Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Underway Santa Maria, CA, Saturday, 27 June 2009 10:00pm

Ready to go

Surprisingly, our departure wasn't that much later than planned. I managed to get out the door by 10, and was at Chuck's by 10:20, where we determined that our walkie-talkie setup was at least basically functional, and that I'd left my spare keys at home. We tried swinging by Key Kraft to get an extra set made, but they were closed, so we went back to my house to grab my usual spare set.

From there, it was a quick trip down the 101 to 280. We stopped in Campbell, just off of the 17 because Chuck's walkie-talkie cable had come unplugged, and ended up having lunch at a restaurant called the Elephant Bar, which looks like Sammy Hagar's idea of a colonial outpost.

Ready to go

I pulled out the quilted liners from my riding suit while we were stopped. It turned out to be a really good idea, because as we went south, the day went from warm to blazing. We stopped for second lunch in Paso Robles and checked the temperature: 101F. Should you find yourself in Paso Robles, allow me to suggest that you avoid "Good Old Burgers". I refilled my camelbak-knockoff with water from a soda dispenser. It definitely tasted better with the splash of lime juice I'd had in it before.

Our itinerary for the day called for stopping in San Luis Obispo, but it was only 30mi from Paso Robles, so we decided to press on. We got as far as Santa Maria before we were tired enough to want to call it a day. The first motel we tried was booked full. It seems that there's a meetup of the Viejitos Car Club in the area so there are a ton of heavily customized low-riders around, there's also a flower show, and some sort of Harley convention. Luckily (?) we were able to get a spot at another Motel. It's also filled with car club guys and their kids, so there's a lot of revving, and air-raid siren horns.

Ready to go

I got amazingly good mileage. Just short of 160mi on my first tank (I usually get more like 120), and I even had 0.021 gallons left when we found a gas station (assuming my tank holds exactly what it's supposed to). To be on the safe side, I filled one of the gas cans in my side case, and discovered that the spout caps that I got don't actually seal properly. I scavenged the gasket from the cap I'm not currently using and got a pretty good seal. An auto parts store here in Santa Maria supplied me with some O-rings ("anillos"!) that should solve the problem more permanently.

Santa Maria seems full of people who want to talk about motorcycles. We were having dinner in a fish and chips place, and the owner of the bar next door came over, stopped at our table to ask where we were going, and regaled us with tales of his Vespa trip down to Baja (highlight: setting a cow carcass on fire). In the parking lot, a guy asked Chuck if his bike was a 2005 (yes), and started talking about all of the mods you can do to that type of bike (he has a 2008 of the smaller size). When we were waved through the "Driver's License Checkpoint" (the last time on this trip that driving while gringo will help us?), the cops called out "Keep the rubber side down!"

I'm trying to find a good way to upload GPS tracks. For now, here's a link: Day 1 300 mi