Day 315 – Shenandoah National Park, VA to Lambertville, NJ

Day 315 – Shenandoah National Park, VA to Lambertville, NJ      07/02/2011      Mileage: 342

Morning came on the Blue Ridge and I broke camp one last time. It is hard to believe this will be my last day on the road after all this time and miles under my wheels. It will be bittersweet to finish this journey, as I am sad to see it end, but excited to get home to see my sister and friends. So after packing the bike, I pointed her north one final time.

The weather was perfect and rivaled only by the scenery, so I was savoring every bit of it.

The bike was running great as usual, but the drive sprockets and chain were now totally shot and the chain was bouncing all over the place and eating the swingarm slider. I adjusted the chain as best as I could…and simply hoped it would make it the last few hundred miles without flying off! I came down out of the Blue Ridge at the north end near Front Royal, VA and stopped off at a Starbucks to get some WiFi and make some plans to meet up with friends later today. Erik and Bob, friends and fellow moto heads, are going to ride out into Pennsylvania to meet up with me on the road and join me for the home stretch into Lambertville, NJ where I will officially end my journey. Back on the road, I had to stop and check the chain a few times so that was slowing my progress…but I finally made it to the rendezvous point. A short time later, Bob, on his Suzuki DR650 and Erik astride his KTM 640 Adventure, rolled up…it was so good to see them! Like true moto heads, they immediately started grilling me about the bike…how many oil changes, how man flats (None! More on that in another post) carb adjustments, mechanical problems…and then of course, the women…in that order! Ha! So after talking a little shop, we pointed our bikes to Lambertville to meet up with the rest of the gang.

I am a sushi addict and I didn’t have much opportunity to eat sushi along the way. So, I was craving sushi and my favorite sushi bar called Ota’Ya just so happens to be in Lambertville…needles to say it was a forgone conclusion where we were going to eat dinner! But first, some tequila!

…and another…

…and another…

Sushi and Jagermeister? These are the choices you make after tequila shots…

That is a boatload of sushi!

So, I guess that’s it…a little over 10 months and 42,000+ miles later it has come to an end. To say it has been a rewarding journey would of course only scratch the surface. I have learned much about the world around me and the spirit within me. I have slept out under the haunting glow of the Northern Lights, and guiding light of the Southern Cross. I think back to all the experiences I had and people I met along the way and I am, and always will be, forever grateful for having had the opportunity to do this trip. I have come away with many valuable life lessons which I will cherish and carry with me forever.

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.   -Sydney J. Harris

Day 314 – Asheville, NC to Shenandoah National Park, VA

Day 314 – Asheville, NC to Shenandoah National Park, VA       07/01/2011       Mileage: 396

Morning came over the Blue Ridge Mountains and I was up, packed and on the road before 9. The air was cool and crisp and carried the fresh scents of the surrounding forest.

The views from the road were as spectacular as it was to ride. The speed limit is low on the Blue Ridge Parkway and for once I was happy to comply so I could enjoy the amazing scenery a bit longer. I stopped and lingered at so many scenic overlooks along the way that I lost count.

If you own a motorcycle or a convertible, you simply must take a long weekend when there is good weather and drive the Blue Ridge Parkway…’s that good….and trust me, I’ve ridden some good roads on this trip.

Dusk caught up to me in Shenandoah National Park, and after stopping off for some malted hops provisions, I found a campsite for the night. This was to be my last night on the road and it will be bittersweet for sure.

The glow from  my MSR WhisperLite International stove to keep me company….along with the faint hum of the generator in the camper across the way!

