Monday, October 11, 2010

oct 10th- a dip in Silver Strand & 3:10s to yuma with a screw loose

It's thanksgiving, and it was a time to reflect on what to give thanks for.  Honestly, there isn't much but the things i am thankful for, are what got me to this point.  Namely to three groups.  Family, for i think they have raised me well.  my real friends, for i think they have treated me well, and for complete strangers.  You might think it odd to pick complete strangers as the third group.  It's not odd at all.  There are good people out there, and the more i bump into people, the more i see the good in them.

Everyone has their quirks, but it doesn't make them a bad person.  The more i talk to people, the more i've come to the realization that large multi-national conglomerate greedy corporations are to blame.  Big cities sicken me.  They are revolting.  Everywhere you go, you have people working crappy ass jobs at some large chain that don't care about anything but their paycheck. Travelling the countryside shows you this.  Small towns are sheltered by corporate america, due to lack of profit to be made there.  Good for me, because those family businesses do care about their business.  you being happy, makes them happy. i like that.

I have and will continue to help strangers, as i have been helped by complete strangers myself.  A bit like paying it forward.  what goes around does come around.  Anyhow, enough of my tirade.


Even though i was camping (at a $36 a night tent spot) i had set my alarm for early AM.  Oddly enough, i got up before the alarm and proceed to shower and try to get my Blog updated.  No go on the blog as the wireless sucked.  It's a large campground and it was full, as it's right outside of LA in Pomona, there was an RV show coming up, and a nascar race (amongst other things).  Everything trying to get online on a crap connection doesn't make it any better.
Packing up at first dawn.
I wanted to finish up the blog so i hit a starbucks not too far away.  Odd, it's an outdoor only starbucks. I guess you only need a small thing like that when the weather is always nice and the annual rainfall is next to nothing.  Uploading complete and ... battery on the laptop dies and no plugs outside at the starbucks. WTF.  I finished my americano and left.  One of my waypoints today was Silver Strand Beach.  On the map/GPS, it looked like a big sandbar with a road running through it. Off i went down the interstates and out of the metro LA area.  everyone drives fast here.  Average speed everyone was keeping was 75-80.  I essentially rode like what most call a madman, but when everyone is going that fast, a bike going 85, isn't much faster.  I weaved in and out of lanes, always using my signal. not once did i cut anyone off, nor did anyone take offense. it seemed. No need to lane split at that speed, also a local told me lane split under 45mph, over that and you're asking for trouble.
I took no photos on the interstate as a) it would be suicide b) the roads are all grooved pavement c) what the hell is there to see on an interstate?

I got near to san diego and was still early in the day, so i search for another starbucks to look for a power outlet and some wifi time.  done and done. I finished Oct 9th's entry in the blog, finished my tall pike and headed to Silver strand.  I didn't see much of San Diego as i blew past it to a city called Coronado. Beautiful city.  srsly.  I'd go there for a vacation. check out the link because my picture i took of it sucked.
Coronado :-/

my favorite self shot of the day.  palm trees and sun reflections. awesomeness.

I wasn't there for the city (even though the streets are lined with palms, the shops looked cool, etc)
I was here for two reasons.  The first reason was to complete the first leg of the journey.  Done.  I've hit the southwest corner of the states.  one down, two to go.
Here's the second reason:

Silver Strand beach

I faced my other fear.  My fear of sharks. Unfounded i know, but i'm a fat pale Canadian... i'd make some shark a tasty snack.

it was a little after 10 when i got there and the water was cold, so not many people around. I also went to the part of the beach that didn't have all the RVs.
Panoramic. Click me.  My gear is in a little pile on the right.

Cold testicles in 3 seconds

in 2 seconds...
"'re as cold as ice..." 
oddly enough, i listened to that song by foreigner earlier.

After going in a few times and getting refreshed, it was time to start leg 2 of my trip.  Key West Florida.  Tim better have that BBQ going soon. Lol.

I had paid $10 to get into the california state beach, so i decided to spend that wisely by doing this.
ain't it just horrible and gaudy? hah. loves it.
i'm missing a sticker from nevada, new mexico and kansas and illinois. oh well.  no biggie.  at least i got the big sur on there, route 66  and the four corners.

I left and headed east.  I noticed how dramatically different the driving is out on this interstate, not like freeway driving at all.  Plenty of highway patrol and was afraid of getting a ticket not once but twice.  sneaky bastages.
I saw a sign that put my heart in my stomach.  "high winds and gusts, next 63 miles"  shit.  Guess it was apropos that Elton John's "The bitch is back" came on during that ride.  It was very windy and i was having a hard time concentrating.  The KLR does not like two things.  High altitude and high heat, which i had plenty of at that moment.  At least i know the bike isn't broken, it just doesn't like being hot with no air.

