California, Here I Come

Capistrano Beach image

Sick and tired of cold temps and pushing snow so I decided to leave Harbor Beach for warmer climates. I loaded up the motorcycle and bicycle in the trailer and headed West. Not much preplanning but I did a little research and decided I would stick with 2 lane US highways and thought US50, which is called the “Loneliest Highway” would be interesting. Just like the last trip, I never planned more than a day in advance.

I left on Friday, Jan. 19th. I stopped in Dundee to pick up some packages for Ben’s neighbor who was moving out to Riverside, CA soon. I had some extra space so I volunteered to take a bunch of stuff out to his new place. Then continued to my brother, Ed near Dayton, OH. It was his birthday and I figured I’d help him celebrate. I would also get a free nights lodging. We had a great time.

Got a late start the next day as the partying was pretty intense the night before. Picked up US50 near Cincinnati and went only about 300 miles to Flora, ILL.

Got an early start the next morning and drove about 700 miles to Dodge City Kansas. Now I know why they call it the Loneliest Highway.  Flat and boring but almost no traffic to deal with. It was interesting to go through these little towns that looked like they haven’t changed in years. Important to get gas often as there could be very long distances between stations. There were a few interesting spots along the way and I took a few pictures which are in the photo gallery.

Got another early start and made about another 700 miles to Holbrook, Arizona. I decided to head further south from Dodge City so I took  US56 through New Mexico. When I left Dodge City in the morning I had cross wind gusts of 60 mph so that made for a fun ride pulling the trailer. It was also still dark. Still trying to avoid the super slabs, I plotted a course which took me through Carson National Park near Sante Fe, NM. I didn’t realize it, but the route took me over a mountain pass which had snow fall the night before. It wasn’t too bad as most of the snow had been plowed and the morning sun was melting the snow (except in the shade). I couldn’t believe the temperature as I left Holbrook. It was 16 degrees with a brisk breeze. This is the desert?

The next leg was Holbrook to Riverside, CA. Went through Flagstaff and caught the edge of the Mojave National Preserve. It was a quick 550 mile ride and I arrived at my destination for the day around 3:00 due to a time zone change. Unloaded my cargo, relaxed a bit and then enjoyed a great Mexican meal with friends Kristin, and son Jeffrey.

Hung around a bit to avoid the incredible traffic jams from Riverside to Orange county. God I hate the traffic out here. Arrived in Dana Point early afternoon and managed to check in early at the Capistrano Beach Best Western.  Great to be back. Unloaded the motorcycle and the bicycle and found a place to store the trailer. Storage isn’t cheap out here and I was forced to pay for the rest of Jan and all of Feb for a total of $250. But now I’m settled and ready to enjoy the west coast.

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