It’s hard even for me to look back at all the places I’ve been and people I have met along the way….it has been a long and rewarding journey for sure. Tomorrow, it’s back on the road north one last time…

Day 313 – Macon, GA to Asheville, NC

Day 313 – Macon, GA to Asheville, NC       06/30/11       Mileage: 489

I was up and on the road fairly early as I had a long day in the saddle planned. My goal was to ride from Macon up to and over the Cherohala Skyway, then over to ride the famous “Tail of the Dragon” and finally make my way to the Blue Ridge Parkway to find a campsite for the night. Fortunately the weather was cooperating and the roads kept getting better with each passing mile. Rural Georgia has some fantastic country roads and I was enjoying every turn of the KLR’s wheels. My route brought me through the Chattahoochee National Forest before crossing into the mountains of western North Carolina. The roads in this area are a motorcyclist’s dream come true and it’s proving to be fitting and enjoyable end to this journey.

Continuing on into Tennessee I rolled into Tellico Plains to pick up the Cherohala Skyway back into North Carolina towards the beginning of the “Tail of the Dragon”….a road that has 319 turns in only 11 miles!

Enjoying the curves on The Dragon…

After making my run on the Dragon, I stopped into the Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort for the requisite souvenir and a, um, beverage.

Back on the bike I headed east towards Ashville and the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the roads were as good as the Dragon, and in some ways maybe even better.

Arriving at the Blue Ridge Parkway around dusk I immediately headed north and began to look for a place to camp. I ended up finding a great campsite in Mt Mitchell State Park which has some great sites perched high on the mountain over 6,000 ft.

The air was crisp and cool and made for a great sleeping. Tomorrow it’s back on the Blue Ridge Parkway north towards Virginia…and one more state closer to home……


Day 312 – Miami, Florida to Macon, Georgia

Day 312 – Miami, Florida to Macon, Georgia        06/29/11        Mileage: 577

This morning was rough after last night’s drunken debauchery, so I was in no rush to get on the bike. John, Sabine and I met for breakfast and Sabine helped me fill in some of the blanks from last night. Damn the bottle, I’m not drinking ever again….or, well….at least until later. After breakfast I bid farewell to my dear friends as they left for the airport for the final leg of the journey to their new home in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sabine was taking a regular commercial flight and John was flying with their dogs Lua and Simba on the cargo plane. I will miss them immensely. After lingering a bit to use the wifi and shake off the hangover, I packed the bike and hit the road north.

I dodged thunder storms most of the day….but this one caught me so I took shelter under in abandoned gas station…

I decided to head toward the Blue Ridge so I took the less traveled road through the middle of Florida up into central Georgia and ended up in Macon. The scenery was nice but not super inspiring so I didn’t stop for many pictures.

A little taste of the South…Waffle House!

Tomorrow it’s back on the road north towards the Blue Ridge Mountains and the famous “Tail of the Dragon”.

Day 311 – Miami, Florida

Day 311 – Miami, Florida        06/28/11        Mileage: 18

Today I would say goodbye to my cousins Barbara and Murray who have been wonderful and accommodating hosts. But, I would also be saying hello to my friends John and Sabine whom I met in Brazil almost 2 months ago. They are moving to Brazil and will be literally flying out of Miami tomorrow to Sao Paulo with their two dogs Lua and Simba…so I’m so glad I was able to catch them before they left for good! I met them at their hotel and after a few quick beers we headed out for lunch at The Field Irish pub up in Fort Lauderdale.

Well, The Field is an awesome pub with great atmosphere…and our lunch quickly spiraled down the rabbit hole…especially after the double Patron’s and Guinness started flying. What started out as an innocent lunch was now an all out booze fest. Thankfully Sabine is a saint and was doing a good job corralling the two drunken idiots. The rest of the night was a blur with many gaps in the memory record, but I did apparently order ravioli (ps: I can’t even tell you when the last time I order $%#@ ravioli!?) at an Italian restaurant that I scantly remember being at.

Why are these pictures dark and out of focus? Well, I assure you there was nothing wrong with the camera, and everything wrong with the photographer!

Back at the hotel I tried to hold it together long enough to get a room after which I promptly went to bed….and by that I mean pass out cold.

