Doesn’t Feel Like Winter Anymore….


2015 – EASTBOUND-Down and Around the USA Trip

January 15th & 16th 2015

I don’t seem to be really making that much distance each day.  Having too much fun meeting so many nice folks on the road and hospitable folks allowing me into their homes.  Today, Friday, Jan. 16th  I met this young man, CARLOS.  His family owns this little restaurant in Rio Dell, CA.

Great little restaurant and service/food too

Meet smiley Carlos who has to be one of the nicest, polite and happy young man I have met.  Adorable too.  It’s OK I say that I told him to his face.

Carlos from Rio Dell

I had to introduce him and if anyone is in this town of Rio Dell you have to stop by say hello to him and his mother Carmon is the chef.  Thanks Carlos for making my day and coming out to see my bike.  Tell your mother I loved the quesadilla and I hope you get to travel sometime soon.

Yesterday I had a beautiful start to my ride until I hit Florence, OR.  The skies opened up in true Oregon fashion and I was poured on until I hit Brookings.  I am used to rain but this was abnormal rain…so heavy and so much in such little time.  Needless to say I arrived at my destination in the pitch black but dry and warm.

Before I even got started though I was staying with Scot and Carol.  It had just rained a bit but it was cold enough to freeze their driveway and the road.  I waited until at least the driveway thawed a bit because to be honest it would have been a chore just getting my bike down it and up the little hill.  No need to be careless on Day 2 so I waited and by 0900 it was ready to go.

Check out Carol’s little scooter…She had it restored and rides it a lot around her town.  Very cute.

“Sparky”

Carol calls her vintage “Sparky” and also take a look at their other bikes…

ahhhhhh

BMW couple 👍 Had a nice time with these guys and once again even though we were strangers as Carol would say, we are now “Actualized”.  Great word for the virtual meeting real-time.  Thanks guys.

reflection

I am really glad I added more reflective tape.  Even if it was only for Washington, Oregon and Northern California because of the fog it was well worth it.  Plus, I am riding in the dark as in the north the days are short.  Getting longer now while heading from northern California to the South but either way I could not go wrong with this stuff.

Before taking off for Day 2….here is my set up

Ninja Leslie

A little icy but doable

Day 2 and 3 were all about people and scenery.  I have ridden down the 101 before but again riding SOLO and taking it all in for me feels like a whole new experience.  Plus, being winter gives this scenic road a whole new appeal.  I am the only motorcycle around that appears to be touring.  In the warmer areas I see bikes out for day rides but I have not seen anyone with luggage.  😉  Fine with me because I am not seeing any RV’s or too many tourists either.  Off season riding…I have said it before and will say it again…can’t beat it.

This is not an epic ride but for me it’s a welcomed impromptu cross-country one way ride.  I decided to do this trip in December and I thought initially I would leave Christmas Eve but got delayed with realtor stuff and setting up my house to sell.  No bites yet and has been on the market since January 2.  I am not going to worry about it.  That is why I hired my realtor.

west-coast

So, how does one prepare for a winter trip?  Have no clue.  I just tried to make sure I have heated gear for possible really cold areas I might hit and lighter gear for the warmer areas.  What I forgot was light weight gloves.  So far not an issue but I will see as I head more South.  I looked at the regional forecasts on the Net and I hope I can continue to ride in the predicted weather versus getting nailed with something I can’t handle.  That is what the next few weeks look like.  Weather I could handle but this time of year who knows.

While I am on this trip I am also “looking” for a job.  I have resumes out and I am getting emails and calls while on the bike to interview.  I am not answering any calls, only have 100 mins for ER reasons but checked my voice mail and also email of course. I guess I will have to contact these potential new employers and let them know I am out of interview commission for a while.  I guess it’s good that there is interest though.  A Positive.

eyes meant for riding not looking for a job 😉

These eyes are for looking down the road not for a job right now or to sell my house.  I am now fully focused on this trip and all I care about really???? Is riding, seeing, smelling, meeting new people, eating as always and enjoying myself as much as I can.

Rigid Amber covers

These Aux lights Amber covers work so well in the fog for visibility.  Instead of the LED white light being diffused across the fog the covers stop that and concentrate the light right where it should be…near my bike.  I can still see light shining on the road but I have my headlights for that…these do get cars attention oncoming and when I am riding behind.  Like the covers for sure.

my artsy shot

Before the rain got me as I headed into Florence.

My bike is happy on the west coast but I am sure she will like the move…and being placed in my parents garage.  Oops…not sure if I will be riding up the coast.  I told my parents and I will keep my word if the weather is too bad towards New York when I get there I will park it where they have a place in Florida and fly home from there.  But, everyone send good weather vibes when I am closer.  Sure would hate to end this trip in Florida but then again if I leave her there I will just have to fly down and ride her up in the Spring. Either way I am fine.

If you like water views the 101 is for you.  Seriously, when it is clear out this road can’t be closer unless you are riding in the water.

My on the road Bridge fetus continues.  Why would it change?  I have a need?  Habit taking shots of bridges as I cross them from my saddle.  Just seem to fascinate me when I travel.  I seemed to be fascinated pretty easily these days.  Self entertainment.

