Like a kid in the candy store, or perhaps the toy store; I can't wait. As readers of this blog, you know I got cought short on cash in a loss of a roof on my property in San Luis Obispo.
So I had to sell my "rig" Had it built when I realized my knees may be an issue when riding the trails in Southwest Colorado - Silverton and Ouray mostly. Went out every year to ride. But with bad knees, should you brace the bike you could break a leg. Break a leg alone miles on a trail; well you could die. I put a sidecar on it. Not going to fall over! Of course you still could drive off a cliff.
After a little over a year decided I needed to ride. If you ride you know what I mean.
Over the years I have well over 300,000 miles on BMW's. First bike was a new 1976 R90S. Should have kept it.
Bought the new ride. 2017 Indian Vintage Chief. Was on a business trip to Houston, Texas a month ago and visisted a motorcycle dealer. - BMW, INDIAN, AND SLINGSHOT WOODLANDS You know just for fun. Well it cost me. Fell for a totally diferent ride. It just was shipped to have a sidecar put on. Pick it up the end of June. Can't wait! Highly recommend Woodlands Michael and the salesman ,Josh, were a great help with an out of state purchase. If in the market, give them a call - https://www.bmwmcwoodlands.com
First ride on the Indian was certainly different. The sitting position, the peg, or in this case, foot boards, and let us not forget the rear brake "pedal" on the Indian. For those not riders; big diference between the Euorpean bikes and the American bikes. The BMW, Ducatti, KTM, Triumph, etc tend to be for of a "steeple chase" sitting. The big American rides, Indian, Harley tend do be a more "laid back" riding possition. I guess akin to the days of riding a horse. Here in the great expanse of the Amercan plains or indeed now the long days in the saddle; we tend to sit back as in an easy chair and ride. My BMW was quiet. The Indian has a somewhat loud; but pleasent rumble to it. I like it - thumpity thumpity rumble.
Had the Indian shipped to HANNIGAN MOTORSPORTS to marry it to a sidecar. Below is what it will look like. My color is a dark blue and cream.
The preceeding blog post was the "Farwell To California". Following here is the fastest and the longest trip I've done in recent memory. In one week - seven days - I drove from the Mid Atlantic to San Luis Obispo, California to close on my last property there. Then I had to inspect other possible investments in Saint George, Utah and the Star Valley of Wyoming.
Was in the saddle for the eight days with brief stays in hotels. Logged 6,797.3 miles! One day I was driving for eighteen hours straight. Now that is a long day. Oh did I mention it was mostly in rain. And that day was an omen of what was to come! More on that below.
Saw a lot of this:
The route was Highway 40 to Highway 58 in Barstow, California. BAck door to San Luis Obispo via
Highway 46. Plesant drive through the wine country of Paso Robles. Wish I had the time to stop and sip the fine wines of the area. It was late in the afternoon, and you know, I was tired. Had been a long drive. Left Flagstaff in the morning and the day before was a looooong day; started somewhere in eastern Oklahoma. All I remember was my departure at around 4 AM; the night clerk told me the highway going east was closed due to ice. All the flashing red and blue lights made it look like a war zone with the police, ambulances and tow trucks attending to the crashes. Well, I was going West.
By nineish I was in Tucumcari, New Mexico and drove the section of Highway 66
In the hay days of Route 66 this was a thriving little town. Now it is just a shell. But even a shell can hold a pearl! Been here before on many trips. And as a regular reader of this blog, you know I don't miss a meal. One of the best for diner is DEL'S and for breakfast KIX ON ROUTE 66.
Let me tell you, the breakfast burrito above made of eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, cheese, chopped greenchile and smothered in red and green sauce; with the side of spicy homemade sausage was .... well maybe I will go back tomorrow just for breakfast! Don't pass this by!
With a full belly and coffee - lots of coffee; I was off again.
Oh, if you are in Tucumcari in the evening dine at Del's. Founded in 1956.
Still serving a great dinner! Both owned by the family and the excellent meals and service shows why they are worth the stop.
Next stop was the Laguna Indian Reservation for a stop at the San Jose de Laguna Mission. Built between 1699 and 1701. Still an active Catholic parish church serving the spiritual needs of the local Laguna residents. A wonderful and well preserved example of an old Spanish colonial mission. You will find it about 40 miles East of Albuquerque on Highway 40. So, stop in and say a prayer to Saint Christopher for a save journey.
If you have traveled highway 40 in New Mexico or Arizona you have seen them:
BOWLIN TRAVEL CENTERS have been in business for over 100 years. This family owned business began in 1912 when Claude M. Bowlin started a trading post and traded with the Native Americans. Today there are a total of ten "trading posts". So when you see the signs don't pass it by. Great place to find a meal or a gift and fuel up. I remember on one hot long motorcycle trip I stopped for gas and the best ice cream cone ever had!
