Finally on Our Way!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Finally on Our Way!
We hit the road Tuesday morning, with perfect riding weather.  Our first stop was 2½ hours south in Sacramento to visit with Ron’s former wife (and our best friend), Vickie.  Then we continued south to Stockton for a quick stop at Leatherworks to get replacement buckles for Harley’s saddlebags. We stopped for the night about 20 miles south of Fresno at Coalinga, California.
Wednesday morning started off with a good 3-hour ride over the grapevine pass into Los Angeles, until we hit the 405 freeway.  It took us two more hours to go 15 miles to the Santa Monica Pier.  We parked Harley out on the pier, walked around, took some pictures, and rode the carousel.  We met a guy and his son who started route 66 in Texas, traveling west in their new Dodge Viper.  After chatting about Route 66 and swapping cameras for some pictures, Ron and I headed for our planned stop for the night -- the Wigwam Motel in Rialto.  This is a must for any Route 66 traveler, and it’s been here right on the Mother Road since 1949.  Not the Hilton, but cute, clean, and funky...
The Viper guy warned us about traffic up Santa Monica Blvd. through Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Pasadena, and out to Rialto -- about 70 miles of total gridlock!  He said that he almost ruined his new Viper with overheating in the traffic.  He was right!!  The traffic was so bad that Harley was overheating, and his clutch was slipping from all the stop-and-go traffic.  We  had to stop several times to let Harley cool down. I hope Harley hasn’t suffered irreparable damage.  It took us 6 (yes, 6) more hours to get to the motel.
Ron is a very conservative but fast driver, and he doesn’t like to take chances on Harley.  However, on this trip, I discovered that splitting lanes and getting aggressive was the way it had to be.  The actual first leg of our trip was so brutal on us and on Harley that we decided to stay at the Wigwam for an extra day to rest.  
Tomorrow morning we will head to Needles, California, leaving about 5 am to beat the heat.  Today is the first day of summer; tomorrow, Needles is going to be 113 degrees!!!