Day 310 – Knight Key to Miami, Florida

Day 310 – Knight Key to Miami, Florida        06/27/11        Mileage: 116

It was hard to leave paradise but it was time to get back on the road north. I found a new rear sub-frame and sidecase rack for the bike and had them shipped to Miami. They were both damaged in the accident back in Venezuela and although the bike is clearly able to be ridden as is, I wanted to swap out those parts as soon as possible The parts were due to arrive at my cousins house back in Miami so that was my destination. As luck would have it I pulled up just as the UPS truck was making the delivery….sweet! So with the new rack and sub-frame in hand, I set about swapping them out. Unfortunately this was no small feat as I had to take the back end of the bike almost completely apart.

Vespa parking only?

Luckily it all went better than I expected and with a quick trip to the hardware store for some replacement bolts, I had the bike back together in around 6 hours. Tomorrow I’m going to meet up with my friends John and Sabine who are on their way to Miami in route to Sao Paulo, Brazil….I can’t wait to see them!

Day 309 – Knight Key, Florida

Day 309 – Knight Key, Florida         06/26/11         Mileage: 0

The beer at the Sunset Grill was so cold and the camping at Knight Key was so good I decided to stay another day. Well, to be honest…the campsite was just OK…but the beer and food at the Sunset Grill was fantastic…and they had good wifi so I could get caught up on the blog and my beer drinking all at once. Maybe I am a good multitasker after all?

Today is my last day on the road…

Today is my last day on the road….

I’ve been putting in some long days in the saddle and I’m currently in northern Virginia. To sum up the last few days since leaving the Florida Keys, I met my friends John and Sabine in Miami just before they caught their flight to Brazil…we had a great time! I rode through Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and took the Blue Ridge Parkway which is nothing short of spectacular! Today I’ll be arriving back in NJ to see many the friends I haven’t seen in ten months. Like all good things, this trip too must end…

More posts to follow soon…

Day 308 – Key West to Knight Key, Florida

Day 308 – Key West to Knight Key, Florida        06/25/11        Mileage: 53

I was a little slow out of the chute this morning no thanks to the beer and Jagger last night I’m sure. I lingered in the comfort of my air-conditioned and immaculately clean room that came complete with a flush toilet, hot and cold running water and a TV with English channels….luxury. But soon it was time to pack the bike and hit the road north. I made my way up to Knight Key where I found a nice RV/campground right on the water.

But what sold it was a cool little tiki bar walking distance away. So, after I setup camp I wandered over to the Sunset Grill for dinner and some drinks.

It is a cool place right on the water, the food is great and it’s a good spot to watch the sunset over the water.

This is not going to make my transition back into the “real” world any easier…that’s fro sure…

Day 307 – Miami to Key West, Florida

Day 307 – Miami to Key West, Florida         06/24/11        Mileage: 166

It was only 160 or so miles from Miami down to Key West and the southernmost point in the continental US, so that seemed like something too good to pass up. Or, maybe it was Duval St that beckoned, but either way I packed the bike and hit the road south for one last time. The riding was hot but the scenery was more than making up for it.

I had a great lunch overlooking the water…

Once I arrived in Key West I made my way down to the southernmost point in the US for the requisite photo.

Got the requisite picture at the southernmost point in the continental USA…

….and in front of Capt. Tony’s Saloon!

Even though it was supposedly the off season, there was quite a crowd in town and I had a hell of a time finding a room in Key West, but did eventually track one down for $180…making it the most expensive hotel room on this trip so far…ouch. But, there was no time to dwell on that fact when Duval St. and it’s many famous bars beckon. So after quickly unpacking, I made my way downtown to commence a Duval Crawl.

My first stop was Capt. Tony’s made famous in part by Jimmy Buffett.

Next I stopped into Sloppy Joe’s which had 2 hilarious guys on stage singing songs you knew by heart, but with dirty lyrics…it was hysterical!

