DAY ONE, Thursday, we had no plans of going to Parker, AZ. Harley Dave and his bride, Darth Vader, were going to Lake Havasu, AZ. They planed on leaving Thursday and we planed on leaving Friday. So VD and I took a vote. 2 - 0. Thursday it was. More road time.
Now HD & Vader, I love you both. But if I knew then what I know now, I might have waved and said: “Have a safe ride”. The next five hours were pure joy! Rain and 35 – 55 degree temps. Hwy 46, a.k.a. The James Dean Hwy, takes you over the Santa Lucia Mountains, the fist Range we needed to cross. Funny thing about mountains and storms, they usually equal soggy, miserable bikers. Of course miserable is just a state of mind. If you block out the cold and rain it doesn’t exist. But it might explain that nasty fishtail that almost made me close friends with a section of k-rail at 70-mph. Just wasn’t my time.
In and out of several storms was just plain boring. It’s all part of life. As we neared Tehachapi Pass the rain eased up and stopped. Not sure if that was a good thing or not because the clouds over the mountain looked nasty. There was no rain going over the Pass. Lots of snow on the ground and near freezing temps. Got to the other side and dropped into the Mojave Desert and it was still cold! Even hit a little more rain.
Finally, a ways outside of Barstow the rain stopped and it warmed up to about 60. We stopped for gas at a place with a crap load of bikes. We noticed that all the bikes were shinny. Was this ‘trailer queen’ town? Or did everyone stop here to clean their bikes? We started looking for trailers.
A little gas and grub, back on the road. About 20 miles from Havasu, one last gas tank before hitting town. Sun’s going down, spectacular desert dusk. Half a mile down the road HD pulls over. He’s hearing sounds. VD and I ride next to him, nothing heard. Screw it, head to Havasu. About 8:30 meet up with HD’s friend, Dave (Road King). RK has a small dwelling and he already had two more than the place was built to handle. We’re packing bags so it don’t matter. He makes a phone call and says: “I got a double at Motel 6 for $58, you want it? After a day in the rain, a shower and dry clothes sounded ok. Besides, the next day was sightseeing until about 6:30, that plan got shot to hell thanks to ‘someone’ not packing an extra master-link. Might as look presentably for the public. Don’t want them to think we’re nothing but dirty bikers or something. Hey Road King! If you ever read this, that was much appreciated. In you find yourself in the area look us up.
HD’s bike got a check and test before we split. We all came to a consensus on what the ‘sounds’ were. This isn’t meant to poke fun at anyone; but it gave me a good chuckle, it’s your science lesson for the day. Seems that HD was wearing earplugs the whole trip and removed them at the last stop. Now his ears were getting readjusted to the real world. I wonder if there’s a new road-name in there someplace?
The Motel 6 chick was cool. Said she left Salinas 20 years ago because of the gang problem. Let us park in the loading area outside the office. I think she felt sorry for us. Unpack the horsey’s, a gut full of some nuked concoction, and a little libation. VD hit the showers about 11:00. I sat and killed the half pot of old coffee and shot the shit with the Motel 6 chick till about 12:30. I wonder if that coffee had anything to do with me being wide awake and ready to hit the road at 4:30 AM?
Note* Didn’t get a lot of pictures on the ride over. It was cold, wet and heavy glove time.
52 Years On Two Wheels
3 months ago