Los Angeles to the Arctic Circle and back

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 1

Got off to a late start.  So many loose ends. Finally out the door and on the road at noon or so.  8 miles into the trip my bike started acting weird, the power was going on an off.  On the I-5 going 80 its disconcerting to have your bike fail over and over.  I pulled over and didn't see anything wrong other than the oil all over the engine, but remembered that was from last night.  Got back on the road and it happened a few more times.  Took the 5 over the grapevine, which is pretty much a race track, just something to get through before the sweet stuff.  After 100 miles the mountain drops into the big central California desert, stopped for coffee. After 10min sat back on the bike it wouldn't start at all.  Dead battery.  I imagined the trip cancelled and over at the first stop. Finally figured out that the battery connectors (or whatever) were loose.  Had to take everything apart and put it all back together.  It happened one more time later, the rattle of the road was making them loose. I changed the battery last week and didn't lock tite it, not sure if I'm supposed to?  This was especially frustrating because I wanted to make camp before dark.  Maybe it's good for me to test my mechanical skills a little bit early on so I don't just take it for granted that my bike is gonna run smoothly; I think part of me has been secretly like "those other guy's P.O.S Bikes are gonna be breaking down all the time, eating my wake". Meanwhile I spent quite a bit of time on the side of the road trying to get the hyper drive to work.

Got off the 5 and got on this.  Signs like that let you know there are chill vibes ahead.   166 west - 33 north - 58 west - 101 north.  I wished I could have stopped in Taft and took pictures.  Also wanted pics of all the oil rigs and metal scattered all over the desert in places.  I've taken some of these roads before and I love getting away from all the 'late for work' narcissistic California drivers on the 101 and the 5.  I just want open roads and nice scenery if possible.    

My sister Kathy decided to roll with for a night or too.  There's Pinky in the back.  Kathy took most the photos on this page.  My bachelor party is off to a tame start with both my sister and fiancé on the road with me.


Eventually got back on the 101, my teeth chattered for the last 50 miles or so.  I could have stopped and put my warm stuff on but was already behind. (I'm complaining about the cold already, wait till Alaska broseph).
I also was constantly looking at the mileage- 350 or so for the day- but I need to break that habit.  I have to adjust to the road, and its gonna take a few days.  

Finally got to the campsite in time for an amazing sunset.  Fremont Peak State Park.  I'll take some more pics tomorrow.  


  1. Way to tough it out through some bullshit on the first day. Gotta work out the kinks sometime, and Southern California's a lot better place than bumfuck Canada. Have you ever read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? There's a lot in that book about bikes crapping out and the frustration that comes with that situation. Good book in general.
    I guess you'll be hitting the 1 tomorrow? Some of the most beautiful road in the country, no doubt. Enjoy.
    PS- shoulda taken that broke-ass horse with you. He looks beat.

    1. I read 1/3 of it, but I think about that 3rd often. I hope I didn't sound like a ride complainer, the valleys of the road make the peaks so much higher