A little about me, and why I'm doing this.

I do enjoy sharing the circumstances and events that occur to me on my Road Trips, but mostly...

I want to share what's inside me... my emotions, my intuitions, and my dreams...

With the hope of distracting and encouraging you to think outside the box.

We all need to be distracted and encouraged once in a while, don’t we?

If this distraction also brings enjoyment or entertainment to you… It will make me happy.

I hope you decide you want to get to know me.

I hope you decide you want to get to know me.
I would love to get to know you!
My Photo
San Francisco, California, United States
I'm a recently married, open minded, honest, fun loving guy, who loves sharing his insights, experiences, and opinions about my life... other people... And anything else that jumps to my mind when I'm at Honey's reins. Spirituality-YES... Religion-NO... Sexuality-YES... Politics-NO... Humor-ALWAYS.


My Student, My Mentor, My Soulmate.

September 12, 2014

Map Quest vs. Ned

Here is an example of why I do not like to use Map Quests Suggested Routes.

The blue and black solid lines are the two MQ suggestions.

The dotted line is my chosen route.

Why oh why would anyone want to go AROUND Lassen National Volcanic Park?

End of Story?  Ha... This is just the START !!!

Look for upcoming updates as I finalize all SIX days of my next Road Trip Adventure Ride.
This is only Day THREE !!  Departure Date = Wed., Sept. 24th.

Hint:  Stops include, but are not limited to - Paradise, Redding, Hat Creek, Lassen, Chester, Reno, Truckee, Gardnerville, Tahoe, Cameron Park, and San Francisco.

June 16, 2014

Nine Days of Saturdays - Spring of 2014

Story and Photos by:  Ned Opdyke

My Mission Statement

I keep a journal during my rides.  Each morning I get up long before the sun comes up, and turn my hand written notes into a first draft.  After I get home from the adventure, I go through these notes, editing and enhancing them into a story.  As the title of my blog states... my stories are mostly about my adventures on the road, but they can delve into many different genres of topics... some of which even surprise me!

My desire and intention is to share my thoughts, feelings, emotions, circumstances, and activities in hopes of bringing you some temporary distraction.  We all need to be distracted once in a while, don’t we?  And if this distraction also brings enjoyment or entertainment to you… it will make me happy.

As with all my stories, this one is primarily for me.  As I grow older than I ever dreamed I'd be, I've begun to realize that if I don't make an effort to document the important things about me… some of my thoughts… and some of the things that I believe are important about me, that there is a very good chance that after the people that got to know me are gone, so will I be.

A Little About Me

I am the third generation in my family to be a residential general contractor.  I’ve done nothing else in my life as a source of income.  (Update:  From the spring of 2011 until the spring of 2013 I was a tour guide at The Mystery Spot, a world famous tourist attraction in my hometown of Santa Cruz, CA.)  I always wished I could figure out how to make money off my charm and good looks, but alas… my innate sincerity has always kept me from being able to take advantage of people.  As with the empathetic abilities I got from my mother, I call it a blessing and a curse.  I have always been very grateful that my parents instilled a foundation of respect in me.  I don't always make it obvious, but I really do care about people.

When I was a child, I decided I wanted to be different from everyone else.  Something inside me told me that I was special.  Most likely it was (and still is) my ego fighting back my human insecurities and self-doubts.  Whatever the reason, it is my wish to be remembered.  Mostly the good parts, but I also want to be remembered for all the different aspects of my personality; the good, the bad, and the ugly, as they say.

My stories are written in a first draft format, and as such, there will be rambling sentences, bad grammar, way too many commas, quotation marks, parenthesis, and past-present-future tenses all jumbled together, into the same paragraph, and sometimes even in the same sentence.  I write as I speak… open mouth, insert foot.  Usually I don't know what I'm gonna write, until after I write it.
I love to ride my motorcycle, and 'Honey' loves the way I ride her.                                                                            After all she is a girl and I am a man.

