Phillys Big Trip (Alaska to Chile or is that Argentina)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dean10, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Whistler to Vancouver, Sunday, 22 July 2012, Day 48


    sea to sky highway[/caption]

    Woke up looked out of my posh dorm window I was missing the smell of Diesel :-) and it was pissing down bugger. I tried to get on the internet to call a guy called Dave who had offered me some help with servicing the bike and a possibility of a bed near Vancouver it took a while but got on the internet in a meeting room of the hostel on a different Wi-Fi connection and was able to connect to my FTP and delete my web to try and fix the issues I was having and I called Dave but unfortunately he was out for a ride. I will try and catch up with him in the coming days. I was in no hurry to leave on the road to Whistler as it did not have Tim Horton’s on it so I had some breakfast at the Hostel not quite the same as their coffee taste like piss. Finally I hit the road and it was dry but it rained on and of all of the 125km to Vancouver so wet then dry etc.


    Raining Again![/caption]

    I had a choice of 3 Hostels so I tried the one in the center first as I was damp and I thought it would be better to be in town but they had no room so headed for the one just outside town +-6km and they had a deal where you get a bicycle free for the day if you stay for 2 nights so that is the current plan on the page. I spent today fixing this blog and catching up on my washing, which is nearly done. I will try and find a supermarket for some food later and the plan for tomorrow is Vancouver all day on the bicycle I do hope the weather is better and I am looking forward to it.



    Nice walk along the beach to the Supermarket and back to the Hostel and its film night with free pop corn so for the first time in ages I watch the goggle box it’s a film called meet the Fockers and its pants. Two giggles max in a film is not that impressive for a comedy but luckily I had low expectations and a packet of crisps to keep me happy.


    Vancouver[/caption]





    I thought I had found a great spot in the hostel at the end of a large room in a sort of separate room with one bunk bed so pretty private but when I went to bed there was huge Red Exit Light as I was right next door to the Fire escape so I spent the night on show like an Amsterdam hooker. But the red light made me look very attractive and disguised all me wrinkles and scars :-)



    #61
  2. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Vancouver, Monday, 23 July 2012, Day 49


    Vancouver Skyline[/caption]

    Well I think today is the first day in 49 days that I did not ride my motorcycle however my source of transport today was still of the two-wheel variety but powered by chubby little legs. I spent all day cycling around Vancouver and had a blast despite it being miserable weather. It says something about a city if you can enjoy it even when the weather is miserable it was dull and overcast all day and raining or drizzling but I still enjoyed whizzing around on my little bicycle. I think I cycled about 30km plus so I am going to feel it tomorrow but it was a great change of pace. This is the 2<sup>nd</sup> time I been in Vancouver and the weather was the same last time I was here but I really do like Vancouver and would like to live there for a while skiing every weekend at Whistler sounds pretty cool.




    Vancouver[/caption]















    Again another first as I have no idea where I am going tomorrow. I have been trying to organise a service and change of some consumables for bike and in the usual Philly fashion I only got round to doing this yesterday and that was a Sunday and the shop I would like to do the work is also shut on Mondays so I have sent them an E-mail but its hardly surprising I heard nothing from them. I will try and contact them in the morning in the hopes that they can do something for me but the questions is when will they be able to fit me in as it quite a few things that I need doing so based on there response this will trigger what I will do tomorrow.
    Plan A Of course they can fit me and I will go straight to Seattle and I will be on my before you know it
    Plan B more realistically depending on when they can fit me in Go to Vancouver Island while waiting for a slot
    Plan C or go to Penticton or round that area no idea why but heard quite pleasant while waiting for a slot
    Plan D or go to the US and hang around the Seattle Area while waiting for a slot
    Plan E go Vancouver Island and get the boat from Port Hardy to Bella Coola this is an expensive option and a lot more km but I quite fancy this trip as I had wanted to do this run last time I was here so this one could be moved forward in the sequence.
    So loads of options all dependent on one phone conversation it seems weird, as thus far I have not had to take into consideration other external dependencies but I guess I this time I do not have much choice.
    #62
  3. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Vancouver to Penticton, Tuesday, 24 July 2012, Day 50


    Hope[/caption]

    Day started with a couple of Skype phone calls first to Aurora Motorcycles in Seattle which turned out very good as they where able to fit me this Thursday and they will probably be able to do most of the work the question is do I need to do anything with the valves I am not sure as this would be time consuming and potentially expensive and I am not sure what is needed I will discuss this with them tomorrow. So with a known time slot for the service I could now make a decision on where to go in the interim. I decided it would be to expensive to go to Victoria just for one night so decided to head for Penticton and stay the night there and then head to Seattle tomorrow.


