[ Sunday - January 4, 2015 ]
After two weeks off work sitting around the house doing nothing
much, it's time to get SMAP'ed once again. At work, I've been
heavily involved in supporting the SMAP (Soil Moisture Active
Passive) project. The Earth bound space project is intended to
map out the Earth land mass moisture levels. I'm fortunate
enough to be one of the people supporting the project at Vandenburg
Air Force Base near Santa Barbara, CA. Since it's so close, I
have on occasion taken the GS to work. The long way.
However, this will be my last SMAP VAFB trip. It's a fun 180
miles ride one way. So I load up the monster and head
out. So far this winter has been remarkably warm. I'm
sure this is contributing to the drought in the western US.
A quarter of the way to VAFB, I can't help but notice the bike is a
bit squishy and definitely uncomfortable. So I pulled over at
a gas station an made myself feel like a complete noob. How
so? Well... as it turns out, I haven't been doing a whole lot
of long distance riding so... I can't remember how to set the
pre-load for the bike. Even when I wimped out and read the
manual, I still felt green. Fortunately, at long last I
figured it out, or finally remembered. You have to turn on the
bike, select the pre-load you want, and then start the bike for the
pre-load to take effect. Duh.... Now that it's set to
one helmet icon and one luggage icon, the GS is tall but rides much
better. My new comfy chair setting. Now there is less
pain all around. Figuratively and literally speaking.
For once, there is massive traffic on the 101 west bound.
Normally it's on the east bound side only. This is indeed very
unusual. That is until it dawned on me that most of the
college students are also heading back to UCSB to begin school
again. No worries, it's spliting time. About 10 miles
and I'm off to climb the mountains of the 154 HWY. Folks were
nice and civil for the split so no distraught video will be
shown. The temps has been hovering around the low 70s to mid
60s on the 101. On the other hand, the minute I crest the
mountain on the 154 heading into the Santa Ynez valley, the mercury
dives from mid 60s to the high 30s. Now the question is should
I pull over to put the rain shell on as a wind blocker? Well,
blockhead here was too macho and waited until Bulton to put the
outer shell on. That's only 24 miles short of Lompoc and
VAFB. Fortunately I didn't catch a cold so no harm done.
I was hoping for a simple and quick week out at VAFB, but I knew the
minute I'm thinking that, I was doomed. Sure enough, it
dragged out pretty much the entire week. A bit of stress and a
lot of relief. In the end it was all good as all agenda items
we completed. I went home on Thursday feeling like a million
bucks. Plus, I get scenes like this almost every
evening. Who can complain about that?
Sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
With that everybody has to take pictures.
Written on: February 20, 2015
Last modified: February 20, 2015