So we are at REI today, main reason to get Matt high ankle hiking boots in which he can also use as riding boots. A two for one many would say. We were also trying to pick up these handy travel cables in which we would be able to connect our bags to the bike so leaving it on the shady streets of Mexico and elsewhere would be more of a care free venture.
I’m overwhelmed from reading blogs, having people tell me what they think I should bring, and with my own mind. I mean really what might you need that they don’t have elsewhere? Everyone “needs” food, water, sleep and in most cases clothing. So why did I find my self standing in REI totally whacked out about what shirt I should purchase the plaid one or the blue one, which one had better pockets, how well will they dry, what about ventilation, and lastly which one cost more?? Gah I didn’t get either of them, I left with a return of two thing and purchase of two things, go-pro mount and well fitting lightweight shorts I really liked but not necessary needed. What I think I really “need” is to lose half my stuff and head to Mexico already! Everything else “needed” will be unearthed when we’re stuck on the side of the road somewhere.
This morning we went to TCI, the company that made our cargo rack on our bike. There were a few difficulties with it and it needed to be more structurally sound. They built us another bar to go across the rear area of the rack. We hope this will help with stability and long term durability.
Today we also meandered around Hollywood, hiked up to the Hollywood sign and walked the stars. A few of my favorites were Kermit the Frog, Jimmy Hendrix, and Godzilla. Also took a sweet drive around some of Hollywood homes in the hills, there are some amazing structures, those homes.
We finished to day with walking out to the Santa Monica Pier, SouthWest of Hollywood. And enjoyed delicious sliders and a drink during happy hour. Tomorrow will be a fun filled day of running errands; everything from making travel business cards to getting back up batteries and locking cargo nets to prevent theft. We are still in holding for Matt’s card to arrive in the mail.
We took Hwy 1 from Santa Barbara along the cost through Malibu and made our way into Westminster, we left early to avoid the LA traffic and arrived at Nate’s and Erin’s house early, Matthew’s brother and cousin. I have been missing the use of a real kitchen, so Matt and I went out to get some goods for home made pizza for dinner. It was a rocking pizza, to couple a nice even fire. We will be in the LA area a couple days as we wait on some mail, hang out, and try to really figure out what we need for this trip south.
The last couple days we have been in Pismo Beach where we enjoyed the company of Matt’s cousin and his awesome wife (she is a great host and cook). It was nice to be some where so enjoyable for three days. Matthew and I spent one day going to the beach. We received a text message from his brother that our Brazilian visas have arrived! This was exciting news for us, we not only got them but they were a week early. Now the clock is ticking to get in to Brazil by June 13, we must arrive with 90 days of us getting accepted for our visas.
We encountered our first unexpected maintenance, the crank shaft seal became faulty due to wear, and most likely dirt and grim. It is a c’mon problem on KL 250. We both got our hands dirty and were happy to discover the local CarQuest just a couple blocks away had all we needed. With us both being bicycle riders/Vw bus owners, pretty much have a green motorcycle mechanic. Matt is really savvy on research. Took us couple hours and we were off hiking.
Last night we arrived in Santa Barbara, Matt found us a place to stay via ADV rider. We found our selves in the warm company of Wayne and his wife Diane. They are adventure riders who have put the miles down here in the US. some 85,000! What a great couple. My favorite quote from the night consisted of being offered a shower and not excepting because we are cast iron pans that need to seasoned. And the reality is I have really been trying to not shower every time I get the opportunity because showers will be scarce more south of the boarder. It’s a strange discipline, I have been trying to treat this trip as though it is all a great adventure of doing thing I would not find my self doing. Not to bring all the comforts of home right alongside me but to know they will be there when I return to they just as they were when I left.
So we managed to get our visas in process! Ended up purchasing tickets at 6am on Wednesday the 12th to a World Cup game, Cameroon vs Croatia. Long story short, Wednesdays are the only day you can apply for your visa and on Tuesday we had no proof of having a ticket! We purchassed a ticket on Wednesday morning and now we wait for our visas to get mailed to us. It should take two weeks, so now are taking it easy as we go down the coast. Friday and Saturday were spent meeting up with a friend we met at doe bay, the same weekend Matt and I met. Getting together with Kevin was great and he had all ready gotten a campsite right next to the river!
