for me…and can work for you. On the way over the pass came to a stop where they were moving a trailer home under a bridge, had to deflate the tires so it’d make it and again, timing was everything since I had stopped for lunch, only had about a 5 minute wait. Went to the front of the line since on bike…not the thing to do here, but jawed it up with the lady holding the stop/slow sign and told her I needed to get in front of all these slow people which she was more than willing to help me with. Asked how far to Spokane since that was the first destination before heading here and whether to take Hwy 2 all the way, but she thought I might not make it if I didn’t get on the freeway, but again she doesn’t know how fast I drive. Over the pass and the east side of Washington is completely different since its high desert, but again, the weather is perfect so it made for great riding.

Getting to Spokane wasn’t bad at all and soon I found freedom…made it to a state where I could get rid of the helmet and a good thing too since my head hasn’t seen the sun on the bike since getting to California a few weeks ago. California, Oregon and Washington all have mandatory helmet laws so was looking forward to heading east, not only toward home, but could get rid of the helmet…yea, I know should probably wear one, but the way I look at it maybe take more chances with one on because you think you’re safer, right? Just go with me on that. Another pan handle too, Idaho’s and it was a nice ride along the river…don’t know the name and ain’t gonna look it up right now, but hopefully the pictures show some of it. Yep, another problem with the camera, now the display doesn’t work very well so can’t see what I’m taking a picture of and’ll just hope pointed it in the right direction. If it’s not one thing with that camera it’s another, but again, they’re not built for this kind of abuse…remember the good old days when they’d build something to last? Well, getting thru Idaho didn’t take long, but before I made it to the Montana border hooked up with Maureen who was riding the same way as me. She was going to Libby, which hey, I’m going right thru there so we might as well ride together. She left her husband behind since he rides something other than a Harley, so, that works for me…not the real reason, but she was on her way to Libby to meet a girlfriend and for work; she’s in the construction estimating business. Saw one deer on the way and when I left for Kalispell, she told me to watch for the deer which was a good thing, the roads were crawling with them. Only ran into one on the road, ok, didn’t hit it, but saw it that had to slow down so it could decide which way to go before I did, but you get the idea. Once again I’ve gone thru some of the Rockies and the ride thru Montana was along a river which reminded me a lot of highway 35 thru Wisconsin with the bluffs on the left and the river on the right, felt like I was home doing the great river ride, but the smells here are quite different…all the pine around and if I could only create that picture and smell thing I’d be rich…will have to work on that one.

Close to Kalispell and was desperate for gas that when I came upon a gas pump, made the stop and it was a campground that I thought maybe I’d stay at. Well, when asked about a restaurant in the area still serving, too late, not a problem though because according to them Kalispell is a big town so the restaurants’ll be open late and should be able to get a room cheap. Asked about just crashing on a park picnic table, but they said the cops are looking for something to do and want their names in the paper that they’d probably arrest me…ok, Motel6 works, but hey, none of the restaurants or bars are still serving food, only Finnegan’s, which is just like a Denny’s, I knew there was something about the big city I liked - being able to eat almost anytime anywhere you want. Ok, so the one thing I don’t get, the hotels are full this time of year because of the tourists, but the restaurants haven’t gotten on board. Do they realize how much money they could make if they just stayed open past 10:00? Oh, and before I forget, thanks again too Ann, who didn’t know me from Adam before I showed up, but was a great hostess. It’s not only being blessed with the great friends I have, but meeting new ones who are as good to me as they are…thank you and thanks for making this a memorable trip. That brings me to today lesson which came from Ann, glad you joined me yesterday and it was great talking to you since our situations are somewhat similar, the lesson is from Helen Keller and its:
When one door of happiness closes, another opens;
But often we look so long at the closed door
That we do not see the one which has been
opened for us.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Vancouver Canada

O’Canada, which completes my border to border ride from Mexico to Canada and Vancouver, is a beautiful city to see. Check it out, they had a festival in my honor, ok, maybe not for me, but the International Jazz Festival was going on and once again, timing was everything. Well, it didn’t start out that way since we’re on a ferry schedule to get to places around here, so we were 5 minutes late for the ferry, the could have come back to get us. That wasn’t the case so we had an hour and half wait before the next one came. I say we because although Ann had a ride planned with a group of women that she had invited me along on, most of the women backed out…yep, must have been me. Well, since that ride fell thru, she offered to show me Canada so if that little Honda can keep up, that’d be great so we decided to head north this morning. You know the real reason she rode with me though, to get out of the country while the Gay Pride ride was going on…yep, that’s why I’m gone. Anyway, since we missed the ferry and had some time to kill, checked out the Port Townsend city which was a pretty cool little place. Most of the old building in the city has been preserved as well as many of the houses so many of the buildings were pretty neat to peruse. Once we finally got a ferry ride, it was off to the Whidbey Island, still Washington, but did you know it is the longest island in the country, Long Island is the other one. Well, the island was a great ride and got to see Deception Pass, only after stopping at the bar with the same name to have a little lunch and checkout the walls of dollar bills – of course I have to hang one and you can see the ‘Where-is-Webby’ bill and the wall it’s hung on so if you ever make a trip thru, stop in and see my bill. The lunch was ok, but a little deceiving…good one.

The rest of the island was a great ride, but first had to check out the pass and bridge Checkout the currents running under the bridge, there are warnings for the boaters not to go against the currents and they are always different, the currents that is, because it depends on whether the tide is coming in or going out. Apparently a lot of boats have perished thru there trying to go against a current or not being aware of which way it was moving at the time. Anyway, some nice viewing so got plenty of pictures. Time to finish the island and head to Canada and I’ll tell you, the Canadian border was much nicer to see than the Mexican…sorry, but it is and you can see for yourself. A peace park at the border and you don’t see nothing like that at the Mexican border, only machine guns, dogs, walls and fences to keep the people out. One nice thing, I can read the signs because Canada is a language I understand, English. Did have a bit of a problem though, all the road signs were marked in km/h and you can see on this 2006 bike it only reads mph – oh well, as long as you know the conversion that 1 km/h is .6 mph, that’s easy math…ok, that’d be 100km/h means 60mph, but I still like seeing a speed sign that had 100 on it. Yea, if I would have gotten pulled over, I would have had an excuse, right? Wrong, but didn’t see any Canadian troopers…maybe that’s because their all Mounties on horses? Here I got to straddle the border so which half of me do you think is in which country, yep my heads in Canada…well, wait a minute, is that right?

Well, as you can tell we found a party going on so had to check it out and I could tell in a short period of time, this is definitely a city I want to come back to and share with someone, it’s beautiful and friendly and they have some pretty interesting advertising. See the advertisements in the men’s bathroom? - One with a young guy and a bunch of beautiful women around him for a breath freshener, and Viagra right next to it, only in Canada. While the bands were finishing up, decided it was time to ride along the Sunshine Coast, as they call it, and road as far as the road would take us, Horseshoe bay, from there you’d have to take another ferry, but didn’t have time to go to Vancouver Island so that’ll have to wait for another trip. Oh, yea, my return visit to Vancouver, because than I can take whosever along to Victoria to see that beautiful Canadian city…well, have at least heard it’s a beautiful Canadian city.