- - -  Copyright  6/16/14   - - -   All writes and wrongs reserved  - - -


Day 1 - Friday, May 30th:  8:00am off and away.  I tend to be a little high strung at times, and leading up to, and especially the three hours or so before the departure on one of my Road Trips, I get seriously manic.  But within the first hour after lift off… I’m leaning back into my wife as comfortable as a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Our first leg was 80 miles and we stopped only for a quick stretch before we were off again.  The second stop was in La Grange, and Sharon was finally able to see the inside of the historic saloon grill, constructed in 1897.  Then it was gas for Honey in Greeley, and then a ‘real’ stop for a few minutes at Rainbow Pool.


The “Crane Flat” entrance to Yosemite is only about a 15-minute ride from the pool, but we stopped anyway.  It’s a tradition for us.  The first time was almost exactly three years ago when Sharon accepted my proposal of marriage.  I’m already looking forward to the next time, which will be the third.  Stopping at the sign that is, not the proposal.  My next time for that would be my 5th.  Which is NOT going to happen.

Below is a view of Clouds Rest.  Honey, Sharon, nor I had ever stopped at this vantage point before.                 I know not why.  Sorry the picture of us leaving The Park is so blurry.  I know not why.



We made it to Bishop, south of Lee Vining at 4:30pm.  It was a 322-mile day in 8½ hours.  Not bad.

Day 2 - Saturday, May 31st:  Off and away at 7:45am.  About 2½ hours into the day, we were exactly where I wanted to be; out in the middle of nowhere, glancing back to look at the last green patch of vegetation we’d see for quite a while.  I turned my head and cupped my hand in front of my mouth to guide the sound of my voice towards the opening under Sharon’s face shield as she leaned forward to hear me say, “Yesterday I hit a 9.5 on my ‘happiness scale,’ but already today I’m at a 9.6.”  Good-bye Sierra Nevada Mountains, hello Mojave Desert.

An hour later we were sitting next to a grader on the side of Nevada State Hwy 95, waiting for our tow truck.  Honey had decided she needed to take a break.  Too bad for Sharon and I that she made that decision on her own, without asking us how we felt about it.   We were about 30 miles north of Beatty, aka, “The middle of nowhere,” which was just where I wanted to be, but not stranded with only marginal cell reception.

Fortunately, Sharon’s a real trouper on these Adventure Rides, and we both refused to change our mood.  After all, we had plenty of water, Gatorade, sunscreen, apples, nuts, and the entertainment of kicking rocks around the desert to keep us from getting bored…

… but it was a very… very… hot day.         

I’d told Sharon the day before that a 9.0 was the lowest my happiness scale went while on a road trip, and as we were on our 103 mile tow truck ride to Pahrump, our eyes met and she gave me one of her loving smiles as I whispered in her ear that I was currently at a 9.1, but would rebound back to a more normal Road Trip Adventure Ride number very soon.  Two Cadillac Margaritas and a fine meal later, sure enough… I was back to a 9.5.
But my story about this day is not over.  I know… whew you’re sayin’… we need to know what happened to Honey!!!  Don’t you worry I’ll get to that, but first… a few things about that day prior to the break down.  During one (approx.) 4-mile stretch of road between Big Pine and our breakdown, we saw the following animals:  one coyote, too many lizards to count, one dead snake in the middle of the road (sounds like a song, don’t it?), one desert mouse, lots of desert cows, and a big pile of desert cow poop.  I think I’ll call Al Jancovich and tell him I have an idea for another one of his spoof-tunes.

One of the things that happens to me when I’m riding these wandering back roads, is that my mind starts to wander too.  I found myself thinking about how we had agreed to keep an accurate account of our expenses on this trip for future reference and planning.  That led to thinking about Sharon’s gracious and trusting gesture of giving me access to her Quickbooks files and her own personal expense reports.

It sounds funny that thinking about finances while riding a motorcycle through the middle of nowhere, could give anyone a feeling of romance, but that’s what I felt… a deep contentment and a powerful urge to pull over to the side of the road and show my motorcycle momma just exactly how much I loved her.  But the ancient Bristlecone Forest trees were not big enough in diameter to hide us from the car after car of traffic that was traveling our road.  Just kidding, I think we saw three moving cars and another three parked ones over the (approx.) 85-mile leg on Hwy 168 between Calif. State Routes 395 and the fateful Nevada #95.  The real reason I didn’t stop was… … … something that is going to stay private between Sharon and I.  How ‘bout that Babe… I didn’t share something personal with the world.  Can I get an ‘atta boy’ for that?