Instead of “I Have Friends in Low PLaces” by Garth Brooks…they sang “I Lick Girls in Low PLaces”…and that’s all I can say on the “G” rated blog!

I stayed to the end of their act and then made my way over to the Hogs Breath Saloon for a beer.

Straight to the point. And they did have good pizza…

Next I headed down Duval St. to Fogarty’s and then on the Jimmy Buffett’s Margaretville.

Next up was Willie T’s followed by The Bull and Whistle Bar, but ended up spending most of the rest of the night in Durty Harry’s. 

Inside Durty Harry’s….

For me and my buddy Erik…me an ex-Coastie…and Erik an ex-Naval aviator…

They had a great cover band, ice cold Jagger and PBR’s….nuff said….

Day 51 – San Diego, CA

Day 51 – San Diego, CA     10/11/10     Mileage: Local miles

 Today I had some last minute errands to run before going south of the border into Mexico, so after saying goodbye to Bob and Janet, I was off. First stop was REI to return a cook set that decided against. Next was the bank to get some gringo hundred dollar bills…but it was a bank holiday…crap! Oh well, next stop was Starbucks to get a coffee, send some emails, make some calls and upload some blog posts. As I was sitting there at an outside table, I guy on an F650 pulled up and introduced himself. His name is Philipp and he is from Brazil but living in San Diego. It turns out he made the run from San Diego to Deadhorse last year…pretty cool! He had planned on making the run to Tierra del Fuego this year but had to put it off until next year.

Philipp and his BMW F650

He’s also planning on starting up a motorcycle touring operation in SoCal aimed at Brazilian tourists. I told him to keep me in mind if he needs a guide in around 6 months! Ha! By the time I got done with everything, it was a bit too late to start into Mexico, so I found a campsite right near the border and packed it in. Tomorrow I’ll be able to cross into Mexico after a quick stop at the bank for some greenbacks…

Day 50 – San Diego, CA

Day 50 – San Diego, CA     10/10/10     Mileage: Local miles

The morning was SoCal spectacular and we had breakfast outside on the patio. Bob and Janet’s neighbor Norma joined us and she is a real character…in addition to being a total cougar! Lol! She happens to be from Bolivia originally and traveled in Baja Mexico quite a bit, so she gave me some great information and contacts for the road(Thanks Norma!).  After breakfast we adjourned to Bob’s man cave, otherwise known as the garage. And what a 3 car garage it is… I’d be proud to call it my living room! The walls are adorned with racing posters and memorabilia and pictures of Bob from his days racing Formula V and Formula Ford race cars.

Me and my Uncle Bob...

Bob's man cave...I love it! One of these days...

Me and Janet...

Me and Norma...

Bob and Janet's house...

 There also happens to be BMW 335i turbo hard-top convertible parked in there also…so that spiffs things up a bit! After that I was off to run some errands and change the KLR’s oil.

The old turkey pan in the parking lot oil change trick...

And no trip to SoCal would be complete without a stop at In-N-Out…so I got that done also!

In-N-Out...a SoCal institution!

This place was hoppin! Look how many they have working behind the counter!

Back at the house, Janet had another nice dinner prepared and Norma joined us for a drink as well. We had some great laughs and good conversation before calling it a night. Tomorrow I’ll be heading for Mexico after taking care of some last minute tasks.

Day 49 – Los Angeles, CA to San Diego, CA

Day 49 – Los Angeles, CA to San Diego, CA     10/09/10     Mileage: 133

After a nice breakfast with Steve and the family, I packed up the bike and hit the road. My destination was my Uncle Bob’s house in San Diego, but I had one stop to make along the way in Lomita to get 2 new tires put on the bike. Once at MC Tireworks in Lomita, I was greeted by Mike who had arranged for my tires to be waiting for me…and sure enough they were! In the interest in saving time and money again, I took the wheels of myself on the side of their shop so they can swap the tires on the rims.

First the front wheel...

While the rear wheel was off, I also took the time to swap out the drive chain and both drive sprockets.

