I started this blog because I love to take motorcycle trips both local and around the country. And I love finding that roadside attraction or quaint town and of course the best places to eat. So I'd like to share my adventures with friends old and new. And I would like to hear about yours. Feel free to share. What's the nicest ride you've ever taken? The most scenic ride? The longest ride? Rallies you've been to with thousands or a solo ride? The town you fell in love with? The food that you'd go back for? Talk about the motorcycle shops along the way. We all love a warm friendly face. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so use them to help others share your experience.

Friday, September 23, 2011

To Recap

For those who have been following our adventures across the country, you can tell that we had a fabulous time and saw so much and experienced a trip of a lifetime.
I must say that we were truly lucky throughout the entire trip. We hit rain in the Chicago area and had to stop for about 10 minutes. Then the next rain stop was at the entrance to Yellowstone that held us up for about 20 minutes. That's only half an hour of inclement weather during the whole trip!!! Faith was a little apprehensive about traveling in August but I think that the majority of the time the daytime temps were in the 80s or low 90s and the nights were absolutely fantastic.
We saw so many beautiful parts of this country and Faith got to see some of the wildlife up close and personal. We visited The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Harley Davidson Museum, The Corn Palace and Wall Drug Store. We rode through The Badlands of South Dakota and took the scenic Norbert Highway through The Needles. We saw both Mount Rushmore and The Crazy Horse Monument up close. We spent a couple of nights in Deadwood,SD and visited Wild Bill Hickok's grave. We stayed in Custer,SD which is an absolutely beautiful town with a lot of history. Just outside of Custer is the "wildlife loop" through Custer State Park where we came face to face with herds of buffalo and a herd of donkeys. We took a ride to Devil's Tower in Wyoming. This is the place featured in the "Close Encounters" movie. Driving through Yellowstone National Park was awesome and we saw waterfalls and geysers and waited in the bleachers for "Old Faithful" to do its thing. What an amazing ride down from Yellowstone. We rode along the base of The Grand Tetons on our way to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Thermopolis, Wyoming. We spent some time in the famous natural hot springs of Thermopolis. All along the way we found some great food in some of the local eateries. I don't think that we hit one of the "chain" restaurants during the entire trip. We rode Highway 50 through Nevada. This road is considered "The Lonliest Road in America". And it lives up to its name. After passing through Carson City we were treated to another wonderful road that climbed up the mountains and gave us breathtaking views of the lake below and then zig-zagged down the other side into Lake Tahoe. What a beautiful lake and a very quaint town. The casinos gave us the break we needed and then we pushed onward. This part of the trip was especially nice because we were going to start visiting with friends and family who live out this way and who we haven't seen in quite a while. First of all some friends in Napa, California. A nice long lunch and our next stop was San Francisco. Three days of wandering 'The City by the Bay" and seeing the sights was great. We got down to "Fisherman's Wharf" for lunch took a cable car and went to "The Crookedest Street in The World" and took the tour to Alcatraz and even went to the San Francisco Zoo for the day on Monday. We went down the coast on Highway 1 which took us along California's Big Sur and although it was a little too foggy to really appreciate the beauty of it all, it was a wonderful ride. We stayed in San Simeon just down the street from The Hearst Castle. Then another lunch with a very dear old friend who lives in Santa Barbara. We planned to spend the evening with my brother in a house that he and his in-laws had rented for a few days in San Clemente. As luck would have it, we were there during the great power outage of 2011. The power went out from somewhere north of San Clemente to the Mexican border and over to Arizona. What an adventure!! Also got to see an uncle of mine who I haven't seen in quite a few years. We then moved on to the San Diego area where we met a cousin of Faith's for dinner and then to a very nice little town just east of San Diego called Ramona where a friend of mine lives. After seeing all of these old friends and visiting with family it was hard to get back on the road but we were nearing our destination and actually looking forward to sleeping in our own bed for a change. So after the San Diego area we spent one night in Palm Springs, California and then finished up the last part of our journey.
So after all of the adventure and the sights and the people we met and the memories that will live with us forever, we made it without incident and we thank God that He rode along with us.
What an absolutely FANTASTIC trip !!!  5866 miles !!!  A million memories !!!  Some wonderful new friends !!!
Just because this trip has ended, that doesn't mean that our adventures are over. Check back to this blog occasionally because I will be writing about some of the rides that we take and some of the people that we meet. In this part of the country the riding season lasts most of the year so we will be taking some interesting trips and they will be posted here.
 Thanx again so very much for following us on our trip and we hope you enjoyed the ride.   RobnFaith

