Sunday, October 22, 2006
Otherwise the only excitement was getting the bikes out. I put the ramp down and ran a strap to the bumper and the end of the ramp so it couldn't slide. The only issue was I left too much ramp in the truck so the Harley snagged bottom on the way out but I just gassed it and roared out of the truck (into oncoming traffic). The Tiger really hung up and stopped. Luckily I still had my tip toes on the rear deck of the truck and gently got off as I held the brake, thinking I was going to back it back into the truck somehow but without my weight it rolled out easy enough and I jumped on mid ramp... I'm sure this is how Evil Knievel started. Thanks again everyone!!
Friday, October 20, 2006
Spent Wednesday packing the uHaul with the bikes and Thursday driving to LA. Everything survived the trip so far except my ever tiring butt.
Ken and I strapped the Harley and the Triumph in and haven’t had anything break except his heart as I pulled out of his driveway. She’s in good hands, don’t worry. Ken has visitation rights and is planning on being in SF early next year for some rides through the wine country and Alice’s.
The LA slog from Tucson went as expected; smog and traffic. The LA Nelsons are doing well. Mandy is still at Liberty Hill, Grace is attending a Spanish language pre-school and Amelia keeps Tim company while he is job hunting.
As for me, I think my job on the road is done for now. I'll be headed to SF on Sat and get to unload the bikes myself. Volunteers anyone? At least to stand by and dial 911?
Roadtrip Day 5 and 6
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Ken took Tuesday and Wednesday off so we took the bikes out for a sweet ride today and he let me try his vintage 1971 Triumph Tiger. We headed due west out Speedway Blvd. through scenic Gate’s Pass and into Saguaro National Forest. So breathtaking. I’ve never been a fan of the desert but after this trip and today I will be more appreciative and grateful. The stubtle desert fall colors were coming in, lots of yellows and reds, with the backdrop of greens and browns.
As for Ken’s Triumph, that little Tiger really hauls for being 35 years old. It must have been a terror in its day. Ken has spent the last 3 years sorting it out, respraying it to its original colors, rechroming and powder coating things. It must look just as good as when he bought it 30 years ago. So many people would stop and ask us what model it was, year…
After our ride, we stopped by Pat's Drive In for some famous chili dogs and a coke. Famous for what? I HAVE to assume I was there on a bad day as this wasn’t even as good as my crummy nightly dog and chili specials from Cala. This place has been around for 40 years and there is no way that they did that serving the incredibly average meal I had. I saw the Sysco truck backing in as I was leaving and could only assume that what I had just had was dropped on a plate and nuked seconds after the "homemade and authentic" tub of processed chili food and the “just like mom used to make” 1000 count pack of hotdogs were opened. Pat, if you are reading this, please, please, get better soon and run out those awful imposters (or shut your doors). This is hurting me, literally…
Roadtrip day 4
Monday, October 16, 2006
Leaving Las Vegas, for good! Hit the road about 9 am and took the 215 out of town, around Lake Mead and over the Hoover dam. They are putting in a suspension bridge over the dam instead of having people drive directly over it. That makes sense. That way you can have four lanes, no twisties to get to the bridge also, some of you might know that Im scared of heights but watching them build this was insane! So, Im minding my own business, waiting in line to cross the bridge and I hear a sound above me. I look up and about 100 yards above and over are these two guys suspended in cage from a crane dangling over the chasm (like 1 mile straight down) taking notes on clipboards! I could feel my manly-ness suck up into my body cavity. Jesus Christ, is this how they build these things? Engineers have serious huevos. I'm sweating just writing this. (I found this photo on the net, notice the small cage and the person inside)
Anyway, another 9 hour / 400 mile trip. I took the excellent Highway 93 south towards Phoenix. This highway is why you ride a motorcycle. Rolling hills with smooth black top, 75 mph speed limits, no traffic and all while surrounded by this amazing forest of Joshua and Yucca Trees Check out these photos. Stunning
I made it to Tucson around 6 PM with leg cramps and a seriously overworked ass. Cheryl had made an excellent dinner and we had a bottle of wine while we watched the Cardinals lose to the Bears after a 20 to zero led. Can they ever win? Time for some rest and some easy day trips around Mount Lemon.
today's top six road tunes:
6: My Favorite Things (Sarah Vaughn)
5: Sounds of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel)
4: Summertime (Ella and Louis)
3: Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan)
2: How Long Has This Been Going On (Louis Armstrong)
and at number 1: Ain't Misbehaving (Fats Waller)
Roadtrip Day 3
We started the afternoon by getting some lunch over at the excellent Crown and Anchor British pub. Excellent British style pub food and beer. In fact, if wasn’t in a strip mall and on an eight lane thoroughfare, I would swear that I was in England. OK, so that is something. Seriously.
