Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Barstow California to Solvang California

I noted this morning that people back home were complaining about never ending rain while I was having trouble remembering what rain looked like, even though we got dumped on in Wisconsin only a week ago.
Unfortunately, I missed the biscuits and gravy in the breakfast nook. That was unfortunate because I would really have liked them. We hauled all the gear down the flight of stairs we should not have had to go up in the first place and left the Super 8 Barstow in our rear view mirror. After a quick stop at Circle K, we hit I-15 South at 8:00 sharp.

Barstow California

We are pushing that much of a headwind

We have our own lane

Roy and Dale country

Victorville land fill

Erosion protection

We left I-15 in Victorville and headed due west on California 18 to California 138 (aka the Pearblossom Highway). The desert here was littered with Joshua Trees.

Joshua trees on the Pearblossom Highway

San Gabriel Mountains

Water and electricity - what this part of California is all about

We stopped a the McDonald's in Littlerock where Sandy got a smoothie and I talked to a New York Harley rider on his way to the west coast. I noticed him because he was wearing a 2017 Americade shirt. On the way out, we saw a sign for Texas style BBQ. It would have been nice later in the day.

I wish it was lunch time

Why is everybody always picking on them?

We got on California 14 South and followed it to I-5 just south of Santa Clarita. There were reports yesterday that the road was closed here due to a grass fire caused by a vehicle wreck.We saw lots of evidence of a substantial burn. At one point, we saw two California Highway Patrol officers helping a lady change a tire.

California 14 south

This house is at the Escondido Canyon exit

I'm watching my speed. Now what?

The land tilted

California always was a little off level

A large tinder box


Pretty stone noise barrier

Burnt area (note red fire retardant)

Searching for hot spots

One side of the highway

The other side - everything burned except the gravel

We reached I-5 and had to go back north a short ways. This was supposedly better than crossing Santa Clarita at street level with the local traffic. On I-5, there was a short traffic slowdown due to road work, but we were soon in the clear.

Merging on I-5 North

More rugged hills

Six Flags California - formerly Magic Mountain

Looks like a fun place to visit

At Castaic Junction, we left I-5 and headed due west again. California 126 went through Fillmore and on the the Pacific Ocean at Ventura. I wondered why there would be alligator lizards in the air? We got our first sight of the ocean at 11:30 AM shortly after we turned onto Highway 101 North (the Ventura Freeway).

Citrus groves...

...alongside palm trees and cacti

Colourful bushes...

...and trees

Retro style Mickey D's sign in Fillmore

Mother Nature's tapestry

Near Ventura California

Daily driver?

They cover pepper and berry fields with plastic

Traffic was light but steady as we drove north on Highway 101.

Faria Beach

Mussel Shoals and man made Rincon Island

Another old Chevy

Offshore oil platforms

Ventura Freeway aka El Camino Real

We continued past Santa Barbara. We could have left the coat here and wound our way up Highway 154 past Cachuma Lake to Solvang. Instead, we opted to stay on Highway 101 all the way to Buellton and then cut back. It was longer but an easier drive with the trailers. The only odd part was that we were held up by two works trucks with orange flashing lights that drove side by side at 20 MPH for a few miles. Soon they moved and we had a straight shot into Solvang.

Highway 101 north of Santa Barbara

About to leave the coast

Agricultural land away from the Pacific

20 MPH

You can see the culprits at the head of the line

Solvang, we are here

Sherm says this is an expensive market

Sherm stopped for gas in Buellton while we went on the to Solvang Inn and Cottages, parking on the back street. Ray and Sue were already there, as was Penmaker. Sherm and I unloaded the Wings. Ray's Voyager trike had just dropped an exhaust pipe and he didn't have the special screws to put it back together, so he loaded it into his trailer.

Street parking spaces are at a premium

Sherm picked this spot to unload to improve his angles

Ray loads the trike while Penmaker and Sandy look on

It took a few trips to get all the gear out of the car and trailer and moved to the room. It was a warm afternoon and I was perspiring heavily by the time I got done.

Our home for the next four nights

Sven the security guard

This might get a workout

Julie's Camaro is a six speed manual

Lucky we brought bathing suits

The Wings are ready to roll

Cranky arrived with his new (to him) Kawasaki Voyager XII. Penmaker was on a 650 V-Strom. Phil pulled on a very pretty red Indian and VSP arrived in his white Camry. He was going to ride but the temperatures in the interior were to oppressive.

Cranky's Voyager XII

Sandy, Cranky and Sherm

Ray and Penmaker

Sherm explains some finer points of the V XII

VSP has lost weight

We wondered about supper and finally went next door to The Big Bopper. Sandy had chicken strips while I had a tri-tip sandwich. Tri-tip is a Santa Maria specialty, a key part of Santa Maria stye BBQ.

Helloooo, baby........

One of Sandy's four chicken strips

Penmaker and Sherm at The Big Bopper

Phil joins us

After we ate, we socialized in the parking lot for a while but adjourned to our rooms not long after sundown. I worked on photos and stories but we all were in bed early.

Today's Route (239 Equinox miles):

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