DAY 34

When we left Palm Springs we had planned to take a route that would be a little more scenic but also a little more desolate. The morning warmed up rather quickly and after some discussion we decided to take the interstate to make some time and also we figured there would be more gas stations along the way.
It felt great when we finally crossed into Arizona. The temps had gotten into the 100s and after 34 days on the road we just wanted to get home and settle in. We needed a break so we stopped in Quartzsite which is just over the state line. It's an old mining town and it was rather dead but one of the locals told us that it picks up a bit in the winter. We later found out that Quartzsite in the winter is a town that becomes jam packed with campers and tourists. You can find jewelry, Indian artifacts, rocks and a ton of other things for sale. I guess we'll be checking it out in a couple of months.
Then it was on to our last leg of this wonderful journey. We got to Lake Havasu City around 2:30 so we stopped in to see our rental agent to let her know that we had arrived. It was so hot that we said our hellos, went to the house, put on our bathing suits and headed for the lake. Sooo refreshing!!!
Then back to the house to take in the task at hand. Our tenants left us a little more work to do than we had hoped for. But without a TV or phone or internet for the first week and a half, we had nothing to do but clean and paint. So now we've been in our new home for 10 days and we have three rooms painted and the kitchen has been scrubbed and many of the boxes have been emptied and items put away. Still a long way to go but we're here and we made the trip safe and sound so all is well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

DAY 33

Well, as Faith said to me just a little while ago---"what a great day this has been!!"
I have to agree. We didn't have a lot of miles to cover and we knew we were heading to Palm Springs.
Our first stop was at Skip Fordyce Harley Davidson in Riverside. It's a huge beautiful dealership and the people are extremely friendly and accommodating.We got all of our collectible stuff and even a few extras that we hadn't planned on. The stop took a little longer than usual because we got caught up in conversation with the woman in the motorclothes department and then we talked for a while with one of the salesmen. He was commenting on the trike and also where we were coming from and where we were going. All in all a nice time with some very nice people.
Although we had to travel on some highways the roads were nice and after we got out of Riverside the traffic lightened up and it really wasn't a bad ride. The closer we got to the Palm Springs area the warmer we could feel that the temps were getting. But it's a dry heat !!! It's a little hard to see in the picture but we got the Palm Springs sign that welcomes you to the city.
By the time we got to Palm Spring we were getting a bit hungry so I told Faith that whenever she sees something along the road to let me know and we'd stop for a bite. Just as we got into the downtown area we saw a sign for "Hamburger Mary's" so we figured we'd grab a quick burger. I had never been to or even heard of "Hamburger Mary's" but it seems that they are an "alternative lifestyle" kind of bar/hamburger joint.
Of course we got there a little after noon and the show was going to start soon. Our waiter warned us about what the show was about and that it could get a little offensive. Well that sounded fine to me. On with the show!!!! The food was very good and the "queens" put on a pretty good show. The bars slogan is--Eat, Drink and "Be Mary" !  Faith had a great time but we couldn't sit there all day. After a bit we had to leave to get to our hotel and decide what we were going to do for the rest of the day.
It was getting really warm so we checked in and hit the pool for a while. Then we found out that there is a casino nearby so Faith got her slot fix and I think she actually did OK at the machines. Not so for me. But it was another good time for Faith and now it was time to eat. The clerk at the hotel suggested a Mexican place down the block so we took a walk to Don Diegos in Indian Wells, CA.
What a fantastic time we had!! We started with a "medium" margarita which was actually rather large and then had a great meal while being serenaded by a wandering guitar player. The waiter was very nice and we shared an interest in motorcycling and the guitar player stayed at our table for a while talking with us so we had a very nice evening. It has become one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.
So as I said, Faith feels that this was a really great day and I have to agree. Good times and some extremely nice people.
Only 108 miles but well over 108 memories.
Sadly, tomorrow we head for "home".

