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Old 05-24-2004, 02:51 PM   #166
pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsphaltForNow
So, the advice of taking Hwy 1 down the coast is a great idea. But if you happen to stay further inland I can't tell you how beautiful the Los Olivos area is. Great wineries, food and it is way less crowded than Napa Valley. The road out of Los Olivos to Santa Barbara, Hwy 154, is a very scenic twisty. Then out of Santa Barbara Hwy 150 to Hwy 126 will take you to the back side of the Angeles Forest Hwy. If you are going to go through L.A., you have to take the Forest Hwy to the Angeles Crest. Stop off at Newcombs Ranch atop the Crest so everyone can salute your heroics. It's a popular spot.
There's certain spots the Pope's just gotta visit!
for that matter, 166 east out of Santa Maria then 33 south to Ojai includes some awesome miles... takes you right past Song Dog Ranch too, but Mike's not camping

damn, its all Good. I'm sure Waldo-err-MikeO will have a good time regardless

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Old 05-26-2004, 05:57 PM   #167
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24th May

After beautiful weather all weekend, I open the curtains to a dull overcast day…:yelrotflm I pack the bike - quite a job – I’ve unpacked everything during the last week and it seems reluctant to return to the constraints of the panniers. After much head scratching and re-packing, I’m on the road for 1000 and heading south down the Pacific Coast Highway. I ride slowly, taking in the views, which I don’t think I’d ever get tired of…



Traffic is light, with a large percentage being RVs – often rented ones (you can easily tell these, they are covered with rental stickers and driven by cretins). The vast majority of the PCH seems to have solid yellow lines, precluding overtaking. The more experienced drivers do the decent thing and pull into specially made passing bays to let faster traffic pass. The rental drivers tend not to (probably because they are unaware of anyone behind them : )



I ride through Big Sur, and decide to give the State Park a miss, as the top of the hill is obscured by a large black rain cloud that looks like it’s open for business…



I stop and take some time at the idyllic little cove at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. It’s a beautiful and extremely tranquil spot, despite being less than a quarter of a mile from the PCH.

A little further down the road, I stop and watch some fishermen.



They are clearly optimists, as the Pacific is alive with sea lions – which are far more of a threat to the local sea life…



The Elephant Seals, however, take life much less seriously – the only thing they're they’re catching is some serious sun…



…in fact, they are everywhere you look, looking like washed up driftwood all along the beach…



I pull in to the EconoLodge at Morro Bay and check in – no Internet connection – not even dial-up, but it’s been a good, slow day, so I kick back and do my elephant seal impression…

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Old 05-26-2004, 06:12 PM   #168
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25th May

I miss the desert. The PCH is beautiful, but it’s crowded (comparatively) and expensive (like most of California). I ride down the coast for a while, ending up in the eucalyptus groves at Morro Bay State Park…



I meet up with Bob, a retired supermarket manager who, at 73, spends a few months of his retirement each year acting as a Camp Ground volunteer – a sort of general helper and liaison between the public and the Park Rangers.



He’s taking a break with his dog Max, who was originally trained to be a guide dog for the blind, but had to have his tail docked (because it was malformed & he kept crapping on it). The Guide Dogs Association apparently decided that too many people would make a fuss of him, asking his owner what happened to the tail, and so he got expelled…

After a last look at the Pacific…



I head inland towards Mojave. I’m in arid countryside almost immediately – California is really a desert state with a lush arable coastal strip…



…I stop for lunch at Tina’s Diner in the oil town of Maricopa. Tina’s from the Philippines and makes a pretty fair chilli-burger and salad.



I head back on the Mojave road, where there is a stark difference between land that is being irrigated…



…and that which isn’t…



I join I58 for a while and suddenly come across a long tail back. It’s legal to filter (lane-split) in California, a fact that I take advantage of, weaving my way through several miles of stationary traffic, before stopping about a quarter of a mile from the source of the hold up, an overturned RV. I stop alongside a couple on a R1150R – it turns out they (I have, of course, forgotten their names : ) are ADVRiders and are on their honeymoon! I open a bottle of Sierra Mist (lemonade) by way of celebration and manage to soak everyone within 10 metres - (note to self – 130 miles of vibration & a 2000ft increase in altitude will probably do this every time). Predictably, as soon as we start chatting & drinking, the CHP get the road clear and we set off. They peel off at the first junction to re-fuel – hopefully I’ll hear from them again, as I gave them one of my cards…



I’m soon off the Interstate and on the back roads leading through a forest of wind turbines towards Mojave…



It’s a strange and almost spooky landscape – there are literally thousands of windmills – you can imagine more appearing overnight, like Starbucks…



Apparently this wind farm produces more power than all the other wind farms in the USA combined…



I ride down into Mojave. The Airport here is home to dozens of ‘mothballed’ airliners…



