Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The PCH - Chapter 8

Sunday July 11, 2004
Guernville, CA to Point Arena

We have checked out of the New Dynamic Inn (which is neither new nor dynamic...discuss) and head out for my favorite meal of the day while on the road - breakfast. We find the requisite local diner. In Guernville, this is Pat's Diner. The androgyny of the name fits the town, but the diner is your typical small town coffee, egg, pancake and bacon sort of place. I love these places.

On the wall behind the standard cafe counter is a giant map of the region. By the map, we can now see that we followed the Russian River from the Pacific inland to Guernville. If you are not familiar with the region, the Russian River is right in the middle of California's wine country - if not in the middle, it is certainly a significant part of California's wine country. We also discover from the map that Korbel Champaign is bottled just up the road a mile or two. Cool.

Two shops down the block from Pat's is the Rainbow Lounge - the bar we didn't enter the previous night. The giant neon rainbow over the door is sadly dismal at 8:30 in the morning. Like the rainbow, the local population is also dim and quiet. The cafe has only a few customers and we enjoy a great little breakfast of sausage, eggs and toast as we discuss the plans for the day. Smitty and I both mention the desire to swing by Korbel and check it out, but our inability to find a hotel the night before and the related detour have set us back a little. Thus we decide to venture on.

My first thought of the morning even before breakfast was the same as my last thought of the previous night - I hope my motorcycle runs this morning. I can't stop thinking about that thick, greasy diesel fuel floating around in my otherwise pristine tank. I have about 30 miles on this tank of gas, so I calculate that I am down almost one full gallon when we stop and fill up. In addition to the gasoline, I put a bottle of STP Octane Booster in the tank (as suggested by a guy at the gas station). Immediately I can tell a small difference.

Throughout the day, I repeat this process. Burn out a gallon, add a gallon and some octane booster. By mid-day FLMNG1 is purring like a kitten once again.

Initially, the road is chilly, but the drive up the Russian River back to the coast is delightful. It is very woodsy and rural. When we swing back on to the PCH, that rural feel continues. It reminds me of an Iowa highway (except for the ocean on our left). There are farms and cows and rolling hills. The highway winds back and forth among and between these gently rolling hills as the grasses wave in a gentle wind. At the higher points on the road, clouds plow into the side of the steep hills rising from the sea and the motorcycles carve their way through the resulting bank of fog.

The open road is attractive. It sucks you in. It lulls you into a sense of careless exhiliration. Before you even realize it, those seductive curves have you in a near tantric state of orgasmic bliss; leaning into one curve and accelerating out of it onto a short straight piece of highway only to roll you over onto your other side into the next curve. The hills roll up and down and up and down again while the curves create sensual gravitational forces. Then through a tight "S" marked with a caution sign - 15 MPH...I note we were doing closer to 35. But on the motorcycle, this is pure joy. I have a grin plastered on my face at this point knowing that this is what I came here for.

As with all steamy passionate relationships, they burn out like a comet and this short affair with the highway came to a revolting, gut wrenching end. Our mistress made it very clear that we would not have our way with her today - she was the dominatrix and we her gimp.

I heard the sound first. I knew what it was instantly. Then I saw it in the mirror; nothing but the bottom of Smitty's motorcycle. His wheels were no longer in contact with the pavement. I could see that part that typically contacts the highway in my mirror. I wrench my head around to see Smitty rolling across the other lane of the highway and onto the shoulder as his Electriglide slid to a stop sideways in the road.

At this point, I turned FLMNG1 around and raced back to where Smitty and his bike came to rest. I quickly put down my sidestand, turned off my engine and lept off the bike. By this time, Smitty had raised himself to a sitting position and, while shaken, he was able to communicate to me that he was not seriously hurt. His bike was still in the road and there was traffic coming from both directions and here we were in the middle of an "S" curve. Traffic could not see us from either direction until fully around the corner. The bike had to be moved before someone hit it.
I honestly can't remember if I picked it up myself or if Smitty and I picked it up together. But we managed to lift the 800 pound motorcycle back onto its wheels and pushed it to the shoulder. I assume that it took both of us as this is no easy task.

