On a happier note! I made it to San Francisco!! No reason to pass up this big city unless you ride across the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Besides there wasn't an easy option of getting "around" the city anyway.
I've been to San Francisco before. Never rode a motorcycle across the bridge until now, but it was something I wanted to do. However, still on my mission to get south in time, I simply took a couple photos, just crossed the bridge and continued down the road. Not as easy as it sounds. San Fran was quite tricky to navigate even with a gps! The highway system is mad and crazy and I was only too happy by the time I was free again to be out of the city limits.
Continuing on down Hwy 1, hugging the coast all the way, through Monterrey, Carmel (where I really wanted to look up Clint Eastwood and say g'day).. Would it be possible? Is he still the Mayor? Bugger! Knowing the likelihood of a howdy from Dirty Harry is fairly slim, I best keep on rollin' ha! ;-)
Long day again.. Distance not so bad, but San Fran really slowed me down. By the time the sun was going down, I couldn't resist pulling over yet again for sunset photos. I took heaps of them, it was such a pretty sunset. Then this bike pulls up, and I'm like, hey Dude, I'm taking photos here and your in my way! It was quite unusual to see a bike like this guy though, an old BMW in America? Not a Harley? His name is Jeremiah and he was on his way to the same meeting.. of course!
The headlights on my bike are horrible, and I can't see well at night. I still had far enough to go, so I pull over to check out a campground in Big Sur, California. It is the weekend, and every campsite along the coast is booked out.. and ridiculously expensive!! Luckily, things always work out though. A nice young guy at one of the campgrounds I stopped at was kind enough to let me camp in the playground for free.. woo hoo!! That's my price! Thank goodness too, as I really wanted a shower before I showed up at the Horizons Unlimited meeting the next morning.
It was nice until all the teenagers escaped their parents camp after dark and decided to drink and smoke on the swing sets until a very late hour. But hey.. it's all part of the adventure. And I learned some things listening to those young guys.. Gee whiz!!!!! I would never repeat what they were talking about, and I hope the girls they were referring to never know what they were saying either!! ;-/
It was easy to get up the next morning and pack up before the kids started showing up in the playground.
As soon as I arrived to the Horizons Unlimited meeting in Cambria, I knew I was in good company! KTM's Unite!!! ;-)))
Grant and Susan Johnson who's creation IS "Horizon's Unlimited". I have written about them before, but as a recap I can say that most anything I learned from ground zero that got me on the road within 6 months of having this crazy idea came from their website and videos. Highly recommend their new and improved website! http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/
I've got heaps of photos of so many people, both seasoned and aspiring adventurers, but here are just a few.
My absolute hero's, Peter and Kay Forwood from Australia!!! If you don't know them, they are the only riders that I am aware of that have ridden a motorcycle in every country on the planet.. which I believe at the moment is 193?! All on a Harley Davidson! You can read more about them here http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/forwood/
When think of the them, I know that traveling around the world doesn't have to be just a 'trip'. It can be a long term lifestyle.. i love love love the thought of that!
They were quick to encourage me to enter a contest for the most stickered bike. They acted as judges for this event, so their bike was disqualified, but they clearly would have won! So I did get the prize instead..! ;-))) Haha.. thank you!!
(Gee whiz, I notice in these photos how desperately ready I am for a haircut..one of the downfalls for not staying still very long.)
Another favorite for the event is Ted Simon, author of "Jupiter's Travels". Ted rode his motorcycle around the world in the 1970's (he's actually done it twice now) and quite famous for the adventure books he writes. http://www.jupitalia.com/
More amazing adventurers.. no shortage of them here!! And I'm giving you plenty of reading material!
Below is Carla King, another great motorcycle adventurer and writer as well! http://www.carlaking.com/
Randy, who came down from Oregon for the meeting, and Nicole Stavro Espinosa. Who is the owner and president of Rugged Rider. She designs dual sport adventure riding gear..!! Go girl!!! http://www.ruggedrider.com
These women are a great inspiration and so happy to meet them in person!
On Sunday morning it was time to pack up the bikes and move on. I was invited by Randy who was riding with his friend Stephen around a bit of southern California that would point me in the direction of Yosemite, my next destination. They had also invited Adam Shani who is another superstar world rider here from Israel! And just as I was getting on my bike I met James from London England! Who would have thought the world was already here in one spot!
I didn't have much time to chat with James so I invited him to come ride with us today as well. A sort of plan was made and after a zillion goodbyes to so many friends, and we were off!
Uh oh.. 4 men and 4 road maps are out now.. I'll stand over here and just observe ;-)))
Stephen needed to make his way toward home, Randy decided to ride with us a bit longer before turning north to Oregon. He decides to show us where James Dean (the most gorgeous famous actor from INDIANA!!) died on the road far too young here in California.
|English: Studio publicity portrait for film Giant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
After exploring, riding, wine tasting, etc. we made our way a bit closer to Yosemite. Randy suggested we get a room in a Casino for the night. Casino!?? We are all happy to camp. Besides, Adam, James and I are not casino gambling type people, but Randy assured us that they offer really cheap rooms and meals in the hope that you will dump your money in the slot machines.. Okay then, a normal hotel and bed does sound kind of good, so we all got a room.
And I am most pleased to learn that inside the Casino, food was cheap AND my new Israeli and English friends share my love for the American milkshake!!
We were quite the interest and spectacle packing up at the Casino again the next morning! We might not be the usual sort of visitors there. So many questions!