Oh, while downtown, checkout the t-shirts I found. Thought about getting one as a gift for someone I know, but hey as long as a picture says a thousand words, that’s good enough in this case. That also had me thinking about the saying, ‘Actions speak louder than words’. Why is it then we ignore the actions believing the words someone is telling us instead of reading the actions and doing what we should when those actions are screaming at us, maybe because we want to believe? Yep, more therapy. Tomorrow, get to head east and hopefully take the great weather I’ve had on the west coast with me. Canadian Pictures.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Seattle Washington

Well, still Port Orchard, but today was a day to see the sites that Seattle had to offer and another beautiful Pacific coast city…maybe not a coastal city, but with the amount of water around it might as well be and the most commonly used form of transportation for getting around other than a car are tube ferry’s…no, not those kind of ferry’s but with what’s going on this weekend, might as well be – more on that later. Started the day out getting an oil and filter change and they still don’t come cheap on these bikes. They keep recommending the 5000 mile maintenance which is over $300, but putting over 5000 miles on every two to three weeks might break the bank that the 10,000 maintenance’ll do for now, besides the bikes running great that why mess with it. Met Sonny and Dick as well as a number of other members and those in those people with the same interest are always friendly. Another small world thing too, Sonny is from Tomah Wisconsin and is retired from the Marines I believe it is and living in Seattle, a pretty nice place to be retired. Still has family back home so makes a number of trips back to God’s country…but you know something, am finding out there are many other places people would consider God’s country, that is except for those of us from Wisconsin. Noal and Russ took good care of my bike for its 15000, well make that 16000 mile maintenance and they even filled it with gas…no guarantee I won’t run out again though. Jon did a great job washing it and although he scrapped and scrapped and couldn’t get all the bug goop off, was time to get going to catch a ferry that the only way to get rid of those bugs’ll probably be a power buffing…they’re stuck on there good.

Ok, since the other big form of transportation around here are ferry’s, had to catch one to Seattle and because of the time picked the Bainbridge Island ferry and what’dya know, picked the right one. Right because it was a great view of Seattle on the way there and am finding out that should eventually take ever ferry around here because it gives you a different view of things, and around here, there’s plenty of view to see. Hey, check it out, bikes get priority around here and get to go to the head of the line, first on, first off which is great. Checkout some of the sites along the way too, pretty cool view of not only Seattle, the Space Needle and Safeco Stadium, but have a number of views of Mt Rainier in the distance and the other ranges to the west. This is really another beautiful city which I’m seeing plenty of along the way. Oh and the other thing is the weather is perfect. Have heard it from many people from around these parts that picked the right weekend to be in town because this is the best weather they’ve had all year and were overdue…see, timing is everything and I did bring it along with me – sorry it might be gone in a few days, but I sure hope that means great weather heading east for me.

Did the touristy thing so of course had to see Pick’s Market and the Space Needle and although the Needle was a little spendy at $14, couldn’t pass as an old looking 13 year old or young looking 65, but tried, was kinda worth the trip - well, did get to take pictures from all around the thing and you definitely get to see everything around. Built for the World Fair back in the 30’s I think it was when they had a space theme and hey, as long as I’ve seen the alien invasion in Roswell, gotta check this out. The cool thing though was the person who took my picture, some southern hottie I got to visit with. Yea, I know, should’ve gotten her picture, but she was returning a favor since she asked me to take her picture to prove to her husband she was here, he might not like the idea of who she asked, but we talked about my trip and how I had already been thru her neck of the woods, Charleston, so interesting to talk to. Done with the Space Needle that had to head back to Pike’s to pickup shrimp for dinner, yep, I’m cooking bacon wrapped shrimp and steaks, gotta pay for my stay. Well, it was a good thing I headed back there too cuz I got to catch some fish, what a rush getting the behind the counter in front of the crowd and being able to throw fish around, hey, I may’ve found myself an new job. I can see why they wrote that fish book about this place, you know the one, Fish! Tales: Real-Life Stories to Help You Transform Your Workplace and Your Life…a must read for everyone.

Had to head down and see what the Kenny Chesney concert had to offer and it looked like it was going to be a blast. Yea, if I weren’t cooking dinner for my stay would’ve gotten a ticket and checked it out since there were a lot of hot Cowgirls running around, but after found out today was ‘Dikes on Bikes’ and tomorrow is a Gay Pride ride, wouldn’t have made any difference except that I’d probably have more guys trying to pick me up than the women…ok, I didn’t pick Seattle this weekend because of that, but that’s going on around the country so wouldn’t have made much difference where I ended up…not to offend any one, but just not my cup of tea. Another ferry ride to the other side of the sound to make dinner and had some extra company, Ann’s friend Mike and his daughter Elise…hey, two Elise’s in one week – remember, Crater Lake. Tomorrow, no not the Gay Pride Ride, I’m heading to Canada so they can’t find me. Seattle Pictures.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Port Orchard Washington

Port Orchard Washington, a suburb of Seattle and thanks to my friend Barnie who set me up with here friend Ann, have a place to stay for the weekend. You have to give Ann a lot of credit for not knowing me from Adam, but putting me up for a few nights and hey, she has some more Minnesota company so I feel right at home. Kathleen is here for an AcademyHealth conference and her daughter Emma is here since her birthday is Monday…I already feel right at home – and sleeping in the garage, maybe for my own safety more than theirs?

The plan for the day was to go and see the Spruce Goose, but was surprised by how much more they had at this museum than expected. It was cool seeing all the different displays and I wish could’ve captured just how massive the Spruce Goose was better than I did. All the other displays were dwarfed by the Goose which of course was the main stage and the video on the building of it, its flight and rough history was very interesting. The one thing I learned is the reason it was built out of Spruce wasn’t because they thought hey, maybe a wooden plane would be a better idea than metal, but because of the war going on when the thing was first being built, there was a ban by the government against building anything of metal…that’s how they came up with a design of wood with a laminate exterior. Well, the way thing looks now you’d never known that it was disassemble for shipment here and rebuilt on the spot which took I believe it was 180 days, or maybe that was just to move it. And where they moved it from was a museum built for it in Long Beach next to the Queen Mary; remember that from at least a week ago, my visit to the Queen Mary? Well, before that it was stored for decades in a warehouse built just to hide the thing since it was built with some U.S. funds, but mostly Howard Hughes money that they wanted to keep it secret until after Hughes died and Long Beach wanted it since that was where the virgin flight and only flight took place. Eventually Long Beach decided they didn’t want it anymore and were going to destroy it until Evergreen Aviation stepped up to the plate and purchased it to build a museum for it and many more aviation artifacts, some I’m not sure are originals, like the DaVinci wings, but ya never know. Anyway, was a very interesting museum to visit and the Spruce Goose was definitely worth seeing.

Ok, time to check out the map and figure out how to get back to the coastal highway to ride that up to Seattle, that was until I noticed on the map, St Helens and since that volcano erupted in my lifetime should check it out, right? Sure glad I did too because it was a sight to see and once again some great riding to get there. This time I made sure when going the right way meant making a left turn as opposed to a right turn and although I stopped a couple of times to ask for directions, it still took longer than expected, but the reason for that wasn’t getting lost, but something else I learned. According to the map I was looking at the town of St Helens which is in Oregon, but isn’t where the mountain is. Ok, now how do I get to the St Helens Mountain National park? Well, could go back part way the way I came and catch the interstate or take a more scenic route thru Rainier, the city, nope, not the mountain there either. You got it, took the scenic route and when stopped at the first St Helens visitors center found out it was an hour and 10 minutes one way to get to the Johnson Ridge which had the best viewing…that means 5 hours before I’d make Seattle, but hell came this far that have to go for it and I’m glad I did. Seeing the mountain from that view and the movie on how it erupted and created everything around there was very interesting and well worth the visit – oh yea, the movie had a special ending, but can’t tell you, don’t want to ruin the surprise for your visit. Found out that when they were building the facilities, the workers had paths they had to stay on and if any of them stepped off, they would lose their contract. After the buildings were built, everything that was moved for the building of the place was put back where it had been moved from, that was to keep record of how things ended up after the eruption…again, definitely a place worth visiting and I’m sure glad I took the detour. On to Port Orchid and something to eat while Ann, Kathleen and Emma were stuck in Seattle because the ferry was full and had to make the hour drive around the peninsula thru Tacoma. Tomorrow probably an oil change which is a thousand miles overdue and the sites of Seattle and maybe even a Kenny Chesney concert as long as he’s in town this weekend. Museum Pictures. Mt St Helens pictures.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Lincoln Oregon

Lincoln Oregon on the coast and the reason this was the stop for the night, it’s gettin cold riding along the coastal highway and I missed a few turns along the way. Stopped for gas and asked how far Portland was and when heard a couple of hours, figured this is a good place to call it a night, oh and the other thing, things close down early around here that if I still wanted to check in someplace and find a descent place to eat, better do it sooner than later.