I am freaked out, but it is clear now that Scott is generally ok. The chaps really saved his ass - in spite of their assless nature. He will be bruised, he will be sore, he has several cuts and scrapes, but he will be fine. I am relieved.

The bike doesn't look so fortunate and, for the second time in two days, I wonder whether the trip has come to an end - this time in the middle of nowhere near Point Arena, California.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The PCH - Chapter 7

Saturday, July 10, 2004
Golden Gate Bridge to Guernville, CA

After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, we head through Sausalito and bear west toward Muir Woods. The sun is making its way toward the hilly horizon as we climb the switchbacks and twists and turns of the PCH as it heads toward Muir Beach. Unfortunately, the horizon that the sun is making its way towards is directly in our line of sight. The next several miles we ride nearly blind until we reach the top of the rocky hills that block the valley from the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

The sun is finally out of our eyes and we bear to the right, heading again due north. We are on what I refer to as a "hogback." On our right the shoulder of the road gives way to what appears to be a couple hundred feet steep slope down into a valley. On our left is a similar steep slope down to the sea.

The 15 miles from Sausalito, CA to Stinson Beach, CA (SEE MAP) is a series of hairpin curves and steep grades - all with the ocean far below. It is slow, laborious, exhilirating, gorgeous, nerve-wracking and blissfully free. But it soaks up valuable daylight. When we take a break to snap a few pictures, Smitty voices some regret at coming this way instead of the more direct route up CA101. But this route stays true to our original goal and the landscape is more than worth the effort. Two of the three pictures in this section were taken during this rest stop.

Finally, we dip down toward sea level as we enter into the town of Stinson Beach. Smitty is in the lead as we roll into this small beach community. As the speed limit dips down to 30 miles per hour, I notice a large white goose walking down the side of Highway 1. He seems to be minding his own business. But as Smitty passes by, I watch as he lunges toward his legs - just missing giving Smitty a nip and probably just missing getting his head torn off.

It occurs to me that I have to pass this mean son-of-a-bitch. With traffic coming in the other direction, I have little choice. I gun it a little as I pass this angry wandering water-fowl and lift my legs off the footpegs to make it that much more difficult for him to get a taste of the Pink Flamingos. I hate birds...

It is nearly 7:00 by the time we complete this stretch of road. Less than 20 miles in distance takes us almost 45 minutes to cover. When the signs say Sharp Curve Speed Limit 15 MPH - they aren't kidding.

The plan is to overnight in Bodega Bay. Bodega Bay is the small California town in which Alfred Hitchcock filmed the movie, The Birds. The Birds was filmed in 1963 and is a terrifying story in which all of the birds (sea gulls, crows, etc.) begin to attack and kill humans. If you haven't seen it, it is certainly worth a rental.

We have already nearly been attacked by one bird and Bodega Bay isn't finished extracting its pound of flesh from the Flamingos. We finally roll into Bodega Bay as the sun's last rays fizzle in the far western Pacific waters to find exactly two hotels in town. One of those hotels is closed. The other hotel has a room for us if we want to spend $300 and stay in a luxurious romantic suite.

Now, I like Smitty, don't get me wrong. He is a handsome man although less dreamy than Brad Pitt he is more dreamy than Ernest Borgnine. BUT, I was not up for spending $300 for a romantic setting.

Exhausted, dejected and concerned about finding a place to roost, the Flamingos leave Bodega Bay and continue north. We pass through Salmon Creek - Nothing. We pass through Jenner - nothing but a B&B that is closed for the night and a cheesy roadside gas station with two pumps.

I need gas (see, Jungle Jane, we do stop for fuel!) and we want to find directions to a motel, so we stop. Flaming1 waits patiently for me as I go through the motions to pay for the fuel. I pull out the pump handle, insert it into the tank and begin pumping. I'm immediately irritated by a greasy feel to the pump nozzle and an unusual odor - but I pump a little bit more and bitch to Smitty, "Shit, this nozzle is greasy, what's up with this thing?"

Upon my inquiry, Smitty looks up and says to me, "Holy shit, it's diesel!"