 After discovering and fixing Honey’s electrical problem myself, we showered and relaxed for a while and then had a very nice early evening dinner.  Very nice indeed, very romantic, very intimate, very good food, and very good Cadillac Margaritas… two for me and one for Sharon.  Oh, that’s right, I already mentioned the margaritas.  They were really good though.  Just what the doctor ordered.  After all, even though it was a minor operation on Honey, the surgery was a success.

So I know you must be chomping at the bit, waiting to find out what was wrong with Honey and how it was so easy for a non-mechanic-doctor like myself to repair her, so here it is:  The cable connections had come loose at the terminals on the battery.  That’s it.  All I had to do was take a screwdriver and tighten the bolts.  It took me longer to take the seats off to get to the battery (I thought it was defective and needed to be replaced), than it did for me to discover and fix the problem.  Jeesh… we coulda saved a LOT of money, time, heat, and drinking water & Gatorade if I’d just thought of doing that on the side of the road.  My distance vision is exceptional, but my hindsight vision is extraordinary.

Oh… I almost forgot something critical… including the 103-mile ride in the tow truck, the three of us covered 228 miles together and were on the road for 9 hours; 550 miles for The Trip so far.

Day 3 - Sunday, June 1st:  Bad news – I woke up at 2:15am.  Good news (part1) – I was able to snooze in bed ‘til 2:30am.  Good news (part2) – I went to sleep at 8:30pm the night before, so I got a good, solid six hours of sleep.  Good news (part3… and the best for last) – Sharon woke, got up early, and we were off and away at 6:30am!!!

Road Trip Adventure Rides are most definitely some of the “Best Times.”

Shortly after getting on the road we passed two billboards.  One of them read, “Pure Desert Honey,” and the other one read, “Precious Properties.”  Honey and Sharon smiled, and I looked and looked for a sign that would make reference to me.  I couldn’t find one, but wasn’t too disappointed… The Road Trip Gods had given Honey and Sharon road signs, but they’d given me Honey and Sharon.

The Universe brought Sharon and my Souls together, and I want everyone in the world to read these words and know that I believe, appreciate, and am supremely grateful for it.  Yes, I’m a character, and a ham, and a kidder, and a flirt, but Sharon, you are the supreme gift in my life… you are The Aleta my life (her middle name kinda rhymes with, “light of”).  That’s called a poets prerogative.

Our first stop of the day was at a summit-located mountain resort.  It was Sunday and 8am, so, sadly, my semi whispered shouts to raise somebody to unlock the doors for us went unnoticed.  We made ourselves at home though.  Good thing they hadn’t left the horse-shoes or golf balls & clubs out, or we woulda stayed there until they DID get up!  J


Our next stop, to get fuel for both us and Honey was in Enterprise, NV, and I’ll make some time write now to right you just one little sentence about the road from Pahrump to that town.  The number of the small highway is 160, and I highly recommend that if you have the opportunity, you should make sure to experience the beauty it provides.  It continues to amaze and astound me how there are so many different areas of our Country that are so beautiful in so many different ways.

Enterprise also provided us with another hunk of beauty… this is Marcus.  He was in the process of fulfilling his life long dream of traversing the entire route of Historic Route 66; from Chicago to Santa Monica. He’d arranged the trip from his hometown of London, and is supposed to call us when he’s getting close to San Francisco, his final destination before flying home!!  If he does call us and hopefully is able to re-connect with us there, I’ll insert a paragraph and some photos right here.  If he doesn’t… I won’t.  Oh, by the way… yes, I know I missed used the words write and right in the previous paragraph.  I like doing those types of things just to make sure your paying attention.  See… I just did it again.  Twice.

Earlier, at The Mountain Springs Resort, Sharon was looking pretty worn out, but as you can see, when she met Marcus, she managed to pull herself together; and quite nicely so, even if I do say so myself.


