Published: May 23rd 2012May 22nd 2012
After a long 10 days on the road, and a lot of miles behind us (nearly 3,700 on my bike since leaving Virginia, and over 4,000 on Dad's), we had a really easy day today. We left Monterey this morning and our first stop was in Salinas at Cycle Stop, a Honda dealership where dad got an oil change on his bike. I ran out to pick up a few things we needed at Target while he waited for his bike, and I missed all the fun! A California Highway Patrol officer stopped at the dealership and Dad was talking to him for about a half hour. He rides a Honda Goldwing also, but has modified it to run on a car tire in the rear. He gave dad a link to his YouTube channel to take a look at some of the videos he's taken with the GoPro camera. We took a look at some of them at the hotel tonight, but with the slow connection we didn't get too far, so we're looking forward to seeing more of these once we have a faster connection. He also has run his bike around a few race tracks, which is pretty
impressive for being a tour bike. The video of him at Mazda Laguna Seca was impressive, and it made me jealous because this is such a famous track, and we drove past it this morning and I would have loved to take even my Harley out on the track. Maybe another time.
We also stopped in at Doug Chandler Performance Cycles next door to the Honda dealership. Doug is a 3-time AMA supeike champion, and he now runs a performance bicycle shop next door to the Honda dealership. We stopped in and chatted with him for a while, and he was a really nice guy, very humble and down to earth. He wished us well on our trip, and we headed east towards Merced, CA.
On the way out of Salinas, we stopped at a farm stand where fresh strawberries were being picked, and we bought a half-flat of fresh strawberries. We managed to make enough room in Dad's trunk to fit them. But of course, they had fresh cherries too, so we picked up a bag of those and managed to squeeze them in too. We've essentially got a fruit salad and some elephant-ear pastries we picked
up in Amboy, CA in Dad's trunk. It's a buffet on the road.
We also passed the San Luis reservoir which seems to be an oasis in the desert-like hills. It was a great view to drive past on our way to the hotel.
We arrived in Merced at about 1:30 and got checked into our room. With the past 10 days catching up to us, we napped for a bit, then did some laundry so we don't smell so bad. We had dinner next door at DeAngelo's Restaurant (not on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!), which had some fantastic Italian food. I had a pizza with sausage, mushrooms and chili oil, which had a nice subtle heat and was excellent. Dad had meatballs and papardelle pasta, and it was some of the most tender, tasty meatballs either of us have had before. Now we're back at the hotel taking it easy, and looking forward to a long night sleep.
Tomorrow morning we head into Yosemite to see Half Dome and hopefully some bears. From the park we'll head south and be staying the night just outside of Fresno, where we'll continue on to Sequoia. The trip has been great so far, and with a lot of National Parks and things to see in the next few days, there should be plenty more to share.