Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 12

Well today is my last day on the road. I left Medford at 9 with overcast skys but the forecast said no rain. I headed North on I-5 until I got past Springfield then I set the GPS to take me to Silver Fall SP south entrance. I don't know where I was except I went through some pretty scenery and nice roads. But when I came to a gravel dead end I turned around and reset it to the North entrance where I have been before. Then I headed out to my brother's place in Orchards. We had dinner and a visit then I got ready to hit the road for the last 125 mile stretch. As I went out to start the bike it started to sprinkle. No big deal. The only dark cloud was a small one. Well 1/2 mile down the road it opens up to where by the time I pulled over there is water running down the road and I am drenched. Put on the rain-gear and rode the rest of the way home. 5 Miles down the road it is dry pavement and stayed that way. You gotta love Mother Natures sense of humor.

Last Motel for this trip. The bike is a mess after all of yesterdays heavy rain.

Pretty country. Somewhere between Jefferson and Sublimity.

Ankle high by 4th of July....maybe.

Mint crop is doing well though.

So is the wheat out along Coon Hollow Road.

Wild Iris in Silver Falls State Park.

South Falls. I thought there might be more water than this but it is already summer after all.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day Eleven

I left Rancho Murieta at about 8AM after listening to the weather report which was for rain. The sky was still clear but the news said it was raining along the coast and heading inland and North. Right where I needed to go. I vowed to take more pictures today as I started out. I stopped for breakfast and when I came out there were clouds. I continued on CA 49 intending to drop down to ride Hyway 70 up the Feather River, But nature does not always co-operate. After I left Grass Valley on CA120 to head West and pickup the started to sprinkle, then rain, then rain hard. So I gave up the route and headed all the way to I-5 at Red Bluff and gritted my teeth again. Then near the top of the pass (Weed) the rain went away and I rode on into Medford on dry pavement. I just checked on the bike and it is sprinkling now. Oh Well.

Breakfast at Marlene & Glen's.

The clouds are building to the North-West.

This is looking toward the coast. That's not the beach out there.

CA 49 is a great rode to ride.

The old El Dorado County Jail in Coloma was the third one to be built (1857). The windows are double barred.

Beer garden in Coloma. I gotta go back there some day. Is the old jail in the background some kind of message?

Just outside of Grass Valley I took this picture and put the camera away. Those clouds looked like they meant business.

Got down to Yuba City and found a good place to put the rain gear on. Notice the puddle under my jacket. It  didn't leak but sure held a lot of water. So did my leather chaps and they do leak.

Then after all those miles of pouring rain... it just stopped like someone drew a line. A very welcome line.

Day Ten

Well I finally left Solvang at about 6 o'clock this morning. I figured that I could get a lot of riding before it got hot. Wrong! As I headed North and East on CA 41 and then CA 49, it got hot in a hurry. It was 92 at Chinese Camp which is still up in the mountains. I don't know why but I took few pictures again today. It was a great ride and I thank VSP for the suggested route. I got stopped for construction a couple times on 41 but it was early and the flagger was a nice guy to chat with while waiting the 15 minutes ( I was first in line) for the pilot car. I arrived at my friends home at Rancho Murieta around 3:30 and we had a really nice visit and dinner followed by more visiting before calling it a day. A very good day.

The only pictures I took all day. Don Pedro Lake on CA 49.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day Nine

Todays mission was to visit missions. However my GPS had it's own ideas about routes (*note self: never set the GPS to fastest route ignoring freeways and then get on a freeway). So I ended up visiting La Purisima Concepcion and San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Saw a Snake sticking its head down a gopher hole. Then came back to the Motel for a dip in the pool and it's time to pack-up to hit the road again in the morning.

La Purisima Concepcion
Not sure what kind of snake it is. At least it didn't have a rattle. It was about 4 feet long.

The original Mission Bells at San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

Day Eight

There were a couple of well restored “Old-Time” cars in town this morning for a car rally. After breakfast I went for a ride with Kasey and Alan ( a guy who lives down here in Santa Barbara. Alan lead us on a nice ride of about 200 miles, but we never stopped for any pictures. We even saw a sunny (as opposed to a foggy one) Pismo Beach along the way. Then we came back for the BBQ and Raffle at Hans Christian Anderson Park. Afterwards we came back to the Motel Courtyard for our final story swapping and some good-byes until the next rally. A big thank you to Jim, Kat, Howard, Linda, Kawasaki, and everyone who showed-up for making this a great trip.

Antique Car

Waiting on the grub.

Eatin time

Man that is a lot of food.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day Seven

Another great day. First thing after my Danish Pastry breakfast, Kasey and Don and I drive over to the Kawasaki Demo site and signed up for some rides. I drove the Vaquero  first and then we went over to the Antique Motorcycle Museum. It wasn’t open yet so while we were waiting a fellow comes out of the building next door and says the are closed today. Well, Kat explains that we are waiting for a special opening for our group. He says well I have a key and I can let you in. Turns out that he is Virgil Elings, the owner of this private collection. Pretty nice guy too. After a couple hours of looking at really cool old bikes I went back and rode two more new ones. After dinner we were standing around the parking lot when a guy riding a museum piece rolled in. What a neat thing to see.

Kawasaki demo rides.

Don and Howard discuss some of the bikes with Phil who is head of accessory development for Kawasaki US.

Motorcycle Museum

Solid rubber tires with ice spikes.

Motorcycle Museum

Checking out the new Nomad before test riding it.

Allen rode in on this 1953 Nimbus 750 made in the Netherlands.

Eat your heart out Harry Potter.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day Six

Today Jim (he and Kat are our hosts) lead 6 of us on a nice ride up into the nearby mountains and down the other side into high desert. WOW!  Highway 33 is great. We went from near sea level thru twisties and sweepers up across Pine Mountain Summit at 5160 feet and back down. It was 96 degrees on the other side of the mountains and when we got back the mid 80’s felt refreshing. Excellent day.
First photo stop.

The Summit of Pine Mountain 5160 feet.

Where we were.

Where we are going.

Day Five

Spent some time walking around town this morning and visiting the local Spanish Mission. Then we went out for a ride around some of the Wine Country. A nice day. We returned in the early afternoon and VROC people started arriving. I should take some people and bike pictures but since everyone else does maybe I will stick with my format.
Couple of pictures of the town of Solvang.

Old Spanish Mission in town.

Wine fields.

Of course a cactus in bloom.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day Four

The day started out perfect, but we soon found ourselves riding through a chilly fog bank that lasted the rest of the trip down the coast. As soon as we headed inland it cleared up and got warm in a hurry. We stopped and did a tour of the Hearst Castle and still got to Solvang a day ahead of time. They said no problem and we got checked into our rooms, so we are the first arrivals. YEAH!

Beautiful start to the day.

Bet you didn’t notice this in the last picture. Well camouflaged.

One of Mr. Hearst’s guest cottages.

The Roman Bath out-door pool.

The main house (Castle).

The heated in-door Roman Bath (under the tennis courts).