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July 7, 2016

Day 5 - Thursday(7/6) - Farmer's Market in San Luis Obispo

Update: I am alive and well and eating dinner at the Famer's Market in Sn Luis Obispo, CA.

Starting Odometer: 41,510
Ending Odometer: 41,787
Miles driven today: 277 miles

So, I got up this morning, and said my goodbyes to David and Christine. I checked the forecast, and it didn't mention rain, but the SF coast is just socked in with fog. Surreal. Cold. Damp. And now, I'm driving down the Cabrillo Highway (Pacific Coast Highway - CA 1), and I'm thinking how odd it is that I'm somehow incapable of preparing for a motorcycle ride in the climates I've driven through. I feel like I go from too hot to too cold and back again.

I try to follow the coast, because my GPS is as useless at tits on a bull.

But, i get lost and lose the coast and have to stop and ask some old man for directions. I get back down to the coast in Pacifica. I need to get gas. And food. I'm not driving down the Pacific Coast Highway again, only to get stranded again, without food again. I"m not going to do that all over again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

So, I find my old gas station, and stop to gas up. Buy some more snacks for the road and more gatorade. I won't travel without food and water.

"Why is it so cold and foggy out there?" I ask the gas station attendant.

"I dunno. It was sunny 2 days ago."

"I'm driving down to Cambria. I'm going got freeze to death," I whine.

He looks at me funny.

"You know...Cambria...it's down past San Simeon..."

He's never heard of Cambria. Or San Simeon. He's working behind the counter at a gas station. How does he even afford to sleep in this city, I wonder?

So, now I'm off, rolling south through the densest fog you've ever seen. I'm seriously scared I will run into a car in the fog.

But, I have one thought...How great would it feel to drive out of the fog? How great would that be?

I think about switching over to CA 35 (Skyline Drive), or to CA 101, or to I5. But, I decide to stick with the coast. This was the plan. Let's roll with it.

By the time I get to Half Moon Bay, it's starting to clear and I can see blue sky (granted only small patches, but it's a start). Slowly, the fog dissipates as I go south. And now, I'm so happy there aren't words. Now, I'm warm and it's sunny, and this was the drive I'd imagined. This is the ride I made happen. I did it. :)

Now, as I roll south, I'm trying to remember how many times I've been down here and, the truth is, it's not a simple thing to figure out. I think that I've been down this road quite a few times:

1) First, Michelle and I drove down the coast from San Francisco to San Simeon back when we were married. Maybe in 1996?

2) In Jan/Feb of 2013, I drove my blue Honda Prelude down to the border with Mexico, and then drove it back back when I worked for Genentech in South San Francisco. This blue Honda Prelude I Purchased in 2004 while living in South San Francisco, CA. Drove it down to Chula Vista in Jan/Feb 2004 after my project with Genentech was over. Spent the night in SLO-town. Sold it when I got back to South City.

3) I drove a Honda XR650L down here and abandoned it on the coast when it broke down. In May of 2012.

4) In June of 2012, I drove a Honda XR65L from Denver to SF on my NXNW route. This was to replace the bike that I lost down on the Pacific Coast Highway.

I believe I drove down to Pismo after the XR650L broke down on me on a different motorcycle. In 2012? And I had some work done on the bike at the Harley shop in Santa Maria. And I stayed at the Motel 6 in San Luis Obispo. The problem is that I don't have any records of this trip, for whatever reason. Hmmmm. And this was the last trip I took to Pismo. And, I think that I stayed there...and then came back. But where are my posts about the trip? Yes...I did go back down there, because I went back to 831 cycles, and saw my Honda motorcycle in their shop. They have since closed, but they were the ones that told me to buy a KTM 990 Adventure.

And I think that's the last time I drove down CA 1.

I find a nice little beach just north of 7 mile beach that I'd never seen before. I think it might be called 11 mile beach. Very nice spot.

I roll through Santa Cruz. Lots of surfers and people on the boardwalk.

Now, rolling south again. Moss Landing. Monterrey. This is where the Dennis the Menace park is with lion's head water fountain. I can't even bring myself to go there. It's much too painful for me to even consider.

Instead, I try to take the 17 mile scenic drive around Monterrey, but they won't let motorcycles on the road any more, for whatever reason.

So instead, I drive down the beach at Carmel. Now, people say things to me...they say...Oh I haven't been to Carmel. And this just pains me. There's no excuse, really.

Now, rolling south again. This is really a dream vacation. Like...I try to think about what I'm doing. I try to make sense of what's going on. None of it really makes sense, of course. Driving a motorcycle across North America is just an escape. It's not really a sound business decision, I don't think. More like a whimsical adventure dressed up to look like a logical plan to solve a transportation issue in a different time zone.

You can't really drive very fast on the Pacific Coast Highway. It's not really patrolled, per se, but there's a lot of traffic, and I'm not sure what the speed limit is, but it's not like it's very high.

Mostly, the trip is like I remember. I stop and shoot the Bixby Bridge, because I've never shot it before, for whatever reason.

Now, my plan is to make it to Cambria. But, when I get to Cambria, they want something stupid like $150 a night for a room at the Bluebird and I'm like...."that's not going to happen, dude". And I start looking around on Hotels.com. I can get a room in San Luis Obispo for $75 a night. So, I make a reservation on my cell phone and look around the Bluebird. Mainly, I'm here for catharsis. I walk around the grounds, trying to remember what it was like last time I was here.

Now, it's late in the day, but I'll drive to SLO town. The GPS is as useless as can be. Can't find the address of the hotel with my Garmin. Great. But I think I remember where it is. I think I stayed there last time I was down there. In this mysterious trip that I can't find documented anywhere.

So, I drive to the hotel. I check in. Now, I want to go back into SLO town. Again, I remember all of this very clearly from this mysterious last trip I took down here. I remember eating in a restaurant in SLO town.

But now, I drive into SLO town to eat, and the place is an absolute circus. As it turns out, every Thursday, they have a Famer's Market, and the place is an absolute riot. Complete circus. Bands playing. People selling food. The main street is packed. The main street (Higuera Street) is shut down.

Afterwards, people ride around the town in massive bicycle groups like Critical Mass.

Now, it's killing me that I don't have any records of my last trip to Pismo. WTF???

OK. I went back and read through my text messages from 4 years ago, and I see that I started texting Carrie right after I got back from Pismo. So, I was last in Pismo exactly 4 years ago (yesterday), to the day. 7/7/2012. I got "New tires. New front brakes. New chain."

So, I was last in Pismo 4 years ago. That helps. Lord getting old sucks.

OK. Here's the post where I mentioned I was in Pismo last. http://www.peeniewallie.com/2012/07/pismo-beach.html

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 7, 2016 at 9:07 PM

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