Day 5: 12/10/2017 I didn't think California could get this cold. Especially this far south. Gabe opens up the hotel door and says it's a little brisk out. I walk out to load up my bike. It's not a little brisk out, it's a lot brisk out. 29 degrees brisk to be exact. It's still early, about 8am, and we want to get a jump on today to get into Huntington as early as possible. So we finish loading up, check out, and hop on the 101 freeway headed south. It's friggen cold. Windchill from the forward motion just magnifies how cold out it is. We start winding up over the hill, and off in the distance we see clouds. Gnarly clouds. Black gnarly clouds. But not rain or snow or storm clouds, these are fire ash clouds. It's warmed up a little at this point, but not much. 36 the thermometer says. As we crest the top of the hill, the temperature changes instantaneously from 36 to 69. I'm talking less than seconds. Blasted by a heat wave. It felt SO good!! It dropped back down into the 50's as we got to the bottom of the hill, but 50's felt amazing. We turn off onto highway 1, and it's getting darker and darker. The clock on the wall says its around 930-10am or so, but outside it looks more like 930-10pm. Every once in a while we can see the sun, and it's friggen red. Like dark friggen red. Sometimes we can't even see it. Are we gonna run into the fire?! We make it down to Santa Barbara, lift up the face mask on my helmet and instantly start sucking in ash. We pull up to a petrol station to top off our tanks, and every single person is wearing dust masks. It wasn't super heavy ash, like it didn't look like it was snowing or anything, heck you could barely see it in the sky, but you could definitely taste it and feel it in your eyeballs. Restaurants were closed due to weather conditions. We found a pizza joint that was open, scarfed it down and hit the road. The further south we got the warmer and clearer it got. Sometime after it cleared up, I think it was a little before Malibu maybe, I look in my mirror just to check my surroundings, and I see a monster mushroom cloud. I thought for a second the North Koreans were attacking. I turn around to look at it, and the entire hillside is charred black. It was nuts. Once we started getting into Southern California towns, the parts where you can't tell when you go from one town to the next unless you happen to catch the sign that says 'Entering another Southern California city' we started hitting traffic lights. We hit every single light right as it turned red. Every. Single. One. Seriously. We didn't go thru one green light without sitting and looking at it for a while. My irritation started to rise with the oil temp gauge. It's in the 80's now. Not only am I in full Klim Badlands Pro pants and jacket with most, but not all the vents open, I still have thermals and insulated flannels on underneath from earlier in the morning. I caught myself wondering if I prefer riding in freezing cold temps or way too hot temps. Tuff call actually. Since I'm on a trip to MEXICO I guess I can't really bitch about riding in warmer temps. I've finally had enough and pull off to the side of the road somewhere to take everything off and just wear a thin tee shirt and boardies under my gear and open all the vents on my pants and jacket. Seriously made a world of difference. Gabe was flipping me shit for still wearing my pants and jacket in this heat, but with the vents open and pepper clothes on underneath it really wasn't that bad. Besides, I'd rather be a little warm and sweat a little with my gear on than be out here in shorts tee shirt and tennis shoes when one of these California idiot drivers pushes me out of my lane and I go down with nothing protective on. ATG/ATT right? Well we finally make it to our friend Lacey's house where I can take my gear off and relax on a couch for a bit. A little while later we head out to some sushi place in downtown Huntington where I ate really good but wayyyyy too much sushi, then went to a bar and bought drinks at prices that should be illegal. But the important thing is we had a good time. Now we're back at Lacey's house, relaxing, everyone is chatting and hanging out, and I'm starting to pass out. So I'm gonna take a little nap before all the Orange County festivities begin in the morning.