Arrived in San Luis Obispo and the iconic place to stay is the MADONNA INN
All the rooms at the Inn are unique! Below are but three. The resturant is elegant and very good. The coffee shop is a good bet for breakfast.
Turri Road Windmill
After a quick day in SLO, off for Star Valley, Wyoming As you may have read above, this was not a vacation. There was a timeline to keep to. Over nighted in Saint George to visist a posible property and left in the mid morning. Blased up Interstate 15 through Salt Lake and took Highway 89 to Bear Lake and onto Afton, Wyoming. "89" is a beautiful Fall drive. Below in April, before the trees leaf out it was rather bleek.
When you get to Bear Lake stop and enjoy a Raspberry shake. As you can see it is more of an ice cream
Trully a treat!
I arrived in Afton to check the properties I was interested in; but a family emergency required me to depart the night of arrival. Turned out, thankfully, all was good. The drive back to the Mid Atlantic on the other hand was not so good.
It was a light snow at10PM inAfton, as I assended the mountains driving back to Salt Lake the snow intensity increased. It snowed all day long as I turned East. In fact as I continued on Highway 70 East of Denver - in the snow - it became a blizzard and found out later the "Colorado State trucks I had seen on the side of the highway were closing the highway as I passed by! The snow turned to rain and indeed drove home all the way from Wyoming in snow, blizzards and rain.
As noted 6,797.3 miles in eight days. Mostly in rain and snow. Not interested in doing that again!
See You Down The Road
Born in Hollywood, California - when Black and White TV was relitively rare in homes. Most of the cars on the "new" Hollywood freeway were American made. Moved to Sherman Oaks when a lad of four. Attended Dixie Canyon Elementary. High School was Ulysses S. Grant. School mates were Tom Selleck, Micky Dolenz (The Monkeys) although I did not know them. College, well tried it for a couple of years at LAVC; but as a working photographer it was hard to pass up assignments and attend class. So I dropped out.
Went to war in Vietnam.
After the war, came back to the San Fernado Valley for a year or so and desided to give Alaska a try. Worked in advertising. Ended up a director/producer for the local ABC TV station in Anchorage, KIMO. Returned to California and moved to San Luis Obispo.
All and all, spent most of my life in Southern California. That was then - The best times to be there.
From about the early/mid sixties, the Golden State started to tarnish. Took me awhile; but finally realized the Golden State was turned into a gulag. The progressive liberals have succeeded in taking the once great State and flushing it out the sewer pipes to the sea!
Today the RED STAR makes a lot of sense!
I left. May not ever return.
Last month sold the last property I had in San Luis Obispo. I have my memories when the Central Coast was, for the most part, an unknown gem to be enjoyed by a few. Now today, SLO as it is called, is just another liberal anti-business pustule that was once a great place. It's crowded with drive time traffic problems.
Memories. Lots of wonderful memories.
One of the great excusions is Poso Saloon about an hour north of SLO. Over the years many a ride for lunch. As you can see from the themometer below, best to visit in the Spring , Fall or Winter.
For a great day at the beach go down to Avila Beach. Short fifteen minute drive from SLO. For breakfast, lunch or dinner try the Custom House in Avila!
Did a lot of living while in California. The best place to have spent the early/mid years. Riding the bikes in the mountains and the deserts, sailing the coast and Lake Tahoe, skiing Mammoth and Heavenly, scuba diving off Avila and the Channel Islands, rock climbing and repeling the great local climbs in and arround SLO, kayaking and of of course flying all over the State. Cant tell you how many times would fly over to Harris Ranch for breakfast; or up to Morgan Hill for a good meal. Heck I remember one night talking to a guy that had never been to Tommy's in LA for a burger. So we jumped in the 210T and an hour later rented a car at Van Nuys airport and drove to Tommy's in downtown LA.
That's it, about three hours total back in SLO. The most expensive buger I have ever eaten!
Those were great times to be in LA. Used to go to Sunset Bulivard spend a few hours at WHISKY A GO GO listening to The Doors, or Johnny Rivers. Go down to the Golden Bear for folk music. Spend the summer days on the beach of Malibu or Santa Monica.
Learned to fly at....wait for it - Coffin Air Service. Back then you had to do spins to get your license. We did them over the Glenn View Cemetery! My instructor was Hank Coffin and in his seventies. Great pilot and wonderful instructor. I soloed under eight hours and was fifteen years old.