If you are familiar with auto mechanics, I am stating the obvious. But if you are unfamiliar with auto mechanics, pumping diesel into a gasoline tank is a bad thing. It's thick, oily and has an entirely different chemical makeup and certainly a different octane rating. As of that moment, I had .998 gallons of that shit in my 5.6 gallon tank.

I probably should have stopped and drained the tank right there, but it was dark, we were in the middle of nowhere, I didn't have many tools and I was damn tired. So, I topped it off with Premium, poured in a bottle of octane booster and hit the ignition.

It sputtered, it smoked, it gagged and rumbled, but it ran. Flaming1, I am soooo sorry!

The gas station attendant was not overly helpful, but he did inform us that our best bet for a room would be to head inland from Jenner and possibly inland as far as Santa Rosa. This was quite a bit of backtracking, so we were not thrilled about it, but we headed inland along the Russian River.

It was too dark to enjoy the views along the Russian River and, since Flaming1 was threatening to cough up a lung and die at any moment, we raced along as quickly as we could. We stopped briefly at three or four roadside motels - but found nothing until we rolled into Guernville, California.

Finally, in Guernville, we found a motel with a vacancy sign. The name on the sign in front of this motel read "The New Dynamic Inn." It struck me that this motel did not appear either new nor dynamic. Additionally I wondered whether there might be an "Old Dynamic Inn." I was too tired to resolve any of these questions that night and they remain unresolved today. A future opportunity.

We checked in to our room and our attention turned toward sustinence.

Guernville, as it turns out, is one of the gayest towns I have ever been in. Within the three block walk from the New Dynamic Inn to the city center (2 restaurants and some closed shops), we ran into several men in drag and rowdy bands of drunken men out for the evening. And then there was Smitty and me - wearing leather and assless chaps (of course they were assless - otherwise they would have been pants). Hmmm...well, at least we fit in.

The first restaurant had a giant neon rainbow above the doorway - I did not write down the name of the place, but it did not look like anyone in this place was actually eating (food). So, we decided on the second option - a quaint neighborhood pizza restaurant. Smitty and I settled into a table while a little musical trio tuned and set up their instruments - a piano, a bass and some xylophone type instrument. We ordered pizza and a couple of beers and let out a big sigh of relaxation - finally we were settled in, getting food and knew where we were sleeping later.

The musicians began to play and it was very pleasant and it took our minds off the wait for the pizza. When the pizza arrived, we dived in. Nothing like beer and pizza at the end of a long day riding and the accompanying stress of pumping diesel into your tank. I leaned back, took a draw from my icy cold beer and glanced around the room. Oddly enough, there must have been 20 tables in this place and each table was occupied by - two men...including ours.

I leaned in to whisper to Smitty, "I have some bad news and some good news for you."

"What's the bad news."

"Tonight, we are a gay couple." I laughed as I gestured with raised brows at the rest of the room.

He glanced around and asked, "What's the good news?"

To which I simply responded, "There really isn't any, but I wanted to stay optimistic."

We finished our pizza and headed back to the New Dynamic Inn (where I am certain the innkeeper was also certain of our couple status), closed and locked the door behind us.

What happens in Guernville, stays in Guernville.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The PCH - Chapter 6

Saturday July 10, 2004
Monterey, CA to The Golden Gate Bridge

With bellies full of crab and shrimp and bits of sourdough sponges sopped with creamy cheese sauce, the motorcycles strain under the added weight of the load of our lunch. It is apparent, by the grins on our faces, that we don't even care that we have lost several miles per hour or that we have seriously impaired our aerodynamics by bloating our bellies into giant wind-blocking spheres. When you are this close to heaven, nothing can detract from the spellbinding glory that comes along with the open road, the sea and a satisfied gut. Even the fact that we are now leaving Monterey does not intrude on the mood.

The entire Pink Flamingos Motorcycle Club is well aware of what is on our horizon. By the fastest route, the Man shows the distance from Monterey, California to San Francisco, California as 113 miles (181.855 Canadian). We aren't taking the fastest or the shortest route; we are going to continue to hug the coast.

