[Originally posted December 28, 2007]
My prime directive for this trip is to avoid anything that looks like a schedule. So naturally, it starts with a mad race to get to my parents' house in Prescott, Arizona by Xmas.
Departure was determined by the date I got my bike back from its final service at Scuderia. This turned out to be three days later than planned, plus I needed another day to remount and rewire the GPS after I got it back. On the positive side, the mechanic let me watch most of the service and gave me tons of advice; I'm new to KTMs. I don't plan to do much wrenching on this trip, but... it's a KTM.
By the time I had everything packed and ready, it was late afternoon on the 23rd. It was sad saying goodbye to San Francisco and the people I love.
My first stop was San Luis Obispo, where I lived twelve years and still have many old friends. I had hoped to spend a couple days there but the clock was ticking. I had a great dinner with Shawn, Zac, Joel, Alana, and Cindy. As usual, the conversation turned to the merits of leaving SLO and moving to San Francisco. As usual, Shawn and Zac remain unconvinced. I try.
I set an alarm (ugh) and woke up at 8am (UGH) to ride from SLO to Prescott, AZ. It's about 600 miles. This is far, far too many miles to do on an LC4 in one day, but the idea of spending Xmas eve in a hotel didn't appeal to me. I made it in about 12 hours, but just barely - it's $@*#%!! cold here. Below freezing. Various parts of my body were going numb, despite the heated equipment and wearing every layer I had.
Here's a picture of Roy's in Amboy, on the old Route 66. Amboy was part of the inspiration for Pixar's Cars. The freeway was realigned and the town (along with Essex) died. All that remains is a huge gorgeous building in partial state of restoration.
Xmas with my family was, well, xmas with my family. I love them and we get along great. But as a friend told me, there's your biological family and there's your logical family. I missed my SF family. Here's my brother and my parents:
Here's my mom and the greenhouse she designed and built. It keeps her orchids alive in the less-than-tropical environs:
Incidentally, I had my first motorcycle problem on the way to Prescott. One of the bolts holding the luggage rack sheared off in the subframe. Fortunately my parents' house is quite literally full of tools, including the necessary drill and easy-outs. I brought a small bag of KTM bolts for just such an eventuality. The problem is fixed, but I'm less than thrilled with the mount design of my Happy Trails luggage rack. Part of the problem is that I tweaked the subframe dropping the bike in the mud on Usal Road, so it puts odd stresses on the bolts... but it shouldn't be this fragile.