Day 13
June 25th, 2005
Castro Valley, California

After a nice breakfast cooked up and served by Miss Joyce, I went outside to wash and clean the 1300.  It was dirty from the 4,000 mile cross country ride.  I Plexus and clean the fairing at the end of each day, but that is not the same as a good wash job.

I didn't have a certain time I had to be at Angels Camp, and nothing from Chris in almost 24 hours.  Is his cell dead?

With the 1300 all cleaned up and shiny for the trip back east, I went upstairs to pack my stuff so I could load the bike.  That didn't take long and soon I was ready to go.  Joyce and Free will be riding with me, and I was glad for the company.
The "Lifesaver" bikes, because of their candy looking colors.
We all know the blues are the fastest 1300s.

errol was riding over the Bay to spend the night at the Ryan's before going back south.  We had our good byes and got rolling.

Freestyle and Joyce took me out twisty back roads.  The riding was quiet and the scenery good.  It was good to be riding again, and I had new found confidence with my PIAA 1100s blazing my presence.  I was really impressed with Joyce's riding.  She rides her own ride, and I liked the way she handles herself in traffic.  She has good instincts, and that goes a long way to being a safe, reliable rider.  It is something that can't be taught.  I've seen riders with good skills, but their instincts suck, and as a result they crash often.  I've seen riders enter potential dangerous zones, and never realize it.  I can't explain it, but I know instinct when I see it.
​Jerrol about to depart for Redwood City
A curvy back road carried us by the windmill farm near 580.  I don't know the point of all those blades, but they're fun to look at.

Free led us to a state run off road park.  Unheard of in Alabama, but here you have acres set aside for off roading.  Free use to be a pretty good dirt rider, where he cut his eye teeth with 2 wheels, and I'm sure it contributed to his great skills on the road.

We went to the snack bar and sat outside watching riders moving up and down the paths.  It brought back a few memories for me.  I dabbled in dirt riding for a few months when I was a teenager, but it didn't take me long to realize I have the heart of Long Rider, and nothing was going to change it. 
​These dirt bike riders were about to hit the trail
We left the park and went to I-5, later we took SR 4.  I was close to reserve, and soon my bar was going to start flashing.  I knew from experience the VFR was getting close to being on fumes, but there was nothing close by.  We were getting nervous till we found a Chevron station near the lake.  We came in, and took our place in line.  
The pumps were really slow, and folks were filling up cars and containers to take to their boats.  We waited for almost 30 minutes, but the next closest pumps were out of service.

Two young ladies filled several 10 gallon containers.  They struggled mightily trying to load them in their SUV, they were most appreciative when Free and I assisted with the others.  I guess everyone else was going to be content to just watch them pull and drag, no way could they lift them up and in the vehicle.

Weekend traffic bogged us down on what would have been a nice ride into Angels Camp on SR 4.  The road was famously twisty, but it did us little good at 30 mph.

In Angels Camp we snacked at Blondie's and had a long chat.  They were splitting off, and going back home.  I was taking SR 4 toward Ebbets Pass, and a place called Arnold.  I have the directions, and soon I will see how good they are.

Free and Joyce are shipping their bikes east next August, and riding back to the Hotel.

"look forward to seein ya in Nashville in August"

"us too, ride safe.

"you know I will, love y'all"

"you too Guy"

I geared up and went through Angels Camp in the late afternoon sun.  The town was busy with traffic.  The weekends are always hectic around places like this.  Everyone trying to get a piece of the mountains before Monday.

I cleared the town and the temps grew cooler as I went up in elevation in the fading light.  I was beginning to fear deer, and perked up my vision the best I could.

When I entered Arnold, I stopped to check my notes.  The directions were mostly how to get into town, after that they grew vague.  I knew the name of the road, and the address of the chalet in question.  I rode through town, and didn't see it, so stopped at the fire station. 

"man, I didn't mean to get ya up from supper"

"thats ok"

I was on the opposite side of town I was suppose to be.  I had to go back and turn at the CDF station.  I followed the directions, and soon found myself on a road taking me back into the woods.  The area was confusing with residential streets in every direction.  Upon finding the street, I began counting down the numbers, which were not always easy to see, some didn't have any.

The 1300 took me up a small hill and John David waved me down.

"where ya goin?  This is it"

"I see"

I rode 174 miles.

The rehearsal dinner was in full force when I arrived.  I went around the deck and found my son sitting at the table with several bridesmaids.  "Well at least he ain't dumb."  We greeted with warm hugs.  Good to see him.
He sat with me while I ate, and told me about this raft trip he went on in cold ass mountain water.  "How'd ya stand it?"  "Man I dunno, but it was COLD."

I shook hands with the Johnsons', my across the street neighbors of 20+ years.  Good folks.  They had the ENTIRE clan on the scene.  Being with family and friends this far from home is a good feeling.  The Johnsons' are good people, even if John cuts his grass at odd hours.

Two chalets were rented for the occasion, Chris and I were at Groomsman Headquarters, about 10 minutes away.

I followed Mark and TJ  Hutchinson to the other chalet.  Mark and TJ are from Prattville, but currently living in LA.  My accommodations for the next 2 nights proved to be more than adequate.  In fact, the chalet was great.  I spent time with my son, then went upstairs to my room.  

While unpacking I noticed I only had 1 running shoe, and no glasses.  "Dang, that stuff must be at Free's."  I had backup for my glasses, but I was concerned about no running shoe.  "I'll look for a sporting good store tomorrow."  The Asics I brought on this tour were about to be phased out ( I replace them every 500 miles.  Not unlike tires for my motorcycles) anyway.  I have 4 pairs of Asics, different models, each give me a different feel, and I rotate them.  But they do me little good now.

Sleep was not a problem.  I'm getting use to this different bed, different day thing.

Next:wedding day