Did a little zig zagging, maybe more zagging since already zigged last night from the coast to Grants Pass, but the plan was to head to Crater Lake and check it out and boy am I glad I did. On the way went along the Rogue River which was a beautiful ride and if the camera would’ve cooperated, you would’ve seen it, but it was quite picturesque. This mornings thoughts, just soaked in all the beauty around me and lived for the moment…it’s true, if you live in the now you can find happiness instead of wondering what the future holds or worrying about it – all you can do is deal with the now and this ride was the only thing I needed to be concerned with at the time and it was beautiful. So the ride there was without incident, but all the way there I was thinking about this Crater Lake and what it must look like since my assumption was it was created from a meteor. While a Green Bay Packer Fan or new one since he’s from Washington and just happened to buy the hat, took my picture by the snow bank and told me you gotta stop at the visitor’s center to check it out. While Elise was very helpful and really got into her job explaining everything about Crater Lake that you could possible learn in 15 minutes. She’s from and Texas and said the first time she saw the lake she was awestruck. Well, this lake was actually created by a massive eruption in which the mountain collapsed into itself and because of all the rain and melting snows, filled it with water, no meteor or spring water creating this thing. The other thing it is the deepest lake in the U.S. and the 7th in the world and the clearest water of any of them, and blue - never seen water so blue that it’s unbelievable, but you can get a little perspective from the pictures in comparison to the clear blue sky. Check out how much snow there is and again, timing was everything because the west loop had just opened this week, but notice the other road closed? The other half of the lake was still covered in snow and the roads were just being cleared so there was no loop around the entire lake to be taken today, maybe middle July, but I don’t think I’ll be around for that…oh, and the other thing, hell the mosquitoes here are worse than home, believe it, and definitely larger than we get back home.

Ok, so drove to the parking area to walk to the edge and check it out and as soon as you see the lake, it’s easy to be awestruck. I don’t know that there are words to describe what you see in front of you, but I did hear some words such as awesome, unbelievable, incredible, amazing, etc. – you get the idea. I remember telling Elise that my favorite destination or at least the one which left the most memorable impression on me was the Grand Canyon, but that was before I saw this. Just look at the reflections in the water and believe me, it is the bluest blue you have ever seen…and the snow, that handful quenched my thirst cuz although it was a cool ride, it was plenty warm walking around so a snow cone sounded good…and tasty – no dirt or yellow snow in that handful. The other thing riding down from the lake was the sight of the other mountains in the distance and checkout the snow banks. There were places where the snow banks on both sides of the road were easily over 10 feet on each. Also road thru the Pumas desert, you know all the soot from the eruption?

Well, now that I saw what I came for, it was time to head to the coast to hit the coastal highway again, but first needed something to eat so finally found a place that had a great burger. The ride from the lake along the Rogue River was a great one and a long one before coming across a place that served food, but talked to the people there and asked what other sights I should check out. The Spruce Goose was one I told them I definitely wanted to checkout so they told me where it was and one of the guys suggested checking out the Sea Lion caves. Ok, so the directions were easy and I had the road numbers memorized for getting to the coast, but wouldn’t you know it, when got to the T in the road went the wrong way, but thought for sure was going to hit the other road heading west, well, guess not. Yep, looked at the map and although when in doubt always go right, well that was the wrong turn. After checking it out, hey there were some other roads that would get me there so might as well take them…what a mistake that was. Even though I asked someone whether backtracking was a better bet than taking the road in front of me, they said no, you’ll like this twisty curvy, wait, according to the Oregon road signs, the correct term is ‘curving road’, and it shouldn’t take too long so ok, I’m going for it. Shouldn’t take too long, right? Wrong! Get out in the middle of no where and I don’t know how many intersections I hit that were a T in the road and no marker of where to go from there, left or right. Felt like I was going in loops, but asked someone I finally saw on the road…yep, two vehicles the entire way so you can imagine how isolated and little this road is known, but hey a great ride nonetheless. Keep going the way I am and’ll reach the coast in another 30 miles…well, backtracking earlier would’ve definitely been the thing to do. 30 miles later and guess where I came out on the coast? Yep, the same place I would’ve had I made the right, I mean left turn the first time or backtracked the second time – boy was I happy to see the coast.

Finally heading north on the coastal highway and it didn’t take too long to get to the Sea Lion Caves, but hey, guess you’ll miss being able to see it, cuz I was 15 minutes late…remember, timing is everything. No problem for me though cuz hey, I got to ride that road that very few do and it reminded me a lot of a ride went on last year thru the bluffs of southern Wisconsin and how these little roads in the middle of no where are sometimes the jewels that no one else knows about, hey, if you ever ride in Oregon, I’ve got a road for you…ya, that’s whether I could find it again or not. Asked someone coming out of the caves whether they were worth it and they said it was very touristy so not missing anything…ok, on north toward the Spruce Goose and that brings me here; Lincoln Oregon where I found another cheap room, Econo Lodge and had a great meal at Kyllos where I got some great pictures of the sunset. Hopefully Seattle tomorrow, times running short on getting to New Hampshire sometime the 4th of July week…still so much to see. Crater and River Pictures.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Grants Pass Oregon

The first day of summer and more awesome riding along the PCH, well, maybe not the Pacific Coast Highway, but Hwy 1…probably the same, but it’s not marked the same all the way along the coast. Here I am sitting at another Applebee’s but this one in Grants Pass, Oregon and I have Tracy and Mindy (Melinda) to look at so it’s a good place to call it a night. Hey check it out, Mindy’s nickname, ‘Mouth’, a number of us have a buddy with the same nickname for the same reason they talk a lot and have a lot of stories, I’ll work on Mindy for her best. Another Motel 6, but rolling in at 9:30, not going to be too picky. The other, this being a retirement community, not a lot of restaurants to choose from for dinner and the bars don’t serve food after 10:00, just might have to start timing things a little better.

Had a great time throwing the bike around today, from curve to curve hittin’em hard and that’s exactly what it feels like, throwing it around when going around a curve and having to flip to the other side for the opposite curve…that’s what’s so much fun about doing it on bike – that’s as long as you get in front of the slow traffic. The thing they have out here for those curvy roads to allow someone like me to pass are turnouts, but not everyone knows how to use them. Almost got caught passing a couple of vehicles in a no pass without a turnout, but couldn’t take the 15mph below posted speed. It was a flat straight that ran for a mile that should’ve been a passing zone, but made one out of it and just in time, as soon as was back in the lane comfortably, a state trooper came over the hill, only thing to worry about then was my speed. That’s why you have to experience twisty curvy roads on a motorcycle cuz although the curve posting might be 20mph, you can hit it at 40 making it twice as much fun. Ok, maybe not the safest thing to be doing, but definitely the most fun snaking around like that. Almost did go over the edge once though and not sure what happened except for hitting something slick in the road. Sometimes when downshifting and just using the engine to slow down the back’ll skid a little, but it’s sometimes planned that way that your ready for it, but this time it was doing the downshifting without the skid, but each time hit the back brake the tire kept skidding that almost didn’t make it around the corner, ran onto the gravel and with less than a two foot shoulder almost over the side down to the bottom of the trees…I swear, was playing it safe in the turns, but don’t know what happened in this particular situation…definitely got the heart pumping a little more.

Got an early start since got up earlier than normal, but that’s the least I could do, help Dennis run an errand for the hospitality him Amy, Justin and Kelly showed me this week, very much appreciated and I was well rested for the ride. It took a while to get my riding ass back, but half way and I was ready to ride all day. A gas stop and probably a good time for lunch and wouldn’t you know it, a place that welcomes my kind, ‘bikers’ that ya gotta stop. Mike greeted me right away since he saw me ride and is a biker himself and we talked about my trip which he made suggestions on destinations I need to make sure I hit along the way…heading that way anyway so any help is very much appreciated. So much for getting home from the west coast by the end of June, but hey, it’s not here yet and remember, all the time in the world. Had a great bbq beef brisket and Erika and Mary made sure I was well taken care of, thanks.