We were smiling when we got to Hoover Dam.  Sure it was hot.  Dam hot.  Get it… not damn hot… Dam Hot.  We took off our leathers and strapped them on top of Honey’s tail bag (where they stayed until the last day of the trip), and then finally made good use of the towel I’d brought just in case we had wanted to go swimming at Rainbow Pool.  “Blue” as we named the towel, was a lifesaver.  He’s made of super-absorbent cloth and even in the heat and the wind as we rode, he stayed wet for longer than I would have ever believed, and provided us with much needed cooling.  Thank ya Blue.

Next on the list of stops for this day was The Road Kill CafĂ© in Seligman, AZ.  The place was slammed and the family who owns and operates it were trying their best to keep things under control, but unfortunately, both the service and the food left a lot to be desired.  We could’ve put that snake we saw the day before on a stick and had a better meal.

To make up for it, when we got to Williams, AZ, the last stop of the day, we checked in at The Buffalo Pointe Inn, a darling B & B, and then walked to the local 7-11 and bought ourselves some food that we knew we’d both enjoy; three (small) bags of chips, a container of ranch dip, and four pints of ice cream.

We checked in at 5:30pm, so it was an 11hour, 317-mile day, and 867 miles for The Trip.

Day 4 - Monday, June 2nd:  We both woke without stomach aches from either the lunch or the dinner from the previous day and spent a wonderful leisurely morning with Alley, the owner-operator of the B&B, over a light breakfast.  She is a real doll, and if you have the opportunity, I strongly recommend you spend at least one night at her home.  We will definitely be back.

I’d gotten up to watch the sunrise, and was pleased to find it pointing the way to another glorious and bright day. We were Off & Away @8:30am, but not before Sharon showed us how good she felt.  She sure is getting into the spirit of the morning beer.

 About 30 miles from the entrance to our next National Park, we stopped at a roadside attraction.  We all had a great time.  Sharon was in rock garden heaven, and Honey and I pretended to lead the stagecoach through the treacherous wilderness.  In all seriousness though… I was really feeling quite grounded.


But as those of you who know me know… even when I’m grounded, I am not to be trusted alone.  This is what was going on while Honey and I waited for Sharon to come out of the restroom at the restaurant next door.  I call this set of pictures, “Ned playing with the bear,” and, “The bear playing with Ned.”


Honey was embarrassed to take these pictures, but after she saw what she’d captured, she was a very proud motorcycle.  She knows just how lucky she is to have an owner like me.  Sharon on the other hand is still trying to figure out why she agrees to go with me on these Road Trips.  I am always an Adventure Ride…. And More.  But I’ll tell you the absolute truth… Sharon is also very much an E-ticket ride.  Boo-ya!

We spent about four hours in The Grand Canyon National Park, slowly traversing the South Rim.  I took about 25 pictures and kept 20 of them, even though they all look the same to me.  They remind me of pictures of newborn babies.  They all look like fried eggs.  I really don’t understand the big deal about that place, it’s just a big hole in the ground.

Just kidding.  We had an incredible time and I was very honored to be the one next to my Beautiful as she looked at the magnificence for the first time in her life.  We met lots of people from all over the world.  Most of the bikers were French, one group was from Belgium, and there was one couple from the distant land of Wisconsin.

The pictures will only give you a vague idea of what we experienced during those far too brief 4 hours.


                                                                                          Above photo by Larry Pollock

We arrived in Sedona at 7pm.                                                                                                                        It was an amazing 10½ hour and 251 mile day, and 1,118 miles for the trip.

Sharon and I were feeling very lucky to be here, and… so was Honey!!

 Day 5 - Tuesday, June 3rd:  Stayed up ‘til after 10pm last night, up at 5am today… 7 hours of non-stop slumber.  I watched the sun rise through a crevice in the mountain.  From where I stood, that probably only happens two times every year.  Our back patio was adjacent to a tee box on the little private golf course at the Resort, and I’m still hearing the sounds of the sprinklers and chirping birds in my head.  I hope I always do.



