What happened to Sunny California?
After flying into San Francisco, the first order of business was picking up my ride for the trip. The folks at Perkins were great getting the bike ready to go. We loaded our gear and headed for Salinas. I’ll admit that I may not have done the best job getting ready for this trip. Too much going on back in Milwaukee. Checking the weather is probably at the top of the “should have done it” list. I am well prepared for heat (riding to Vegas in a few days), but I wasn’t expecting a lot of cold, especially in California.
Heading out of San Francisco got pretty hot, but 40 miles outside of Salinas, the temp dropped dramatically. I didn’t realize Salinas is frequently overcast and cool. Some locals told me that Salinas is known as the Salad Bowl of the World. Something like 80% of the lettuce produced in the U.S. is grown here. The countless trucks filled with iceberg lettuce and cabbage we saw earlier make a lot more sense now.
Our objective for the day was kicking off our 105th Ride Home with a party at Monterey County H-D in Salinas. The folks at the dealership put on a great event, complete with a reggae band, good food and some cool raffles. Two lucky winners won personalized rivets at the recently opened Harley-Davidson Museum.
For the 105th Ride Home, there are 25 main routes to Milwaukee and 80 additional starting cities, for a total of 105 starting points. We will have a Harley executive at each of the starting cities. I talked to a handful of people at the dealership that will be heading to Milwaukee, but they looked at me a little funny when I described my route. Most people headed to the 105th from Salinas will head a little north, then east, but we’re scheduled to hook-up with the main route leaving Glendale, CA. Not that I’m complaining. It has been 15 years since I had the chance to ride Highway 1.
After the dealership event, twenty or so H.O.G. chapter members escorted us down Highway 1 for 35 miles or so. What a great way to really start our ride. Although it was overcast and cold, the views were amazing. The great twisty roads felt like they were built for a motorcycle. I loved it. That said, my wife wasn’t exactly excited by the sound and feel of scraping floorboards. I’ll have to keep that in mind. She did dig the scenery, took some great photos from the back seat and enjoyed her longest ever day riding.
Knowing that we had time tomorrow to complete the journey down the coast, we opted to check out Morro Bay for the night. I enjoy road trips with no hotel reservations just to see what you find. Most of the time it works out ok, but I have certainly been stung a couple times with no rooms available or nasty looking rooms. I was mentally preparing myself for a mediocre room and dinner, but we hit the jackpot and stumbled onto an amazing little place on the water called the Anderson Inn. It was a perfect spot to finish a long day. Their attached restaurant was packed and had great food. I highly recommend them both.