Sometimes too much of a good thing can get tiresome. Have you ever ordered something that was so rich and delicious that you just couldn't stop eating it - and then you went too far and grew tired of the taste. Now that dish is ruined for you forever. Once you have surpassed the limits of consumption, even with respect to the richest, most delicious delicacy, it is never the same experience to your palate again. This never happens on this road. I can't get enough of this open road, the rocky shore and the wide blue horizon. I am in gluttonous bliss; dangerously close to landscape induced nirvana.

One of our stops along the road is the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The majesty, mystery and history of lighthouses has, for my entire life, consumed me in the same manner as my desire to sail. Something about the sea has pulled on me since my birth - which occurred in the middle of this country about as far away from any ocean as possible. I have always sensed its gravity and its pull was never stronger than it was when I saw the signs to the road leading to this lighthouse. I gave a hand signal to Smitty, turned on my left turn signal and turned onto the road toward the lighthouse. We pulled to a stop in the parking lot, I swung my leg over the seat and grabbed my camera.

Pigeon Point lighthouse is fifty miles south of San Francisco. It stands 115 feet high on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. The lamp on Pigeon Point lighthouse went into operation for the first time in 1872. On the wall of the building adjoining the lighthouse tower, there are large foghorns protruding from the house. These foghorns, together with the powerful lamp, warned sailors of the dangers of the coast in this region. I can't help but think about the man that used to operate this equipment when this building was brand new. Travel is easy today, but in 1872, there was nothing within 30 miles of this man whose duty it was to trudge up the many stairs to the top of the lighthouse to make certain that the lamp was filled with oil and operational.

We spend about thirty minutes poking around the grounds. A walkway leads to the back of the lighthouse property where the views of the rockly cliff and the Pacific Ocean are amazing.

The property now includes either a hotel or some sort of a youth hostel, although it is empty of virtually every other life form while we are there. Only a few other people stop to view this property while we are there. I note that it is nearly as desolate now as it probably was in 1872. Because my photography is amaturish, I also want to include this professional shot stolen from the internet which provides a better glimpse of the harsh environs surrounding this 132 year old tower.

After our brief respite from the road and the nostalgic trip through maritime days gone by, it is once again time to put rubber to the road.

In less than an hour we are in the outskirts of San Francisco. Traffic up the PCH is heavy but moving along briskly. As we enter San Francisco proper, you can sense it. The distinct architecture is popping up. Hillside homes lined straight and tall populate the rolling hills of the city. This is no freeway. We hit regular stop lights as we travel on the remnants of Highway 1 which looks like any other surface street in the area. The stop lights are actually a welcome opporunity to look around at this taste of San Francisco.

This street takes us away from the coast and we pass through Golden Gate park and then into an area known as the Presidio. I know I am very close to one of the most aniticipated moments of the trip - crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. In the blink of an eye, we make a turn and there it is standing before us. My neck begins to tingle and that tingle spreads a sheet of goosebumps over my entire body as we roll onto the bridge decking.

Traffic is ridiculously heavy at this point. We put ourselves into the far right lane and crawl along the road at the speed of our choice. I think bicycles were passing us as I soaked up this experience with my head spinning from left to right to left again to avoid missing anything on this two mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway. We are 200 feet above the water and it is exhilirating.

Not wanting this to end too soon, we pull into the park on the far north side of the bridge, fight like wildcats to find a parking spot and bring the bikes to rest for another moment. I want a picture with this beautiful landmark. It is fuzzy, but cherished. I count this as a sexual experience - and you can tell by the look on my face that it was good.

Daylight's burning. It is nearly 6:00p.m. by the time we finish our time at the Golden Gate Bridge and we still have some miles to go before we sleep - many more miles as it turns out...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Commercial Break From PCH Chronicles

Citizen Cane - great movie or Eh?

Also, I saw Mama Mia last Saturday. Has anyone seen this performance? The story is light and somewhat vapid, but the music is so much fun. I have to say that I loved it.

Kagemusha is a dumbass.

The seven songs I am into right now are (in no specific order):

1. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning - Richard Thompson
2. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
3. Clap Your Hands - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
4. The Winner Takes It All - ABBA
5. The Theme to the Magnificent Seven - Cincinnati Pops
6. (Ghost) Riders In the Sky - Johnny Cash
7. Southbound Saurez - Led Zepplin (trust me, go listen to this one!!!)