 Oops. Forgot to eat.  I pulled into a small town called Alpine and found this little joint called Tapatio's.  this close to the mexican border and not being a chain, i decided to try it.
I walked in and took the #1.  Cheese burrito and taco.  I figured it'd be a small meal, but what the hell, anything is better than McDicks.

a huge plate actually.  The taco had a deep fried shell, and the beef was shredded not ground.  awesome.
the cheese burrito... well, let's just say i may not need TP for a little while.  The beans and rice were really too.  all these mexican joints have a sauce bar.   from left to right, mild to hot.  All seemed home made and had awesome flavor.  I need myself a little mexican to make this stuff for me.

first cactus of the trip. heh
wow.  that's nasty.
rear tire.  Chicken strips aren't bad for a klr!  it's getting bald fast though, hope there will be a tire down the road.
frote tire.  Still in good shape for now.  chicken strips are about as small as i'll get them
when it wasn't so gusty, i got gutsy and took some pics.  It's odd that the landscape changes so dramatically just by going over a pass.  The first pass i went through had big trees on one side, and then this on the other.

right around here i could see the mexican border, and the big black wall/fence they put there.  I could also see border patrol on motorcycles/quads and jeeps. neato, yet sad at the same time.

And this is the last pass i went through.  pure desert. pure heat. boiling. Even though the sun was at my back it hurt my eyes.

about 20 miles out of Yuma Arizona (i'm still in california) i took this picture of the sand dunes up ahead. I was going to take another picture as i got closer, but i put some weight on my right footpeg and the peg swiveled and my foot hit the highway.  WOW. scary.  I looked down and managed to swivel it back up and put the camera away.  that must mean one thing.  The bolt holding it there sheared and broke off, or it fell out.

Right at the dunes there was a rest stop so i made my way there to see what was up.

It appeared to be just missing, so i took out some tools and tightened the remaining bolt, and tightened the other side too.  they were all loose. wow.  should check those more often.

for anyone keeping track (i am) here's where the KLR is now
20,000kms. 12.5k miles. not bad.  so far a few oil changes, air filter cleaned once, 1 new set of tires, 1 new tube, front brake pads and a headlight bulb.  pretty low maintenance since i've been riding her hard and putting her away wet. heh.

I got to Yuma, AZ to see i could find a camping spot.  i do need to save on $ a bit.  I'm afraid to look at my bills.  I got to the visitor center and it was closed. CRAP.  after a hunt i found a starbucks, looking for a campsite.  Lots of RV places, but i can never find a tent site. arg.  I was close to getting info and my iphone turned off.  battery was dead.  the laptop wasn't fairing any better, so i decided not to bring it out in case i really needed it.
It was still light out so i decided to hunt for a really cheap motel.  With this heat, at least some A/C would be good.

Not a block away i spot a place called the Royal Motor Inn. It's a true motor inn, a relic from the 60s and headed in.  It has the classic archway you drive under, an attached restaurant, two stories and a pool.  They all had pools.  A classic Motor Inn.
The outward appearance may seem... a little run down, but for what they were offering i couldn't refuse.
Air conditioning (and cieling fan) king sized bed, Tv, microwave, fridge, full bathroom and best of all, Wifi.
Even if the wifi didn't work, i could always use the starbucks 500 feet down the street either tonight or in the morning.  For the price of $36, you can't go wrong.  seriously.
The carpets are worn and stained a little, same with the couch, but the room is clean, smells clean, clean sheets and they even have soap and shampoo.  (you wouldn't believe how many more expensive places don't have those)  Again, not a chain and the owner actually opened the room for me.  Turned on the A/C, showed me around, that kind of thing. I told you i liked family run businesses. did i forget to mention they have laundry machines on site too? sweet. (now all i need is a little mexican woman to do that for me)

$36 at KOA < $36 Royal Motor Inn.  tenting isn't always cheaper.

the ride today took a lot out of me physically.  I didn't really eat a thanksgiving supper... i had some Cracklin' and some Smok A Roni (smoked sausage sticks) and a big bottle of powerade. for all motorcyclists reading this. Dehydration will kill you faster than any vehicle on the road. keep drinking.

sorry for writing so much (if you've read all of it) just not anyone to really talk to. :(
happy thanksgiving.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving Al! Have to catch up on your posts! Later, Johnny

  2. Love the beah pics Al.....and Happy Thanksgiving.....thinking of You brother...


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