    Last Tim Hortons Breakfast or is it?[/caption]



    A lovely ride again the weather was good and I recall doing this route 4 years ago in the other direction in the pissing rain so today I could actually see something and it was really nice. The roads where empty and wide and sweeping and I spent about 2 hours tailing an old fella on a Harley who was keeping up a nice reasonably fast pace. With him leading I could use him as a marker for any signs of any trouble or rough road and it was good that by using him as a pace maker a more relaxing ride for me as I habit of letting myself go and then getting into all sorts of trouble and overcooking it so following this bloke who was smooth fast and risk adverse it was a very pleasant ride he spotted the bear first and nearly squished Bambi and I had the best seat in the house. It was hot day so completely different from yesterday and I arrived in Penticton at about 7pm as I had a little stop at Fort Langley to squeeze the last bit of value out of my Parks Canada Discovery Card.


    Fort Langley[/caption]







    This is my last night in Canada and the big America adventure is about to start. I must say I love Canada it is a gorgeous beautiful place and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here if the US is half as good as this then I am in for an excellent time :-)
    #63
  4. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Penticton to Seattle, Wednesday, 25 July 2012, Day 51


    Washington Cascades[/caption]



    I have let this slide so I am playing catch up so it may all be a bit vague. Another hot and gorgeous day I went for my last breakfast at Tim Horton’s a sad occasion and then I headed for the border. Crossing no problems again no checks on the paperwork on the bike just me. I had a fight with the GPS as it kept resisting the route I wanted to go so in the end I ignored it and did a lovely run through the Washington Cascades.


    Washington Cascades[/caption]







    And I rolled into to Seattle at about 5.30pm Headed straight to Aurora Suzuki where I had arranged a service for the bike.


    Well Deserved TLC ![/caption]

    I was running late so i arranged to leave all my kit with them and only take a small bag to the hotel and come back on Friday when the bike will be as a good as new. The blokes at Aurora are very friendly so I hang around sorting out my kit and chatting and had offered to give me a lift to the hostel to where I was staying. So I sorted out what was needed for the bike we decided a full service including valves was needed so no new chain and sprockets and no new pads needed yet and I got to pick out a new set of tyres after a lot of humming and haring I went with a set of Bridgestone TW the same as I had on before so stick with what you know I got 11.5k km out of the first set and only 10.4k km for the second set. The front one could have been left on but the back one was finished so it was prudent to change both. I got to the Hostel, which was in a really cool neighbourhood of Freemont and the local supermarket was all, organic so I had a healthy meal for a change as well.

    I went to the Gasworks Park to watch the sun go down and from here you had a spectacular view of Seattle so I hung around and watched the sun go down and enjoyed the view and took loads of pictures of which many will not come out. I was just going to go to bed when I got chatting to an Italian guy called Simon who was riding up from Ushuaia and had done 32,000km and this all on a 50cc Beta. Wow I was impressed. He was just on his way out to the pub to meet two English blokes who had driven form London to Vladivostok and where waiting for there bikes to arrive from Korea and they where planning to ride also from Alaska to Ushuaia. (I need to change the title of my blog as I thought Ushuaia was in Chile turns out its in Argentina shows how much research I have done) I felt like a rank amateur compared to what these guys had done so I headed out into town to find the English Blokes which we did and they where pissed as farts so not much of a dialog I hung out for while and the decided to head home as it was quite late and I was not drinking (Ok now you picked yourselves of the floor I have a confession to make I have not had a drink since I left the Netherlands 51 days ago I did fancy one tonight but I have decided to see how long I can go without it as I do not need the additional expense of booze both economically and physically and to be honest I have not missed it to much!

    The guy’s websites for those of you are interested

    <a href="http://toughmiles.com/">http://toughmiles.com/</a>

    <a href="http://www.fuego2ice.com/blog/en">http://www.fuego2ice.com/blog/en</a>


    World Record Bike![/caption]





    Seattle


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    #64
  5. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Seattle, Thursday, 26 July 2012, Day 52


    Seattle Skyline with Mount Olympia in the distance[/caption]

    A day without my bike, which is being pampered by the guys at Aurora Suzuki Seattle

    <a href="http://www.aurora-suzuki.com/default.asp">http://www.aurora-suzuki.com/default.asp</a>

    So it is going to be a long walking day today. I got the free breakfast it is not quite Tim Horton’s but it will do I caught the bus into town as it quite a distance and just wandered all around Seattle which was nice as the sun was shining as well. I saw all the sights and took loads of pictures and basically I was a tourist for the day.




    Seattle[/caption]















    I even paid to go into one of the Tourist attractions which was called The Underground Tour it was supposed to be an amusing tour here is the blurb

    BILL SPEIDEL'S UNDERGROUND TOUR 
is a leisurely guided walking tour beneath Seattle’s sidewalks and streets. As you roam the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle, our guides regale you with the stories our pioneers didn’t want you to hear. It’s history with a twist!

    It was total bollocks not funny and the walks through what could have been a building site so I was bit pissed off as it cost me 16 bucks. It could have been so much better as they had the location and the stories but it looked like they where just milking tourists and I just got milked very disappointing. I walked back to the hostel via a sculpture park and cross a huge bridge with great views and got back at about 8.30pm so had been walking all day and I was knackered. Went to the organic supermarket for another healthy meal and tried to catch up with me blog but was to busy cooking and chatting to the English blokes from tough miles as they where sober this time giving them some info on the Alaska route and swapping stories. So did not get round to doing much on the PC this evening either hence the epic catch up now.