By putting the bike on the center stand and balancing the bike on one of my side boxes...I could pull off both wheels at once...

I’m not carrying a socket and breaker bar large enough to swap the front drive sprocket, but they were happy to lend one to me which was much appreciated! The owner, Paul, is also a nice guy and we chatted about bikes and the trip….and he even bought me a soda. All this took much longer than I hoped, so I got a late start down to my Uncle Bob’s and didn’t pull into his house until 7:30. I hadn’t seen him and his wife Janet for some 15 years, so it was so great to catch up with them! Janet had an excellent dinner of filet mignon and tuna steaks prepared…just a tad nicer than my regular diet of simple road food! They also have a really nice house… between the food, the house and the SoCal weather…I may never want to leave! After catching up on the years gone by and the trip, we all called it a night.

Day 48 – Los Angeles, CA

Day 48 – Los Angeles, CA     10/08/10     Mileage: Local miles

Today was all about getting the KLR serviced, and I had a service appointment at Honda of Hollywood….which is also the local Kawasaki and BMW dealer.

Honda of Hollywood (and Kawasaki and Suzuki and BMW) ...

The valves were due for adjustment, and I had to pick up a few more oil filters and other parts. I was able to save some time and a few bucks by stripping the bike myself in their parking lot.

Stripped naked and ready to be serviced...

While the bike was being serviced I went around the corner to a café to get a bite to eat and catch up on the blog. After returning the bike was ready to go (for you tech heads: intake valves were fine, exhaust valves were slightly loose and needed to be re-shimmed), so I put it back together and they gave it a full cleaning as part of the service….cool! 

Looking good and feeling good after having the valves adjusted and a good cleaning!

If only the owner looked and smelled as nice!

That was the first wash it got…aside from a quick power-wash in Fairbanks…since leaving NJ, so the KLR looked as good as new! After that was dinner with my cousin Steve, his wife Rachel, son Leor and Leor’s girlfriend Maya.

L to R: Me, Steve, Leor, Rachel and Mocha the lovable pit bull.

Steve recently published a book titled “Up in the Bronx”, which I am making my next read.

Here is a link to buy it on Amazon! ebook/dp/B0040GJDDK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1286831544&sr=8-1

Day 48 – Big Sur, CA to Los Angeles, CA

Day 48 – Big Sur, CA to Los Angeles, CA     10/07/10     Mileage: 311

I awoke to sunny blue bird clear skies and the temperature was perfect! With the best section of the Pacific Coast Highway ahead of me, it was going to be a good day. I’ll let the pictures do the talking, but it’s was spectacular all the way around. The scenery was only rivaled by how much fun it was to ride through it on a motorcycle. I also put the helmet cam to good use…so here we go…

Packed and ready to go!

Helmet cam 1

Helmet cam 2

Helmet cam 3

Helmet cam 4

Helmet cam 5

Helmet cam 6

Helmet cam 7

Helmet cam 8

Helmet cam 9

Helmet cam 10

Helmet cam 11 - Time to pay the $5.69 per gallon. Worth every penny!

Helmet cam 12

Helmet cam 13

Helmet came 14 - Twisty...oh yeah!

Helmet cam 15

Helmet cam 16

That was some spectacular road…and I didn’t even take another picture all day after the highway turned inland away from the coast. OK, I’m a bit spoiled now…perhaps a few days in downtown LA will cure me.  😉

Day 47 – San Francisco, CA to Big Sur, CA

Day 47 – San Francisco, CA to Big Sur, CA     10/06/10     Mileage: 169

 The run down to Big Sur was only going to be a few hours ride, so I was in no rush to leave. Linda and I went to Starbucks for a coffee before I said goodbye and hit the road. There were some nice sections of highway 1 south of San Francisco, but not quite as good as north of the city.

Ran into these San Francisco police on dual-sport bikes...pretty cool!

Along the PCH...

View from the PCH...

