Monday, 22 October 2012

Now heading East

Well I know its been a few weeks since my last update, I keep saying "I must update my blog" then I get to my motel or campsite and get a beer and settle down for the night and then the blog goes out of the window !!

One thing I have been thinking about was the lovely couple who hosted me some weeks ago when I stayed at Lake Tahoe. Christine was originally from Bury in the UK and invited me to stay in front of their RV. No sooner had I parked up, Alan her husband was out and offering me a whisky followed by a beer :-) I have to admit I was a bit light headed while I put my tent up. As I sorted out my stuff, Alan had made me a delicious home made chip buttie ! The next thing, he is lighting a lovely camp fire for me..... I felt like a king that day :-)

A warming camp fire that Alan sorted out for me
I thought that I had taken a photo of Alan and Christine but I can not find it ! Then again, I have now taken about 4000 pictures on this trip.

Well after I left Boonville, I headed down on route 1. This is a fantastic route that hugs the Californian coastline. I ended up staying in Vallejo with Scott, who had kindly offered a room on the ADV rider site.
I just felt I really needed a break from riding! so much so that I ended up staying for 9 days :-) It was so nice to just chill and walk to the local shops. I also did some work on my bike and carried out a mini service.
Scott getting ready for a ride out

Leaving Scott's I head south over the Golden Gate bridge, to be honest it didnt seem that grand ! and it cost me $6 to cross !

Mind you, the ride down route 1 made up for the disappointment! lots of sweeping curves and the views were spectacular :-)
Posing on Route 1 California

So after a few days of living it up on the road I had arrived at the HUBB meet in Cambria. I was due to give a presentation on my trip so far. To be honest, I was quite nervous ! However it went down a treat and everyone managed to understand my English jokes :-)
So much so that I ended up doing 3 presentations !
To me though, the best bit about the meet was meeting like minded people, people who understand the need to travel. I made many new friends that weekend :-)
I also met up with Iain and Debz, who I had left the UK with just over 6 months ago. It was great to listen to their stories.

So now I am now near Area 51, having survived the ride thru Death Valley!
The next few days will see me having a rest in Las Vegas before heading East

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Welcome to Sunny California

Well today it has been 6 months since I left home in the UK.

What an incredible journey its been so far. I think my mileage is around 16,000 miles but I cannot be certain as my speedo cable broke when I went down just outside Ulan Ude Russia.

So I am now in Vallejo just outside San Fransisco California, so how did I get here ? I have no idea ! The other day I decided to reinstate my diary, it took a few hours to work out where I have been in the last couple of months.
Its so easy to just ride along and forget where you have been, some days I think of fantastic twisty roads I have rode and have to think hard where they were ! or maybe its just old age sinking in !

So I left Cheyenne and headed towards Salt lake city with the view of seeing Bonneville salts. I have to say, what a boring ride ! mile after mile of a very straight road with ...... wait for it ............salt on either side of the road !

Can you imagine riding 100's of miles on this road !
I ended up in Wendover, right on the state line of Utah and Nevada. One side of the town had cheap motels and the other was all the glitzy huge hotels with brightly lit casino's attached to them. Needless to say, I stayed in the cheap part of the town :-)
The town was having an airshow on the saturday, I was hoping to camp at the airshow but they wouldnt let me. They did however offer to watch my bike and look after my stuff while I spent a few hours walking around.

World War 2 Veterans, I really enjoyed chatting to these guys for over a hour 
Lots of planes to see

And other interesting people to talk to :-)

Posing in a World War 2 Jeep
The was lots to see and do at the airshow, as I walked round people kept stopping me and asking if I was that English guy riding around the world..... fame at last hahaha, I did really enjoy chatting to lots and lots of interesting people.
I headed south West hoping to catch up with my friend Geoff who had kindly offered to take some packages in for me. One of the parcels was a replacement Kindle, though it did take almost a week of negotiations with Amazon as I had bought my kindle from the UK. When they did finally agree to send a replacement they forgot to include any return mail labels (they had promised as I had 30 days to return the broken kindle or they would charge me for another).
So after another couple of hours negotiations they agreed I did not have to return the broken kindle ( mind you, I have that much confidence in Amazon that I am keeping my old kindle for the next few months in case they go back on their word !).
The other thing I was waiting for was an airmat from Exped, my old one kept going down on me. So I sent the mat to them and within a few days a replacement mat was sent to Geoff. Why cant all companies be this good ?

Well I arrived in Boonville, what a delightful small town :-) Geoff and his brother Alan really spoiled me. The highlight for me was a quiz night at the local pub, of course we had to sample the food too !

Posing outside the pub

My winnings :-) I won a spot prize in the pub

Burger was huge !! I was unable to eat it all
So after a few days of being pampered I set off to see the coast of California :-) but first I had to say goodbye to Geoff's family 

Last family picture before moving on
I think I could have happily stayed in Boonville for a good few months :-)

I headed down route 1, infact I often headed back and forth to ride on route 1. It is one of those fabulous twisty roads. Some of the cliff drops where slightly frightening lol 

I spent a few days camping along the coast, I did find a cracking campsite right on the beach. Priced at $5 a night it was a steal ! However, there was a fog horn that blasted every minute of the night ! So it was earplugs in and a peaceful nights sleep.

I then moved to Scott's house. Scott had kindly offered tent/room space on a thread on ADV forum. So I contacted him and he said I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted.
So I have now been here 5 days, just relaxing and pottering around :-) I have managed to sort out all the little bike problems and have done a service, bleeding brakes and oil and filter change.

The next few days will take me down the coast where I intend to camp and chill prior to attending the HUBB meet in Cambria, where I will be doing a small presentation on my trip so far... just hope no one falls asleep during it lol
till the next time... ride safe :-)