Saturday, March 15, 2014


The previous blog had us talking about a motorcycle ride to Oceanside and Carlsbad, CA.  That's just what we did.
10:00 am Thursday morning - meeting Lucky and Trena at their Outdoor Resort.
We rolled out of Cathedral City, heading south on Bob Hope Drive.  A left turn on Highway 111, in Palm Desert, and minutes after that, a right turn had us riding Highway 74 south and over the mountains above the Palm Springs valley area.
Highway 74 south
Highway 74 and 76 - our routes to Oceanside - were in great condition.  Plenty of new pavement made for smooth motorcycling.  The twist and turns kept up our vigilance.  This is great motorcycling country - bar none!
Lucky led the ride to Oceanside - we led the ride back on Friday.
Traffic was fairly light on our ride out but, on our Friday afternoon return, that was not the case.  The highways were busy.
Lucky and Trena riding the great southern California countryside.
With breaks along the way, we arrived in Oceanside about three hours after starting out.  It was shortly after 1:00 pm when we parked our rides, near the pier below, and walked to the very end where Ruby's dinner offered up a nice lunch while we enjoyed the sea that surrounded us.
The Pier @ Oceanside, CA
Ruby's is a chain of retro, 50's style, restaurants that can be found in several states.  There is a prominent Ruby's in downtown Palm Springs. We were pleasantly surprised to find one at the very end of the Oceanside pier.  Although a very busy eatery, we were seated within 20 minutes.
A  long and pleasant walk to the end of the pier.
Several surfers were plying the waves and many, many folks were enjoying the sand on the endless beach.
Beautiful winter weather here means temperatures hovering in the mid to high 70's
With lunch completed, we walked back to our motorcycles and mounted up for the brief southbound ride to our final destination; Carlsbad, CA.  Crystal clear waters draw many to the beaches.  We saw several kids swimming too.
Riding the beach shoreline in Oceanside
A brief ride along the Oceanside Beach returned us to Highway 101 and, within 10 minutes, we had arrived at our Carlsbad hotel by the sea.
Arrival at our hotel in Carlsbad.
Once the motorcycles were parked for the night - and we had checked in - we changed out of our riding clothes and the four of us enjoyed a long walk on the beach front.  Later in the afternoon, we scouted out a beach front eatery to enjoy dinner.  That place found, we settled in to enjoy the setting sun.
A view through Jeanette's glass of wine at our casual dinner spot on the beach.
Friday morning returned an equally beautiful beach side day.  The skies were blue and the fog was kept at bay, a good ten miles off shore.
Morning view from our hotel
The four of us enjoyed a good continental breakfast, offered by the hotel, while taking in the coastal view.
View from our hotel room
Before loading up for our Friday ride north to Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano, Jeanette and I chose to 'Face Time' our (soon to be a two year old) grandson, Easton.  Ginette, baby Brie and Easton answered and we enjoyed a lovely chat.  To hear Easton chat away was so pleasing.  He asked to see the motorcycle. When I walked down (with the iPad in hand) to show him the bike, he asked if I could start it up. could I say no to such a cute request?  I powered up the motorcycle and revved it up a bit.  Easton was thrilled to see and hear the motorcycle and to have a nice 'Face Time' visit with us.  We also got to view baby Brie (22 days old) and chat with her mom, Ginette.....!  Such a treat!
While Face Timing Easton and his mom, Easton (two years of age) asked to see our motorcycle.
Once loaded up, we left Carlsbad and headed north on I-5 for what became a hair raising start to our Friday morning ride.  The highway was crazy busy.  We rolled into the craziness and 40 minutes later we were thrilled to leave the freeway to arrive at Dana Point beach.  Following a break, we make quick time to old town Capistrano.
L-R- Lucky, Jeanette and Trena @ Dana Point.
Once parked in San Juan Capistrano, we walked around the old town and then toward the famous Mission.   