View from the PCH...

There are many of these beautiful arch bridges on the PCH...

Same bridge as above...

I stopped for lunch in Santa Cruz and took in the sights for a bit.

Helmet cam - Santa Cruz

Helmet cam - Santa Cruz waterfront

Santa Cruz boardwalk...

I continued south and also detoured through Monterey where I had my first brush with the law! He pulled me over for rolling through a stop sign and speeding. Whoops! The officer was astride a BMW “R” police bike…so being a fellow rider I gave him the brief story of the trip and told him its the first time I’d been pulled over in 11,000 miles! It must have worked, as he gave me a good talking to, but in the end only gave me a verbal warning. Whew! Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve made it this long…as I’ve definitely been taking some, errr, liberties with speed limits and the occasional passing in a double yellow line.

Monterey waterfront...before I got pinched by the law!

After that I blasted…I mean…quietly and slowly…rolled out of town. As I approached Big Sur, I saw a dirt road that ascended up into the mountains with an ominous sign saying it was impassable when wet. Now that sounds like a fun road that I have to check out!

That is practically an invitation!!

This poor bastard left pieces of his Acura all over the road! Should of had a KLR instead...

Dirt road detour...

Dirt is good!

Dirt road detour...

I got tight and twisty for a bit...nice!

Dirt road detour...

The payoff was the view above the tree line...

One more of the payoff...

That's my twisty road down there....

Taking it all in...

Don't go off the road to the right!

Once the dirt surface improved, I could whip up the pace...good fun!

On the brakes!

"Working the clutch"

Nice ride above the trees with the Pacific in the background...

Back into the trees...

It was a very narrow, steep and rutted dirt road, but a piece of cake for the KLR….good fun none the less! The rain unfortunately started which was a bummer as I had totally planned on camping in Big Sur. I tried to wait it out for a bit but the forecast was for showers all night. With that bleak outlook I found a room at the Fernwood, a cute place with a bar/restaurant and general store.

The Fernwood in Big Sur, CA (The next morning...with great sun!)

Inside the bar at the Fernwood...

After settling into the room, I went to the bar for dinner and a few drinks, used the wifi for a bit and then called it a night. Tomorrow I should make it down to LA…

Day 46 – San Francisco, CA

Day 46 – San Francisco, CA     10/05/10     Mileage: Local miles

 Today I spent the day catching up on the blog, email and lining up some parts and service for the bike when I get to Los Angeles. I also met my cousin Bradie and her husband Pino for dinner at their place. Pino is a great cook and they spoiled me with a great home cooked meal. I had such a good time chatting and catching up that I completely forgot to take a picture with them…so I had to have them email me a photo.

Pino and Bradie

They also sent this great shot of the bridge that they!

 After dinner it was back to Linda and Kai’s for some couch surfing sleep.

Day 45 – Fort Bragg, CA to San Francisco, CA

Day 45 – Fort Bragg, CA to San Francisco, CA     10/04/10     Mileage: 217   

The air is definitely getting warmer as I move south and it’s a nice change to not freeze my nuts off as I’m packing the bike each morning. Today promised to be some spectacular riding down the Pacific Coast Highway 1 towards San Francisco….and it did not disappoint!   

Along Highway 1...


Along Highway 1...


Yep...more from Highway 1...


Keep your eyes on the road...keep your eyes on the road!


It's this good mile after mile....


There was a cute town tucked away in this cove...very cool.


The road hugs the coast with twists, turns, ups and downs and is so much fun to ride it’s hard to stop and take a picture…I just wanted to keep riding! If the scenery was any less than what it was, I wouldn’t have stopped….but the scenery is simply that amazing.   

The scenery just gets better and better!


...and better!


 I also put my helmet came to work today….here are a few shots it captured along the way.   