I grabbed my cell, told Sharon I was gonna get some more coffee, and headed out across the golf course to the Resort.  After meeting Melody, a darling waitress, my mission was to find some clubs and balls so my friend Larry, his wife Faith, and Sharon, could have a morning comedy show.  Larry, an old high school buddy is a very talented photographer among many other abilities, and selecting the woman to marry should go right at the top of the list.

Larry and Faith

Karen and another employee Russ led me on a wild goose chase, but after I returned to where I’d started, I got what I was looking for… for free (thank you Robert).  Karen had introduced herself to me as the General Manager of the (Poco Diablo) Resort, and told me I could rent the clubs and balls and pay my greens fee across the parking lot at the tennis club.  I ran into Russ on my way, and he confirmed the clubs were to be found at the tennis pro shop, but said the balls were back at the front desk.  Karen it turns out, is not… I repeat is NOT a good General Manager, and depending on what I hear back from her (if anything), may turn out to be not a good person either.   I think Russ may be just a little slow.

Authors Update:  It has now been over three weeks since I left my note for Karen, telling her what I thought about her, and asking her to reply.  I told her I did NOT want to post a very negative Yelp review, but alas, I guess I have no choice.  She was cold, indifferent, and downright rude.

At the tennis courts I found Robert the tennis pro, a perfectly delightful and helpful man.  He shook his head from side to side and looked down sheepishly when I told him why I was there.  He said the clubs were back at the front desk and that he had nothing to do with the golf activities at the Resort.  He apologized for the lack of knowledge and/or awareness (his words not mine) of both Karen and Russ, and I said it seemed there was something very strange going on.  How could both employees, one of whom was the alleged GM, both not know where the golf clubs were, and on top of that, misinform someone who asked the question?

As I suspected, Karen was not to be found when I returned to the front desk.  Here is my best recollection of the message I left for her with a one-dollar bill stapled to it.  The message read, something like this:

Dear Karen, here’s a tip… if you don’t know something with confidence and direct knowledge, it is always better not to give the impression that you do.  I have a few guesses as to why you misled me about my desire to play golf.  1) You are having a bad day and aren’t focused on what you’re doing; 2) You are always stoic and disconnected from the guests of your Resort and got your position from family ties; or 3) For some reason, you do not like me.  If you would like to communicate your thoughts and feelings on this matter, it would perhaps benefit your reputation at this facility, as I currently plan to post my opinion of you on Yelp, and trust me, it is not a flattering opinion to say the least.  I will give you a few days to reply before I post my comment. 

I signed my name and wrote down my phone number and email address… gave it Deb who was standing behind the counter at the time… and asked her to please read it out loud to see if it made sense to her.  As she was reading it, I could easily see the pleasure she was getting, not only from the content of the message, but that several of the Resort’s other guests who were standing behind me and a couple of her fellow employees, were hearing it as well.

So… after I got my free clubs and balls, Larry and Faith showed up and we passed the ‘talking stick’ back and forth for about 20 minutes, waiting for Sharon to call me and let me know that she was awake and ready for me to come back.  I’d texted her about 45 minutes previously, telling her I would come running when she called.  As the time was running out for Larry & Faith’s availability to socialize, I pulled out my phone to try and roust my wife.  She was Beautiful when she went to sleep… I was very much looking forward to showing Beautiful’s beauty to my friends!

What I found when I looked at my phone took me from about a 9.8 on my happiness scale to about a 5.  I’d forgotten to turn my ringer back on, and there were several texts from her, each one portraying herself as less and less pleased with the way the morning was going.  I’d promised her a massage and a private morning, and had inappropriately made a unilateral decision without her approval.  She had no idea about my wonderful idea to bring my friends to us, instead of meeting them somewhere else later in the morning in town, as she had expected.  Sadly for everyone, Larry and Faith did not have an opportunity to meet Sharon, and the vice is versa.  Thank goodness my wife is so loving and devoted, or I’d be writing this part of the story sitting in a hotel room alone, instead of in a room with her sleeping soundly right next to me.  I am, without a doubt, the luckiest man in the world.

