Santa Barbara was 550 the long way (almost zero interstate) and 450 the other.
I went down going the other, and took the better part of a day and a half.
I planned on taking a lot more photos than I did.
On a motorcycle, photos are just hard.
It seemed like just about every time I saw one that I wanted, someone was on my ass, and I didn't want to get killed trying to stop.
I think I'd like to get a helmet camera where I could take snap shots hands free. (if they have them)
On the way down I took a break at a blink & miss 'em little town called Bouse, where I got taken hostage by an older gentleman who told me everything there ever was to know about the place.
The little market was about the only thing open, and it had some tables and most of all, shade.
I sat outside, drank water and had a smoke. The old guy was eating a sandwich out of the microwave, and proceeded to fill me in without any inquiry on my part.
The most interesting thing I found out was that Richard Nixon is still alive there. He's 108 years old, and sometimes climbs upon this big hill with a flag on it , and gets drunk.
He told me not to tell anyone. So if I disappear suddenly, well, maybe he was right.
I made my way across the eastern desert of Kalifornia, and wished I had timed it a bit better. I went through in the middle of the day, and it was hot as hell. The bike though, didn't complain at all.
Anyone who says we're running out of room on the planet has never crossed the Kalifornia desert.
I came across a cell tower out there with nothing for a zillion miles. It was running on a big generator, and I couldn't help but wonder whose job it was to fill the tank, and how often.
That night I made it to Victorville, and found a basic standard hotel, that turned out to be pretty darn nice.
The nice folks let me park my bike right in front of the office for my own piece of mind.
There was a Del Taco, a Winchell's donut, and a great little pizza/wing place all within walking distance.
It wasn't until I checked into my room that I suffered some culture shock.
It's been an awfully long time since I've had to hear sirens all night, and parked cars with 12 bajillion gigawatt systems driven by people who couldn't give a rat's ass about anyone but themselves.
The room was really nice, and the food I found was good too.
I made it to SB around noon the next day. The town was booked up because of graduation, so the few weeks before I settled on a simple air B&B. It was in a town home, next to 1000 other town homes, but it was a private room, private bath with a small but full ammenitied kitchen.
I was pretty busy the whole time there, so I only used the place to sleep.
It did the job just fine for $70 a night, compared to the $200 a night motel 6 wanted.
I was there of course for my Nephew's graduation. I had never been to one before, and believe me, I never will again. The only word to describe it would be grueling. 500 kids.
The only thing I can think that would be worse, would be a 6 hour Catholic mass.
My younger Nephew acted as though he was gonna die.
At one point, I put my hand on his shoulder and said, you know what? When it's your turn, I ain't comin'.
He said, Uncle Joe, I completely understand.
We had a great Graduation party/dinner that night at a seaside restaurant, and put a dent in the ocean's fish supplies.
I was the only one who came with a tangible gift. Everyone else just gave him a card with a check or cash in it.
The banjo was a hit. He'd been wanting to get a ukulele or something, so I think this will hit the spot. I also found him a highly touted beginner's book.
The last day I spent solely with my youngest brother, whose life course parallels mine in many ways.
We've never gotten to spend any one on one time since we were kids, so there was a whole lot to discuss.
We went to hang at a pier, had a few oysters, then found a nice park with lots of shade, and just talked all day.
It was needed.
City life has become so foreign to me, then add to it Kalifornia.
So many people, so many dumb laws, so many people trying to do the same thing at the same time.
You can't hardly go a foot in any direction, and not find a restaurant that isn't vying for some niche. And every one of them is jam packed all day long. Waiting lines are just part of daily life.
Personally, I'd like to find the bastidge that invented standing in line.
When we went to the pier for oysters, there was a 45 minute wait.
When we got out, my brother had a $75 dollar parking ticket for our extended stay of over 90 minutes. What a Racket. It's crap like that that made me retreat into the wilderness.
Here's another one, leaf blowers. A perfect example of how rude society really is.
At 7am in the morning, the leaf blowers start. You can't go anywhere without the constant sound of leaf blowers right next to you, or not far off in the distance.
And here's the thing. Everybody has leaves and wrappers and whatever on their property, or in their yard.
They fire up these noisy, polluting 2 strokes, and blow all their crap into the next guys space. TA-DA! Not my problem anymore!
And the next morning it starts again.
Here's another one my kid brother told me about the college town of SB.
It's a felony to burn a sofa there.
I guess at one point it was a thing for people to celebrate graduations and whatever by burning their sofa out in the yard.
Yeah, I'm sure it's gross, makes a mess, stinks and pollutes. But a felony???
You now can't vote, or legally own a gun for the rest of your life because you burned a sofa in the yard.
Everybody has a Prius. Don't get me started.
The funniest thin I saw was this:
My brother and I were stopped at a long light in his car, at the crosswalk.
A huge group of bicyclists stopped at the light in the bike lane to our right.
They were all completely decked out in bicycle garb. ie the spandex shorts, helmets, shirts etc.
As were sitting there waiting for the light to change, there was two guys side by side at the front of the pack.
All of a sudden, the guy on the left reaches over, and grabs the left butt cheek of the guy on the right, and gives it a massive squeeze.
The guy on the right does the same in return while the one on the left is still squeeze pumping his butt.
Then the guy on the right starts reaching in under his buddies ass a little further.
Without a thought, I leaned out the window and yelled, Hey! I think his a**hole is farther in!!!
Another guy a couple cars over looks at us and yells, Yeah, right????!!!!
And we all laughed ourselves almost to death as we pulled away.
I hate missing those kodak moments!
I decided to leave Sat morning. The ride to Victorville was pretty much a straight shot. When I got there, it was decision time.
I had to decide between getting a room again, and crossing the desert in the early light, or maybe just hit the freeways, and bolt for home.
I flipped a coin, and my bed won.
I got on the freeway, and with the DJ drive, 70mph was effortless, and things were fine until I hit the I-15/40 split.
It was then I remembered one of the reasons I hated driving big trucks.
All four lanes were stopped dead in their tracks for as far as I could see uphill.
I crept along for a little bit until I realized this wasn't going to be good for me, nor the bike in the heat.
It goes against every grain in my being, but I decided to try the legal lane splitting. I found it rather harrowing, and just slowly crept between the line of cars in first gear.
Even though it's legal, I kinda felt like an ass, and I'm certain others sitting in their cars agreed.
Then I thought about the many times I sat in that exact same predicament, in that same place, completely stopped because some clown in the far left lane realized he was in the wrong lane headed where he didn't want to go, and needed to be in the far right.
I then felt better about lane splitting, but it still scared the crap out of me.
All in all, it was a good time, and another successful ride.
My brother and I at the pier.
The Bouse market.
And the old guy full of stories.
“Society is nothing more than people cooperating with other people they'd much rather murder.”
2005 Victory Kingpin ('Til the Wheels fall off!)
3 Baja mini's
2 Jack Russell's
And a Les Paul