Ok, eventually got to the avenue of the giants which was a must according to Dennis and it’s like a whole other world among the large Redwoods. Very little sunlight and the birds flying below the Redwood canopy that it’s a great ride. Kept heading north and now more helmet problems, yep a strap broke this time that saw a Harley shop so had to check it out, well, found out I missed the Redwood you can drive thru. Thought for sure it was north in the National Redwood forest, but apparently it was where I had come from…ok, not that important that I see, well according those at the Harley shop, not missing anything. Not enjoying these helmet states and they didn’t have a cheap one I could get to get me thru that’ll see how far this one still takes me, so on the way asked a trooper at a gas stop what the penalty was and if I got pulled over and a ticket what would happen if I got pulled over again, since I just got one would they just warn me then? Well, cost is over $300 and it’d cost me for each offense so not something to try. He also said that most states have a helmet law and after what happened with Rothlisburger more might go that way, just what we need, someone who shouldn’t of been riding in the first place taking our freedom away…remember, I’m gonna shoot to have the law changed after this trip to honor the laws a person is from…ok, and then all the states would probably change because of a football player that should’ve just stuck to football. Out of the Redwoods and eventually into the state of Oregon, now this state knows how to welcome you, not only with the sign, but incase you missed that, in the pavement. Tomorrow, Crater Lake and back to the coast. Pictures are here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Alcatraz and Wine Country

Today was a perfect day to go to jail and use my ‘get out of jail free’ card and see the wine country. Normally it’d probably be the other way around go to wine country and after hitting a number of them and doing the tasting gettin thrown into jail for drinkin under the influence…ok, some states call it a DUI, others a DWI, lets just say after seeing the news story on TV, it doesn’t make much difference because after visiting a number of winery’s I can easily see being a little looped. So, because of that decided tonight wasn’t a good idea to get together with my second cousin, Kim, because after a few wines and some beers, getting on a two wheeler isn’t the thing to do.

Was told to take a lot of pictures of Alcatraz, so that’s exactly what I did. Many of the same buildings, from different angles, but the audio tour is definitely the thing to do. Was a little disappointed that it didn’t point out more of the grounds, but covered the penitentiary to a great extent. I guess that’s where all the stories were because the rest of the grounds were mostly for the Warden’s house, electrical buildings, maintenance buildings and guard buildings. Was surprised by the number of buildings that were in tough shape, but found out they started tearing down the buildings to dismantle it before the Golden Gate commission came along and claimed it as a historical marker…and that was after the Indians invaded it. Notice the sign welcoming the Indians, it wasn’t because of them being thrown in jail, but a standoff of them taking over the island after it had been claimed as not worthy of occupation – or something like that. Well, wish I could tell you more stories, such as the gas cylinders in the mess hall, ok, cafeteria, but in a jail, ‘mess hall’ probably fits, but the whole idea was incase the inmates got out of hand they could control them by gassing them…that’s why it was also called the gas chamber. Ok, you have to do the audio tour to get all the stories and hear the background sounds which is more than I can do with this blog. Notice the difference between cell block A and the rest of the place, they had us grab the bars because the originals were square and the newly renovated cells had round bars, but I couldn’t feel the difference, were they suppose to be colder, warmer…didn’t quite understand what difference they were trying to point out, but oh well. Then there was the solitary confinement cells which no way would I want to be locked in those. They were suppose to leave the lights on, but never did and the other thing with the area is it was the side facing the Golden Gage Bridge which has the ocean on that side so means the cold winds blowing in from there and they did have windows, but also holes in the walls to let the air thru the building…for those stuck in those cells, not only was it dark, but cold.

So have to do the Fisherman’s Warf for lunch and a lot to choose from, but for a quick lunch hit one of the side stands. A lot to choose from, but the fried shrimp and chips’ll do. Was already thinking, San Francisco is definitely a place I need to return with someone to share the adventure and it’ll still be hard to get everything fit into a week…ok, maybe if Dennis and Amy put me up, we could spend more than a week. Well, there’s definitely plenty to see in this area and for the 3 days that I’m here, not nearly enough time to see everything.

Ok, time to get home and meet Dennis to head to wine country and he brings a friend Paul, cuz today, 3 is better than two. There is so much to see in wine country and so many winery’s that I can see renting a limo for a day to take a few tours. Not only because of the number of places to visit, but remember, after a few wine tastings, you feel it, even if it does cost to taste the wines, so buy a bottle and that fee is waved…another thing to do, taste one you like so buy the bottle so you can sit and drink a little more. Got to taste some great wines and had a lot of fun talking to Carol and Bill at the Bartholomew Park Winery. Bill is a big Harley rider and heading out for a 16 day ride so had to talk to him about day 44 for me and everything I’ve seen and still have left to see. Yep, 44 days that I’ve been on the road and have passed up that movie, what was it 40 days and 40 nights and still going, but hey, how long can I guy go? Back from wine country and met even more people at Paul’s place. His girlfriend Meghann….ok, girlfriend might be high schoolish to some, but still a term most use, her dad Rob who lives by Zion park and told me it’s a place worth visiting…already been there and have marked it as a place to revisit. Rick who use to be roommates with Paul and Dennis and Ellie and Stan, isn’t Ellie just the cutest little girl and oh yea, more of a small world, Ellie’s mom is from Medford, the same town Dennis is from. Ok, for those that don’t know, Medford is about 15 miles north of Colby Wisconsin where I grew up and the Medford people would always come down to Colby, you know, ‘Colby wantabees’. Ok, they might argue otherwise, but I never made as many trips to Medford as they did south. That’s the great thing about this trip, just how many people I’m meeting and how great they all are, and interested in hearing about my adventures. I’ve got to tell you, I’m learning more and more about life as this trip goes and the greatest is just being alive. The other is I am truly blessed having the friends that I have. That had me thinking, sometimes we might take our friends for granted and not keep in touch the way we should, but they are always there for us, isn’t that the way all relationships should be? Ever notice just how easy it is for us to take our loved ones for granted and out of all the people in our lives, shouldn’t they be our best friend and appreciated even more for being in our lives? Some know what I’m talking about, but oh well, I guess we live and learn and eventually know who our ‘true’ friends are…ok, more therapy.
Hey, notice that Nascar is coming to town? Would be a great weekend to spend in town and see a little racing since I’ve never been to one, but that’ll have to wait and I’m sure I’ll eventually get to one. Had another great dinner with Dennis, Amy and family and I so much appreciate their hospitality and letting me stay as long as I have. It has definitely been a break that I needed to just relax and not worry about getting on the bike everyday, but tomorrow will be a new day and time to hit the road again. Have been on the west coast for quite a while already and still a lot to see between here and home. Alcatraz Pictures. and Wine Country Pictures.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National park and what a beautiful place to see in the middle of California. But, before I get to that, how about my ride and adventures there? Well, the first part of the trip was pretty easy over the Richmond bridge to Oakland and filled up with gas before leaving this morning, but wouldn’t you know it, pretty close to running out of gas again…didn’t though, notice the guy with the gas can? Well, that’s Scott and although my tank wasn’t completely dry, I figured there’s no way I’m getting to the top of the hill since the thing started to sputter. Turned around and headed down the hill where these guys were working and asked if they had any gas, Scott said they had just used the last half gallon on the water pump, but wouldn’t you know it, just a little left in the can. Didn’t think it’d take much to go the 5 miles the one guy said it was to the top, but I don’t think he took the curves into affect, maybe 5 miles the way the crow flies, but a hell of a lot farther around the 10-20mph curves. Well, the thing snorted for gas a couple of times toward the top, but the left curves definitely helped…gas line on that side so if I can just keep leaning left, should make it…just in time, a gas station. Ok, so didn’t run out of gas, but sure would’ve if it weren’t for a little help.

