Last one out of the O'Neil Campsite, I got to say my goodbyes to Rich, then Mike D and the guys from Dallas before taking off on my own. Strapped my gear down, warmed the bike up, and hit the road. 241 up to 91, 91 over to the 15, 15 up to the 210, 210 to the 134, 134 onto HWY 101 North.
Along my route up to Santa Barbara, I passed quite a few chops on the highway, most of them being on the back of trucks or on trailers. Southern California traffic was backed up like usual, but I love splitting lanes. So much that if I'm in another State and there aren't any cops around, I'm not waiting in traffic, legal or not.
Felt good to get out by myself and take my own time. I love riding with Rich, but after the last few months of what seemed to be non-stop shop time and set-backs from outsourced shit, I needed to get out on a solo trip. I wanted to push myself and the bike to the limits, making the last few months worth it. The bike was running like a champ and the weather was perfect, so I opened it up - no one passed me all day.
Once I got past Santa Barbara, it was a lot of great scenery with RV's, sharp curves, and slide areas as I made my way up the 1. You wanna stop around every curve to enjoy all of the views - this stretch up to Big Sur is something everyone with a bike should experience. I've done this stretch once before, about 4 years ago with Irish Rich, but it was foggy with hardly any visibility. This time, it was clear and in the high 70's. Perfect.
This area and stretch of highway is extraordinary. Something that can't be put into words, almost out of this world if only you could get the entire stretch all to yourself.
I made it up to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and to my campsite before the sun went down. This campground consists of massive trees and narrow, windy roads - pretty fucking cool. Unloaded my gear, bought and strapped a bundle of firewood to my sissy bar for later on, then went to a local bar and grill for some food. The place was called Fernwood. With a lot of fancy restaurants around the area, I asked the Park employees where I could get a local, laid back atmosphere and they sent me over to this place. Got some seafood, being on the coast, and drank some beers before heading back to my campsite for the night.
Made my way back to my site and lit a fire. It was the first moment this whole trip that I had time to stop and think straight, with no distractions. No t.v., no internet, no bike show, no traffic, no wind, no exhaust, no bike problems... nothing. I sat and stared at the fire for a long time, taking in the sound of the stream flowing behind my campsite. I needed this to start my journey North - no cares, timetable, or reservations for the days ahead of me.
4 months ago