The airport is home to Burt Rutan, an aviation designer and entrepreneur. He financed the start of his company by renting parking spaces for airliners – the climate is perfect for this. Rutan designs and builds radical aircraft – mostly using modern composite materials and often using canard designs. He’s probably best known for designing & building the Voyager – an aircraft which, in December 1986, flew non-stop & un-refuelled around the world…



I check into a cheap motel for the night and clean lemonade off the mirror, the crashbars, the crankcase, my gloves, my visor…

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Old 05-26-2004, 06:54 PM   #169
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26th May

I wake to a glorious morning – hardly a cloud in the sky and a heat haze already forming on the horizon…

I pack the bike and I’m fuelled and on the road for 1000. I stop for brunch at a small cantina in Ridgecrest…



…and have huevos rancheros – with a chilli sauce which I can still taste whilst typing this, despite brushing my teeth twice . Opposite the café is a junkyard which I think I could spend at least a week rooting around in…



I’m heading off towards Death Valley. The minor roads to get there have interesting road surfaces, probably as a result of being under water now & again…



It’s hot today (I later check on the TV and find that Death Valley recorded 91º F today. As I ride towards Trona, I see a USMC F18 flying very low – I give him an expansive wave and, to my surprise and delight, get a ‘wing waggle’ in return – I’ll take back a few of the things I’ve said about Marines



I’m soon entering Death Valley National Park…



As I ride through the Park (a ridiculous name for this God forsaken area), I come across a gas station – where Jerry (left) and Mike are filling up.



Mike rides an Adv (they were, presumably, out of stock of the best colour when he bought his black one) and Jerry rides an RT. They’re headed in the other direction from me. They very kindly fill my CamelBack up with some ice they’ve just bought - I give them a couple of cards and tell them about ADVrider – neither of them had heard of the site :

I continue down into the Valley – down being the operative word…



…I’m well below sea level here – and it’s very warm…

I climb back out of the Valley and cross the state line into Nevada, where I stop in the town of Pahrump – named after the first settlers reaction to Mexican food…



It’s been a hot ride and I am glad of a warm shower and the air con at the Best Western – another good day

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Old 05-26-2004, 08:18 PM   #170
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Mike,
You are traveling almost the same route I did the week prior to meeting you in Tahoe. Except it was 107 degrees in death valley when I rode through.

You still are not far from Idaho. Got lots of dirt roads and old mining towns to explore up here.... My offer for room and board (and fast internet) is still good.
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Old 05-26-2004, 08:46 PM   #171
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Thanks Jay, definitely bearing your generous offer in mind, as I consider heading further north...

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Old 05-26-2004, 10:57 PM   #172
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Damn!My roomate is in Vegas this week on buisness and I declined his prodding to meet him up there.If I would have known where you wer'e gonna be I would have come and chased you around for a day.........

Awesome report as always Mike.We all are cheering you on!
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:38 PM   #173
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Hiya MikeO


I just noticed they gave you your own forum over at ukgser. Ain't they ever heard of threads?
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Old 05-27-2004, 12:08 AM   #174
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Killer photo, front page candidate perhaps? Excellent report as always

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Old 05-27-2004, 02:42 AM   #175
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Hiya MikeO


I just noticed they gave you your own forum over at ukgser. Ain't they ever heard of threads?
DOH!.....well done Fish...on the ball as usual


Mike- some great shots mate......that tanker one in particular

Bet your great friends with Betty Swallocks now

Keep it safe

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Old 05-27-2004, 03:42 AM   #176
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Good "bumper"stickers on the bike....... Did you notice thisone, Fisch??

They seem to know ADVrider, afterall...
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Old 05-27-2004, 07:10 AM   #177
pierce
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Good "bumper"stickers on the bike....... Did you notice thisone, Fisch??

They seem to know ADVrider, afterall...
yeah. I especially liked the "CAUTION: WEIRD LOAD" sticker.
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Old 05-27-2004, 08:27 AM   #178
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Actually, I think Mike actually beat Freak when it came to the number of stickers on a single bike. My favourite, although a little incongruous, bearing in mind what they were both riding, was this...



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Old 05-27-2004, 08:36 AM   #179
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:59 AM   #180
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Familiar roads

Wow...familiar roads. I usually associate Mojave with depression as it marks the end of coming out of the Sierras. I was in Death Valley at the beginning of the month with my wife at Furnace Creek Inn. I like it there. Very hot, but a great place to wind out a boxer!

Pahrump has a rep not only for the sound of Mexican food reactions...but for the sound of the local occupation of choice Careful....

Are you heading N or S? You came close to the Angeles Crest. I know some people who'd like to see you if you come around these parts this weekend.
Wherever you go, ride safe. And those roadside bays are "turnouts", Mike...repeat after me: "turnouts".
Or, places where seniors, asians and winnebagos refuse to go....
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