    [​IMG]

    Seattle Art[/caption]


    [​IMG]
    #65
  6. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Seattle to Forks, Friday, 27 July 2012, Day 53


    Bye bye Seattle[/caption]

    Sitting here stuffing my face with raspberries in a farm kitchen at a place called the HohHumm Ranch near Forks next to Olympia State Park. This morning I got up and it was dull and overcast and had been raining so a bit cooler than yesterday I had my free breakfast and caught the bus to Aurora Suzuki to pick my bike up. I hardly recognised it, as it was clean! I did not know that I had black wheels as I thought they where a muddy brown and a I could see bits I had not seen for months as they had been caked in mud. Chatted with the guys and I settled the bill ouch but very reasonable considering the amount of work been done and if I am going to keep doing these kind of mileages I am going to have to pay to keep the bike in Tip Top conditions if I am going the make it all the way to Ushuaia. Big cheer and thank you to Darrell and the boys at Aurora Suzuki Inc. Seattle not only for fitting me in so quickly but also for there customer service which was excellent Darrell was still polishing and cleaning the bike while I was there and insisted on doing it even though I said it was not necessary. So a great job the bike has never looked better and I am now going to get it all dirty again. So was on the road at about 11am and I headed in to town to get a ferry across to Olympic National Park and I caught this with minutes to spare the problem was I did not know which ferry I was on and where it would kick me out but no real problem as they all end up roughly in the same place.


    Bye Bye Seattle[/caption]





    Still dull and overcast so I could not see the Mountains I hear they are very nice! At about 4pm ish I ran out of steam so started to look for places to stay I even checked out a campsite. In the end I stumbled on a B&amp;B which was reasonably priced and that where I am in a ramshackle farm kitchen next to huge bowl of raspberries which I have been picking at all night so much that my keyboard is all sticky. Lovely view dogs cats and farm animals and hummingbirds and I think I am all caught up with my blog as well so another excellent bit of luck that has landed me here.


    Hohhumm Ranch[/caption]

    #66
  7. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Forks to Seaside, Saturday, 28 July 2012, Day 54


    Big bowl of Raspberries mmmm lekker[/caption]

    Good thing about staying on farm is the huge farm breakfast downside is that it is at 8am. Yorkshire puddings for breakfast well that is one way to get over my Tim Horton’s addiction. They have there Yorkshire pudding with Raspberry Jam on it so of course I had to try this delightful delicacy home made raspberry as well mmm. So I stuffed myself for breakfast and was out on the road by 9.30am very early by standards. Plan today was to head for a town called Seaside for no other reason that I like the name and want to say I have been to Seaside and get corrected and have someone say I have been to <strong>the</strong> Seaside and I can tell nope I have been to Seaside (I have been on the road to long). It was a bit dull and overcast but another short day in the saddle only about 200 miles and when I got to Seaside at about 3pm the sun was out and I am now sitting outside typing this and watching the sun go down. Uneventful day I cannot remember anything special or worth mentioning here bike is running well after the service it is a shame that I cannot say the same about the rider he seems to be running out of steam. Not sure why I am getting plenty of good nights sleep but I am feeling pretty beat up both physically and mentally so I need to have a think about how to address this option one is go bugger it and have a huge mileage day and completely knacker myself or do the opposite and keep doing short runs until I get my energy back I am not sure which solution I will take but just sitting here watching the sun going down tells me that I am not done with this trip by a long shot I just need to find away to keep my energy levels up I must be missing the vitamins in all that beer I used to drink but this has been compensated did you see that bowl of raspberries I got through at the farmhouse last night :-)


    My Sponsor :-)[/caption]





    Did a bit of detour to see Washington largest lighthouse was looking all around to, as it should not be too difficult to miss it was tiny! Pissed myself laughing when I saw talk about a disappointment.


    Largest Lighthouse in WA it was tiny :-)[/caption]
    #67
  8. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Seaside to Reedsport, Sunday, 29 July 2012, Day 55


    Pacific Highway Nr 1[/caption]

    Today’s theme was Lighthouses. I went from Lighthouse to Lighthouse along the Oregon Pacific Coast. I did about 200 miles long day as I was stopping a lot to walk around the parks the lighthouses all seem to be located in. The weather was dull and overcast in the morning but later the sun showed itself. All in all a very pleasant day whizzing down the coast and stopping any time I saw a sign for a lighthouse or something that interested me so a very relaxing day.


    Cape Meares[/caption]



    "











    I thought I had found a replacement option for Tim Horton’s in the US that being Safeway the supermarket they do a cheap ham egg and cheese sandwich for 2 dollars and there is normally a Starbucks there to get a coffee as well so a perfect solution the problem is that you have to queue for the sarnie and normally there is an even larger separate queue for the coffee.