Next we headed over to the Pinball Hall of Fame. This was in a different strip mall about a mile away but was by far the highlight of the Vegas adventure. I’ve never been good at pinball but I’ve always loved to play and enjoyed the idea of it. I don’t know if it’s true or not but it always seemed so American. This place was amazing, like a shrine to the art. Check out the link cause I won’t be able to do this place justice. Every game I can remember playing as a kid was there and meticulously restored. I was also told that this is only a fraction of his collection. I mean these are serious pinball nerds. They had index cards on each machine explaining the significance and history of the specific unit, the artist that drew the back panel, the year make and model. Here’s a tip guys, get real signs made. I was reading one on the Superman game and they mentioned they had replaced the Atari (yes that Atari! they used to make pinball games) bumpers with Bally ones because they were clearly better as everyone knows… Nerd! Go to this place! and spend a quarter just to play and hear that loud “thwack” sound as you win an extra game. It was like a time machine.
At this point Kevin left to work the late shift at the Hilton as the Pit Boss and I decided to check out the Vegas Hookah district. To be fair, there are only a few Hookah bars but these two were blocks away from each other (and UNLV): Hookah Lounge and Café Hookah. I won’t bore you with the details but let's just say a good Hookah was had by all and that you don’t need to worry about going to Café Hookah.
Now off to an art house movie theater to watch… wait, there isn’t one. They show “those” movies at the local library. OK, a nice quite coffee house… well, I can’t find any and it isn’t mentioned in either local weekly (which were almost impossible to find themselves). The Starbucks guy or the Hookah mistress (is there such a thing?) didn’t know of any either. Whatever. I set myself up for a letdown it seems. OK back to the run down “new” Frontier, packing and a good night’s sleep for tomorrow's ride to Tucson. I had a good time but I don’t think I need to come back anytime soon. If I’m wrong, let me know, but there is no there there.
Roadtrip Day 2
Sunday, October 15, 2006
(posted from my Treo so sorry for the spelling) There is nothing more perfect than a flat twisty road through the mountains on a crisp autumn morning and a throaty v-twin. Not sex, not money... What a long day. I ended up spending about 12 hours in the seat. I left Coulterville around 9 and made my way to Yosemite. I had been told by several people that because of the rain we had two weeks ago, that Tioga pass had closed due to snow for the season. I had to hear it for myself so I called the park and it turns out they just reopened it. Yes!! I tore off through the valley and then froze crossing the 10k foot pass. The snow mostly melted but it was still icy. I think I had a touch of hypothermia at the end and once I left the park and dropped back down to 7k, I sat defrosting, shaking and eating lunch outside outside of Lee Vining. The joys of being on a motorcycle. I really don't get this whole romantic idea people have of it. Try this. Sit on a chair or your bicycle for 6 to 8 hours not moving you hands or feet and taking 15 minute breaks every hour or so. No radio, no one to talk to. In fact most of the time I'll sing every song I can think of to pass the time. My top 10 this trip:
10: Car Wash Blues (Jim Croce)
9: Cotton Fields (CCR)
8: All I Want Is You (U2)
7: Blue Skies (Ella)
6: Free Falling (Tom Petty)
5: Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You (Ella)
4: Carefree Highway (Gordon Lightfoot)
3: Behind the Wall of Sleep (Smithereens)
2: The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot)
and at number 1: It Had to Be You (Sinatra version)
so after 6 hours of arrow straight highway 95, my voice was giving out as I rolled into the "new" Frontier (which is anything but) in Vegas around 9. Fell down on the bed. Time for some sleep.
Roadtrip Day 1
Friday, October 13, 2006
So today I'll be heading out to Yosemite to spend the night and then off to Las Vegas, Tucson, LA and then home. I'll be breaking the Sportster in so if the weather holds up it should be an amazing trip. I'm really looking forward to the Yosemite portion and crossing over Tioga Pass (before it gets snowed in this year). Plenty of fotos to follow. We'll see if I can get them posted daily.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
This post is about a week late but I just wanted to give a shout out about the Folsom Street Fair last Sunday. It was a beautiful sunny day in