Below: Sailing Lake Tahoe. Diving of the Channel Islands, Riding th California desserts.
Riding and camping at Alabama Hills, Rock Climbing, Kayaking the coast off Shell Beach.
Above: Skiing Mammoth Mountain and "teaching" my son to fly.
Set aside the nit wit (communist) politians and California is a beautiful State. In my opinion the most diverse in what it offers of all the States. I mean you can really ski in the morning and have dinner at the beach the same day!
Allow me to reminisce . I have had a blessed life living in California.
Spent the last morning waiting for the dawn at Pismo Beach. Left an hour after this photo was taken.
Goodbye Kalifornia - Good Luck!
California - is in my soul. There is beauty. There are to be had great and wonderful memories.
And if you are to live there; you will have high blood pressure and learn to swear like a China Sailor when dealing with the State government and many of the local dictators too - SLO is one!
Go there for the beauty and - - - - the Assembly and Moonbeam!
See You DownThe Road
Those of us that are old, rememember the photo above. To those "youngsters" television was not always on 24/7. It was required to shut down nightly to perform engineering maintence.
If you are new to the blog, please read the archives. And all return in May to continue the
See You Down The Road
In Spanish it is called Montana de Oro. Another great side trip not far from Morro Bay, six miles. From San Luis Obispo, about twelve, A wonderful place to camp for a few nights too. Camp closer to the enterance and lay in your tent or your RV listening to the surf. During the Winter, view the storms for some dramatic sights and photographs. Wind and rain blowing at gayle force somtimes. Waves crashing into the cliffs! The thunder of the crashing, pounding waves can be almost deafening.
Montana de Oro got its name from the golden wild flowers in the park. The only riches here however; are the 8,000 acres of cliffs, sandy beaches and the many hiking trails and equestrian trails.
Islay Creek Campground can accomdate both RV's and the tent camper. Across from Spooners Cove and a short walk from the beach. About fifty camp sites With fire rings, picnic tables and water. This is a popular campground and most Summer weekends are booked well in advance. Open all year, but the
chilly ocean air can be brisk in the Winter.
After a day, or several days, at the beach; as you drive out one of my favorite dinner houses is
JIMMY BUMPS Pasta House located in Los Osos and run by my friend Jimmy Delmore.
Wonderful food. Nice wine selection. The menu is down to earth, traditional Italian. As the name implies, offering up great pasta, but also Chicken Marsala, Eggplant Parmigiana and some of the best Calzones and pizza to be had. You cant go wrong with JIMMY BUMPS!
One of the many great roads to ride - or drive - in San Luis Obispo County is Santa Rosa CreekRoad. Located about a forty minute drive north of San Luis Obispo in beautiful Cambria. However as stated here before don't ride, or drive, straight up. You may want to stop in Morro Bay. I mean you do have all day. Make it memorable!
Take time to explore the many shops. If you are in there in the morning, grab a coffee and a cinnamon roll on the embarcadero. If lunch, I recommend the Hofbrau for a Prime Beef Dip sandwich - Yummy!
Be sure to drive out to the "Rock" and watch thr Sea Otters.
After a break in Morro Bay drive North on 101 to Cambria. Now if you have stopped in Cayucos or
Harmony on the way up and time now for lunch; try the Main Street Grill and have a Tri Tip BBQ Sandwich. Or go drive/ride Santa Rosa Creek Road and come back to Cambria for a gastronmnical treat. Top off with a stop at Linns Bakery for a slice of Olallieberry pie or other fine offering.
Cambria is quaint little town. Stroll around and enjoy the shops. When it is time to hit the road - Santa Rosa Creek Road; you will find it south of town. Just follow Main Street until you see the street sign.
Santa Rosa Road is a great motorcycle run; but a nice drive as well. Takes you up into the hills and ends
at Haighway 46 which you can follow back to Highway 101 or turn left and go into Paso Robles and do some wine tasting. Santa Rosa is just one of the many great rides in San Luis Obispo County. Enjoy!
Oh, and the music bed in the video, dosen't have to be a FANTASY just go do it. And be GHROVIN' ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON!
