Finally Off

Day 1
The start of this trip was different than all my previous trips  in that I was saying goodbye to my wife and all that is familiar for two months instead of a week or so.  It has not really sunk in yet.

Soon the ride seemed like numerous other I have taken because I had to travel north through the So. Cal metropolis.  I rode up I-15 and worked my way to the foothill freeway (I-215).  The gray-brown air obscured the San Gabrial mountains somewhat in its haze.  But, it is far better than in the 80s when I came to California.  Back then the smog was white and thick enough that you might not even know there were mountains right there.

I soon went through Santa Clarita where we started our family and lived for many years.  If there is a poster child for haphazard development it is here.  We still have many fond memories from there but I sure don’t miss the summer heat.

Once I climbed the Grapevine and passed through Frazier park the ride ceased to be familiar because I was covering new ground.  I went through Pine Mountain Club, where my aunt Gene lived for many years, and out Mill Potrero road and eventually to California 166 to the 101 and north.  I forgot what a great road is Mill Potrero with its winding and undulating asphalt for many miles.  The only soul I saw was the KTM 1190 I passed.  I should have some good GoPro video but that will have to wait for later to edit and post.

I rode on through San Lois Obispo and into Paso Robles where I was roasted a bit in the 95 degree heat.  Further north and up a bit higher I had to buck a monster head wind for 125 miles to Salinas.  It was pretty brutal and my fuel mileage was 35mpg on that tank where it is normally 10mpg better.  I think my airspeed must have been 125mph.

traveling through areas of California it is amazing to see all of the different agriculture.  there are over 200 cash crops grown in the state and no other state comes anywhere close to that number.  There are vineyards being planted all over the place.  I am not a big wine fan so it seems silly; I say plant more hops.  I always like to know what it is I see growing, some things are easy make out but many are a mystery.  I did recognize rhubarb and cabbage and Dole was kind enough to mark romaine lettuce.  At one place the was “Patrick’s Pimentos”.  It was acres and acres of small, intense green plants and I wondered how much of the world’s supply of pimentos I was seeing.

More thrills ahead when I got to I-880 in San Jose on my way to Berkeley to see two of my sons. The 880 was forty miles of mostly lane splitting.  The number of cars is unbelieveable; I can’t fathom how people can make that drive every day.  I was also amazed by the number of times i smelled pot smoke coming from the cars.  Maybe I should follow this silver 535 a while…

I had a nice visit with my sons Max and Nick and we had a nice casual dinner.  Berkeley is an interesting place to visit, it is filled with all kinds of people.  It is a bit too densely populated for me so I doubt I could live there.  I went to bed early and was gone before they awoke.  Total distance traveled 525 miles.

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