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Old 12-13-2011, 09:02 PM   #49
peekay OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 116
When I first seriously considered embarking on this trip, my plan was to quickly head "south of the border", speeding through Mexico and into Central America. Many opinions on ADV and HUBB deemed the U.S. "too expensive" and Mexico "too dangerous", so quickly dispensing with both seemed logical.

My plans changed. I realized that this trip is not solely about riding south. It's also an opportunity to visit old friends, some of which I haven't seen in many many years. Accordingly my route meandered from Toronto to Chicago, down to Texas, back up to Colorado, then westward through Arizona and Nevada. I did a huge detour but I'm glad I took the time to see familiar faces.

It was now time to visit some friends in California and to get the bike serviced one last time before entering Mexico.

Visiting Ellie in San Francisco

Ellie's brother Ramon was one of my best friends back in high school. Their oldest brother, Dani, lives in nearby Aptos (beside Santa Cruz) -- just minutes from Ted Porter's BeemerShop. How convenient!

I gave Dani a call and he answered: "we're going shooting, wanna meet us at the gun range?" D'oh, of course!!

Dani having fun at Los Altos Gun Club

Pistols, rifles, shotguns… we had a blast. Living in Canada, I don't get many opportunities for sport shooting; it was a treat.

The ride from Santa Clara to the gun club in Los Gatos was pretty fun too, mainly because I took the wrong turn (despite the GPS). I ended up riding through a small, super-twisty road. Some of the curves were so steep and tight that even in 1st gear I almost scraped the pegs!

Many nice roads to explore near Los Gatos

My service appointment at BeemerShop was still a few days away, so I just chilled out at Dani's place and checked out the Santa Cruz area, including Aptos itself and nearby Capitola.

S.S. Palo Alto, Seacliff State Beach, Aptos

I headed to the beach and was bewildered by the sight. By the pier was the Palo Alto, a ship made out of concrete! The ship (a tanker) was built during World War I. Steel was in short supply then so instead the U.S. Naval Shipyard constructed the tanker using concrete. However, by the time the Palo Alto was completed in 1919, the war had already ended.

Capitola at Sunset

I really enjoyed hanging out in Santa Cruz and the greater Bay Area. Being an I.T. nerd, I've often considered moving to the area, but my few trips to Silicon Valley never really impressed me. Now I can totally see the appeal of living there.

Tomorrow I'm taking my bike in for service & new tires at the BeemerShop, followed by a quick ride down Highway 1 to Monterrey Bay and Carmel, before finally, Mexico.

Canada to Argentina (in progress)
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