After filling up, Scott had told me about a little café at the other end of town that was worth eating at, so made a stop at Big Oak…wouldn’t you know it, just as Sarah was walking in, that’s pretty good timing. Had to ask if it was a good place to eat cuz some guy just told me about a little café and according to her, this must be the place, well if she can eat there than I can too. The place was full and Nellie was trying to find a couple of tables for two singles, but I told her if she didn’t mind, Sarah that is, maybe we could dirty one table, well, only thing open was the bar and for me, that’s been my normal - sitting at the bar by myself having something to eat…poor, poor, pitiful me. This time I had company and had a very nice talk with Sarah about the trip, relationships and life in general. Told her I’ve learned a lot on this trip how everything happens for a reason and instead of getting upset or pissed off about it, you just figure out the best way to deal with the situation and make the most of it, it’ll all work out the way it should. Also told her that of all the people that I’ve met along the way, we are all very much alike, I’m not talking whether nice or not, but all looking for the same thing in life, happiness which we have to find within first. Well, ok I have met a lot of great people and everyone is helpful and does want to help, but I guess like I told her, it might be that small town thing. More talking and found out she had just had her first bike ride a week ago on a Harley and loved it, there it is again, something about women and their love for Harley’s, sure it’s not us guys who ride them – hell, you know better than that. The other thing, she’s an office manager doing the paper work for the guys at the water plant…what a small world, sounds like another small town girl I know, wonder how she’s doin? Anyway, Nellie was also our server and what a fireball, full of energy and loved talking - notice her halo? Well, all in all a very good lunch and great company visiting with Sarah and Nellie, thanks to both of you and Nellie, the colored words 'Yosemite Pictures' at the bottom of the blog will take you to the pictures, if you need more instructions, just send me an email and I’ll give you step-by-step.

Ok, onto Yosemite and hey, check it out, the oldest established bar in California. Now that I have Texas and California out of the way, will have to make another trip for that, the oldest bar in every state….yea, we’ll see when I can fit that trip in. Made it to the park and this time I got to play in the California snow in a t-shirt of all things. The temps over the pass were great and although I had to start out from San Francisco, or Mill Valley to be exact, with a jacket, didn’t need it once over the mountains inland. And wouldn’t you know it, Tioga pass had just opened a few weeks ago, another example of great timing, remember the Independence pass, you know, Colorado, May 30th…boy that seems like ages ago already. Anyway, this pass is just as awesome and had some even better scenery, not only mountain waterfalls and rivers which the Rockies had, but some beautiful lakes, just look at the pictures. These lakes look spectacular in real life too, and trust me, the water is cold…had to check it out, no – no skinny dipping or swimming, but just dip your hand and you’ll know what I mean. Anyway, the height of this pass at 9945 feet might be pretty close to the Rockies or at least Pikes Peak which was around 9000 feet I think…will have to check that out on the internet. Got to see both sides of the pass and it really makes a difference going back the way you came on the same road, the view is totally different and much of what I saw the first time thru not only didn’t recognize the second time through, but saw things I missed the first time. Was looking for looping roads thru the park so didn’t have to take the same road, but now I know why you don’t need a loop, or maybe a better example, that’s why every year in Sturgis we try to figure out what direction we went the last time, so we can take it the other way this…a different view.

Ok, not only was the pass great, both ways, but had to make a trip to the valley and more unbelievable sights. The river was running wild and some of the valley road was washed out because of flooding and for as strong as the currents had been. Oh well, got to see the largest waterfall in the park anyway…check it out, the Bridal veil fall and for me, the largest I’ve seen up close. Yea have seen many pictures of big ones, but never stood at the bottom of one and gotten rained on…you might notice that in one of the pictures. Just what the camera needs, a little water to wash the sand from New Mexico away, maybe that’s why it’s not always working to plan. Oh well, more great riding thru the park and after seeing it all, time to head toward San Francisco, still an almost 3 hour trip and tried to cut that time until a State trooper pulled up next to me at 80mph on the freeway and told me to slow it down a little, ok, 78? Guess where I ended up writing this – yep, the same place I’ve been the last 2 nights, D’Angelo’s and still working on that British accent. Tomorrow more sight seeing and a little relaxation. Hey George, New Hampshire by the 4th might be a little tough. Yosemite Pictures.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mill Valley California, Day2

Today was one of those days I definitely needed, sleeping in and just relaxing without having to worry about getting the bike packed and getting on the road for a ride, whether a short one or long one. I got to just relax and enjoy fathers day, no not a father, but if I were or ever am would still be the thing I’d want to do. Tried figuring out when I could fit everything in wondering whether I should make a ride to Yosemite today, see the other sights of San Fran and hit wine country, but decided against taking a long ride and thanks to Dennis and Amy’s hospitality, have me talked into staying until Wednesday, you know to do all that while here and not skip anything due to time…remember, I have all the time in the world, although there are some things I worry about getting home for sooner than later…but remember, everything happens for a reason so No reason to cut my trip short or rush home, things will turn out as they should…some know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, today was a day that Dennis and Justin took me around in the car to see many of the San Francisco views and it was nice and comfortable doing it by car instead of bike. Oh, that’s the other thing which you’d think doesn’t make a lot of difference, but I hate having to strap on that helmet all the time, even for a short ride – it’s so much easier just hopping on the bike and going, ok, deal with it. So you can see the highlight of the ride was Dennis showing me the Yellow Cab Co-op, yep, really went there, the pictures prove it - went there not because of the view though, but to pick up Dennis’ cell phone which fell out of his pocket last night. Well, we backtracked to the place he parked last night to see if we could find it, so I decided what the hell, I might as well call it to see if we could hear it ring…a pretty big parking lot to be looking for a cell phone. Anyway, someone else answered it and it was someone from the Yellow Cab company, pretty fortunate for Dennis since he’s flying out of town tonight for business, a trip I really wanted to join him on, one day back to Minneapolis/St Paul, but figured no matter how bad I might want to get home, I’ll put the $350 airline ticket toward the trip…God knows I need it for that.

That reminds me of something that did happen to me yesterday, but I forgot to mention in my blog. Remember, yesterday was my lucky day so forgot about the bad that happened, but for those how know me I always dwell on the good times and forget about the bad…ok, more therapy. Well, on my way toward San Fran, pulled off to take the Pebble Beach 17 mile and see the golf course, but was turned away. They’re charging $9 per vehicle and I did my usual and asked if it was half price for motorcycles, but was told nope, can’t take the bike in…now I know how some feel discriminated toward…I don’t look intimidating, do I? So they don’t allow motorcycles so asked if I could at least park the bike and walk to the golf course only to find out, it’s quite a hike to which the ranger asked me if I had a car that I could come back with to go thru - told her was from Minnesota so only had my bike with me…her response, ‘I guess today’s not your day, sorry’, all I can do is sit here and laugh, that’s a good one.

Ok, after doing the car tour, of San Fran, not Pebble Beach, did have to return to Lombard Street to do it by bike so could say I did it on the bike. Well, more Golden Gate bridge pictures on the way and oh yea, it’s a toll bridge but only one way, you have to pay $5 per vehicle on the way into San Francisco, so today it cost $10 to get there, thanks to Dennis for paying for the first trip. Anyway, more pictures of the bridge and you can see I got pictures of me going up Lombard and coming down, but as soon as I posed for a picture with the bike at the bottom, the camera went dead…more problems with the battery and not even time for one picture from the bottom, it’s definitely a sight to see…maybe another day this week. Went to the Fisherman’s Warf and checked out that area, but again, no pictures…maybe another day this week. Did get Alcatraz tour tickets but was surprise how much they were sold out of. The first available was tomorrow at 11:45 which won’t work out for me since I’m planning Yosemite so thought the earliest on Tuesday’ll work, well, nothing available until 10:45 that morning. Hopefully that’ll still give Dennis and me plenty of time to do wine country since he’s so graciously decided to take half a day off to show me…remember all the time in the world and as long as I’m here should see it? Sure it’s going to be something I’ll want to share with someone, but right now, this is my trip. Had a great fathers day dinner with Dennis and the family with bacon wrapped shrimp and a roast on the grill, just in time before Dennis had to head to the airport. Got to play with Justin for awhile and he’s definitely full of energy…I’m already beat and ready to call it a night, but had to come downtown Mill Valley for another night, definitely yuppie town, but I don’t mind, just have to work on my British accent. Today, a planned R&R - more riding tomorrow. San Fran Pics.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mill Valley California

From the Hearst Castle to the Golden Gate Bridge so saw some great art as well as an awesome road to travel. The road was awesome because of the sights, not the condition, but they were twisty curvy roads just like I’ve seen in the mountains and as picturesque if not more since there was the ocean, the ocean cliffs and the California Mountains. It had me thinking during the ride just how blessed we are in life and having the views and things to see…it is truly unbelievable how different not only this country is, but the world – something I got from the Hearst Castle which has me thinking, I wonder if I could make a job out of this and turn this into traveling the world. I’d need to figure out how to get the bike over the water and if it were by riding it, well, I’d be rich just coming up with something like that, but a thought….what if I put it on a ship and road it on rollers at the same speed the ship is traveling just to get the miles on it…you know, like those rollers bikers, cyclist, ok non-motorized bicyclist use to train indoors, that might work.

