Central Coast '17

[ Wednesday - April 12, 2017 ]

It feels as if it was just last year or the year prior that we had gone to Morro Bay and camped at Morro Strand state beach.  It turns out it has been at least 5 if not six year since we've been there last.  My how fast time passes.  As always, central coast is the first break-in ride for the year.  Go out, camp one night and head back.  It's a good assessment of our physical condition for the up coming months.

[ Friday - April 14, 2017 - Day 1 ]

It's a bit cold, bit this ride promises to be a beautiful ride.  We're pretty much going to take our time getting to Morro Bay because it's only about 280 miles or so.  No need to rush.  Morro Strand is suppose to be first come first serve around this time of the year.  The reservation did start until the middle of May.

So I pack it up.  This time I chose to use the Wolfman saddle bags over the Touratech panniers.  It definitely makes a difference.  I can feel the difference in weight.  Regardless, I'm carrying the kitchen sink.

210, I5, Lake Hughes road, Pine Canyon road ...

I took my boots off so I can put on my rain layer as a wind blocker.

It's freakin' cold.  The temps dip down into the low 40's.  It got to the point where I just couldn't tough the cold an more.  So I took out the rain layer and also the heated bib to fight off the cold.

Pine canyon road, Frazier park, Cerro Noroeste, Taft, and then the 58 HWY.  Once we're on the 58, it's obvious what the recent over abundance of rain has done to the countryside.

Traditional in the middle of the road photo.

What we didn't realize was that just pass the next set of turns, the 58 opened up into mountains and mountains of blooming wild flowers.  This is by far the greenest and most flowery I have ever seen the 58.  In all of my years riding this road, I've never seen it like this.  Stupid me, I didn't charge the camera the night before so I couldn't film the drive through.  Also, word spreads fast.  A lot of people were stopping at the side of the road taking pictures of the wild flowers.  At the very bottom west side of the mountain, there was literally and ocean of yellow next to Santa Margarita Lake.

58, La Panza road, 41, Atascadero, Morro Bay.

We get to Morro Strand only to find out that the park is completely full and is by reservations only.  Wow!  That's a huge change.  We had options for other nearby state parks but I didn't want to chance us riding around in circles only to be disappointed further.  So I took the easy way out and booked a room at the Best Western across the street.  My how things change in 5-6 years.  It use to be the case where nobody showed up at Morro Strand.  I guess the word got out and now everybody, their cat, and dog is getting in on the act.  Oh well, this isn't calle adventure riding for no reason.

We settled in at the hotel and went to a somewhat Chinese restaurant.  I guess I'm use to the Chinese food down in the LA area.  Still, some of the dishes were pretty good.

The sun is setting as we walked back to the hotel.

[ Saturday - April 15, 2017 - Day 2 ]

Consolation prize?  We had nice plush beds and slept clean.  This Best Western was very well kept.  Spotless.  The owner cares about the place and his people.  It's nice to see humanity.

Loading up again.  Some how, I always manage to do a better job on the second day.  Perhaps things just settle in their respective place on the way out.  I doubt it.  Nonetheless, packing appears to be a bit tighter and better.  If I had done my homework regarding Morro Strand, I would have hauled all this stuff out here for no reason.  Oh well.  I do have one beef though.  I'm slightly disappointed with the Wolfman bags.  There is no internal support for the bags on the side facing the bike.  As a result, the bag has a tendency to curve around the luggage rack towards the rear tire.  The clearance is wide so there is no fear of the bags rubbing again the tire.  Still, it a little annoying.

HWY 1, 101, 246, Solvang.

We break for lunch at the Orchard Seed restaurant.

Back on the road.  246, 154, 101...

Right as we get into Ventura, my buffy Minh disappears.  What the heck?  I sit on the side of the freeway waiting for him to show up.  Cars upon cars.  Quite a few bikes pass by also.  Eventually he shows up.  One of the pins/bolts that locks down his face shield to the helmet broke off so the face shield was just dangling on one side. "Do you have duct tape?" he ask.  I don't have duct tape but I have tape.  We get onto the 124 freeway then take the next available exit.  For me this seems familiar.  On a previous lobster run, one of the guys (Jospeh), has the same thing happen to him.  The face shield locking mechanism flew off.  So I had to rig something for Joseph using the electrical take that I have.  In this case, it's not exactly the same situation.  Joseph didn't have glasses.  Minh does.  So I had to come up with an alternate way of taping down Minh's face shield, but still allow the face shield to be lifted for him to put his glasses on.  A couple strips of silicone wraps and a lot of electrical tape.

Hah!!!  Almost as good as having the lock pin.  The face shield can close and can also be opened.  We're good for the road.  At this rate, I need more electrical tape.

We make it home no issues.  It was a fun trip.

Written on: July 6, 2017
Last modified: July 6, 2017