OK..all you west coast folks name the bridges…;-)

Okay enough of bridges.  So day 2 ended around 1800, in the dark and rain.

This is my look when the rain kept getting harder…

I think at this point I was like REALLY?  At least no snow.

My new decal

Now, at this time I do not have permission to say where I stayed so for now I will say I was housed by another very nice virtual world friends and was given my end of the house so it seemed.  Was taken out to dinner, met some of their friends who just posted on FB some restaurant ideas and that they are following me…LOVE SPOT!  Had a good nights sleep, had a great hearty breakfast with my new BMW rider friends and off I went in the clear.  No rain or fog to start Day 3. UPDATE:  I got permission.  I stayed with Jan and Sharon.  Both ride BMW RT’s and Super Tenere.  😉

Just heard on the news the Bay area has not seen rain for January and there is nothing but sun and warm weather for the next week.  Need to check the weather elsewhere…but again if the regional forecast I checked before planning my real departure date is correct I should be hitting decent weather all south to Florida.  May even be HOT.

The view from the house I stayed at last night.  That is the ocean in the distance.  Great view of the water from their great room and work out room.

million dollar view

Covered parking like the night before.  Not tonight though.  In a hotel.

Today was Redwood Day, Grants Pass and I even rode the Avenue of the Giants.  I hardly made any distance.  Met some great people on the road.  My new LED low beam stopped working.  I pulled over at a bike shop and myself and a tech had a look.  2 wires pulled out of the connection.  Not sure how that happened but took it out and put in my trusty Vision X bulb.  I will take a picture and send it to the company.  Not sure what happened there.  That set up was working great for thousands of KM’s until today.  Hmmm

In any case…I had a peaceful riding day.  The Reds are huge.  We all know that but on a bike they seem bigger.  I have been through here before on my F650GS but took a different route than before.  Once I leave Garberville everything from here on will be brand new for me on a bike.  That’s what I have been looking forward too…all new stuff to see and ride.  Never have I been down to the southern USA on any bike.  Been there in cars, for work and with my family when I was young.  So, Day 4 will start all new memories.

I so needed a coffee and stopped here.

What was inside cracked me up.  I just saw a herd of Elk.  Laying in a field…well…here is the pic.  Oh, I had my super zoom camera ready to come with me at home and guess what?  Forgot to take it just like light weight gloves.  So, this is the best I could do with my little point and shoot.

Elk

There were these two women inside chatting.  One was the owner and another was a farmer.  She was telling me she HATES the Elk.  Locals all do.  They ruin their crops.  She then went on to say to me one male Elk pierced one of her horses with his antlers?  Is that what you call them on Elks?  Anyway, basically stabbed her horse.  She said he met his demise by getting himself hit by a truck down the road.  She laughed.  I was like Oh my!  She said “shit” happens to these Elk when they least expect it.  I hate them.  Hmmm…I guess if you live and have a lively hood where these guys seem to be a nuisance than I suppose hating a wild animal is ok?  All relative.

Then there was this sign in the bathroom which was so appropriate.

My bike turned 35,000 KM’s today and now I have that service message come up.  Since June 2014 I have had to have a 20K, 30K service and as soon as I move to the states I will need a 40K service.  UGH! $$$

Most of my day looked like this.

and other times it was pretty foggy but really no rain.  So, for Day 2 and 3 I have had some amazing riding and meeting many people.  That’s what I like about traveling by myself and not as Cheryl & Leslie.  I stop and say hello.  Maybe too often like today but no need to pressure myself.  I will get to Florida one day and hopefully NY too.

Avenue of the Giants…man they are HUGE!  I have taken my Jeep through the Tree you can drive through so I skipped that this time.  Took myself on a tour and I was the ONLY one in the park where I went.  No heated gear too.

So, that’s it for Day 2 & 3.  My route has already been altered and will continue to do so as I check the Winter weather each day where I will go.  So, again if you are following the SPOT track..you will know when I do too.  SPOT LINK CLICK HERE

Until next time…thanks for all the comments and offers to stay at all your homes.  Hope to be able to take more up on the offers if I am in your area.  😉  Leslie

11 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I always look forward to your ride reports, pics and videos. Great stuff. Thank you!

  2. Gary says:

    Oh yes!!!!!!

  3. Maria says:

    Good post!
    I can’t figure out how to send you a PM although I’ve done it before – LOL!
    I’m in Southern California and want to see if we can coordinate our schedules for maybe a ride-along or brief visit?
    Maria

  4. Anonymous says:

    A suggestion for your trip up the east coast. The AUTOTRAIN runs from north of Orlando to just south of DC every afternoon.. From there its a days ride to NY. They pack your bike on a pallet, you ride on the train overnight (12 hours) meals ,everything included. Lot of fun and you meet the most interesting folks.

  5. Gurpal Singh says:

    Love your posts. Amazing what you do for yourself and others by nourishing us with beautiful pics and videos along with remarkable write ups. Stay safe and warm or cool depending on weather and your bike armour. Spirits alive….have a great sunny day.

  6. curvyroads says:

    Sounds like fun, there are so many nice people out there!

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