Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Carlsbad, CA and Los Cabos, Mx
Bob had been growing weary of adjusting his chain on the Ducati every 400 miles or so, so he called the dealer and they advised a new chain. That he was able to get installed at the Honda dealer two doors down from our Motel in Ukiah. That was pretty handy, and we were back on the road before noon. Our late start was no problema since we had a short day planned. We blazed on down the 101, Bob much happier now and a little lighter in the wallet.
The closer we got to the Bay Area the more the road became like home, freeway. Not nearly as much fun as the fine country roads we had been riding most of the trip. We crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge and into The City where we got separated for a while when he went left and I went right. But we got that straightened out and met at The Buena Vista for an Irish coffee to fortify us for the road ahead.
We managed to work our way out of the City right at rush hour so it was a bit of a slog to get down to another friend's house in Morgan Hill. But we made it just in time for a nice dinner our pal Craig put together for us. We only did about 160 miles this day, our shortest of the trip, but it was just as difficult as a longer ride due to traffic. Welcome back to the real world.
The next morning we suited up for what turned out to be a beautiful ride down Highway 1 through Big Sur. Again, this was not a new trip for me but first time on a bike. And we really did enjoy our day. Southbound is the way to go with the wind at your back and the views over your right-hand side. We thought we were pretty macho having gone all this way on our motos, until we met a couple our age (60's) on bicycles at Ragged Point where we stopped for lunch. They had ridden the entire coast of Washington, Oregon and northern California and were headed to San Diego. Impressive.
We ended that day's ride at San Simeon campground where Bob had stayed before. He remembered the green rolling hills overlooking the ocean. The ocean was still there and so were the hills. The green, not so much. The place was drier than a popcorn fart. Crispy might better describe that state of the flora. California's drought is very evident in this area. We stopped to camp anyway since coastal campgrounds south of here must be reserved six months in advance. It turned out to be a great evening and we met some fine camping neighbors due to Bob's quest for cocktail ice. Well done Bob!
Sometimes however, in campgrounds near urban areas such as this you get unlucky. On the other side of us was a group of jerks that would not quiet down late into the night. They were up smoking and drinking and laughing HAR HAR HAR until after 2 AM. We just put in our earplugs and tried to sleep but to no avail until at last they turned in. I learned long ago not to confront idiots like this as they are younger, stronger and stupider than me and who knows how they might react. But I did have a few parting words for them the next morning, which probably just rolled off their backs, but made me feel better.
And then it was almost over. All we had left was the commute home. Down to Santa Barbara was nice and then we were back on the freeways of southern Cal just wanting to get home. Bob took his turnoff as we got to San Clemente and I immediately hit stop and go traffic all the way home to Carlsbad. I guess the one good thing about being back is the ability to split lanes. I was totally focused, mirrors-in the last 20 miles. The best vision of the whole tip was that of my sweetheart as she greeted me at the door.