Epic ride yesterday. Departed Phoenix at 4:15 AM with Dana Point, Ca. as my destination to meet some friends for lunch. Bike is prepped and ready to go. Had to decide to leave behind the bottom of my rain suit, and clear face shield (for night riding), due to lack of room in my tank bag. Two decisions I slightly would regret later. ETA I just noticed my plate expires this month, and the DMV hasn't send me a renewal notice in the mail yet. Nothing too interesting on the ride out, with the exception that the gas station I typically stop in (Gila Bend) for breakfast on the occasions I run out to California was no longer making their excellent biscuit sandwiches. So I pressed on. By the time I got to El Centro, about 250 miles into the ride, and about another three hours later, I was starving, and decided I'd settle for fast food. I knew a Carl's Jr. was right off the highway. I exited, and noticed the charred remains of what was Carl's. So just when I was about to turn around, I noticed a little shithole place, called Las Palmitas. I tossed the dice and went in for a breakfast burrito. 'Twas excellent. I'll be returning there. Back on the road, I flew all the way to the end of I-8 and headed north on I-5, which was a parking lot most of the way. Lane splitting was in order. It took me an hour to go 48 miles, but it was nice and cool along the ocean. Got to Dana Point, where I was meeting three friends. One is a Scottsdale friend (Ralph) who was out there, staying at his daughter's place for a month or more. The other two were Howard and Fred, guys I've been friend with for about 25 years, thanks to teh internets and Harleys. For those who are/were Harley types, the guy second from the left in the below pic is Howard Kelly, who was editor at Hot Bike for many years. Lunch was had at Harpoon Henry's. Wasn't too bad. We burned two hours just sitting and talking. Was a great time. Like my shirt? ETA, that lunch table was the most heavily armed lunch table in California that day, I promise you. Obligatory pic of the ocean (sort of). Going back down I-5, it was a complete parking lot for the entire 48 miles. It took me 90 minutes this time, to run the stretch. But once back on I-8 heading towards home, things got back to normal. I had nice temps all the way up and over the mountains, down into Jacumba, which is known for only one thing. A nudist resort. But they actually now have a new thing to be known for. While stopped there, I donned my "cool vest", which is an excellent way to keep cool in this desert heat. It was about 110 by the time I got to El Centro. I soaked the vest on Thursday for an hour, then tossed it (barely fit) into a big zip loc bag, and tossed it in the freezer. When I pulled it out of the bag yesterday, after being in my tank bag for 12 hours, it was still cold, but not frozen. So nice. I also soak the shit out of my helmet at all gas stops, which is excellent air conditioning for the head. At one stop, I was haunted by one of Adam Carolla's old rants. Can't/won't fill up the car, but only puts in enough to get to where he/she is going. And seeing that three bucks in California doesn't even buy you a gallon of gas, that person isn't going far. I hauled ass all the way to Gila Bend, Az. Got caught in a couple of nice showers that got me just wet enough to cool off. While gassing up in Gila Bend, I was looking at a big storm system that appeared to be where I was heading. Sure enough, in just a few miles, I was in more rain. Then dry conditions again, then a massive haboob, with tumbleweeds, heavy dust, lightning strikes everywhere, and all sorts of shit blowing across the road in front of me. It was a wicked cross wind. I was heading north, and the wind was coming from the east. When I reached I-10 and headed east, I now had a wicked head wind, and within ten miles, I was in the middle of an insane downpour. I figured it would be a quick one, but I was wrong. It kept raining hard. So hard water got inside my face shield, and I was now also soaked. Soon enough, visibility was so bad, I had to stop at an overpass and wait it out. The wind was blowing so hard, that there wasn't a dry place to stand under the bridge. I decided I may as well put on my upper part of my rain suit (too little, too late, but better than not wearing it at all). Also, if I had taken my clear night riding face shield for the helmet, I would have been able to see a little better, although probably not enough to continue much longer. So after a few minutes, I just got back on the road. I was 40 miles from home, it was almost 9:00, and I wanted to get this done. Eventually the rain stopped and I was drying out again. I hit I-17 north and within a couple miles, I was in another storm for several miles. It cleared up before I exited the freeway and did the last couple miles home. Overall a fantastic day, and I set a new high mileage record for myself on this ride. My prior best was 805 miles. I may as well just pick a date and knock out a 1,000 mile Ironbutt ride and get my certification. S.C.