Mission San Juan Capistrano began as a missionary's dream over 200 years ago, and today continues to be a unique part of Orange County's history. The story of the San Juan Capistrano swallows who return every year on March 19, St. Joseph's Day, as told by Father St. John O'Sullivan is the communities best known legend.
The Mission at San Juan Capistrano
The miracle of the “Swallows” of Capistrano takes place each year at Mission San Juan Capistrano, on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day. As the faithful little birds wing their way back to the most famous mission in California, the village of San Juan Capistrano takes on a fiesta air and the visitors from all parts of the world, and all walks of life, gather in great numbers to witness the “miracle” of the return of the swallows.

At dawn on St. Joseph’s Day, the little birds arrive and begin rebuilding their mud nests, which are clinging to the ruins of the Great Stone Church of San Juan Capistrano. The arches of the two story, vaulted Great Stone Church were left bare and exposed, as the roof collapsed during the earthquake of 1812.

The bells of San Juan Capistrano
A view of the Mission from inside the gates.
By 1:00 pm Friday, we were back on our rides and heading east on Highway 74 towards Lake Elsinore. The switchback roads sure kept us awake on the throttle, brakes and handlebars.  A great riding road that is!
Riding east on Highway 74 - from San Juan Capistrano - heading towards Lake Elsinore.
We briefly stopped in Lake Elsinore before continuing on our route towards Hemet before finding our way back up in the higher 3,000' to 4,000' elevations on our final leg into the southern end of Palm Desert.
Lake Elsinore from high elevations.
Taking a break
We chose to take a final break at the lookout - high above the Palm Desert/Palm Springs valley - where we learned that the highway was closed below due to an accident.   Traffic was halted in each direction.  A low flying CHP helicopter seemed to be directing the fire truck and ambulances that were trying to wind their way up to the scene.
A CHP helicopter (California Highway Patrol) flying above the desert mountains at spotting the scene of a tragic vehicle accident that blocked Highway 74 leading into Palm Desert - mid- Friday afternoon.
We were held up for a good 90 minutes before the scene could be cleared and the late Friday afternoon traffic could resume. We held off leaving to allow the traffic jam to abate when, to our surprise, the tow truck - with the truck that hit the rock face - arrived at the lookout to secure the load and turn back for Palm Desert. A CHP officer was assisting as well.
Traffic was at a complete standstill for better than 90 minutes.  Our view from the look out above.
The truck that lost control and crashed into the mountainous rock wall.
The CHP officer told us that the driver of the truck had been injured.  To what extent?  He did not say!  

We arrived back in the Desert Hot Springs area by 6:30 pm. 

That was a fun couple of days touring the southwestern secondary highways, in southern California, and enjoying the Pacific coast. And a fun couple of riding days had!  It was a pleasure to share the ride with Lucky and Trena too.  Thanks for the invite!

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. What a beautiful trip, enjoyed all your great pictures. You could not of picked a better day weather wise. Won't be long til Easton will be asking Grandpa for a ride on the motorcycle. Lake Elsinore was about 15 miles south of where we are located. Hope you and Jeanette have a AWESOME weekend!

  2. Hey Allen, Jeanette and I would enjoy riding out for a visit with you and Lolita. Email me with your most upadated email address and telephone number. We'll be in touch.

  3. Looking forward to riding those roads in the not to distannt future. Greta pics and narrative...Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great looking trip to the coast. It must have been a treat to feel the ocean breezes.

  5. That was a great ride, thanks for the fun tour.

  6. Rene' sent you my number look forward to hearing from you.

  7. what a great road trip!! the weather looks much better than the rain here!!

  8. What a great bike trip, Rene. Thanks for all the great pics - we've been to all those places so it brought back great memories this morning.

    We haven't been to the Mission at San Juan Capistrano for several years but we did manage a trip down to Oceanside not long ago.

    That was quite the traffic jam you got caught in.

  9. What a fabulous trip--I love the ocean, the cowboy not so much! Isn't this just the best being able to enjoy all this warm weather and sunshine!

  10. Stories like this make me want to go out and buy a Harley! i love these kinds of roads!