Sat 23rd to Wed 27th July
I snoozed in bed this morning, luxuriating in the knowledge that I wasn't going to be woken at 7am by Bob saying "time to get going". It was 11am before I got on the road and I felt like a naughty schoolboy having been so decadent. The pressure was on though as it is a 350 mile trip to Craig and Linda’s. Bob and Terry were already there being wined and dined and I had been promised a dinner of baby spare ribs.
Oil wells off the coast
Fortunately the mist was slow to disperse again, so the decision to bypass some of Highway One and stay on the Freeway to make up time wasn't too difficult.
By the time I got to Santa Barbara the mist had finally cleared and I took a break riding down to the beach for a look around.
There is loads of money around here. The grass under the palm trees was so green, it looked artificial and from the size of the houses nestling in the hills, many of the rich and famous live hereabouts.
Birds of all varieties were parading up and down the beach strutting their stuff..........
....... and the boys were enjoying themselves too.
After Santa Barbara it was head down to get the miles done. By my calculations, unless I got my finger out, not only would it be dark by the time I got there but I would miss dinner too and incur the wrath of Linda.
The Joshua Tree, native to the Mojave Desert.
It was a little after 8 o'clock when I eventually arrived at Craig & Linda's. I was sat down, given a bottle of beer and Linda put a large plate of spare ribs, mash and salad in front of me. What more could I ask for? Another bottle of beer, that was delivered too.
Feeling weary and ready for bed I was informed we were going to Death Valley in the morning and I had to get up at 5am. Ugh....... (my punishment for this morning's laziness)
Sunday dawned and we dragged ourselves out of bed. It was already hot and promised to be well over a 100 degrees in Death Valley. It had been our intention to ride the bikes through the valley but Terry's bike was still with the shippers and Craig suggested that at this time of year it would be too hot on bikes with all the gear on..............
.............so this was our transport. Linda very kindly donated her air conditioned Cadillac for the day and we were chauffeured by Craig who doubled as tourist guide.
'Bad Water Basin', not that there was much water about. This area is 282 ft below sea level and the lowest point in North America.
Our first group shot with Terry.
'Artists Pallet' an area that has amazing coloured rocks
Not much survives out here. At Furnace Creek where we stopped for lunch the thermometer was reading just a fraction under 120 degrees (49 deg C) and as the name suggests it was like a blast oven when we got out of the car. Water is a scarce commodity in these parts..........
Many, many thanks to Craig and Linda who have treated us royally, let us use their home as our own and ensured our weight continues its upward curve, whilst helping us to sort ourselves out before we head off for the next stage.
...... even the birds have become adept at catching the drips.
Although a little disappointing we didn't manage to ride through this inhospitable terrain, we had an enjoyable and relaxed day thanks to Craig. He did all the driving whilst we watched and occasionally snoozed.
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday was spent servicing the bikes, replacing tyres, packing up kit to send home, sorting out insurance and a multitude of other chores to get ready for Mexico.
Jim a friend of Craig's came to visit on Monday. He also stayed a couple of days, entertaining us with his stories.