Day one. A real introduction!

Trip Start Aug 05, 2012
1
7
Trip End Aug 10, 2012


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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, August 5, 2012

OK, second time I'm writing this blog. Seems either I need to practice or Travelpod doesn't like apple much.
Either way, it was a great day.

Starting in Costa Mesa we boarded our industrial tractor and began our route south on rt 1. We got to Dana Point when the folks from EagleRider called and told us they forgot to give us some paperwork so we met them on the junction of I-5 and 74. That was really the start of the journey. Rt 74, or the Ortega Hwy is an amazing road. It feels like the road leading toward Radiator Springs. We tried to adjust to the heat as we settled in for the first 4 hours or so.

We stopped for lunch in a real biker bar called Hells Kitchen where there was no air con, and the outside temp was over 100. The salad bar for the burgers is inside a coffin and the shack is adorned with many signs that I should not publish on this blog... It was great to go there and I'm please we weren't in or witnessed a fit. Kinda expected the local Hells Angels crowd to show up and get all 'smack down' on these white skinned, strange accented, hog riders.

Once we'd put another 75 miles or so between us and the bar and were climbing into the mountains at about 5000ft when, suddenly, the heavens opened. Really big, heavy, stinging rain. In the high heat, these freezing rain drops were very welcome and there was a moment where I actually felt cold. It lasted about 5 minutes then we were through it. It dropped the temperature (according to the bike) by 40 degrees (f). For the first time since we started, we were at a really comfortable temp but drying rapidly. Didn't take long for the sun to do it's work.

Moved on up to Perris where we had to take another break due to heat. Then jumped on the freeway for a bit headed for Palm Springs. Gotta love the m/b community. We stopped on the side of the road to double-check the map and some friendly chap from Canada pulled up on his bike and asked if we were OK or broken down. Very nice !

Covered freeway 10 for a few miles then took Route 62 to twentynine palms. Took us a while, including passing the Joshua Tree reseve (made famous by the US album name) but we arrived after 200 miles and 7 hours. Jumped in the pool and let the steam rise from our hot, tired, limbs and then took the bikes into town for fajitas in a mexican. Great food and after such a repaste we thought to check out the stars which are supposed to be legendary in this area. In looking for a side road just off the main drag, Paul asked "should we go down here, it's sandy". "Why not" was my reply. Paul was in front and after 200 feet I saw him wobble and nearly take a spill. When he returned after 5 mins of struggle, we parked up and looked where we where. There was some debate over whether we could see the milky way or it was just cloud but either way we could see a lot of stars, and thankfully, no rattlers.

Got back to the hotel and slept.
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