After we packed Honey she read her mystery story on her kindle, while I hit my golf balls quietly by myself.  She went out the front door, and I met her there after I rode Honey down the (edge of the) fairway to the green so I could retrieve the ball closest to the pin for a keepsake.  She mounted up and we rode through the incredible beauty of Sedona in silence.
As we were approaching the historic mountainside town of Jerome about 20 miles and 30 minutes later, 

I could feel her energy changing.  When we dismounted Honey and hitched her to the post out in front of the hotel-saloon, she gave me a little hug and a sad smile that told me she still loved me and was recovering from her frustration and disappointment.  Whew, I’d managed to skate past another self-induced explosion without too many scars.

That lasted about five minutes.  After I had ‘too many’ tasting sips of the Saloon’s local draft beer… was too jovial while talking to the fellow biker couple who pulled up and hitched their mare next to Honey when we stopped… and looked too closely at the two bar maids working there… it was back to square one.  Or negative one, but who’s counting.  What’s important here is that I am a shmuck, and I know I’m a shmuck.  I was planning on buying us breakfast at The Grand Hotel and admiring the view of Sedona from our table, as I begged her forgiveness for the (yes yes yes) self induced fiasco I created at the Resort, but instead we rode through the incredible beauty of Jerome and another 40 miles and 75 minutes in silence.

On our way to Phoenix we had to stop for a while due to road construction.  I joined the flagmen for some stand up comedy, while Sharon, bless her heart, sat in the heat, drank Gatorade, and wished she was anywhere else but there.  Once a shmuck always a shmuck; I blame my parents… they humored me and gave me way too much confidence in myself.


Allah be praised, when we stopped for lunch about an hour from Phoenix and dismounted… Sharon gave me a HUGE hug and held me tightly for several moments.  Long enough for me to know, once again, I am… the… luckiest… man… in… the… world.  We checked into the Hilton in downtown Phoenix at 4pm, showered separately, and cuddled on the bed for about 30 minutes.  Not separately.

6 hours for the day, 44½ for the trip,… and respectively 154 and 1,272 miles.

Day 6 - Wednesday, June 4th:  After another glorious 7 hours of blissful sleep, I woke up at 5am, and vowed not to fuck up again today; and hopefully not tomorrow or the next day as well.  By then, we’d be back in SF and it would be time for me to fuck up in some other very creative and thoughtless way.

I spent a few hours with Eron, running an errand and visiting the places she’d lived, and currently worked, and made a quick stop at the Safeway for supplies.  Then it was time to settle down next to the pool at their apartment complex near 3rd and E. Willetta, right in the heart of downtown Phoenix.

An hour later Sharon was with us and we were doing belly flops and back flips by the pool.  Okay, I was doing belly flops and back flips… they were doing a combination of laughing, shaking their heads in disbelief, and being scared I was gonna hurt or perhaps kill myself.  It was a glorious afternoon.

When Travis showed up, I slowed down.  He’s a very mellow man and just thinking about him while I type these words makes my blood pressure drop and my heart rate slow down.  I love this guy.  I could write pages and pages about him and all the ways I admire him.  I overheard Eron tell Sharon that sometimes she feels I love him more than her.  It’s not true… obviously I love them both equally and in different ways.  Eron and I made a ‘pact’ that we would never let more than one calendar year go by without seeing each other in person.  One year is a long-long time to go without seeing her in person.  

Which reminds me… I need to schedule an Adventure Ride to Portland very soon.  It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my middle daughter Ashley and her husband John.  I’ll see Kellie, my oldest, and her BF Steve when they’re visiting SF and Monterey in just a couple months (end of August ’14), so I’ll get my fix of her grace, intelligence, and beauty soon.  I am a very lucky man… I am loved by three lovely and loving daughters and one wife.

After the splashing subsided, Sharon and I cabbed it back to our hotel, quickly showered and changed, and hopped in another cab and went back to pick up the kids, so we could have an early dinner at The Rum Bar.  After pissing off Sharon a few more times there, we left the kids to walk home and returned to the hotel and went to bed.  It was a glorious day with the kids.

No mileage to report, but here are a few images from the evening.

