Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Notes from the road (The Motorcycle Diaries 2013)

Just back from two weeks, about 3200 miles.  Didn't feel like typing on the phone keypad plus couldn't get pictures from my camera to the internet, so here's the recap.

Hot, hot, hot on the other side of the mountains.  Awesome.  Wouldn't want to live in that heat, but riding is so much better.  T-shirt and jeans and never feeling cold.

Except when you go over Bluett Pass at 7 in the morning.  It is freaking cold.  Don't wear t-shirt and jeans.  Just saying.

Plate in my elbow from last year's mishap hurts a lot when there is a really cold wind blowing on it.  Not sure how to spell achey.  Have to give Billy Ray a call and ask but that is the best word to describe it.  It ached.  I suppose I could have stopped but my buddy didn't suggest stopping and no one wants to be the first to admit it.

The mountains as you run down Highway 97 in Washington and Oregon are spectacular.  They just stick straight up from the plain so each one of them is enormous.  Not to mention that they are enormous.  Every one is above 8,000 feet, all but two are above 9,000 feet, and a couple are above 14,000 feet.  Running north to south you see Baker, Rainier, Adams, St Helens (not quite as tall as it used to be), Jefferson, South Sister, Diamond, Thiesen, McLoughlin, Shasta, and Lassen. If you cut across from Klamath Falls to Weed on Hwy 97 you get this view of Shasta.

Skyline Blvd, one of the most popular rides in the San Francisco Bay Area, takes you all the way down the ridgeline between the coast and the bay.  Starts just west of Half Moon Bay on 92 and we generally rode it to Sky Londa where Alice's Restaurant is located. Any day of the week you'll usually see several dozen bikes parked there and on the weekend it can be hundreds.  From there you can ride all four cardinal directions on nice motorcycle roads.  South you get to 9 and turn east or west.  Usually.  Skyline turns to Summit here and I'd never ridden it.  So this time I did.  For a while it's one lane with a blind corner every fifty feet or so.  Not exaggerating.  It opens up a bit after a while but the whole ride is stunning, if a bit slow at times.

A few days in Monterey (where I didn't take a single picture, oddly enough).  Surf was good but never got out.  Next trip need to spend some time out on the waves.

Caught up with some old friends (referenced in a previous post).  Pretty cool hooking up with friends after sixteen years and picking up right where you left off.

Rode down 49 in California for a beer at Murphy, then the next morning across through the Napa valley, up 29 through Calistoga. 101 to Eureka, Crescent City.  The coast, as usual, was really cold but beautiful.

Nope, not taken in black and white.

199 to Grant's Pass was smokey.  According to the nice Oregon State Police officer, Trooper Quick, who pulled me over to tell me about the fires (and rant at me about cutting past some traffic on the shoulder (warning, not ticket)) said that there were 120 forest fires in the county at that time.  He was very entertaining in his rant and nice enough when giving me the warning.  I inadvertently smiled while he was ranting and he got to use the line "I'm not smiling!"  All caps, exclamation mark, etc.  I decided that taking his picture was not a good idea.

Good trip.  Didn't run into the back of any Suburbans. 

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