Thursday, July 12, 2018

101 Run

My traveling Compadre arrived right on time at SFO, and she packed with her a new seat for my trusty 2008 motor bike. There was some doubt as to the seat fitting the bike, or not, even though precise measurements and photos were texted along the cellular network. You might have lost a call because of this texting, but one should be joyous to learn that the seat was a perfect fit and the tattered torn seat can now be dumped at the Maserati, and Ferrari, upholstery shop on first street that had no time for my business
Take A Seat
I was a bit worried that the new seat would not cradle my bum in the style and comfort it has become accustomed to, so a shake down ride with the Golden Gate HOG, s was in order on the day before we were to leave for Morro Bay to meet up with another pal who would be sweep on the ride across the country.

We made it up to the dealer in plenty of time as traffic was light on the 101 Saturday morning, and after a while more than a few riders arrived. I not only remembered a couple of them from previous rides with the club, but remarkable they remembered me.

As on any HOG ride the riders gathered up for information about the route we would take. Who was lead and who was sweep, and my favorite part, is always aboot the hand signals that would be used. I was shocked to learn that the hand signal we use to get the train to blow its whistle is the hand signal they use to gather the bikes up in a closer formation.

The ride was headed to San Juan Bautista specifically to  JJ's Burger Joint

We blasted out of the dealer, through the construction and on to familiarly roads south bound. At the south bay we turned east and road through the rolling east bay hills, with a rest stop at an almost full reservoir with only an outhouse perched precariously on the edge of the gravel parking lot.

JJ’ Burgers  were fantastic, the service was excellent, and since it was Saturday the main street was closed off for a car show, with bands and cars that were painted the most vivid colors ever.

That's Red

Jan Juan Bautista that I have ridden past many times is well worth a stop, and I hear there is a excellent bakery there too Bakery San Juan

Sunday, June 3, 2018


Coos Bay, Oregon  has to have one of the most magnificent bridges along the Oregon Coast. When it was completed in 1939 it was simply called The Coos Bay Bridge but was re named after the fellow who supervised the design of it, and 10 other spectacular bridges along the Oregon Coast.  
The Conde McCullough Memorial Bridge

 The Siuslaw River Bridge in Florence Oregon is another of McCullough’s designs that opened in 1937. Walking over the span the 4 gothic columns that support the draw bridge are especially impressive.
Siuslaw River Bridge

On our last run over the McCullough bridge sitting on the north side readying for a south bound run down 101, my trusty motorbike who on occasion and especially when hot would make terrible noises when the starter motor was engaged,

 The Rusty And Former Trusty Nakoa Coos Bay

 But my  trusty bike had always started, so I thought nothing of the occasional trashing coming from the lower extremes of my bike.

 This time however the starter stuck and the sounds coming from the bike rose to a very exciting crescendo of metal parts grinding themselves to small bits. This forced me to hit the stop switch, which I did, and silence returned to our parking place along 101.
Meshing Gears

 There was really nothing much left to do. It was a go or no-go situation on a holiday weekend with the nearest motor company outpost closed for the next few days. I did the only thing I could do, which was hit the starter switch again. The bike started just fine. 1 down 5 up.
It was a bit frightening the first time I shut off the engine. Would it start again?

My Pit Crew
It did  start again, so we kept going, and the bike kept starting with out much noise or effort.
Battery Point Light
Since it was starting so good we just kept starting and stopping for photos,  koffee, and beach breaks.
Our plan was to stay a day or two in Eureka California, and there just happened to be a motor company outpost in town. I thought it would be good to at least have them look at my ride, and since they were on the north side of town we pulled in.

 The crew there was impressive. The service manager quickly diagnosed the problem and went to searching his inventory for replacement parts. Even more amazing all the parts were in stock, and it would be no issue to show up at opening and pick up the bike the same day.

 Getting service like this is more than I have come to expect from the motor company, so I walked outside the building and made sure the bar and shield was on the building and sure enough it was.
Big Foot Employee Of The Month Redwood Harley Davidson

Not wanting to spend the day waiting in the outpost and since my traveling compadre secretly had her passenger floor boards removed a day or so ago, we decided to hire a car. As it turned out it was a cousin of Ford we had rented in France, however this was Champagne Hybrid and was quite a bit more sophisticated and even had a dash display that digitally put leaves on branches as your efficiently improved. Might not be a good car for fall.
Champagne Hybrid Very Cobra Like
We had a great day exploring the northern coast beaches. Eating in exotic places like The Trinidad Lighthouse Grill, and even exploring the Arcata tidal wetlands.

It was so great I let the bike spend the night at the motor company’s outpost, and in the morning discovered why the Compensator is called that, as to get one repaired you are compensating the motor company quite a bit.

 Redwood Harley Davidson gets high marks from me, for not only knowing what the issue was, but for having the parts on hand, and most of all having skilled staff to do the job right, The First Time, and that is not always the case at motor company outposts.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Memorial Day Psychics

 I love to look for roadside psychics as I travel. Some have some very cool signs outside their places of business.
I especially like the neon signs, I saw one once that said, “Walk In’s Welcome” and I wondered wouldn’t they know you were coming? That neon glowing in the dark and luring in those people seeking answers to life’s tough questions, but who physics, and biology are too hard for.
Self Serve Psychic Booth
I stumbled across this booth in the park surrounding the space needle. I suppose like super markets, and hamburger stands that have gone to self-serve check out and ordering, that it would be only natural for Psychics to follow suit. Why not sit down, deal the cards, leave a five spot in the jar, and the future is all yours.
The Space Needle
The space needle built for the Seattle World’s Fair that opened in April of 1962, still in use, and still a fitting monument to when we could send humans into space, send them to the moon and bring them back.
Seattle Monorail
The mono rail, also built for the fair, still looks very futuristic as it cruises along overhead on its way to or from the fairgrounds and the Westlake station, where it connects to the city’s light rail system and where for a measly $2.00 (senior rate) you can get all the way from beyond the airport right into downtown, and well to the space needle if you want to.
I wonder if a psychic predicted that the thing would still be running some fifty years later?