The next day after arriving was nice because we set up camp and didn’t have to take it down and repack. Many of our days have been spent staying only one night and leaving the next, it can be exhausting at times to be continually on the move. We spent the day hiking up to a spectacular gorge area, ending up hiking and swimming the majority of the day. We spent the night by the fire, it really did feel like we were camping!
For Sunday we had heard about a free camp site were you have to drive ten miles on a dirt road and it had been said to be the most beautiful camp site there is. So we went and checked it out. Prewitt ridge you did us well! The views were in fact amazing, seeing the sunset and then sunrise the next morning was awesome. There was only one other set of campers yet they were not in sight. Prewitt ridge had fascinating views of the coast above the clouds and of the mountains all around us.
Not so much, we will try to get our Brazilian visas tomorrow, or at least find out what the whole process looks like. When you don’t have an entry date or departure or even a place to stay countries are not too keen on what you may be doing there. We will try, and hope they will be more helpful at the consulate than not. We are staying in Livermore which is east of San Fran. It’s relaxing, fun, and Burke and Norma have been helpful and exceedingly hospitable. Not to mention hilarious. We are taking the BART in to San Fran tomorrow, being a train lover I’m excited for our little trip under the bay!
This morning Matt went out to check on the tent because I had set it up yesterday for it to start drying out, he found it in the pool around 11, I guess it needed a swim.
The land of clean trucks and large calf muscles.
We are currently staying at Matt’s great uncle and aunts’ house in Livermore. Burke and Norma are a hoot. Norma always making us feel at home and Burke constantly sharing stories. We are not roughing it, at all. Its been a nice break for Matt to stop battling the wind at his chest, I got to do laundry and wash our dishes. The weather has significantly improved since we driven south. And it’s about 70 degrees during the day here. Haven’t seen any rain but the weather forecast does call for rain tomorrow. I am currently trying to decide if getting a new riding jacket is worth it and necessary. The current one worked when i had four layers of warmth underneath it (literary), and now that those layers have been shed I’m floating around in my jacket . I would rather not spend more money on gear but I’m starting to feel the long term comfort /safety of a well fitting jacket is a must.
Redwoods are so awesome. And they tower over everything with greatness. I have never seen the Red Wood Forest, it’s neat to find out that some of the redwoods are 2000 years old. They have survived fires, floods, insects, and most of all humans.
So today we drove down the avenue of the giants, a well known route just off of hwy 101. Today was also out first day with out crazy wind and there was
no rain all day. It gave our gear a chance to dry out from yesterday’s rain storm. We only made it 15 or so miles south befor we called it a day. The winds and rain made it a tad to dangerous for us to carry on and after setting up the tent in the dark the evening before, we found a place to camp along the beach in a county park and went to bed early. We woke up with wet gear this morning, nothing really drys in the cold moist air. It’s funny how I can go from wanting clean sock to simply wanting them dry. The ocean waves lulled us to sleep last night.
After our first night in California we meandered south to find our selves in a small cafe in Orick. It was the only resturant in town we were the only people there. Our waiter offered to toss any thing we needed in to the dryer he was super nice and exceptaly friendly he pointed us toward a “must see” fern gully. I was so glad we stopping in to get breakfast.
So when we left Snohomish Saturday morning it had started to snow, bahh cold… then looking at the forecast of the following week all rain, all the time all the way down the coast. Now we have arrived in Coos Bay, soaking wet but not cold. Matt has the great job of driving due to my lack of experience, he blocks a good amount of wind and rain. So I stay more dry than him and a bit more warm. Tonight it was a great surprise to stay in a yurt on Sunset Bay! There is a heater to help our clothing to dry. Our other two nights we had the luxury of being hosted by friends tonight we were on our own. It was delightful to play some frisbee on the beach and cook up some romin noodle.
The winds and rains have really been the most trying part of the trip so far. But now that we are off I-5 the scenery is looking up as well as the task of riding. Once we left Harrisburg we went down to Eugene and out to Florence, then south on 101. Goal for tomorrow is the Red Woods in California. It’s hard not to just keep pushing until we arrive in San Francisco where getting a Brazilian visa could take up to a week. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s ride into the forests along with some hiking!