    All I want is a simple cup of coffee my god they have made coffee consumption complex :-( So I am not sure this is the solution. Scenery has changed instead of mountains and lakes I have cliffs and the Pacific Ocean instead of Bears and Moose I have whales and seals and loads of bird I do not even know the names of. So in short a nice run. At about 6pm ish I was starting to flag so started to look for a cheap motel. I had seen loads during the day but as soon as I start looking there are none around so I keep on rolling on for another hour and half and was even going to default to the tent! When I saw the sign I had been looking for a cheap and cheerful motel and the Internet had enough speed has that has also enabled me to upload the videos of the interview that Mathilda did of me in Chase so you can now see these at <a href="">http://youtu.be/ry1jS_sXlQA</a>

    They are worth a giggle at my expense.


    [​IMG]

    Just what I was looking for[/caption]

    I have been a bit low last the couple of days but feeling much better today I am not sure why maybe it’s the change in pace or rhythm I do not know but I will take it or it must be all the lighthouses!
    #68
  9. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Reedsport to Eureka, Monday, 30 July 2012, Day 56


    get out of the way you are spoiling the view[/caption]

    Oops I have let this slide again so again playing catch up so what happened to day of interest let me think? Bugger it is really sad but I cannot remember much about today other than I have made it to California. Nice road along the coast saw some herds of elks another word for dear or maybe they are just another species I really should have listened more at school.


    Chilling![/caption]











    Oregon Pacific Coast

    I ran out of steam in Crescent City but there was no real obvious places to stay so I kept on rolling through the Redwood National Park which was full of huge trees very pleasant run and then I started looking for something in Eureka. Saw I sign for a cheap motel and stopped to look but it was a real dive even I did not fancy staying there and my standards as we all know are not that high. There was another motel just round the corner, which looked at bit more habitable so went to ask them how much. But they where asking to much for my budget so I turned to walk out and the guy an Indian gentleman asked me how much I wanted to pay and we started haggling. I have not done that for ages and I was certainly not expecting to do that in the US. In the end we did a deal and I had a room for the night. Interesting folks in these types of motels mainly people using them as full time accommodation and nearly all of them smokers trying to bum a cigarette of me. Dinner tonight-pure Americana I went to Denny’s. I have not been there for years I used to go there all the time for breakfast the first time I was in the US with my sister and that was about 20 years ago. Well it has not changed much to my delight I spent all night trying to work out the menu and had a cheap and cheerful meal and then went for a bit of a wander and then back and barricaded myself in my room. (I exaggerate for dramatic effect)




    Big Trees[/caption]

    In a new State therefore there are new ways of doing things. I went to fill up my bike with petrol so up to now you either fill up and then pay in places states provinces that they just trust you and it is dead easy. In other places you have to walk in and give your credit card and walk out fill up and go back in pay. This is a bit of pain but I guess loads of folks do runners here and there registration system of a vehicle is probably not as efficient as ours (How about that for smugness). Well today I had to say how much fuel I wanted and put this on the card. I did not know, as I have no idea as I just fill it to the brim each time and do not stop until it is sort of empty so I had to put 20 bucks on the card. Go and fill her up and then go back in and get a credit on my card for the balance. I also wanted a drink, which I always do on the same transaction but no this would have to be another transactions what a pain. And to add insult to injury they have funny pumps here that shut of as soon you start to pump to stop overflowing and wasting gas fumes well this system does not work with a motorcycles if you want to fill it to the brim so it took me ages fiddling with the nozzle to get the bike full. I need to practice my technique and develop some muscles in some weird places to get this to work for me. While I am bitching Sales Tax on hot food in California so my 1.99 breakfast cost me 2.14 today what is that all about :-)


    Eureka[/caption]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #69
  10. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Eureka to San Francisco, Tuesday, 31 July 2012, Day 57


    The Paarsen Family[/caption]

    Today I was racing as I actually had to be somewhere at a particular time. Peter and Annemieke where in San Francisco and the plan was to meet up with them there. I did my usual Philly calculations on distances and reckoned I would be there at about 3pm. Well we all now how accurate and good my distance and timing calculations are. I hit the road highway 101 a great 2 lane highway with long sweeping bends through gorgeous scenery I was making excellent progress. Only fly in the ointments was a motorcycle crash some poor old fellow on a huge Goldwing and trailer seemingly his side stand had come down and dug in and thrown him of his bike. He was on his knees and moving and the crash scene seemed well organised so I did not get to involved and I continued with my journey.

    This was a bit of a wakeup call on the vulnerability of motorcycles but as we motorcyclist do I had rationalised this and had soon forgot and was hammering along just as before. This reminded me of a time when I was racing and there was huge crash at Zandvoort Race Circuit and we were all waiting for the track to be cleared so we could get out and race. It took a while as the trauma helicopter was called out the guy was seriously injured. Well we waited and then the track was clear and what did we do next we all went racing. Next meeting we heard the poor chap had died we had a minute's silence and what did we next we zipped up our leathers and went racing no one that I recall wanted to talk about the accident we just got on with doing what we love and that is motorcycling so that is what I mean about a rationalising this you think about it for a short while and then you get your head down and then you are lost in that wonderful world of motorcycling.


