Friday, June 24, 2011

Solvang California - Aebleskiver Friday

After our gastronomic excesses yesterday, we decided that we would just go to Olsen's Bakery today and get our pastry and coffee. However, the best of plans often go awry and we found ourselves back in Paula's Pancake House with some people who hadn't eaten with us yesterday. OK, I personally have no willpower. I opted for scrambled eggs, rye toast and a Danish sausage. On the way back, we stopped for our free pastry and coffee. For later. And I bought a couple of rum balls, marzipan logs and pecan treats. I wonder how much weight I am going to have to lose when I get home?

After being suitably stuffed, Sherm, Sandy and I rode down to the Vulcan Nation display and signed up to ride the two Voyagers. They weren't both available until 1:15, so we headed on over to the Solvang Motorcycle Museum, which had agreed to open specially for us this morning. There was an interesting collection and many present could say they owned one or more of the bikes on display. There were also some older bikes and a few very rare ones. It was an interesting experience and we thank them for allowing us in to see them.

After the museum, Sherm went back to the hotel while Sandy and I fueled the Wing and rode out 246, up 154 to Los Olivos and back to Solvang on Alamo Pintada Road. Going into Solvang, the traffic was backed up so I used the GPS to find some back streets to the hotel. We got there just in time to head back to Vulcan Nation with Sherm for the demo ride.

I got the clutch set right on this one and we headed out with the group along a route that took us from Solvang west on 246 to Buellton. From there, we followed the 101 freeway north to 154, allowing us to open the bikes up a bit. Then we followed 154 through Los Olivos to 246 and back into Solvang. It was a good route. I liked the Voyager better than the Vaquero I rode in Deadwood. It had better wind protection, although not as good as the Wing, and had a very compliant and comfortable suspension. Unfortunately, it also had that low frequency vibration that appears to have been put there on purpose and wouldn't pull sixth gear much below 80 MPH. We did get our T-shirts and Sherm finally got a photo on a Vaquero.

Demo rides over, we decided to take a little spin on our own machines. I had been given some tips by a few people and plotted a route on the GPS. The group consisted of Sandy and I, Sherm, Teri and Cranky. I started by leading everyone up Alamo Pintada Road almost to Los Olivos and taking a back road to get to Foxen Canyon Road. We wandered up until it came to a T intersection where, after considering our options, we turned right and headed deeper into wine country over a nice winding track.

We rode past the Fess Parker Winery looking for the Zaca Mesa Winery where Teri said they had a giant chess board. Due to ambiguous signage, we took a long detour through the vineyards themselves before a kind soul in some kind of side-by-side ATV directed us back to the main road and two miles further down. We got to see the chess set which was smaller than Teri remembered it. We returned to 101 via Alisos Canyon Road and made the short run to Los Alamos where I found Drum Canyon Road. I really don't remember what I was told about this one but am pretty sure it didn't include the fact that this was probably the roughest paved road in California. It was narrow and very twisty with steep unguarded drops. I'm glad I did it but won't rush back.

Drum Canyon Road ended at 246 and we rode back to Buellton where Cranky left us. Sherm still needed a trailer light so we headed north looking for a trailer dealer we had been told about. It was on the left and I had to cut across freeway traffic to get there.  Teri missed the turn so I ran to catch her. Just as I got to the 154 exit, I saw her returning south so I chased her back down to where Sherm was waiting. The dealer didn't have the right light but they sure tried to be helpful.

We rode back up to 154 and over to Los Olivos where we stopped at a lavender growing and processing farm. Teri likes lavender and bought some things to be shipped home. Sherm sat by the lavender fields looking thoughtful until the back legs of the chair sank in and dumped him unceremoniously in the long grass-like vegetation.

We looked for some miniature horses we had seen on the way out but they were all in the paddock for the night so we returned to the hotel. Sherm opted to stay there while Teri, Sandy and I were joined by Phil for a ride to the recommended Italian restaurant, Trattoria Grappolo in Santa Ynez. That's when we found you need a reservation on Friday night. Undeterred, we rode back through Solvang to Pea Soup Andersen's Restaurant in Buellton where the meal was just average.

After supper, we found tonight was colder than last. We rode back to the hotel and I actually put on warmer clothes before hanging out in the courtyard with the gang until midnight.

Today's Photos

Howard's shirt sure stands out

 Heading for the restaurant

Heading from the restaurant to the bakery

The mirror is supposed to make you look skinny

Cranky ready for an early Nomad test ride

Sherm angling for a deal on his SPOT coverage

Solvang motorcycle museum

VROC lined up at the museum

Lots of interesting old bikes

1970 Honda 750 - the bike that really made us take Japanese bikes seriously

Rotary engine Suzuki RE5

1972 650 Yamaha - I used to borrow one of these

Vincent Rapide

Brough Superior - like the bike Lawrence of Arabia died on

1976 Honda GoldWing LTD

Ariel Square 4

Not at the museum but a 1962 Austin Healey 3000

Church near our motel

Sherm ready to demo ride a Kawasaki Voyager

The demo ride begins - we're on a Voyager too

The rest of the demo ride pack

Sherm and sweep rider Channing of Vulcan Nation

A nice couple in matching shirts

Some kind of old car seen on a Solvang street

Unidentified red blossoms

Fess Parker Winery from Foxen Canyon Road

Stopped at an intersection on Foxen Canyon Road
Sandy, Cranky and Sherm

Sherm smiling as usual

Teri photographing the Vulcans (and ignoring the Wing)

Which way do we go?

Perhaps we have too many cameras

Lost in the Vinyard

More Vaquero pictures

I'm praying for rain in California..........

A tree outstanding in its field

Finally, we found the real Zaca Mesa winery

Large chess set at Zaca Mesa Winery

Famed motojournalist at Zaca Mesa

Los Alamos California

Drum Canyon Road

A Sandy flower shot

More coloured fields near Buellton California

And still more colours

Flowers at the trailer place on Highway 101

And more flowers

I think these are pansies

 And these ones are yellow

The group in front of a field of lavender

Lady Liberty at the Lavender Barn

No, the famed motojournalist is not trying to drown herself - the bucket is full of lavender sachets
Sherm in a pensive pose - just before he fell backwards into the lavender

This live oak is over 350 years old

Knothead, Smitty and Penmaker

Allan on his 1953 Nimbus

The Nimbus  750 cc four cylinder engine

Phil, Teri and Sandy at Pea Soup Andersen's Restaurant

Heading back to Solvang on a very cool California evening

Today's Route (58 motorcycle miles):

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1 comment:

DougD said...

Love the pictures and the tye dyed t shirts! I though i was the ony sort of mature ok old person to wear that fashion statement! Drive safe behave and if you find a nice ty dye shirt in your travels xxl is the size for me and i will gladly pay you when you get back!