Yosemite '09 - Day 1

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Total: 260 miles
Estimated time: 6:39 hours

[ Friday - May 22, 2009 ]

I'm forever rushing to get out of the door at the beginning of every trip.  As always I have a sense that I'm forgetting to bring something.  At least this time around we'll be based out of Fresno so it's not a problem if I forget something.  I just have to spend a little money to resolve the problem.  As usual, our favorite meeting spot, Starbucks.  8:20AM and I'm there.  Where the heck is everybody else.  I only see the Captain sitting at one of the outdoor table reading a newspaper.  People still read newspaper these days?  I thought that's a dead art from all the iPhones that are out there.

Signs of happiness as trip begins.

Winnie talking to Linda.

Once more we get an opportunity to meet up with Linda.  She still selling cookies on the side of the road.  I purchase a bunch of cookies from her for the trip.  She has a bit of a black eye from a boating accident.  She inadvertently fell on one of the rope ties at a dock.  At least that's what she told me.  I think she got in a fight, got a black eye and beat the livin' $&%#@ out of somebody.  Just kidding.

Nu and his new Leatt Brace.

After a little coffee and a lot of bull, we head out to meet up with the Sgt at the Mc Donald's in Lake Castaic.  We're a bit late (e.g. 20-30 minutes), but here we are.  The Sgt thought we all bailed.  That would be cool if the entire group bailed, that means he would receive a 2 lbs lobster from each and everyone of us.  In a sense that would be entertaining to see him try to eat 12 lbs worth of lobster in one sitting.  I can picture it already.  The Sgt is lying on the ground curled up in a fetal position twitching from an overdose of lobster.  Either that or he exploded from cholesterol poisoning, if this is such a thing.  The ride up the I5 wasn't so bad on a Friday morning.  There is big rig traffic, but on the whole is was a decent freeway ride.  This is unusual as cars normally drive like they all have a death wish.  We eventually take the 138 Hwy and head to Gorman via the back roads.  Signs of vacation slowly sets in as the freeway fade into the background.

We are hoping to get a decent breakfast in Gorman but it looks like any real restaurant has shutdown for good.  In the end, we had to resort to filling our insides with Carl's Jr.  Hey, you do what you have to do.  However, not everything is bad.  The stop at Carl's granted us the opportunity to meet Drew and Sandra.  They're both on their way to Lake Isabella on their Piaggio MP3 500, a three wheel scooter.  It's pretty cool.  I've seen the MP3 at the Long Beach motorcycle show.  It still trips me out how the two front wheels lean as the scooter goes through a turn.  According to Drew, it does fine at 80 mph on the freeway.

The MP3 looks pretty beefy.

Eventually we reach the highlight of the day... Cerro Noroeste.  I can't get enough of this road.

What would a long trip be without a middle of the road picture?
She's even sipping tea.

The Captain's bike is boring me to tears.

Once we got through Cerro Noroeste, the rest of the route was relatively bla.  Eventually we switch over to the 43 Hwy and headed for Selma and Fresno.  Once we got pass Maricopa, Mr. Speedy made a request for food at the next available location.

Monkey Spanner - Fatboy Slim

What do we have here.  We originally thought it was a Mexican restaurant until we step inside the place to see marble columns painted on the walls and murals of what appears to be Mediterranean people dancing.  It's a Greek restaurants.  The place is very well kept.  Nice and clean.

What's even better?  The food is really really good.  It's obvious this is a family owned restaurant.  If you're ever in this neighborhood, you have to check out the Golden Bull.  The fried zucchini here is excellent.  Stupid me, I order chili cheese fries.  This is before I realize it's a Greek restaurant.  If I had known, I would have order a Gyro.  That's OK.  Mr Speedy was busy wondering off somewhere.  The rest of us were wondering where he went while we were all pilfering his fried zucchini stash.  Hah!  That's what you get for buying food and walk off somewhere while a bunch of hungry guys are standing around.

I'm going to make it a point to visit the Golden Bull the next time I'm in the vicinity.  Perhaps on a Cerro Noroeste ride.

Excellent food at an excellent price.

The Sgt is going primal on the pork chops.

Continuing on our way, there is nothing much to report on other than a rude girl in a BMW 3 series, driving with a cell phone glued to her ear, going through a stop sign out of turn.  Yes, I own a 2 wheeled BMW and I still despise 4 wheeled BMW owners.

There's nothing out here.  We're in the middle of freakin' nowhere.  The sad thing is, of what Mr Speedy and I can see of the road from Google Maps, the route looks exactly the same in person.  A lot of tan, and a lot of nothing.

Eventually we reach Selma and take the 99 Fwy to Fresno.  By the time we're done it's about 7:30pm.  Not bad.  What I failed to mention earlier is that green cooler on my bike, in the pillion position, is carrying about 3 lbs worth of prime cut fillet mignon and steaks.  What do you think we had for dinner this night?  Man the fillet mignon is excellent.  Yes it's a bit obscene for a motorcycle to carry frozen raw meat around, but if you have the means, why not.  Tomorrow, Yosemite.

Written on: June 3, 2009
Last modified: July 16, 2009