    Pacific Highway Nr1[/caption]

    Well it got better I turned on to Pacific highway number one the road narrowed and then started to twist and turn and this went on for the rest day. Slow 10 and 15 mph corners according to the signs sometimes they where about right others I may have been going a tad faster. So I really earned my money today beautiful scenery on the coast hanging on the edge and then inland all in all a top day for riding but unfortunately was racing against the clock to get to San Francisco to meet my Dutch friends. I had jokingly said to Peter on Skype that I would find a McDonald's with free Wi-Fi and call them to tell where I was and where to meet but on this stretch of road no McDonald's in fact very little in the way of fuel and fast food chains very un-American in fact. I finally found a pay phone and rang Peter with a new revised ETA and continued to enjoy this glorious ride.

    I got to their Motel at about 7pm so only 3 hours out on my original estimate! Hard driving all the way so I am knackered. First thing we did was jump in their van to see if we could catch the sun set but this being San Francisco the clouds had moved so not much of sun set and the wind was really blowing me and the Paarsen clan mucked around on the Golden Gate Bridge viewing area for a while and then headed back to the motel for some supper.


    Golden Gate Bridge[/caption]





    It was a quite night just chatting it was 2 months since I had spoken any Dutch so that was a bit rusty but it was good to see some familiar people. I ended up setting up camp in their cupboard for the night good to be fed and looked after so well after a long hard day in the saddle I could get used to this unfortunately they are heading North and I am heading South but it was great to see you guys veel lol met de rest van jullie vakantie en bedankt nogmaals voor jullie gastvrijheid


    My Cupboard :-)[/caption]
    #70
  11. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    San Francisco to Montara, Wednesday, 1 August 2012, Day 58


    Lighthouse Accommodation[/caption]

    I woke up in my cupboard to the sounds of Peter singing the little drummer boy song by Bing Crosby and David Bowie and it has been in my head all day Cheers mate :-) Early start but I guess that is what happens when you have a young family with you. I said Ta Ta to the Paarsen family it was good to see you and headed to the nearest Safeway/Starbucks for breakfast to figure out the plan for today.


    Pieter and Annemieke[/caption]

    I am going into San Francisco to see if I can find somewhere reasonable to stay tonight but this plan fails miserably as I cannot found anywhere to park the bike without paying and the hostels are all full or expensive so plan B kicks in. I am not really in a busy city kind of mood at the moment so I decide to do the 49 miles scenic drive around town and then to head out to Monterey. I am keen to get back on them twisty roads rather than fight downtown traffic. I loose the signs for the 49 miles scenic drive after taking about 20 minutes trying to find it in the first place and I am lost after about 30 minutes so as I am on the far side of San Francisco I just punch in Monterey on my GPS and I head back to Pacific Highway Number 1.


    Alcatraz[/caption]



    I am in a bit of funny mood my guts are rotten and I think I am well knackered after yesterday hard physical ride so when I see a sign for a hostel 30 mile outside of San Francisco I pull over to take a look at it and it turns out to be a gorgeous lighthouse keeper house turned into a hostel. Its only 2 pm but I decide I like this place and I want to stay here so onto plan C. They have a place yay but I cannot check in until 3.30pm so I go for ride to the nearest supermarket get some vitals for the evening and I am back and checked in by 4pm. The weather is still overcast and not so warm but hang around the lighthouse where they have their own little beach and great views which would be even better if the clouds ever lift. It is 10 pm and I have just been chilling around this place for the last 6 hours it was a good call to stop I needed this little break.


    Lighthouse home for tonight[/caption]



    Tomorrow Hearst castle I have been there twice before but I find the place fascinating so I will be making it a hat trick of visits.

    A couple of days ago in Oregon there was another lighthouse which had a gorgeous B&amp;B in the old Lighthouse keeper house with rooms that started from 250 USD per night. Seemingly there was a 7-course breakfast with full guide and history tour of the food and the lighthouse. I really wanted to stay there but it was well beyond my budget and then a couple of days later same set up only this time a hostel for 26 USD per night and I will go to Safeway’s for breakfast down the road so how cool is that :-)
    #71
  12. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Montara to Cambria, Thursday, 2 August 2012, Day 59


    The Corkscrew at Laguna Sega[/caption]

    I needed a short break and an early night and I was ready to hit the road again this time to Cambria as I had managed to book a hostel there tonight and it is near Hearst Castle my main destination today. Well that was the plan but I got to Hearst Castle way to late and it was closed fortunately I am only staying 10 miles down the road so I will pop by tomorrow morning before heading to LA. So again my planning on mileage letting me down but I do have an excuse as I was driving to Monterey I remembered that Laguna Sega race track was near so I did a little detour there on my way and before I knew it I was at the race track. I can hang around these places for ages so this is the reason I did not get to Hearst Castle before it shut and that and all the other stops I did along the way as even though the weather was crap and I was driving through clouds and mist most of the day still a lovely ride with lots of distractions and wildlife to see.







    Laguna Seca
    Today I saw a sea otter (I had no idea that you get otters at the sea I thought they were freshwater and it must be bloody difficult building dams in the pacific) seals, pelicans, elephant seals to name some of the animals I saw to-day so an excellent day on the wildlife front.

