Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Monterey to Eureka

The biggest surprise of the trip , so far, was how much I enjoyed being in San Francisco. . .  After a restful night at the Motel 6 (worst bed in the world, but I slept great!), I was up and off.  I wasn’t planning on going through the city, but I needed some supplies from the photography store there, so decided to go.  GPS is the greatest invention of our time!!  I never would have risked going into the city on my own, but I dialed in the address, and the GPS took me right to the front door!  On the way, I drove through the coolest neighborhood.  Colorful houses with unique style one after another after another.  People out on the streets. . . it was just so different. 

I then went to Pier 39 to see the gallery for Nature Photographer extraordinaire, Rodney Lough.  I had taken a class he taught years ago at Glacier National Park.  He’s simply the best in the world in my opinion.  That was fun, but I got ripped off by the parking garage.  They said, “First hour free”, but never explained that you had to eat at a Pier 39 restaurant and get your ticket validated.  (I’m really to naive to continue this trip much longer.)  I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and made the obligatory stop to take a photo.  There I met a man who helped me map my route up the coast.  Turned out he spends his days up there monitoring a falcon that lives in the cliffs nearby.

I went North up Highway 1, and can  now say that I officially know how to corner my motorcycle.  That was the twistiest road I’ve ever been on.  It was crazy curve after crazy curve for the entire way, but the payoff was some amazing views of the ocean and rocky coastline.  I stopped at some quaint roadside Tavern that advertised seafood.  I only saw Oysters and Fish and Chips for seafood on the menu.  I got the Fish and Chips.  It cost me $17.00 for 3 fish-sticks and some fries.  I’m an idiot.  Today I ate at the “Old People’s Buffet” or something like that, and had the same fish (as far as I could tell) along with a bunch of other food for $7.00.  That’s the last time I try “quaint”. . . I got tired and tried to find a campsite.  I tried one, and the guy wanted to charge me $40 just to put up a tent!!  I finally found one in Manchester.  Tent up in 3 minutes, asleep in 4. . .

Today’s ride took me up Highway 1 where it joins 101, and that took me to Humbolt State Park and “The Avenue of the Giants”.  Ie: The Redwoods.  WOW.  Those things are HUGE!  You feel really puny when you stand next to them.  I stopped to take a picture and met another BMW rider, Mark Austin from Louisville.  He asked me if I was going this year’s rally in Oregon and I said no.  He then said, “Well, consider yourself invited to next years in Pennsylvania, by the Rally’s Commissioner.”  That was pretty cool.  He spent a good 20-30 minutes with me talking about my bike and giving me some valuable maintenance tips.  That was really nice of him.  He was actually excited to meet a first-time rider, which kind of surprised me. 

  • GPS is the greatest thing in the world, but without a map, I have no idea where I am.  I gotta see it to get it.
  • C’mon, America!  You really gonna charge me $25 per night to put up a tent and sleep?!
  • I’ve never made an intelligent reasonable food decision in my life.
  • I hate paying for hotels.  I don’t do anything here.  It’s like camping fees, only worse.   The only real difference is that I’m getting a shower, so I guess I’m paying about $50 for that. . ouch
  • The Ricky Gervais podcasts make me laugh out loud while I’m driving, even though I’ve heard them all before.
  • Paula, from Pacific Life was really nice.  When I told her I was in Eureka, she said, “Oh, I spent a year in that god-forsaken place”.  It made me laugh.

1 comment:

  1. Love reading about your adventures, Randy. What a great trip--and now you even have a trip arranged for next summer! I think it's fabulous that you are being spontaneous and enjoying the people you meet along with way. I am interested in the equipment you decided to take. iPad? iBook? iPhone? I'm sure your trusty Nikon is always close by. Take good care of yourself!