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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Anything is possible - is there mileage in telling the tale?

I'm truly amazed how many wonderful things people have said about having accomplished what I thought was an impossible dream and on my own terms.
Feedback has been that I should maybe write a book on the unique experience - yes but maybe more importantly a story about how we can all make dreams come true - on how being self motivated, finding solutions to the obstacles in the daily grind of life and truly believing in the impossible to become reality is possible for us all - at whatever point in our lives we are at.
Life really is Go or Bust and up to us to drive it forward.
Thoughts ?
Santa Monica, CA

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Ultima Dia

Santa Barbara,Ca to Brentwood, Los Angeles - 101 miles

Total mileage - 5 432 miles

Just cannot believe this is the very last day of the adventure across America and time to hand the bike over.
The journeys along the 'Roads Less Travelled' have been amazing and not enough time or room here today to write it all down .. More will follow ...
Just one big thank you to everyone I met along the way, who welcomed me with the kindest hospitality, to those I met with the most incredible stories, to those who saved me from running out of petrol, to those who showed me their most beautiful country, to friends and family who continuously supported me along the way and to everyone interested in knowing along the way that dreams can come true ...
Will write up more when I get back but onto the next adventure whatever or wherever that may be!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Not sur to see Big Sur!

Carmel,Ca to Santa Barbara,Ca - 240 miles
Left incredibly early on a cold, cold and drizzly morning having to even put on my thick leather jacket and waterproof trousers - whole outfit not worn since the first day of the trip!
Started driving down famous Rte1 thinking I could film on GoPro and even stop at one of the secret beaches recommended - but no go - the visibility was horrendous and pretty scary round those tight bends - another of those days when driving just wasn't fun - and I can name about 3 others on this trip - just wanted to keep driving and my hands were freezing stupidly not having put gloves on which were stored away.
Beautiful beautiful majestic mountains and cliffs tumbling down to the sea below and bone shaking corners all the time which meant had to use my concentration all the time - tiring!
Stopped by the Hearst Castle to see enormous sea whales coming onto the beach with a crowd of people who had already gathered. I was more concerned about getting away from the cold weather and getting hopefully soon into warmer Californian climes.
First sign of this was getting into San Luis Opispo which already showed signs of Californian Spanish architecture and glorious sandy beaches with Sunday trippers heading out that way with their surf boards and beach attire.
Left R1 and into 101 directly into Santa Barbara.
What a trip -! That R1 from Carmel thru Big Sur is difficult and certainly not for the faint hearted.
Now a day of r&r at seafront Hotel Oceana .... I can't believe I'm almost at the end of this incredible trip which has already clicked up more than 5 500 miles!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Hole in One at Pebble Beach !

Thank goodness I didn't read up too much on what I wanted to do today and one of the main reasons of coming to Carmel!
The 17 Mile Drive along the dramatic Pacific Coast with some of the most expensive properties (in the Del Monte Protected seafront forest) facing the sea and some of the world's most famous golf courses including Pebble Beach. A legendary drive!
Arrived at the Carmel Gate, cordially chatted with the guard and paid the 9.75 dollars entrance fee including a nice map of the area to give me directions.
Wow what windy roads but incredible scenary overlooking the sea at every turn. After about a casual hour and half I'd finished the loop and was heading for the exit on the Monterey side.
But all of a sudden I've got flashing lights behind me asking me to stop!
It's a police car!
I'd already been told that if happens to stop the vehicle and stay on it which I did.
Now listen to this! I was illegally driving here because I was driving a motorbike!
The guy at the gates had somehow made a mistake and let me in - no wonder I thought it strange that I saw no other bikes. He couldn't fine me because I had my entry ticket and was actually very kind - he explained that the residents had asked not to have bikes enter the Pebble Beach 17 Mile drive and residential area because they 'made too much noise!' what! But of course coaches were allowed in!
Stating he had a bike himself he kindly gave me directions to exit not knowing how long I had already been there - incredible!
Looking at the VERY small print on the lovely visitor brochure it says 'Sorry, but to help preserve the tranquil nature of our setting, motorbikes are prohibited.'
So has anyone else managed to enter the park on a bike?
So I guess you can say that I managed the impossible and in apt golfing terms achieved unknowingly a damn good 'hole in one!'
Drove down to Monterey and Cannery Row made famous by John Steinbeck and then back up to Carmel to Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch overlooking the fields and sea. A place he restored back in the 80's. Beautiful but prefer where I am at the Monte Verde Inn - they've been great and even gave me some insiders tips for the trip down through Big Sur tomorrow!
Another early start to make the most of the day ...

Only 3 month slot to do Tioga! Yippee ...

Lake Moab to Carmel-by-the-Sea,Ca 319 miles- yikes! (as I drink a splendid Martini cocktail)
God I love this place on the Eastern side of of the Sierra Nevada - cool but not totally civilised and still out of the way of most folk.
The ride across the famous Tioga
Pass was a more difficult ride than I had envisaged - stopped of course at the famous or locally reputed gas station before you enter to get gourmet breakfasts- and on on on to the highest altitudes envisaged this side if the mountains!
Amazing- scenery, inclines, slopes, corners, braking stops ... To die for - not quite but not enough time to take photos as was concentrating too much to avoid anything not planned! Thank goodness I left early around 6'ish to avoid all the slow camping caravans - would have taken up all the day just following them!
The rest of the 200 miles was across californian dry dry hot hot landscapes - not too enjoyable and yes I remember the worst ever incredible winds blowing across the hills and the massive lakes - quite scary had to really deaccelerate and slow down - again with the lorries not fun - just hid behind the screen and pretended I was a cafe racer:)
Oh boy, finally drove into Carmel and what a change to the rest of the trip - this is totally West Coast rich stuff and almost not reality to the rest of it! Love the change but don't know if it's the best you can get! Oh yes, cold cold cold here dropped by about at lest 20 degrees have to even buy another layer to wear - cloudy and cold yes very cold but hey got to the West Ciast and my Bonnie is still doing incredibly well.
The issue most times when I blog this across the continent is that it's very late and I've already chilled slightly - tonight is no exception drinking cool martini cocktails over the rim of the pacific ha ha but it's true!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Trekking into the John Muir Wilderness

From the base near Crowley Lake found a wilderness outfit taking horses out from McGee Creek Pack Station for whole day. Pack Stations were used in the last century to transport goods over the Sierra Nevada by mule - some of these trails still exist and go into the back of beyond. Fortunate as once again I'd chosen a time when it was only me and the lead horse going out. Spectacular canyon and mountain riding, finally finishing about 8000ft up next to a lake made by beavers - their lodge was in the middle of the lake which was once a river and they'd made a massive dam to stop the flow of the water - amazing also to see trees around the water side which had literally been gnawed away ready for them to take to the water home lodge.
The weather is also changing, apparently a monsoon flow from the Gulf of Mexico creating rain, and I wouldn't say another storm front, but the sky's clouded over and definitely looks like it will rain but hopefully not when I go over the Tioga Pass tomorrow!