Ok, back to reality and today’s travels. Like I said some great art to see and it all started with the Hearst Castle. My earliest morning yet since I have an appointment for the 8:30 showing, well, not really, but once I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep, figured with the time I did have today and since I wanted to make San Francisco before the day was over, should hit the road early. Well, got there early enough to catch the first tour which was great…love being first. Took tour number 1 and found out there are 3 others left to take, but that’ll be some other time when I get to share this experience with someone else, yep, another place worth coming back to visit. Maybe not much right around there, but just the riding to get there and from there is well worth it. Most if not all the art there are antiques which were purchased overseas and the oldest are the Egyptian artifacts, they apparently predate Moses. The other thing and that’s why there are a number of pictures of them are the ceiling, they made a point about that because it was important to William Hearst that everything throughout a room catches the eye, including the ceilings. You’ll also notice the number of statues of naked men and women from, what would that be the Roman Empire, there’s one that was my favorite – I decided to title it ‘Every Man’s Dream’. Check it out, a skinny dipping pool which many of the guests used after a late night movie…why not partying at a place like this. Hearst Castle Pictures.

Couple more things I also found out about William Hearst that I didn’t know, one that he had a girlfriend and the other was he went bankrupt and it was his girlfriend that bailed him out, kinda interesting that could happen with all the art and stuff he could of sold for the money, but hey, gotta like having a girlfriend as well as wife. Well, the reason for that is because back than a divorced woman lost her social status that he decided to keep her around as long as he could have the girlfriend…well, so she still got to party and him, still a lucky man. Hey today turned out to be a pretty lucky day for me too, because once the tour was done saw Cody cooking up some beef brisket so talked to him and hey, the stomach is telling me feed it and that looked pretty good. Well, once he got everything setup, yep, not only the cook but had to do everything else since no one was helping him, did it all on his own so gave me a complimentary meal…thanks Cody and the meat was done just right. Oh yea, and not to forget about Chelsea, she gave me the paper and pen that I needed and notice she was studying, well it was for her learners permit, she looks older than 16, doesn’t she…oh my how people could get themselves in trouble.

That Pacific Coast Highway is something else and once again, the only way to truly enjoy it and take it in is on motorcycle. It was a pretty chilly ride along the coast with the northerly winds blowing right from the water, but hey, if I can ride through the Continental divide and stay warm, I should be able to do the same in California, right? Again, twisty curvy roads that are great to travel and also just like the mountain roads, once I got around the slow people to take the lead, what a rush riding the corners hard…the only problem was stopping for pictures every so often, feel lucky, and getting caught behind the slow traffic again. PCH Pictures.

Finally San Francisco is in sight. Had a bit of a detour since the last 22 miles into town was by freeway, but when PCH is wiped out from a landslide ain’t gonna try it on bike, besides look at some of the cliffs along the way, same thing as the mountains, go over the edge and you might as well kiss it goodbye. Ok, while in San Fran have to see the Golden Gate Bridge right? Well, had no problems finding the park that has the Botanical gardens and museum, but I was looking for those parks along the coast that give you a great view of the bridge. Asked a number of people and was surprised the guys were more friendly and helpful than the women…wonder what that’s all about – yep; around here the men want me. You can see I went wild on pictures today, but hey when you have a digital camera and can download all the pictures you want on a laptop and delete the days pictures from the camera…I’m gonna try to fill it up every time. Made it to Dennis and Amy’s, but no one home so hope you don’t mind that I let myself in and washed off the road grime…I’ll be home soon.

Talked to one of the neighbors and he said downtown Mill Valley was the place to go, but figured I’d ask a couple of good lookin women walking along what they’d suggest. Well, Ciara & Janis pointed me to downtown Mill Valley to look for a place with atmosphere and food, but ya know, you ladies really should have joined me cuz this is where all the action is. Once found the square and parking asked a couple more people what they suggest and still no luck finding someone to join me, but decided on this little Italian Risorante, Piazza D’Angelo’s. A great pizza that even shared with the bartender, Bill, ok only gave him a piece so I guess I did find someone to join me…not that kind of join me. Check out Bill and Alexa, couldn’t get her to join me, but hey Bill, I was looking at the same thing. Golden Gate Pictures. Don't forget the other pictures above.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

San Simeon, California

San Simeon California and yep, just like you, have no idea where it is except for the fact that I’m here and you’re not. The one thing I do know is the Pacific Ocean is behind me with the cliffs, the mountains are in front of me and the Hearst Castle is about 5 miles to my left, north, so I guess that means I’d be facing East – now only the smart ones would’ve figured that out right away…first clue, Pacific behind me. Got into town a little to late for the last tour of the Hearst Castle, but caught the movie of the building of it and after seeing that figured it’s worth spending the night in town and touring it tomorrow.
Ok, took longer than thought it would and that’s because had some rush hour traffic around LA and the PCH, remember, Pacific Coast Highway isn’t necessarily highway all the way. It also doesn’t always follow the coast cuz someone said just keep the Pacific to your left and you’ll be fine, well, when you can’t see the ocean, you just hope it’s still to your left. The temps change quite a bit riding the coast so made a number of stops to gear up and gear down just for that. Right along the ocean it was cool enough, yea, the sights were cool, but in this case talkin temps that had to put on a layer and once inland too hot that had to take off a layer…no skinny dipping here. Well, guess the beaches are warm enough and the water isn’t too bad, but when traveling along at 65, the temps do get a little chilly…those who ride know what I’m talkin about. The highway from Malibu to Santa Barbara is a great ride along the cliffs and ocean, but after that it was mostly country riding until got to Pismo Beach, which by the way, was packed this weekend and apparently is the place to party…they have a classic car show that I know some who would be interested in and saw some pretty interesting cars driving around. Didn’t hang around though cuz had to get north and from there to here, more great riding along the cliffs and ocean and you can imagine if the Hearst Castle is just up the road, a great view.

Marianne and EK were great hosts giving up their bed and sleeping on the air mattress in the living room for this weary traveler and also great therapists. Yea, I know what I have to do and it’s always easier said than done, but like I’ve always said, everything happens for a reason. Marianne put together a great breakfast of fresh fruits from the area to send me on my way and oh yea, she impressed EK and I by being able to get the bike off it’s kickstand. She couldn’t reach it to put it up, the kick stand that is, but that’s where you hope it goes up when you start riding…except for those bikes that won’t even let you start it with it down – probably the same bike with the airbags. Time to see how many miles can put between there and here, well, with rush hour again around LA, that meant more white lining which am really getting sick of and believe it or not longed for those hot rides thru New Mexico where could just set the cruise and cruise…hey, more rhyme so maybe I should think of a riddle, maybe later. Tried to take a number of pictures along the way and glad I decided against changing the camera mount from the right to the left cuz all you would’ve seen in most of the pictures had I changed it was mostly ocean. For those ocean views that I did think were worth it, did stop for, so feel lucky.