I intend to draft Chapter 6 of the The PCH tonight. Please feel free to discuss any of the foregoing topics in the interim.

I am going to tag Bloodgood...and Dorian Gray...and that is all I am going to do. Suck it!

***Fine Print regarding Tagging***

"List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they are any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The PCH - Chapter 5

Saturday July 10, 2004
Arroyo Grande, CA to Monterey, CA

Having scratched our breakfast itch, we were on the road up the coast through the heart of the Pismo Beach area. Highway 1, once again, swings inland just beyond Pismo as it turns toward San Luis Obispo. At San Luis Obispo, a near 90 degree bend to the west sends you shooting off toward the coast and toward Morro Bay.

As we rolled into Morro Bay, the landscape was dominated by a 576 foot rock called El Morro (which is Spanish for the Morro). I did not take the corresponding picture - this was 30 miles into our day and so we did not stop for this wonderful photo opportunity. My mental image of this place is so vivid that it almost wasn't necessary. Unfortunately, I had some trouble scanning my mental image - so I ripped this picture off the internet. You do not have to take my word for it, this little town is adorable and the landscape is stunning. I am certain land is a million dollars a square foot here, otherwise it would be a great place to retire.

This brings up a point that I should make about our trip. We had a destination. That may have been our biggest mistake (Bloodgood, do not take this personally). Had we not had a destination and plans to stay a couple of days with Bloodgood, we certainly would have stopped in this little town and had a beer at a local watering hole. I can't say that this is a regret because we had a wonderful trip. So, instead of regret, let's just call it a "future opportunity." I retain a future opporutnity to return to Morro Bay and watch the sun set over El Morro (which is Spanish for the Morro) while having a beer and some clam chowder. It was the "most beautiful place I have ever seen 2." (Herinafter, "most beautiful place I have ever seen" will be defined as "MBPIHES" and then denoted with an identifying number. The identifying number is merely to keep score as to how many times I said this during this trip and should not be used for wagering or other lottery-related purposes).

Beyond Morro Bay was the San Simeon area. San Simeon is where William Randolph Hearst's famous Hearst Castle is located. We stopped. We went inside. We found out that the tour lasted more than two hours. We left.

I am certain the Castle is very cool, but I would rather have spent my two hours having a beer at a pub in Morro Bay looking over El Morro (which is Spanish for the Morro). Hearst Castle remains a future opportunity.

Just past San Simeon is the area that is commonly referred to as Big Sur. While the map shows a town called Big Sur, I recall that it was a gas pump with outrageously expensive gas prices. But don't let that comment confuse my opinion of Big Sur because Big Sur is the MBPIHES3!!!.

Big Sur is really a region, not a specific, indentifiable spot along the road. It lacks clear boundaries, but it is generally a 90 mile stretch south of Carmel down to roughly Lucia, California. It is a windy, rocky, mountainous area. Highway 1 in this area is a roller coaster of dips and climbs. At one point the Highway is barely above sea level; in the next instant, it climbs to over 1200 feet in elevation. The entire stretch qualifies for the MBPIHES3 designation I have bestowed upon it.

The ride was slow, technical and exhausting. This piece of highway is very popular and the line of vehicles down this road were filled with people doing the same thing we were doing - and it did not include watching the road.

We stopped periodically and enjoyed the scenery. But traveling 90 miles at slow speed puts a dent in the day. We only have a limited number of daylight hours (and I would never want to ride at night and miss any of this incredible beauty). Accordingly, we keep our pauses brief and keep moving along while relishing the fact that we are alive and we are here.

Before long, we have passed through the Big Sur region and we are moving into the Carmel/Monterey area. As I write this, I want to go back. I want to go back right this minute. Monterey is a definitely a tourist area. I am a tourist. I think I have firmly established this fact. We hit the primary tourist area and visited the Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf area. Shops, tourists, restaurants...and we were hungry. How fortuitous that we managed to find a restaurant that served - SEAFOOD.

I am salivating while thinking about the Crab/Shrimp/Mushroom mixture poured over sourdough bread and then covered with Monterey Jack cheese.

Monterey remains full of future opportunities; after a hearty lunch we mounted up and hit the road.

