US of A

The adventure began  Wednesday morning. Alex and I secured a ride with Casey and Bill through a rideshare ad on craigslist. We met at Albertson’s in Ashland:

 

Our Excursion with Satellite TV and an empty 26′ trailer for the bikes.

We quickly learned that Bill was one hell of an interesting gentleman with enough BS to entertain your crazy uncle. We also learned that he can’t drive or see for shit. As we go through the corners of the Siskyou pass he jerks the wheel hard, then straightens it up until almost going into the next lane, then jerks hard again until you almost hit the guardrail, and then repeat…. This is how Bill corners. This is what happens to your bikes when Bill corners:

It wasn’t until we stopped at Taco Bell for lunch and Bill removed his glasses that we found the culprit. One of his eyes was literally looking at the upper outside corner of his eyebrow while the other is looking at the corner of his mouth.

The PROBLEM: My new tires were sitting on the left side of my bike. My boots were on top of the tires, my jacket and pants were on top of the boots. I lost about ½ gallon of gas that was supported by the cellophane wrapped tires. Boots were submerged and new KLIM gear soaked! SHIT!!

Bill and Casey dropped us off in Fairfield, CA just before dark and I geared up in gas soaked clothing and made it to our buddies place in Walnut Creek (San Fran). Ran the KLIM gear through the washer twice and it still smells terribly. All you can do is laugh about it.

After staying in San Fran we hit the road and shot over to HWY 1 as fast as possible and cruised the coastline. Somewhere on some interstate through San Jose my foot started to feel like it was on fire….the gas was getting to it. Had to lose one boot for my trusty Nike.

One hot boot and One box of cold Rocky Mountain refreshment

We spent the night in an overpriced campground at Big Sur. On the way I had to remove my gas soaked boot because me skin was getting irritated and ran we a Nike the rest of the day. At camp I filled the boot with soap, tied on some parachute cord, and chucked it in the river.

 

Boot Chucking

I found out that everyone who told me that MSR and PRIMUS have interchangeable thread patterns are lying!! My XGK fuel pump leaked like a siv once I pumped it up. It screwed on to the Primus bottle fine but doesn’t work under pressure. So Alex made a sweet stove out of 3 beer cans.

The next morning we hit the road. Absolutely amazing riding up and down the hills of the coastline. We stopped in Pismo beach and a couple of surfers told us we had to go spend the night in Jalama beach. They also gave us some names of friends in Baja that we should look up. The road to get to Jalama beach was 14 miles of breathtaking roads snaking through lush green rolling hills decorated with stone fencing. I felt like I was in Ireland….of course I didn’t stop and take any pictures if this. We got a decent spot on the beach and few beers later we called it a night.

 

Jalama Beach campsite

Sun setting at Jalama

Got up and hammered the road through Santa Barbara, Malibu, and then dove into the LA interstates.

Our ride today was not as fun as previous days.  After a short jaunt to Santa Monica the scenic roads turned to 100 miles of four lane freeways on our little DRZs fully loaded. We were pushing them pretty hard not to get run over by the LA. We were on our way to east LA to meet up with our friend Robert who had a place for us to stay for the evening. Robert went out, bought us a great dinner and BBQ’d it all up for us.  Then he took us out to some bars in Fullerton and bought us a bunch of drinks.  Thanks for showing us a good time!

 

The next day Robert drove us all around east LA to finish up some last minute shopping at REI.  Then we went back to his house to change our sprockets and chains. We got off to a late start but got on the freeway south toward Andrew’s Aunt Betty’s house. She put us up for the evening in San Diego ready for the border crossing in the morning.

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