Ex Pro Football Player/ Cab Driver Skip

Let the festivities begin; at The Rum Bar

Thankfully there was excellent food to soak up the rum...

 ... but luckily, not enough to soak up the fun!

Day 7 - Thursday, June 5th:  Ned up at 4am,  Sharon at 5:30.  It was gonna be a hot one, and she’d agreed it would be best to get out of the GPA (Greater Phoenix area) before the commute traffic and severe heat would be upon us.  Besides some mechanical problems with one of the two bikes that we hooked up with on westbound I-10, it was an uneventful, peaceful, and smooth day.  We’d gotten the system down to a routine to help with the heat.

At each stop, right before we remounted Honey, we’d soak our shirts, hair, bandanas, and pieces of Blue the Towel in the restroom sink where we were at the time.  Everything else would be dry within the first 20 minutes or so, but it did help, and Blue, bless his heart, stayed damp and cool until our next stop without any complaints.  Yes, in my stories it’s not only motorcycles that have personalities.  Any object is fair game for this author.  I need to come up with a name for my trusty laptop.  Okay, that’s it… my laptop’s name is now Trusty.

We arrived in Barstow at 4pm.  The day & Trip #’s were:  9½ hours & 416 miles and 54 & 1,688.

Day 8 - Friday, June 6th:  Ned up at 4:30am; Sharon at 6.  We typically try to stay at Best Westerns on our journeys, both to earn ‘points,’ and to enjoy the amenities they have to offer.  Nice, big rooms, swimming pools and sometimes hot tubs, and free hot breakfasts to name a few.  We were both exceptionally pleased with this one in Barstow however.  It was staffed by employees who were happy, polite, friendly, and helpful… the antithesis of The Poco Diablo Resort in Sedona. Besides Melody, Robert, and Sean (the previously unmentioned very handsome and suave waiter we had at our dinner there), The Poco Diablo was more like The Mucho Diablo as far as I’m concerned.

Vicente, one of the place’s many excellent employees

We were off and away at 7:30am, and I was already beginning to heal from the abuse I took in Phoenix from Sharon.  She’s impossible to stay mad at.  Similar to my second wife, she can be a charming-loving soul one minute and a wretched-wench the next.  I guess it’s because I have such a large personality, those are the types of women that are attracted to me.  Good thing there is another part of me that’s large… which attracts women with large other things too.  Jeesh, it’s no wonder she gets mad at me.  I’m a real character.

Seriously though here folks… Sharon is a Princess-Queen to me most of the time and it’s only my bizarre and sometimes inappropriate senseless acts of attempted humor, along with a dose of stupidity that causes her to voice her displeasure to and about me.  I harbor no ill will to the woman.  She is a saint.  In all honestly… I don’t think I would want to live every day with myself if I didn’t have to.   
Wow… I guess it’s impossible for me to be serious sometimes…
Here are two of the highlights of this day’s leg.  The first picture is a group we met in Mojave, just before going up the east side of Tehachapi Pass.  They were on their way back to their hometown of Bakersfield after a whirlwind ride to and from New Mexico.

This is a dude we passed going down the west side.  Great picture isn’t it?                                                                                                                  I slowed down and handed Sharon my camera so she could capture the image.

We arrived Arroyo Grande, just south of Paso Robles at 1:30pm; 6 hours and 278 miles for the day;                60 and 1,966 for the trip.  Three cheers and a hip hip hurrah for the cool coastal air!

Day 9 -  Saturday, June 7th:

Ned up at 5:45am, Sharon at 7:00; Off and away at 8:15.

King City: for gas, Castroville: for artichokes, Aptos: post office for mail and Manuels for the                                         best Mexican food in the world, Santa Cruz: candy at Sees and 124 Trevethan to trim my roses,                       and then… San Francisco at 4:15pm: to unpack, rest, and celebrate our safe journey.

8 hours for the day, 68 for the trip; 273 miles for the day, 2,239 for the trip.

Averages per day:  8½ hours; and 280 miles.

Sharon’s car Gigi and Honey were very happy to be back together again.


And we were happy we never parted and never will.

Another Happy Ending to my 20th Road Trip Adventure Ride and Sharon’s 7th.