Helmet camera 1


Helmet camera 2


Helmet camera 3


Helmet camera 4


Helmet camera 5


Helmet camera 6


Helmet camera 7


Helmet camera 8


Helmet camera 9


Helmet camera 10


I was in touch with an ex-colleague of mine from Jimmy Choo, Linda, who now lives in San Francisco, and she was off today taking her brother Kai, her cousin Blaine and his wife Laina to Napa to do some wine tasting. She invited me to meet up with them…and I couldn’t pass up on that! Linda is a “member” at some of the wineries….and membership has its privileges as we got to do the tastings for free!   

Wine tasting in Napa....even me in my smelly biker outfit complete with beer t-shirt! L to R: Kai, me Linda, Laina, Blaine


We also had an excellent lunch at Mustard’s, a local Napa favorite. Afterwards, Linda, Kai and I headed back to San Francisco to meet up with Linda’s friend Andrew and some other friends at his place. After watching some Monday night football, we went out for dinner and drinks at a local restaurant.   

Linda and Andrew...


Linda’s friend Andrew is actually originally from Argentina and still has family there, so we hit it off immediately and I picked his brain for all the info I could scribble in my Blackberry! After dinner we all called it a night, and it was back to Linda and Kai’s place…which is a sweet 18th floor penthouse overlooking San Francisco bay and the Bay Bridge….nice!   

Sweet digs...


...with a killer view!


 Staying here was quite an upgrade from the tent and budget motels I’ve called home as of late!

Day 44 – Lincoln Beach, OR to Fort Bragg, CA

Day 44 – Lincoln Beach, OR to Fort Bragg, CA     10/03/10     Mileage: 473  

Today I was up early and on the gas again with over 400 miles. I stopped off in Newport for a breakfast burrito and coffee, but was back in the saddle after 15 minutes.  

Sunrise over the Pacific...


The Newport Bridge at Sunrise...


A nice mural in the old town section of Newport...


Another good one...this time of a Coast Guard rescue helo...


The scenery was once again breathtaking and it was hard to keep the KLR on the twisty road while I was rubbernecking for a good look. The 101 is another awesome road purpose built it seems for motorcycles. There are some dull sections, but not many…and when it hugs the coast perched above the Pacific it’s stunning.  

The Pacific Coast through the morning fog...


...complete with a Light House to help guide the ships through it.


Big dunes...big waves....not another person in site...


Another view from the 101...


One of the countless coves along the coast...


And another from the 101 roadside...


Another reason it's hard to keep your eyes on the road...


Parting shot....


In California, the 101 starts to head inland through the mountains and it just a blast to ride. I veered off of 101 onto the 1 and the road got biblically good! It was just at dusk that I reached the Pacific again and I got as far as Fort Bragg, CA. Tomorrow I hope the weather is clear, because the road promises to be epic!

Day 43 – Whistler, BC to Lincoln Beach, OR

Day 43 – Whistler, BC to Lincoln Beach, OR     10/02/10     Mileage:  487 

Today I was back on the gas and did nearly 500 miles despite the 2 hours it took to cross the border. The ride and scenery from Whistler to Vancouver down the “Sea to Sky Highway” was stunning and the road full of twists and turns. I’m not sure if I’ll ever want to ride in New Jersey again!  

Along the "Sea to Sky Highway between Whistler and Vancouver...


I would have stopped to take more pictures but the road is literally stuck to the side of the mountain most of the time and there just isn’t much room for many scenic overlooks or even to pull over. Once back in the US, I wailed down I-5 through Seattle and Portland, OR on my way to the Oregon coast and highway 101. No pictures there either as I’ve been to Seattle before and it was already nighttime in Portland. 

OK, I feel bad for not taking 1 picture of Seattle...


...or Portland. Maybe next time!


I pulled into a KOA and they wanted $26 for a patch of earth for my tent…so I told them to shove(el) it and I kept going. I ended up “poaching” a campsite at a small airport parking lot. It was already 11:30pm and it was all closed up, but I planned to get up early and beat it before anyone showed up in the morning. At least the price was right…