Saturday, September 10, 2011

DAY 32

So in keeping with the trend of visiting old friends, we left El Cajon and our plan for Friday was to visit an old friend who I used to work with at Harley Davidson Of Lakewood.  James lives in an absolutely beautiful and charming smaller town northeast of San Diego called Ramona. Nestled in some rocky mountains the town has fantastic weather year round and scenery that is quite different from what we're used to.
Again, we weren't going to meet with James until later afternoon, so he suggested that we take a ride to a little town 20 minutes north of him called Julian. It's an old mining town and now it attracts tourists and many bikers. It's made up of some very old shops and between shopping and eating you can easily spend a nice afternoon there. The road from Ramona to Julian is another of those winding, climbing, twisty turny kind of roads that any biker would love. It amazes me that there are so many of these great roads all over the country. It seems that everywhere we go, we can find one of these roads that I love and Faith moans about.
 Then we came back down to Ramona to meet James at "Da Tuna Shack". It's a great little place that he co-owns and we enjoyed some good food and some of the local beers. It was really nice to see James again. He moved out here quite a few years ago and is absolutely loving life right now. The chances of him moving back east are slim to none.
Even though we are trying to keep the long rides to a minimum, with the ride up to Julian and back down to Ramona and then from Ramona to Corona where we finally found a hotel, we clocked in at 170 miles for today.
Getting closer to "home" and I'm thinking maybe Monday evening we should get there.

DAY 31

It seems that our trip has become one of visiting family and friends that we don't get to see too often or even some that we haven't seen in years. It's a nice change from the riding that we've been doing and mostly being just the two of us. We're also getting a little more relaxing time because we're taking these breaks while we visit with our family and friends.  After dinner in San Francisco with my brother, we made that stop in Santa Barbara to visit Suellen and then we saw Henry again in San Clemente on Thursday..
So Friday we said our goodbyes to Henry and Tracey and were planning to visit with a cousin of Faith's in Santee, which is outside of San Diego. We weren't going to see Suzanne and her family until dinner so we had most of the day to take a slow ride down and hit a couple of the Harley shops along the way.
We were staying in a hotel in El Cajon so we checked in and had a little pool time before we had to get ready for the 15 minute ride to Santee.
We met Suzanne, husband Ray and their daughter Danielle at their house. Their son Jake was at a football game so he wouldn't be joining us for dinner.
It was a very nice time and we really enjoyed the company. Faith and Suzanne had a lot of catching up to do since they hadn't seen each other in over 30 years. So after dinner we went back to the house for a while.

118 miles today and although it wasn't filled with scenery and monuments and landmarks, we had a great time. Unfortunately, Faith and Suzanne were having such a time reminiscing that we completely forgot to take photos.

DAYS 29 & 30

Wednesday and Thursday were not big sightseeing days. I had gotten in touch with a dear old friend from way back when who had moved to Santa Barbara about 30 years ago. She was able to get some time off for lunch on Wednesday so we left San Simeon and headed down to meet with Suellen. Also, when we had dinner with brother Henry in San Francisco, he told us that he and his party were renting a house in San Clemente for a few days and if we happened to get down that way by Thursday we should stop by for the night. With a little tweaking of our route, we planned both visits.
Although we tried to stay on the more scenic Route 1, a lot of the time was on the 101 which took us a little further inland. It was great to see Suellen again and we had a nice lunch and caught up with stories of old friends and families. After our visit we thought that we'd get a little closer to San Clemente before calling it a day. We made it to Camarillo which is just south of Oxnard.
We got to San Simeon around noon and we're glad we did. The house that Henry's group had rented can best be described as gorgeous! Three stories with decks at each level and a spectacular view of the Pacific and the San Clemente pier from each deck. Enough bedrooms to sleep about 15-16 people. A pool and hot tub with landscaping that put you in a paradise-like setting.
 This is the view from the upper deck. The pier is to the right. The walk down to the beach is rather steep but Faith walked it to get some of her sunset shots.
Since we got there early we had some time for a relaxing dip in the pool and a little hot tub time.
I have an uncle who lives in Mission Viejo which is about 40 minutes from San Clemente. I haven't seen Bob in probably 25 years or so. Henry got in touch with him and we planned to meet for dinner at a restaurant on the pier around 5.
 So around 3 we decided to take a beer run and Henry drove us into town. We also wanted to stop at Rite-Aid but as we walked to the door the employees were outside telling everyone that the power had gone out and the store was closed. While driving through town to get the beer, we noticed that all of the stores in town were dark and the street lights either out or blinking. We figured someone hit a pole and we might be without power for a short time. Little did we know that we were part of "The Great San Diego Power Outage Of 2011". It seems a worker at a station in Yuma, AZ made a small error that put everyone in the dark from north of San Clemente to Mexico and parts of southern Arizona.
Well, we weren't sure if Uncle Bob was affected so we went to the pier to meet him and he showed up a little late because he said traffic was horrible without the traffic lights working.
Of course the restaurant was closed so we stayed at the pier for a little while talking and hoping that we might get lucky enough to be there when the power was restored. No such luck!
 We invited Bob back to the house for a burger but he declined saying that he might as well go sit in traffic before it gets too dark.
So with not much else to do we went back and tried to get dinner in before the sun went down. We had no TV or radio and most of our cell phones wouldn't connect because the outage was affecting the towers. I guess you could say we were in the dark about why we were in the dark.
We finished our dinner just as the sun was setting so Faith ran out to do what she does best--sunset photos.
These are only 2 of the great shots that we got of a beautiful Pacific sunset. For more you can visit our Facebook pages.

