Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: NorCal Revisited Part 1: Riding through the broiler.

7.19.2017

NorCal Revisited Part 1: Riding through the broiler.

I had a chance to escape from Los Angeles life for a while, so I jumped on a very much repaired Eleanor and headed up north to the Bay Area to recharge myself. However, to pull that off, she and I had to blast through a little bit of hell...more like 430 miles of it.

My return up to Northern California will be the first time I've done so since 2011. As I progressed through this trip, I was able to revise a few stories and memories that had stemmed back to 2007 and a previous life.

The traffic wasn't anything unexpected leaving LA on the 405 North. Temperatures on I-5 started off nice in the 70s, but as soon as I reached the Grapevine region, it had suddenly risen to the 90s, forcing me to pull out the evaporative cooling vest to supplement my Fly Racing Flux Air Mesh jacket that I had chosen to take up with me instead of my standard Aerostitch Roadcrafter jacket. To top off the set was my Camelback Rogue 70oz Hydration Pack filled with ice water. There was no logical way that I could survive the temperatures with my standard, in-town gear, so out came the hot weather accessories.

The ride up was hot and uneventful. Eleanor had no issue blasting past the trucks and the cars, maintaining constant speed the whole time. I was really happy with my shorter Cee Bailey windshield that I had replaced my old one with, and its additional thickness and weight kept it from flopping around in the gusts. I only stopped a few times to get gas, soak my cooling vest, and refill my Camelbak. However, I did take one special break in Gustine/Santa Nella, CA to Pea Soup Andersen's to revise a memory from a previous journey to the location in Buellton. Thanks to that trip, I now have officially been to both locations in California!

Hot soup during this time of the day? If it's split pea soup, hell yes!

Exterior of Pea Soup Anderson's in Santa Nella/Gustine, CA.
I made it to my first stop, Dharma Trading Company in Petaluma, CA, by around 2 PM (I had started riding around 6:30 AM.) to visit my friend and pick up the key for my lodging. She had kept a sign that I had sent to her a couple years back that was passed on to me by another friend. Considering that she works for a dye company, it was so fitting that she had this displayed prominently in her office.


I was zonked after that 430-mile ride, so I had a fried chicken sandwich at the nearby Pub Republic before heading back to the house, unloading my gear, and relaxing.


Once my friend came home from work, we walked through Downtown Petaluma and had some Mexican food. Honestly, the food was pretty forgettable as the shrimp did not have to be that salty at all. But we did stop by a 7-11 to get Lotto tickets and an It's-It ice cream treat. This is one of those regional things that I had heard of but did not get the chance to try until now. I think it will be slightly mandatory for me to have at least one of these every time I come up to visit. Besides, every good motorcycle ride has to end in ice cream. That's a very well-known unwritten rule!