Today was an interesting day. It started out with touring Monterey, CA. which is a beautiful little town along the coast. It is not as glitzy and star studded as Carmel, but offers all the same amenities of location and sun. Nothing really happens in Monterey except a little sailing, scuba diving, and other water related sports. Judi and I have fallen into a nice routine of getting set up on the bike and riding to our preset locations along the coast. Highway 1 north of Monterey is a four lane highway to Santa Cruz, which was a welcome change of pace from the twisties. Once north of Santa Cruz, the road turned into the proverbial two lane switchbacks that you’ve seen in all the travel journals. As I rode through some of the most incredible real estate on the planet, I was able to view both homes and bridges that boggle the imagination. I was torn by what impressed me more, the engineering feats that man was able to design and build or those of nature. Both have a way of drawing you in and creating an “oh my goodness” moment.
As we pulled into Half Moon Bay, CA., which is a cute small resort town just south of San Francisco, we were talking about where to have lunch. As I approached a car that had pulled over to the right hand portion of the lane, I slowly (1-2 MPH) started to go around the car. Just as I was within five feet of the car, the driver decided to pull an illegal U-turn right in front of me. I immediately jumped on both front and rear brakes and locked it up. The inertia of both Judi and I forced the bike to lurch forward and to the left. I tried to keep it up, but between the 600 lbs. of motorcycle, our gear, Judi and I, I couldn’t keep the bike upright and we tumbled to the ground. Both Judi and I hit the ground, but as Judi said… I was so heavily padded it felt like falling into pillows. The good news is, that neither Judi nor I were injured, however police and paramedics were called. Once the paramedics examined Judi, they noticed her blood pressure had spiked so they required her to go to the hospital to get checked out. After a little Valium, she was back to her old self and they released her. I asked the nurse for a couple of extra pills for the rest of our trip, but she couldn’t be talked into it! After checking out of the hospital, we checked into a local hotel in the vicinity, in order to relax and get some needed rest. Needless to say, with valium in her system, it was not a late night for either of us.
Same drill, different day. Packed up the bike and headed to the Golden Gate Bridge. This is one hell of a bridge!! There were people walking, running, biking, picture taking and anything else you could imagine on this bridge… didn’t see any jumpers! As much as I would have liked to have been able to share a couple of pictures of Judi and I going over the Golden Gate Bridge, I thought it best if I kept the bike upright today, at least for the morning ride. We cruised into Sausalito, which is another cute city by the bay. As Judi said, California is one “cute” city after another. The whole state is cute! They all seem to have different personalities, but are able to pull it off.
As we drove north on Hwy. 1 we passed the town of Bodega, CA. The town is known for their oysters and because it was a Saturday the place was packed. Unfortunately, neither Judi nor I eat oysters, plus we couldn’t find a level parking space in the entire town, so we decided to move on. We continued north and found a small town, if you want to call it that, called Jenner. If you want to know what happened to the 60’s, just go to Jenner. It comes complete with tie died T-shirts, a couple playing guitar and violin, set against the bay. As we ate our lunch of sprouts, we watched a guy float by on his kayak with his dog basking in the sun on top of the kayak. Again, I refer to my earlier statement, only in California!
Now for the good part. As Judi and I approached Mendocino, CA.(which is where they filmed “The Summer of ’42”) I was riding with my helmet visor in the up position. If any of you saw the movie, Wild Hogs, that starred John Travolta, there was a scene where one of the guys gets splattered with bird shit. Well, I’m here to tell you that stuff really happens, and it happened to me this afternoon. The bird perfectly directed his poop to land on my left check, inside the helmet. Needless to say I was more than a little pissed off and couldn’t get to the side of the road quick enough. I had brought along baby wipes thinking that they would be good if I wanted to “freshen up” while on the road. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be using them to wipe bird shit off my face, helmet and jacket. Just as all this was unfolding a state police officer pulled up along side me. I told him what had just happened. He couldn’t stop laughing as he pulled out on Rt. 1. I’m glad I made his day!
We ventured onto Mendocino, had dinner and checked into the Holiday Inn in Fort Bragg. Onto the Avenue of the Giants, trees that is, NOT BIRDS!
The entire town of Jenner, CA.
After the bird attack, me holding the evidence bag!
More beautiful coastline