So on Wednesday we clocked 201 miles and on Thursday only 120.
But we enjoyed both days tremendously because we spent some time with old friends and family that we don't get to see very often.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

DAY 28

When we left San Francisco this morning, I'm not sure who was more excited about the day. I had driven Highway 1 down the Pacific coast before and I think it is one of the best roads I've ever seen. I'd been building up the trip so Faith was ready and willing to check it out.
We left in the fog and very cool temperatures but I told her that it would clear and she'd be in for a fantastic ride. But it seemed that the fog was going to ride the coast right along with us. When we were riding at the higher altitudes the temps weren't too bad but the times that we were riding right down along the beach it got pretty chilly.
 Sometimes the fog made things even more scenic than normal but I had wanted Faith to see the beauty of the roads that wind up and down and curve in and out around the mountains with the Pacific crashing at the rocks below.

Sometimes we'd get a little break and we could actually see the beach but those times were rare.
I began to think that the fog might have been a blessing because there are parts of the highway through the Big Sur area when you are really quite a way up on the side of a mountain riding on a very winding road with very little keeping you from going over the side. So as you can see in the photo, when we were at some of the higher elevations, the drop and the ocean were covered with a blanket of fog so Faith didn't really see just how bad the drop was. It almost looked like we were above the clouds but the fog covered everything as far as you could see. That situation kept her a lot quieter than she would have been on a clear day.
At one of the overlooks we found another of the many admirers of the trike. Sometimes it's the trike and sometimes the trailer.  We even had a guy who asked permission to take a photo or two of the trike and trailer.
 As we got closer to our stop of the day, we passed a lot that was full of cars and people lining the beach so we pulled in to see what all the excitement was about. It seems that this is a beach where elephant seals like to come and relax in the sun. There were probably 70-80 of them sleeping on the beach oblivious to the crowds and the noise of cars and motorcycles.
 Our hotel was in San Simeon just south of the Hearst Castle. We were pleasantly surprised when we checked in. Our room was great. It had a sofa and gas fireplace. The pool was heated and very relaxing. They put out a very nice complimentary breakfast. The only complaint we had was that they were under water restrictions so we couldn't use the water jets in the Jacuzzi that we had in our bathroom.
After a good Mexican dinner right next door to the hotel, Faith wanted to get some sunset photos. Our hotel was right on the beach but there are a lot of trees behind it so she had to walk a little bit down the street.
 It seems that people on the west coast really like sunsets. She was joined by a group of sunset watchers and they waited a little bit until they got what they came for. You can see here that it was worth the wait. Faith is getting quite good at her sunset shots.

Although I wasn't planning on many more longer rides, we finished the day at 222 miles and a thousand memories!!

This is just a sampling of the pictures that Faith took along the coast and of her sunset. Check out our Facebook for a whole bunch more!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

DAY 27

Another day to do the touristy thing in San Francisco. No need to get a very early start so we relaxed a bit in the morning and then it was time for a visit to the San Francisco Zoo. What a great zoo! It's laid out nicely so I was able to walk the whole zoo. Again, Faith was having a ball with her camera and her animals.
They've got a tremendous variety of animals. From beautiful flamingos.....
 To hungry bears. We got to see the bear feeding time. The zoo workers put food out in a few different spots and then they let the bears out.
 When we first got to the lion exhibit, they were sleeping nicely. But a little patience and we got a nice yawn.

We went from the gorilla area to a large grazing area for giraffes and zebras.
Many many more pics will be posted of Facebook. Faith was going crazy with that camera!
 After the zoo we stopped back at the room for a break and then noticed that the sun had come through the haze and it had gotten pretty warm. So we figured it might be a good time to get some better shots of the Golden Gate Bridge. So now that we were pros with the transportation system, we hopped on two different buses and found ourselves in the parking lot at the base of the bridge. Since the weather had gotten nicer the place was rather crowded but it was worth it.
The bridge looked great and the temps picked up a bit. You can see here that Faith was happy because this is probably the first time that the bridge was visible since we got here.