San Francisco was so close we could taste it - either that or it was the lingering crab/shrimp/mushroom mixture. Whatever it was, it was good!

Monday, March 06, 2006

The PCH - Chapter 4

Saturday July 10, 2004
Arroyo Grande, CA

Last night, I fell to sleep while writing in my journal. My handwriting just sort of trailed off into a worse scribble than my normal bad handwriting. I finished the entry when I woke up in the morning. I guess a day riding 555 miles on a motorcycle is somewhat exhausting. Who would have thought?
It is cold here in Arroyo Grande. Last night it was absolutely freezing when we returned to the hotel after dinner. This morning it is still freezing. The July ocean breeze cuts right through you.

The Pink Flamingos are dragging a little this morning. We did not get up at 4:00a.m., but we are up and showered, packed and checked out the Arroyo Grande Econo Lodge by 8:00. I pull the door to room 117 closed behind me and mount up.

The hotel desk clerk tells us that there is a cafe just down around the corner...Francisco's!

From the outside, it looks just like an old Country Kitchen, though Country Kitchen has long since abandoned this property. Francisco has taken over.

Oddly enough Francisco's also looks like an abandoned Country Kitchen on the inside. It has a counter with stainless steel stools covered in pock-marked red vinyl. You can peer into the kitchen through a window behind the counter. The standard stainless steel ticket wheel stands proudly in the window with orders hanging. One of the cooks tosses some plates into the window, pulls a ticket and spins it around to the next ticket. As a waitress darts through the door, the swinging door at the end of the counter whips open and closed, open and closed several times before it comes back to rest in its closed position. Saturday breakfast at Francisco's is an active place!

As the glass door of the restaurant closes behind us, many heads turn and stare at Smitty's assless chaps. I don't know why I refer to them as assless chaps, since all chaps are assless. If they had an ass, they would be pants. It is the assless feature that makes them chaps. They are certainly assless and they have certainly drawn a few glances from the local patrons of Francisco's.

I would kill for a cup of coffee.

Fortunately I don't have to. The waitress you would expect at a place called Francisco's brings us steaming cups of coffee and eventually sausage, eggs and pancakes. The first real breakfast of the trip is road-trip, greasy spoon perfection and it causes me to blurt out to Smitty, "That Francisco cooks a damn fine breakfast."

His retort is, "Do you think Francisco is cooking this morning?"

And it is at precisely that instant, that I glance through the swinging tavern-style door into the kitchen and see a very large hispanic man scratching his back with a spatula.

Mmmm, I love the local flavor.

Leaving Francisco and his multi-flavored and multi-textured spatula behind, we hit the road with stomachs full and our sites set squarely on Big Sur.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The PCH - Chapter 3

Friday July 9, 2004 - 12:00 p.m.

The distance from Surprise, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) to Santa Monica, California is 384 miles (according to the Man). That is six hours and twenty-six minutes of riding time (also according to the Man). We completed this leg of the trip with only two stops - (Blythe, CA and Indio, CA). Neither stop lasted longer than it took to fill up the tank, empty the bladder and consume a bottle of convenience store water. By this point, I can no longer feel my ass. I believe I prefer it this way.

A good friend of mine lives in Santa Monica and works in Century City. The Pink Flamingos have a scheduled lunch appointment with her and another friend of mine, her boss. They both work for a law firm and they want to take the entire motorcycle club out for lunch. Our scheduled time of arrival was supposed to be noon. At noon, we are sitting in traffic somewhere in the greater Los Angelese metropolitan area. It is approximately 85 degrees, we are hungry, tired, sore and barely moving. Even this was bearable until the canary we had brought with us fell off its perch and died due to the excessive levels of carbon monoxide. This brought about yet another good news/bad news situation. The good news was that we were able to dispense with the awkward bird cage we had been packing - the bad news is that we were in imminent danger of death. Yes, this trip was filled with peril.

I love LA.

After running the LA gauntlet, we finally made it to Caroline's office in Centry City, parked FLMNG1 in the dark recesses of the basement of the parking garage and made our way upwards into the highrise office tower...dressed like bikers. It was an interesting and glamorous look for the Los Angelonians to soak in.

