Friday, July 19, 2013

Solvang California - Little Animals, Cold Spring and AJ Spurs

We got up later than usual today. Rather than have a full breakfast, I got outvoted and we settled for the coffee and pastry to go. I got another almond macaroon surprise because I liked my surprise yesterday. It turned out to be enough for breakfast.

Ready for our coffee and pastry

The motel owner told us this morning that the gentleman who fell down the stairs was being held in hospital in Santa Barbara with several broken ribs and contusions. They are keeping him due to concerns about some prior medical conditions but expect he will be OK.

Nite Lite and Linda's son Brian arrived with his girlfriend Amber. Now, everyone is here. Everyone who is coming, that is. Wish the rest of you were here, too.

Greeting Brian and Amber

The mornings are cool here in Solvang and we waited for the marine layer clouds to burn off before setting out on our ride for the day. Leaving about 10:00 AM, the first stop was Buellton for fuel where Sherm's Gasbuddy app had found some stations priced at under $4.00 per  gallon. On the way, the lid of sandy's Butler mug blew off and we waited while Sherm went back to get it.

From Buellton, we rode back through Solvang and went north on Alamo Pintado Drive to the Quicksilver Ranch, home of the miniature horses. This is another one of our regular stops in this area.

The miniature horse farm

This little guy was all alone

Youngster wants his friend to get up and play

So she did

But she told him what they weren't going to play

This is how the little horses sleep

Keeping the theme going, we next headed for the Seein' Spots miniature donkey farm and petting zoo on Baseline Road. In addition to breeding small donkeys for sale, they run an animal rescue operation and, for a small donation, you can mingle with the animals.

Next, it was the little donkeys and petting zoo

The newest edition - one week old

 Will you be my friend?

This one is full grown

Tom turkey

Marshmallow the fainting goat

Turbo the tortoise

I didn't catch this fellow's name

George Washington Duck and friends

Looks like a zebra snuck in one night

Done with our livestock adventuress, I led the group on out Baseline to the Chumash Highway, aka San Marcos Pass Road. We followed this towards Santa Barbara until we came to the first intersection with Stagecoach Road. Like others, this road has deteriorated over the last two years but was still an interesting ride. We approached Cold Spring Tavern from the low side, which made it easier to get parked since most of the vehicles there were facing the other way.

A real Vaquero

The Chumash Highway passing over Stagecoach Road

Approaching Cold Spring Tavern

 This is one popular spot

 Sherm looks inspired

They set a table in the back for the seven of us. Sandy and I split a shrimp pasta dish. Half was about the right amount. The food was good and the service was friendly. Tomorrow is Saturday and this place will be just crazy.

 Outside looking in

The group at Cold Springs Tavern

There had to be a spring somewhere

Leaving Cold Spring, we headed back north on the Chumash, stopping at the scenic vista overlook.

Lanny looking at Lake Cachuma

Lake Cachuma

Next, we continued on to our target of opportunity, Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch on Figueroa Mountain Road. Sherm had found an address on the Internet and the GPS took us right to the front gate, which was all we could see except of No Trespassing signs and one Mountain Lion warning. We learned that people need to stay on the public road side of the orange traffic cones or security will appear and ask them to move.

Riding the Chumash Highway (San Marcos Pass Road)

Cows seeking shade on the Figueroa Mountain Road

Neverland Ranch front gate

Just before Sherm was politely asked to vacate the private property

Mountain lion warning

Back in Solvang, the rest of the group went back to the motel while Sherm, Sandy and I slipped over to Buellton to get some better photos of the Ostrich Ranch. This is where Cat got the egg we had for breakfast the other day.

This is where our big egg came from

Free range ostriches

A good looking example

We had a 6:00 PM dinner reservation at AJ Spurs in Buellton. They had our table ready when we got there and we proceeded to enjoy the fare. Everyone gets the Vaquero soup, salad. potatoes and rice pilaf. The big decision is to figure out what to put in the middle of it, and they have many fine choices. Sandy opted for the 6 oz filet mignon with mushrooms while I got the 10 oz version of the same thing. It was one of the best cuts of meat I have had in many a long while and our server topped the experience of by being efficient, effective, friendly and pretty.

AJ Spurs - Buellton

 Sherm and Lanny comparing techniques

 Peter from Santa Barbara and his cousin from Switzerland

 Our server was first rate

 Chowing down

 My 10 oz filet

They sure are getting a lot of mileage out of the birthday thing

After supper, we made our way back to the motel where raffle masters Howard and Linda were set up to give away some goodies from Kawasaki. Sherm was the big winner but we got a few things, including another cleaning kit. After that, we visited for a while but everyone wandered off to bed before it was too late.

 Ready for the raffle

 Drawing the first name

Cranky and Ed deep in discussion

Today's Route (74 motorcycle miles):

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