    I saw the famous corkscrew and took loads of pictures (for the racing geeks amongst you will understand my fondness for this holy place) basically a good day if not a bit chilly I finally made it to the hostel at 7.30pm so also a reasonably long day as well. Skype Richard Kooyenga who has offered me a couch in LA, I saw him a couple of years ago at a school reunion and it's probably 30 years ago at school the time before that so a lot catching up to do and he also mentioned that Russell Fearon another school mate of mine is around as well and I have not seen him since I was about 16 so it should be a laugh catching up with those two.

    I saw a sign for the 17-mile drive near Monterey and I recall it was supposed to be quite scenic so I turned of into it. I came round the corner and found out it was a toll route so I thought it may be part of the National Parks of US for which I have a ticket as there is no way am I paying USD9.75 to get in. Nope my pass is not valid and by the way motorcyclist are not allowed in. That pissed me of and made me want to pay the USD9.75 and go in anyhow. It has been ages since I have seen any anti motorcyclist sentiment and it reminded me of when I first moved back to the UK and they where always refusing to serve anyone wearing leather jacket in the pubs. Last no motorcyclist area that I was in was in Quebec but I just ignored those signs but this time there was a rent a cop and barriers so no entry for Philly and his motorbike today. I am plotting a big demo turning up with 100 of bikes and blocking the entrance and demanding to be allowed in, equal rights for motorcyclist, motorcyclist are human, motorcyclist have feelings to etc. My rebellionistic feelings soon disappeared, as the road got more interesting as I entered Carmel valley where the last time I was here I got a ticket for parking on the wrong side of the street facing the wrong direction! Something about that this part of the world and me that are slightly at odds with each other.


    Carmel Valley[/caption]




    Big Sur[/caption]

    Tomorrow I will attempt to get to Hearst Castle and then to LA I am looking forward to it.




    Elephant Seals[/caption]


    Must be love![/caption]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Mather from Cars
    #72
  13. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Cambria to Brea (Los Angeles), Friday, 3 August 2012, Day 60


    Hearst Castle[/caption]

    Well I made it to Hearst Castle and as expected I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I spent all morning there, I did the Upstairs Suites Tour as I had been here twice before so I thought I try to see another part of the castle this time.


    Hearst Castle[/caption]
















    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I love this place the pure decadence of the place is amazing and obscene all at the same time. I managed to get away at 2pm and I started making my way to Richards in LA. The GPS reckoned I would get there at 6.30pm so I thought at a leisurely pace should be there by 8.30pm with a stop for lunch and any shiny objects I saw along the way. It turned out slightly different as I did not calculate on LA Friday night rush hour traffic. Bloody hell after driving around on empty roads for nigh on 2 months this is a complete mind f**k I am trying to following the GPS which is telling me I need to be in the left lane of 8 lanes and I am in the right lane of 8 lanes and traffic all around me in total grid lock. You are allowed to filter in the state of California but with all my luggage on the back I have a huge arse on the bike so this is quite difficult so I am not getting anyway fast. The trick I find is to ride aggressively and just to hammer it like the locals do and that seem to work but it needs a lot of confidence and the road surface are also crap with lots of banding so I am fighting that as well.

    I get to Richards at 8.30pm right on schedule except the schedule was completely different from the original plan. Its time to fall of the wagon after that experience and Richard had a cold beer waiting for me it will be the first of many as I have been dry for 60 days so there is a lot of catching up to do. Cold Beer mmmm lekker! We headed straight out to a Chinese for dinner and then we hit a few more bars before crashing on the Richard sofa at about 2.30am ish I am knackered , slightly pissed and happy a good night of catch up with Richard the perfect host Mi casa est tu casa :-)

    [​IMG]
    #73
  14. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Brea (Los Angeles), Saturday, 4 August 2012, Day 61


    reunion with Richard Kooyenga and Russell Fearon[/caption]

    First sleep in for ages I think we surfaced at about 12am ish and first order of business was brunch. Kimmi’s for quesadillas and then back to hang around the swimming pool. Yes he has a pool as well so guess who is moving in! At about 3pm we headed to Century City as Richard had tickets for Who Shot Rock &amp; Roll a photo exhibition with free concert with Raphael Saadiq and a Band of Skulls I had never heard of either but allegedly for those in the know this is a cool and fashionable line up.

    <a href="http://www.kcrw.com/events/who-shot-rock-roll">http://www.kcrw.com/events/who-shot-rock-roll</a>

    Lots of queuing but a good night as Richard blagged us into the VIP lounge and we spent the evening chatting to girls who worked in “the industry” that is what they call it here for me “the industry” has a whole other meaning!