After a quick tour of the firm, we headed out to a local restaurant. The Pink Flamingos stuck out like pink flamingos in a restaurant. We were decked in leather clothing and bandanas sitting among the lawyers and LA businessmen.

Ordinarily, this is the enviornment that I live in. I thrive here. I make a living here. But in this costume and to these people, I was a foreign object lodged in their well-dressed throats. People stared - casually, but I could sense their eyes on us. When I would look back at them, their heads and eyes would quickly dart away.

Initially, I felt uncomfortable. I hate to be underdressed. But the realization soon set in that, to these people, I was the character that I appeared to be. To these people, I could be what they saw; I could play this character. At this moment, I felt like a rebel and an outsider; I became a rebel and an outsider. It felt good. It felt strange. It was liberating to be freed from my identity as a father, a lawyer and a responsible member of society. At this moment, I had become a member of a motorcycle club.

The Pink Flamingos settled in and ate lunch in this mid-scale outdoor patio restaurant among the successful businesmen...and then we hit the road.

The plan was to take a picture in front of the Santa Monica pier. Plans don't always work out. I-10 dead-ends right near the pier, but by the time we hit the end of the road, we had our fill of LA traffic. As I took the exit off the end of I-10, I looked over my left shoulder in time to at least catch a glimpse of the famous sign in front of the Santa Monica pier. The I-10 exit then poured us out onto the Pacific Coast Highway and FLMNG1 met the Pacific Ocean for the very first time.

It was only about 3:00 p.m. when we hit the coast and we still wanted to put some distance between us and Phoenix, yet it was too beatuiful not to stop once in a while. The first picture above was from our first stop - somewhere northwest of Malibu, California. The California coast north of Los Angeles is positively breathtaking.

The Pacific Coast Highway is, in my opinion, the last great American highway. Highly touted Route 66 is full of nostalgia, but it has be chopped up into some many pieces it is virtually unnavigable. The PCH remains intact. Our tires are in contact with this most magnificent stretch of road and it is exhilirating. Goosebumps spring forth. For the first time in the ride, but not the last, I find myself saying to myself that this is the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my entire life.

Santa Barbara is a stop along our route. We spend a little bit of time hugging the ocean and taking a few pictures in a seaside park, but, unfortunately, we can't linger in Santa Barbara for long. We are losing daylight and need to make just a little more distance before we stop. The greater Pismo Beach metropolitan area is our goal and it is still another 90 miles away.

After Santa Barbara, there is a point where you come to a crossroads - you can either go to Lompoc and maintain the tour along Highway 1 or you can take Highway 101 and cut more inland through the Buellton/Solvang region. We opted for the latter based mostly on our desire to reconnect with the Pacific as soon as possible in the Pismo Beach area.

We blew by Buellton and Solvang, stopping only when it was a necessity. Soon we were in Arroyo Grande (just outside of Pismo Beach) and we had stumbled onto an acceptable motel. Dumpy but practical, home for the first night was going to be an Econo Lodge. After quickly detaching and then dumping our bags in the room, we headed out for food. We found a great seafood restaurant in Pismo where we sat by a window and looked out over the darkening ocean while we dined on hot clam chowder, sourdough bread and cold beer.

This is what I came here for. Day one finally ends after traveling over 555 miles and I know this is the beginning of something amazing.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Late Evening HNT

You all wish you were (or your husband was) hung like a bird!

Happy Half Nekkid Thursday - late.

Lately there has been some talk from PDD about boiling my bunny. This has inspired our good friend Dongley Schlongford to create yet another fantastic depiction of life in blog-land.

PDD, please do not be offended (and please do not boil my bunny) - I had to share...

It appears that Grant Bailie is not very ashamed any fact, Grant Bailie appears overjoyed to masturbate on Garrett's smashed guitar. Garrett is unable to defend himself or his guitar as he has been shackled to the wall.

I only wish that I was shackled to the wall. My treatment appears to be significantly more harsh than a friendly "shackling". Popcorn boxers have been hung like a trophy...

...and the bunny is aboil.

Photo credits:

Photo #1 Jungle Jane's Left Tit

Photo #2 - Mystery Artist