2 Guys Tour California Before We Turn 30
Starting this off with a teaser pic, then I will get into the boring stuff you are more than welcome to skip. I am not clever, and most pictures are for my own amusement. If at least one of you smile, then that is good enough for me.
This story has an extended cast, but mainly the two of us. The guy in red needing a haircut is myself. My riding companion, Mike, will be mostly in grey. We have been good friends since high school back in Georgia. We both attended the same university, and ended up being roommates. Life ended up pointing me to the nearest recruiter, and at 23, a Marine. I was lucky enough to get stationed in California after spending a year in DC learning how to make maps. We continued being best friends despite the distance, a fun trip to Iraq, and another to Afghanistan. I still give him crap every day he does not move out here, as he always talked about it growing up.
Fast forward to 2011. He gets married, I am his best man. I get married, but waiting for my Wife to get back from her second trip to Afghanistan before we have a ceremony. We realize we haven't done anything huge in a few years, and the first big 'I'm getting old' birthday is approaching. One thing leads to another and we decide on a motorcycle trip. I have my WR-X, and my sidekick can't exactly ride hers right now. Over the next few months we start gearing up, go through half a dozen route ideas, and end up with a rough schedule and dates are set.
Before we know it it is time. I have done all the maintenance on the bikes to get them ready, and on my way to pick Mike up from the airport. We stay up late adjusting gear and packing our bags. I decide to ditch the pelican case I mounted since my GL coyote fits more than I imagined. Back to pictures.
I do not know how all of this fit.
May 26, 2012. All packed up and ready to go.
I am riding the Black 2009 WR250X. He is riding the wife's blue 2008.
Quick hop over to the Coast Hwy from Camp Pendleton, and we head south.
Meet a navy friend for some good eats. Sadly their VIP section was booked. If you are ever in San Diego, do yourself a favor and eat here.
About as close as you can get to the worlds busiest land border crossing with out sitting in line for 4 hours.
Hot pants. Everyone needs a pair. Heading north at this point
We are taking the 5 to get to his father's house in LA.With stock seats and 1.7gal tanks, stops are frequent. At 20 minutes you have to start squirming, at 30, you are looking for any reason to stop. One of the few times in my life I look forward to red lights. One random gas stop we happened to turn into this parking lot. Say hi to Mike.
We somehow manage to make it up to Topanga Canyon from San Diego in a bit over 3 hours with traffic. I am used to lane splitting, and gradually taught Mike with baby steps from stoplights, to stopped traffic. This is my typical commute to school. My first and only GoPro Video.
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At about 6 we are at our first stop of the trip.
Just over 225 miles today. More to follow.
Day-2. May 27.
After a great nights sleep and good breakfast, we head out. Being in L.A., we were not overly surprised to see a caravan of Dodge Vipers, but turning to watch them pass we catch a glimpse of the car show they are leaving. Apparently this goes every Sunday. Here are a few highlights.
I know, I know, motorcycle forum. Back to those. We head straight south to catch the coast highway east of Malibu. We have been here before a few years back, so not many pictures.
The smell of strawberries here was fantastic.
Don't ask. I am not sure why.
Fish House in Santa Barabara
Well, we were distracted by the local bikinis and forgot to fill up after lunch. The blue WR is stock, and my black one is a bit more thirsty with the full FMF and power commander. Glad I brought the MSR canister as the next gas station is still 20 miles out.
Probably not a good time to miss.
First glimpse of vineyards.
Gas is starting to get expensive.
Stopped in Cambria for dinner.
Being a holiday weekend every campsite was taken and it was getting dark. The goal for the day had been to get to Big Sur, but we figured it would be full there as well. I wanted to stealth camp, but Mike gave the veto. Instead we got bent over with holiday fees at a hotel in San Simeon. At $155, it was still a hundred cheaper than the others on that strip. On the upside they had laundry facilities in the room.
They also had secure covered parking. Some Japanese tourist got a laugh out of us moving them inside.
Euro Trip was on the TV. Scotty doesn't know. 240 miles covered.
Now that is funny
I have always wanted to do that...but not sure the GSA handlebars would make it! Have a blast and make sure you get pictures of yourselves together...you will want those when you are old enough that memory begins to fail :rofl
Day-3. May 28
We get a decent start. No issues getting the bikes out and loaded up.
This picture looks familiar. The coast is starting to get nice.
It was recommended we see the Elephant Seals, even though the males are not present. I am relatively confident the rocks in the background are covered in years of bird droppings. Mike does not agree.
Not supposed to feed the wildlife, but I trade this guy a flower for his whopper wrapper.
A few close up. The sound they make is unique.
On my way to find a trashcan for the wrapper, I was mobbed.
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Back on the road and we make it to this nice gas station.
I wonder how they afford this place. Ohhh, I see.
Southern part of Big Sur. Another poop rock.
They are crazy as well.
No photograph can do this place justice. Most beautiful place I have been. Too bad my ugly face is in the way.
Random roadside attraction with required horsepower dance.
Made it into San Fransisco the day after the 75th anniversary. I hear it was a good show.
Dungeness crab, mmmm.
Meeting up with some friends
Still have 40 miles to ride to our planned hotel stop. Yay
Nice parking here as well in Napa Valley.
265 miles. Big trees tomorrow as we continue north.
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There are a few of us both, and a good deal of him. Just following his request to not be plastered all over the internet. Will add the next few days in the morning.
Great job on the report and the pictures :D Keep going!
Day-4. May 29
Another day heading north. Our 'early' start ended up being closer to 10am.
Leaving the heart of California wine country.
Stopped here for a light breakfast. They have the lumber games on TV nonstop.
Simple meal of 4 sausage links, 4 strips of bacon, two eggs, half pound of ham, home style potatoes, and french toast. It sounded smaller on the menu.
We have been topping the tanks off every 50-60 miles to avoid fuel issues, and more importantly an excuse to walk around.
A small bit of dual-sporting. Supposed to be a big tree down this road.
Yeah, these are big.
The Chandelier tree.
Stop for the monster-bus? Yes please. I need to come up with some new poses.
No excuse to not take this road.
Wide selection of gas in Miranda
Difficult to put into perspective. Mike is in there somewhere.
At the other end.
Back to the coast
Possible caribou farm.
First time seeing one of these signs
Queue the Baywatch music
Thought this made for an interesting combination
The 87 octane gave us crap gas mileage. Followed signs for gas into this Indian reservation. Pumps have been closed for years, but they did have an Emu.
Made it to camp at dusk, Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park. This place was clean, the bathrooms were nicer than any of the hotels, and the older couple watching the park were very helpful as we came in after the ranger left for the night. Highly recommended.
Checking out our site. #30
Setting up camp
Talked a stump into taking our picture.
What is this for?
Stuffing full of moto gear!
330 miles. Time to start heading south again.
Nice writeup and great pictures. Subscribed.
Thanks... hope to see more.
Nice choice of bikes:clap
Very nice, I have eaten at the Lumber Jack and most of your pictures of the Big Tree area is in my backyard. Thanks for the report on the Jedadiah Smith campgrounds, I have been wanting to stay there. Ride safe.
The Roads Less Travelled
Great RR. Careful, it's addicting. You'll be itching to do another almost immediately. I guess if I had those bikes, I'd be wanting to venture the more obscure off the beaten path roads except I guess with that range, it's a tough combo (gas/desolation). Really sounds like fun though. Living in CA myself, I recognize many of the stops.
great report! Surprised we didnt see you on the road. Me and another guy made the reverse trip about that same time.
Another fellow X rider...subscribed!
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