See You DownThe Road
Found in the rolling hills and the many horse ranches in the Santa Ynez Valley you will find one of the great California "Wine Trails" North and a bit east of Bullton or Santa Ynez. Foxen Canyon is the home of some very fine winneries - Fess Parker, Firestone, Zaca Mesa, Costa De Oro about fourteen in all. You can also find Foxen Canyon from southern Santa Maria. In southern Santa Maria exit Highway 101 at Betteravia Road and wind your way to the beginning of the Foxen Canyon Trail. For motorcycles it is a great run with some fun high speed sweepers; but caution, it can be hazardous, I have seen more then one accident. If coming from Santa Barbara, I would suggest exiting Highway 101 at San Marcos Pass, Highway 33. As you climb up the road you will leave the views of the Pacific Ocean and when cresting the top will desend through the Los Padres National Forest. On the other hand continue up 101 and enjoy the beauty of the coast line. Oh, as a side line, it is here, just south of Gaviota, that a Japanese submarine shelled the Richfield Oil field in 1942. About twenty 5 inch shells were fired causing little damage and no casualties. Interesting to note it was the first time the U.S. Mainland had been attacked since the War of 1812.
Santa Ynez Valley offers a lot to do. The art galleries, cafes and dont miss the Santa YInes Mission.. For the adventurous, take a sailplane out of the airport. At an altitude of around 3,000 feet you can enjoy the sights from Lake Cachuma to the many vineyards and ranches - even Reagan Ranch.
For a side trip just minutes from the "Trail" is the town of Solvang. Founded by Danish immagrants in 1911 and well worth the time especially if you are looking for a cup of coffee and a "danish". Many fine bakeries and shops to be found. Additionally motor up 101 to the town of Los Alamos and visit THE UNION HOTEL. Established in 1880 and a wonderful example of "old" California. Not only will you find a great meal, be it a lunch or a relaxing dinner; but you my recognize it in one of many productions shot here. among the notables have been Michael Jackson and Jon Bon Jovi's music videos.
But it is the history for me. The town of Los Alamos was established in 1876. Originally it was a stagecoach station. In 1880 the Union Hotel was built. Unfortunately it burnt down in 1893; but was rebuilt in 1915.
As a kid, my Dad and I would drive up to San Luis Obispo and the Central Coast from Sherman Oaks (L.A.) always stopping at ANDERSON'S - "Home of the Split Pea Soup." When I was first there it was a far cry from todays reasturant, large counter and just a couple of small tables. The soup however, has been the same. A great place for a meal. And don't forget the gift shop. Find a danish or other delectables for the road.
While living in San Luis Obispo, FOXEN CANYON WINE TRAIL has always been on of my favorite runs on the motorcycle. Whether you ride or drive it; take your time, with so many wineries and so much to see in the area. it is easy to spend two days or more,
Should you be coming up from Santa Barbara and exit highway 101 at Highway 154. Then turn onto Zaca Station Road. First stop is the FIRESTONE WINERY.
This iconic winery is the home of many fine wines - Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec all grown here in Santa Ynez.
For many years my other favorte is FESS PARKER WINERY. Located just up the road from Firestone and the second on the tour if heading north east. Established in 1994 by - "Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone"; well perhaps more accurate to say by Fess Parker who of course stared in those great TV series many of us grow up watching.
Yes, that is indeed a "Coonskin" hat for your bottle of wine! Just like ol' Davy's just a bit smaller.
So saddle up and go for a ride on the FOXEN CANYON WINE TRAIL!
See You DownThe Road
It was an early drive out to the Amish farms. Sunrise as you can see. Bit brisk at 21 degrees; and behold the Amish are up before dawn.
The video below was shot over about a 90 minute time. with the exception of the closing footage that was around 3PM.
I have a tremendous respect for the Amish. They work hard from before dawn to after sunset. Sometimes in harsh weather too. The young man on the push scooter was on his way to work. Even the kids have a positive work ethic. Great sense of family and community too. As to that, we all can learn from the Amish.
My 2015 4Runner Limited, but then I upgraded to the 2016 TRD
See You Down The Road
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
As this year is racing to its zenth; looking forward to the adventures and travels of 2018. Do hope you have enjoyed the posts of years past. If you are new to the blog be sure to read of the great destinations, hotels, and fine resturants you may wish to visit.
Please allow me to ask, you see as an old "warrior" of the Vietman War, it is a struggle to foot the costs of all this travel, often for the sole purpose to bring you, my reader some "intel" on what this Great Country has to offer. So as the saying goes: "Hey, buddy can you spare a dime?" Thank you to all of you that have helped out this past year with a donation, or purchased photos. Every little bit sure does help!
So, while we wait for the snow to melt, I dream of the West - Alwasys the West. Love the deserts, the mountains - the open spaces!
Sand Dunes at Totem Pole, Monument Valley
Sunrise at the Badlands NP, South Dakota
Million Dallor Highway, Ouray, CO
Turks & Caicos Sunset Over looking Avila Beach, CA Old Custom House, CA
So continue to enjoy the blog and many thanks for your help in bringing it to you - See You Down The Road!
See You Down The Road
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