My own  Psychic predictions for the day came to me as I rode south bound on the interstate highway 5.
I predicted that traffic would be lighter than when we made the trip north, and there would be fewer lorries. Amazingly it was so.

I predicted that I would see a giant pickup truck with a pensetrump sticker on it, and sure enough there it was.  It exceeding my expectations with rear dual wheels, loud smoky  exhaust,  and one cigarette smoking ball cap wearing white racist man  behind the wheel.

 Riding southbound on the interstate highway, that remains a socialist project,  built back when the rich paid something like 90% in taxes, and there was a strong unionized middle class, I was listening to Public Radio a total non commercial socialist entity, that since it is the Memorial Day week end they were interviewing people about what patriotism means to them.
One fellow  interviewed, a former military medal winner read off a few of Thomas Jefferson’s words.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
He went on to state that the government was formed to guarantee those rights.

Did those words apply to  the racist guy in the giant pickup with the pensetrump sticker. Did  mere words make him  equal or more equal to people without a roof over their heads as he burnt enough fuel in a day to power my motorbike for a month.

 Was  everyone else wizzing by me  ignoring the speed limit and just about every  traffic law. Did that make them more equal or better than someone born way away from here?

The guy on the bike with the flag.  I predicted I would see him, but the koch brother tea bagger “No Treading On Me” flag,  that was a bonus!

 I sort of knew that bikers  would be readying  for a run at the Claw and Poke Tavern, but  did their weapon’s make them part of a Militia.  Or did it just  make them  cool. Or just unaware gun slingers not concerned with the expectations of a nation?

The unpredicted attraction of the day was the flag decorated fork lift driving to the parade,  packing on a pallet a painted musket toting fellow with "Never Surrender Our Guns" in big letters over his head. Was the fork lift driver another musket packing patriot? Just a  good guy with a gun? or a automatic weapon armed gun slinger?

Turning off the road, my memorial  day predictions  for a nation turned oil company with a huge military, where the over armed  citizens who  disregard their responsibility to  each other ,and elect people that are working hard to destroy democracy here. Is that the chaos for profit the rich have created  here  it isn’t going to end well... except for the rich, but then they knew that all along.
Peace It's Still A Good Idea

Friday, May 25, 2018

Road Trip

When did it become mandatory that hotel ice buckets had to have a plastic bag inside of them? Isn’t the ice bucket clean enough without it?

Questions like  that race around one’s head on the first day of a motorbike road trip,  along with which truck is the one doing the speed limit?

 But after seeing the artifacts of civilizations of antiquity from Greece to Italy and sailing round Europe on a dirty gondola well just how could a motorbike road trip through amerika, compare? Well you have to start in Barstow California.

Harvey House Barstow

This  really is a great building.  Could those arches on the Harvey house be because of  Moorish influence just like  Venezia’s Saint Marks Square…

Just imagine rail road track instead of the Grand Canal.

But then again you have to meet up someplace and Barstow is that place, and going north on 395 from here is a very pleasant ride except for when you see a very dark cloud and the road ahead not only appears wet, but looks like it has a thin layer of ground effect fog just lingering a few inches off the pavement, but as you cross the threshold you realize the fog is caused by the rain drops hitting the pavement with such a intensity that they are instantly vaporized into fog, and you are glad you suited up with rain gear because like our guide in France said “it is raining cats and dogs” and some of the rain hitting you feels like the cats have their claws extended.
Raining Cats and Dogs
Bridgeport had pretty good food last time we were there, and that is where we ended up. The food was still good and after exploring around we discovered wetlands with flocks of birds. Yellow headed black bird was a new one for me and what a stunning little bird. Maybe it could teach its cousin the Red Winged Black Bird to hold still for a photo.
Yellow Head Black Bird
The El Camino d Sierra was blocked by a mud slide at Topaz lake, but the detour took us around the eastern side of the Bridgeport reservoir and through rolling sage covered hills into Nevada where we connected with 395 again for the ride through Carson City and Reno.
Just A Little Rain
Zumo my trickster gps had no idea the bypass for Carson City met up with 395 at the highway 50 junction, so it was a couple of blocks of heavy city traffic and a u turn that got us headed on the bypass that takes you all around Carson and Reno
Stop & Go
Back on the two lanes through green meadows and evergreen hills all the way to Susanville, then some great two lane up to highway 89 (one of my favorites) and some high country with views of Mt. Shasta.

Our destination was the railroad park in Dunsmuir California just, so a night could be spent in a caboose. Well a remodeled Southern Pacific Caboose, that turned out to be quite comfortable
Home For The Night

The  resort Rail Road Park Resort  has a pool a nice and hot,  hot tub and a pretty good restaurant.  Well worth the ride. All Aboard.