Ok, like I said the movie of the building of the Hearst mansion was impressive enough to stay for the tour, but I learned some things about him which I didn’t even realize. That was that although he had made a great fortune in the paper business, he was already rich to start with, ya know that silver spoon thing. His dad George actually discovered silver in this area so was wealthy beyond comprehension at 40 and his 19 year old wife, well she was 29 when took William on a tour of Europe…think about it, that’d make William 10 and very impressionable. Well, there’s more to the story than that, but one thing I remember from the movie that stuck with me was, ‘Dreams should be shared because that’s the only way dreams will live on’…they were talking about Williams dream of the castle and sharing it with all who get to still lives on – in a sense me doing this trip and sharing it with whomever cares is kind of the same thing, right? Ok, just go with me on that. Well, shacked up in another Motel 6, but this one has a restaurant and bar so Wendy, Robert and Courtney are taking good care of me and wouldn’t you know it karaoke night with some pretty interesting songs being sung…more words for my therapy. Tomorrow hopefully San Francisco and a return phone call from Dennis, he’s a tough person to get a hold of, but friends and those who care ALWAYS return the call. PCH pictures.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Loma Linda, California

Loma Linda California to visit Marianne and EK and made it just in time for Redlands market. Had to white line it again and this time not as much HOV lane to take – you know High Occupancy Vehicle…well, so mine’s full with the pack on. This time reached speeds of 80mph weaving in and out of traffic…like I said, gettin’ the hang of it. The market was ok and had to buy a basket of strawberries to eat since it is berry season and they’re suppose to be really good here…hey, has anyone picked berries back home for me yet? Anyway, had to get a beer and something to eat so stopped at the local Irish pub for a little grub – no, I’m not a poet, but hey if it rhymes, might as well us it. Sure needed the beer more than the food to calm the nerves after another rush hour ride.

Thanks again to Tom and Melissa for putting me up for the night, this time I made sure I didn’t pull the door shut behind me until I was outta there for good…no need to lock myself out of their place too. Didn’t have to hit any freeways to the Queen Mary so was easy enough to get to and saw some army bunkers along the way…wonder what they use to have housed in there? Also some man-made islands along the way that were interesting to see…wonder what they have housed in those? Once to the ship followed the signs for the self guided tour until got to the ship and found out needed a $22 ticket to get on the ship, well, I can get around that. Asked how to get to the restaurant cuz could use a little breakfast and sure enough, get off on the wrong floor on the way there and you end up back on the self guided tour. Was interesting to checkout and learned from a video that the thing was in WWII. Yep, they took all the furnishings out and built bunks and such for the troops that they hauled enough of them that they had to sleep in shifts of 3 for the 5 day trip across seas – probably crammed like sardines. After the war the ship was once again upgraded and became the Queen of the sea, thus the name. Took many of the stars and Royalty on voyages until the bigger better ships came along at which point it was donated to Long Beach and renovated into a hotel, conference, other events and museum…has be thinking about my next cruise. Ok, maybe didn’t enjoy the only one I’ve been on too much, but things can always get better the second time around.

From there time to hit Venice Beach and of course Muscle Beach…yep, pretty much one in the same, but my muscle head buddies told me, ‘gotta go there, dude’. Took more of the PCH, you know Pacific Coast Highway and of course had to stop into the Harley shop along the way. Ok, maybe I should have done a workout before posing for some of the pictures, but remember I’m getting my workouts riding along at 80+mph…also didn’t want to get all sweaty just yet. Thanks to the one armed guy who took my picture by the water, was interesting seeing how well he handled that camera even though the camera is built for a righty. Asked a couple of bikini clad chicks walking the beach if it’d be ok skinny dipping, but wouldn’t you know it, they had no idea what I was talking about – from Canada no less, but French Canadian so didn’t understand the word, just my luck. More interesting beach to see and would have taken more pictures, but most of the vendors, not the stands, but the homeless with shops and arts setup across the way, ask for money if you take any pictures of their stands, that’s why you only got a picture looking each way of the stands…some pretty interesting ones though, especially the biking and t-shirt shops. Time to get to Loma Linda to visit Marianne and EK and checkout how well Marianne fits the bike…I’m sure she could ride it down the road; the only problem would be getting it off its kickstand. Tomorrow more PCH heading north. Muscle pictures.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Tonight Show

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and for anyone who watched it could see that I made it on the show. Sent an email to Jay a few days ago about the webbsite and my trip around the country and he was interested enough to find out more…now if you believe that. Ok, so didn’t make it one the show, but made it too the show and everything else is true. Sent him an email a few days ago, but found out they need 2 weeks to get security clearance before being allowed on stage. Next time, like there’ll be a next time, I’ll remember to send the email earlier. Was number 27 stand-bye, but being the middle of the week and the guests, it was easier to get in. George Carlin and Ann Coulter don’t exactly see eye to eye, but nothing came up on the show to show otherwise. The highlight of getting in and seeing the show was the singer who was on…KT Tunstill from Scotland singing her song, ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’. That has become a song I enjoy listening to on the road because of the beat and words and wouldn’t you know it, she happened to be on the Tonight Show I’m attending…now that’s fate – or, how everything happens for a reason. That’s the other with how I ended up #27 stand-bye - fate. According to the directions Alameda Ave should have been right off from hwy 134, but my first mistake was going west on 134 instead of east. Once reached Pasadena figured it out and time to head west, well, no Alameda Ave off from 134 so ended up on 101, too far east. Ok, back again where I came from, but this time took the first Burbank exit and it was easier asking for directions to the NBC studio than looking for a street. The great thing is, tickets are free, and it’s just the standing in line in the morning and afternoon that get people…fortunate for me, no line in the morning when I got there.

Time to kill before getting in line, so other sites to see and time for lunch at a little sandwich shop. Made it to the walk of fame and Chinese theater and knew how to get there since had just been on 101…remember, getting lost trying to find the studio. Was pretty interesting and maybe the tour would have been more fun, but saw many of the stars along the way and the foot and hand prints in front of the theater – notice the blank star? That’ll have my name on it some day. Still time to kill and wouldn’t you know it, know how to get to Pasadena…remember, getting lost trying to find the studio. Made a quick trip over there and although it was under construction still couldn’t get in, yep, tried, but could only get pictures from the outside – at least I can now say I was there.

Gotta get to the studio to get in line by 3:00 and for stand-bye it’s not too important to get there early because’ll be lined up according to number. Talked to a number of security people trying to get a message to Jay about my blog site and trip, but since didn’t pass the security clearance, may not have any luck. Ok, so didn’t get a picture with Jay or better yet, KT, but hey, got to see the show and hear the song that’s helping me cross the country. More rush hour traffic, but hey, I’m getting good at this white lining…not something I’d consider doing twice a day though going to and from work – helps cut time, but pretty tense making sure don’t get hit or hit something, especially when the vehicles start closing the gap. Worst yet would be someone making a lane change just as you’re going thru – no, thanks. Went out for a great meal with Tom and Melissa at Captain Jack’s and the thing to get, Alaskan Crab legs…now these are King crab, not the wimpy size legs we get back in Minnesota – sure wish the Great Lakes would grow them bigger…ok, wouldn’t be called Alaskan now, would they. Got to see the Tonight show twice today, so that’s something. Tomorrow, more of the Pacific Coast Highway and hoping to hookup with Marianne and EK, they happen to be in California from Hawaii. Tonight show pics.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Huntington Beach, California

Today was time for a little R&R, not planned, but that’s how it turned out. Mike and the family were great putting me up for the night and as Donna was leaving this morning she wished me luck with the ride and told me to lock up behind myself. Well, that’s exactly what happened, but not according to plan. Got a phone call at 8:30 and had connection problems that let’s go outside for a better connection, so stepped out the patio door and like a good neighbor, closed the door behind me – oops, just locked myself out, in my underwear no less so nothing but time to relax. Yep, there I am in nothing but my underwear searching around the house for a hidden key or an unlocked window and no luck, so decided to ask the neighbors who were saying ‘goodbye’ to some guests whether they had a key or not. Well, the first question from them was ‘who are you?’ to which ‘Mike’s cousin’; next question, ‘are you naked?’, well I was standing behind a bush and told them had something on, but she decided it was a Kodak moment. Ok, not the original, but tried capturing the same picture later.