    John and Oko lovechild![/caption]




    VIP[/caption]


    Peeing in Bev Hills[/caption]

    So a good evening hanging around with LA trendies and then of to Pasadena for a block party hosted by an other school mate of mine who I have not seen in 30 years Russell Fearon so a mini school reunion. We did not get there till about 11pm so Russell already well pissed as it had started at about 6pm so conversation bit limited but good to see him after all these years. I spent the rest of the evening chilling out on the street outside Russell’s house. We ended up for last orders at In and Out Burgers for last call at 1.30am as we had not got round to eating that evening a cold burger Yuk and then back to Richards. An excellent day the only fly in the ointment was that we got a parking ticket in Beverly Hills like they need the cash!
    #74
  15. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Brea (Los Angeles), Sunday, 5 August 2012, Day 62


    LA Mural cool[/caption]

    Wow another kip in I have got the place to myself as Richard has gone to take his son for swimming lessons so I am just hanging round the flat doing some work on the PC and uploading and downloading photos not realising that I had used all of Richards bandwidth allowance for the full month in one morning oops sorry mate presumed it was unlimited. Richard got back at 2pm so we decided to hit LA downtown first the market for some Mexican tacos for lunch and then wandering all over LA downtown just being a tourist. I have been to LA a couple of time before but I never stayed or went near the downtown I always hung out in Santa Monica Hollywood etc. which I think is what most people do which is a shame as downtown LA is a great place as well and spent a great afternoon in some weird and fascinating bars and just wandering around.


    Downtown LA[/caption]





    That evening we went to free open-air concert in Pasadena to see the famous saxophonist called Ernie Watts yep you guessed it I had never heard of him either but a cool venue and pleasant way to spend a Sunday evening. Then we hit another bar so you could say I have officially fallen of the wagon but the company is excellent. Another late night as we pulled out the maps when we got back to Richard trying to figure out where I am going to go next still I am still not sure other than

    Las Vegas Baby :-)






    Downtown LA[/caption]

    #75
  16. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Brea (Los Angeles) to Las Vegas, Monday, 6 August 2012, Day 63


    Las Vegas Baby :-)[/caption]

    A slow start I wonder why? and its hot, hot, hot breakfast at Kimmi’s again and I said Tata to my wonderful host Richard. Thanks for a fantastic weekend and letting me hijack your weekend at such short notice I had a great time and I loved LA. We covered some miles but I appreciate that and thanks for showing me your LA I loved it I am not sure I want to leave I am totally regenerated and ready for the rest of my trip Las Vegas here I come.



    Traffic a lot easier than on Friday but god it is hot the thermometer just hit 100 Fahrenheit, which is 37 centigrade later in Baker it rose to 114 Fahrenheit which is 45 centigrade in full bike kit bugger me dehydrated (Could it be all that beer I have been drinking? I will blame the heat) I decided to drive straight to Las Vegas as I had no energy for scenic roads so Freeway all the way. I found a cheap Motel just of the strip with a pool, which I needed so as soon as I had checked I did my beached whale impersonations in the Pool. Still hot but it’s a dry hot so did a small walk into town to get my first flavour of Las Vegas. More later



    #76
  17. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Las Vegas, Tuesday, 7 August 2012, Day 64


    Las Vegas Baby![/caption]

    Las Vegas baby!!!

    What a weird and strange place and god it’s hot been over 100 Fahrenheit all day and what does Phill do well he walks for miles from one air-conditioned casino to another and a lot of this outside rather than inside talk about mad dogs and Englishman being out in the midday sun. I started at the hotel at 11am after a good breakfast at Denny’s (free with the hotel :-)) and I got to downtown at 7pm that evening so 8 hrs only doing the left hand side of the strip so that New York, Bellagio, Caesar’s Place, Treasure Island, Circus Circus and many more I do not recall the names of I think according to the map about 12km with all the Casino floors and shopping malls I got lost in its probably a lot more. Some weird themes and a lot of decadence, but bloody fascinating place all the same. I caught the Freemont light show not sure what I was expecting but entertaining enough. The Casino are a bit rougher down this end of town and a lot more flesh on show :-) but you can see there is some serious competition with the new kids on the strip but at the end of the day they all have the same product which is gambling just different ways of trying to sell it.I got the Bus back as I was utterly cream crackered and I got back to the hotel at about 11pm. I know its Vegas and it goes on all night but me feet where killing me and I was a hot sweaty mess and had the other side of the strip to do tomorrow so I am not going back out tonight!


















    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #77
  18. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Las Vegas, Wednesday, 8 August 2012, Day 65


    Best bit of Las Vegas the water show[/caption]







    Hotter than yesterday so the plan today is less walking outside and more buses but in the end I still ended walking miles I started at the Mandalay Bay then to the Luxor and then to the other side of the Strip so instead of New York I had Paris and Venice and god knows what else so similar day as yesterday wandering from Casino to Casino and trying to 2<sup>nd</sup> guess how the next one casino could differentiate itself from the previous and yet they did Eiffel tower, Statue of Liberty, Gondolas and pyramids.







    I did some lessons in craps and I am still do not understand how it works and I spent the grand total of 5 bucks on the slots so I guess the next theme casino ain’t going to be built on my gambling habits. I am fortunately not much of a gambler I cannot see the point as the house always wins and they are certainly doing okay in Las Vegas so there is no need for me to add to there profits. Maybe I am just a chicken but gambling’s not for me but really I enjoyed Las Vegas all the same. Another long day trawling around the streets in the heat so exhausting but very entertaining and the best bit for me was the water fountains display at the Bellagio it was only about 5 minutes and only squirting water but I loved it. Got back to the hotel a very tired little boy no walking for me a while. Again Las Vegas was supposed to be a rest stop but turned out to be a very active couple of days so it looks like I am not able to do rest days as there are far to many distractions on this trip oh well bring it on.