We have mixed emotions about leaving San Francisco tomorrow. The weather has been quite cool and overcast so we're looking forward to getting to some warmer temperatures. But we are having a great time and I know there's still so much more to see and do around here. It's been a fabulous few days but we really do have to get on the road again.
Check back because we're driving down the Pacific Coast Highway tomorrow and Wednesday so we'll have some absolutely beautiful photos.   Thanx

DAY 26

OK...Sunday in San Francisco. Not only Sunday but the Sunday of Labor Day weekend in San Francisco! One word---CROWDED!! We had pre-booked our Alcatraz tour but we weren't scheduled to go until 6pm. So we had the day to find things to do. Between Friday night and Saturday, we had gotten a taste of the MUNI system which is how most people get around the city. We bought a three day pass and that gets you on anything that moves around town. From buses to cable cars to the subway.
So we took the subway from our hotel  to a spot where we could get a cable car to the Little Italy section of town. The subway is actually an above ground bus that runs on an overhead electrical system to a subway that runs the same.
When we got to Little Italy, we walked a few blocks until we were about four blocks from Lombard Street, "the crookedest street in the world". The four remaining blocks were just about straight uphill so Faith walked two of them to take some pics while I sat outside at a little bistro and had a beer.
It was still a bit early so we walked from Lombard to Pier 33 where the tour departs. Even though we tried to kill some time we still arrived very early. We roamed around some of the piers checking out some of the street shows and folks looking for a donation. The streets were crowded and it got a little warm so we went back to the pier and just sat on a bench waiting for our tour. Finally it was time to board and head out to Alcatraz.
Alcatraz is a fantastic tourist attraction! Besides being extremely interesting just to walk the halls, it is steeped in some fascinating history and the tour guides were very knowledgeable. The guide will give you some of the history and then leave you at the front door.
Inside you can get a small recorder and earphones and take a self guided tour at your own pace.This makes it so much better because you're not herded through trying to hear someone at the front of the crowd tell you what you're looking at. You can actually take one of the earlier rides out to the island and stay as long as you wish. The boats go back and forth so you can take any return boat you want.
If you were unfortunate enough to be sent to Alcatraz, after you climbed a pretty steep hill to get to the main building, you were issued your number (no one in Alcatraz had a name. You were stripped of your identity and given a number). Then you were given a physical and marched through the showers to clean up before you got your prison uniform.
Lots more Alcatraz pictures on our Facebook page.
Faith really enjoyed the tour and thinks that it definitely rates in the top five attractions that we've visited on our trip. (so far)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

DAY 25

Today was about as close as we could get to a relaxing day in San Francisco. We slept in a little longer than we have been and then tried to figure out how to get from our hotel to Fisherman's Wharf. We walked around the corner and boarded what we thought was the right bus but it only took us half way. So we had to get on the subway and this took us to the Market area. Still not close enough to the Wharf so we took another bus which was packed like a sardine can. But we finally got to the pier area.
 Got a bite to eat on Pier 39 and then walked around taking pictures just like a typical tourist.
Found the sea lions just relaxing and really not putting on much of a show.
 Being Labor Day weekend, the streets were quite crowded but we trudged along taking in the many different sights of the city. We saw some of the shops and restaurants that have been a part of San Francisco for years and some that are fairly new.
 We made our way from Pier 39 to Fisherman's Wharf. What an amazing place. Everywhere you looked you saw restaurants selling their wares along the sidewalk.
 We got a great cup of clam chowder and Faith was amazed at the whole scene.

 And of course a trip to San Francisco wouldn't be complete without the famous cable car ride. We waited in line for just over an hour and then they stuffed the car with tourists and we were on our way.
The cable car took us back to the market area and then we still had to take the subway back to our hotel. We had plans to meet my brother for dinner in Dale City which is about 3 miles from our hotel. We called for a cab but after waiting about an hour we decided to unhook the trailer and take the trike.
Although we arrived a bit later than the rest of the party, it was a very pleasant dinner with Jeff, Sue, Tracey and brother Hank.
Then back to the room. Tomorrow back to the docks to take the Alcatraz cruise.
Check back for details.