So, there I am at 8:30 in the morning locked out of my cousins place and no key to be found, but hey, not a problem, have all my clothes and an extra pair of boots on the bike that I might as well get dressed and take my ride, right? Ok, problem number two, my money and keys to the bike are in the house so still locked out of even doing that. Good thing I have my cell phone with me then because today will be a day to just relax around the pool and make calls to those I haven’t talked to for awhile to catch up on things…that is until my phone went dead because of bad reception which killed the battery – ok, I talked to most who were important to talk to and those who were even more important may have decided they didn’t want to talk – that’s the problem with caller-id or cell phones you can play the phone game.

Ok, great location, suns out and the pool water feels great, time to spend that R&R. After lying in the sun for a bit got a little sweaty that it’s time to take a dip in the pool and me in just my underwear, hey, time to skinny dip, right? Well, just remembered that I had a swim suit on the bike and wouldn’t you know it, didn’t lock the saddle bags so I’m in luck, can swim with suit and all…different company might of made a difference, but with a male dog out by the pool with me, the swim suit was a must and I’m sure Mike and his family would rather hear no skinny dipping by me. It was a good thing that Joseph only had half a day of school and your right, he might not have come home right away, but was home by 11:30 that the day isn’t lost….like I’ve been saying, everything happens for a reason and I learned that much more today about a number for things.

Finally, on my way, and thanks to Joe’s directions, hit the local Harley shop to get a snap for my helmet. Wouldn’t you know it, they have all these novelty helmets that have the same clip I need, but no clips to sell…so should I, just take a clip off one of the helmets? Ok, so I break a few rules, but stealing…that’s not me. Paid for an entire new clip and this one better last, $9 for a little strap clip. Since half the day is shot, skipped the mountain ride and headed for Sunset Strip, not only was it a place to checkout, but my stomach was telling me to feed it so now I can say, hey, I ate on the Sunset Strip. Yep, checkout the place, reminded me of Mickey’s back home, but different food, the big thing here was the chili cheese burger and fries – still doesn’t top the green chili cheese burger in New Mexico though..

From lunch it was time to get to the Hollywood sign and ok, so the camera isn’t takin the greatest pictures, but this time I got off the bike and took a little hike to get as close to the sign as possible…maybe you didn’t notice, but the bush in the valley was pretty thick that I wasn’t going to fight thru it to get any closer. Pretty cool though and a great view from up there of the Hollywood lake…ok, not sure what he name of the lake is, but one of no, not 10,000 like Minnesota, but have you seen some of the ‘lakes’ Minnesota counts as a lake? Since it wasn’t a full day for riding and my friend Tom had given up his baseball tickets for my arrival, time to get to Huntington beach and wouldn’t you know it, rush hour traffic in LA. Yep, that means I went there today, I did the white line. So, I thought it was an adrenaline rush managing up to six lanes of traffic and the motorcycles going between the lanes, it’s a whole other story being one of those bikes going between the lanes. It’s not so bad at stop and go traffic, but once your hitting 50mph’s and still swerving between cars, oh man, just get me there in one piece.

Since Tom gave up his baseball ticket to his wife and friend, it was time for the boys to go out and play. Thanks to Lisa, we had a great BJ special…I was in the mood for one and it turned out to be a great place in the newly remodeled downtown Huntington Beach to get it….great pizza and a great time. Thanks to Tom and Melissa who are going to put up with me for a couple of nights. Tomorrow, we’ll see if Jay Leno has any room for me. Almost naked pics.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Upland, California

Upland California and made it to my Cousin Mike’s place, him and the rest of the family, Joseph, Jenna and Donna are gonna put up with me for a night. Made it in time for dinner at the local diner that had a steak special…didn’t know how to do my Pittsburgh, so it was Brandon style – yea, the name of the place, Brandon’s Diner. Mike has a very nice place that is almost paid for and he’s already talking retirement in the next couple of years, the other thing I didn’t even know was that he served time in Iraq, so maybe that gives you an idea of how long it’s been since we’ve talked - was great visiting with him and the family for a night, and thanks for putting me up.

From Escondido and their mouse cars to more mountain and desert riding which reminds me - what an adrenaline rush riding around California, not only do I have to worry about 4 to 6 lanes of freeway traffic to deal with, but many of the bikes just go between traffic so gotta watch out for them too, good thing I’m not an aggressive biker…right.

Ok, since headed east, figured had to see Palm Springs, you know, the home of Bob Hope. More great mountain riding on the way with the curvy twisty roads and it being a Monday, had it all to myself so could hit it hard. Once there my stomach was telling me to feed it so came upon a little biker place, Kickstand and check it out, how many Indian’s you think it took for those bar mountings…Indian motorcycles that is?. Had a great ‘slider’ lunch and thanks to Lori for taking such good care of me and Mary and Elaine for suggestions on where to ride…can you tell the sisters? Oh and the other thing, remember how the south was ‘hon’ or ‘honey’, well today I was a ‘sweetheart’ – aw! Well the ride took me to Joshua Tree National Park which cost me $5 to ride thru more desert…I think I’m done riding desert for awhile, nothing but hot and not much to look at but a bunch of rocks, but hey, Upland is also considered desert, but hey if this is desert, this is the only one that is my kind of desert. Hey checkout the fans they have in the desert to cool it off, thousands of them and yep, it is to cool it off, electricity for the air conditioners, get it?

So the last few days haven’t been filled with exciting adventures, that is except for the damn camera and today, a busted helmet – no, didn’t hit anything with it, but the strap broke. Great, just what I need to do, buy a helmet for the few, 17 states that require one. I think when this is all said and done I’m gonna push for a law in those helmet states to make us non-helmet state riders exempt, that could be pretty tough to do though since the story of Rothlissburger crashing without a helmet and all the helmet advocates pointing at that as a reason for them…well, maybe if he just stuck to football. California is a big state so still much to see, maybe the Sunset strip and Hollywood tomorrow. Here are the pics.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Escondido, California Day2

Today was the day to do what few can, ride thru the mountains and desert to the Pacific all in one day. Yea, if you were on the east coast that’d apply if you said the Atlantic, but where’s your desert? Not a lot of pictures today, but that’s because I tried out a different camera and didn’t have a motorcycle mount…not gonna take the same kind of chances with Dan’s camera as mine – and after yesterday’s adventure it was a nice day to just ride and see the sites.

Checkout the wax figure at one of my first stops along the way…this was after riding to the desert heading to the mountain and this little Hideout, what’dya know, a lot of other bikers know about this place. Well, it was a good stop and they had a great blues band that stayed and listened to before it was time to move on. Palomar Observatory was the place to see in the mountains and ok, if I had a camera that could take pictures thru the glass, you’d get to see the scope, but today it was more for me…I guess not only seeing the scope, but the riding. More mountain roads that are windy and curvy and hey, let me have the lead so I can hit’em hard. Last stop, the Pacific and hit a little more of the Coastal highway, remember riding from Mexico north along the coastal highway…well, not necessarily going to do the entire thing because there’s a lot of residential, but where I can there’s a way…and no, this isn’t a race for me from coast to coast, but happy to see they hung a banner in my honor.

Finally back to Dan’s and got to meet his parents Duane and Pat, hey, my dad has the same name and apparently they have neighbors also named Duane and Pat, what a small world. Well, had to see what we could do about my camera which is starting to fail, but nothing to do…ok, who wants to make bets on whether this camera can last the rest of the trip before becoming road kill? Did you notice how they have fans in the orange orchids to keep the plants cool? well, that's not what they're there for, they're to keep the plants warm by blowing the cool air away. ..what a concept, blow it away.

Man am I hungry and time to head to the local Irish pub for a little grub and beer, oh yea, and me working on my blog. Thanks Lindsey for taking such good care of us, but still waiting for that story that all bartenders have…ya gotta have a good one that’d go great in this blog? Desert, mtn and Pacific pics.