    #78
  19. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Las Vegas to Seligman, Thursday, 9 August 2012, Day 66


    Route 66[/caption]

    Day 66 so what is better than Route 66 what a coincidence I am staying in a motel on Route 66 on day 66 of my trip. I started of with my free breakfast at Denny’s packed the bike very slowly as it was 110 Fahrenheit 43 centigrade so very hot in all my bike gear did a quick cruise on my bike of the Las Vegas strip and then headed out to Hoover Dam. It got hotter up to 114 Fahrenheit 45 centigrade so to hot to stop and walk around I just took a few pictures and then hit the road to Arizona and Route 66.




    Hoover Dam[/caption]











    I stopped at strange little town called Chloride! And got chatting to a guy who just opened a bar a week ago Digger Dave good to get out of the heat for while. Hit the road after a short break and then onto Route 66.


    Chloride![/caption]



    In the distance it had turned black and there was a huge electrical storm and before I knew it I was in it the wind was picking up and it started to rain and the temperature had dropped to 67 Fahrenheit 19 centigrade which was a relief after the heat of the last couple of days I was quite glad for the rain but what worried me more was the lightning I felt a tad exposed so decided to call it quits at about 5pm and got a motel in Seligman and I went for Dinner at a German Diner and I had pea soup and a wiener schnitzel which was nice except they had a really annoying waitress who kept wanted to see if I was okay how many times does she need to ask I had a hot sweaty day and all I wanted was a bit of peace and quite but she did not seem to get the message sometimes I just want to be left alone without all the inane chit-chat it spoilt a nice dinner. I went for a bit of a walk looking at all the old cars and route 66 memorabilia then back to the motel to get this up to date!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Hackberry

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    wheres me dinner![/caption]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    #79
  20. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Seligman to Winslow, Friday, 10 August 2012, Day 67


    Grand Canyon[/caption]

    Today is Grand Canyon Day I had been there before about 15 years ago when I was in the process of delivering a car from LA to Jacksonville and I only had a fixed amount of time to do this so I think I spent no more than 30 minutes there before whizzing on so this time I was determined to spend slightly longer time there than that.

    Seligman on Route 66 is a collection of Motels and Memorabilia stores and by the time I crawled out of my pit it was full of tour buses so I was glad I did my wandering around last night as the place was crawling with tourist's and as we all know my sentiments on tourist's. I typed in Safeway’s into my GPS and there was one within a couple of miles in Williams so just right for breakfast then it is of to the Grand Canyon.


    Route 66 Arizona[/caption]

    I was heading towards the Canyon when I felt something wet on my wrist and at first I thought I had just been shat on by a bird as there where blues sky in front of me blue skies in my mirrors and when I looked left and right the sky was also blue with some fluffy white clouds and then it began to rain so I looked up and above me was a huge black cloud which was surreal as all around there was perfect blues skies with fluffy white clouds. It was like one of those cartoons when you see people wandering around with a black rain cloud above their heads. Fortunately only a brief shower and not long before I quickly rode out of it. As you can imagine the Grand Canyon was heaving with tourist's so the plan was to use the free Shuttle Bus and get as far away from the masses as possible but in the end I spent most of the day on over crowded shuttle buses as I guess everyone else had the same idea.


    wheres me head![/caption]


    there it is![/caption]

    Pleasant enough as I managed to get a decent window seat on most of the trips. I did a bit of a wandering but it was still hot and walking in my leathers and bike boots was bit hard going so I only did a couple of km along the rim at the far end of the shuttle bus route which was nice as very few folks around making the grand canyon a lot a better place than where the tourist do congregate.













    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    It was about 5pm ish when I left the park destination Flagstaff where I knew of 2 hostels but I also knew that they where fully booked but I was going to give them a try anyhow. Nice ride from the park to Flagstaff sun was going down so light was nice and a bit cooler than it had been. No room at either of the places so back on Route 66 heading east looking for a cheap motel. Before I knew it I was out Flagstaff back on the Freeway and in the middle of no where and it was getting dark. I am always reluctant to do a U-turn and go back from where I had already been as onward and forward is my motto so I kept on going and soon it was pitch dark. One of my rules is never to ride at night mainly because of the animals on the road but that was not an issue here but because I am not in hurry and I do not need to ride in the dark and here I was in the middle of no where in the pitch dark and the next civilisation 40 miles away. Idiot I had no idea what was in the next town but as I turned of the freeway I saw a motel for a reasonable price so that was going to be my home for the night it was about 9pm so I was to tired to go into town so I had a burritos and Muffin for me tea brought at the local gas station and I settled in for the night. The guy said he had thought of me when he gave me room 8 and I understood what he meant when I got in. A lot of route 66 memorabilia but with a motorcycle theme mainly Harley's so this was a nice gesture me thinks.

    [​IMG]
    #80