Sunday, March 8, 2015

Back In The Desert

Our coastal visit ended well, late Friday afternoon.  We did not get to take in all the sights that city offers but that is a good thing.  We'll return there in the years ahead.
Eastbound from San Diego
Following an early morning harbour walk - followed by a nice outdoor breakfast - we checked out of our hotel and headed east toward Highway 79 north and into Julian.  The north eastern wind could be felt once we entered the mountains.
A stunning viewpoint at about 4,000 feet, looking east towards the Salton Sea on Highway 79 north.
Hector and Diane had not visited Julian and it made for a perfect mid-drive stop on our route back to Palm Springs.  And it was near lunch time too.  There was very little traffic once we rolled off I-8 east and headed north on Highway 79.
Downtown Julian
While walking the streets, several vintage motorcyclists rolled in.  Before long, more vintage bikes were also rolling in.  And within a half hour or so, close to 100 of those vintage motorcycles were taking up all of the available parking in downtown Julian.  What a treat.  To see so many beautiful (and some less beautiful) old motorcycles sure peaked our interest.
One of the many lunch and pie spots in  town.
This quaint, historical little mountain town is a draw for many.  It has a surprisingly large number of boutique hotels and motels to accommodate tourists.  I doubt it had the volume of rooms for the 100 vintage motorcyclists but I am sure the restaurant owners were thrilled with the volume of business that group generated.
Vintage motorcyclists rolling in.
The black, 1940's vintage Indian motorcycle above is owned by a mid-30's fella from Idaho who's grandfather owned and rebuilt this beautiful ride.  What a beauty.
One rider told us about how the vintage motorcycle group organize a couple of rides every year.  Most riders trailer their rides to a central location where several day rides are organized.  This year, the group was centered in Borrego Springs.  

This 1940's Harley Davidson, with side car, carried a mid-80's motorcycle couple.  What a joy to chat them up!
Having chatted with a few riders, it became obvious that young and old participated in the organized rides.  We saw riders from all age groups.  So....there is hope for us motorcyclists to continue enjoying the sport for years to come after we witnessed several older riders - on equally older motorcycles - who were in their 70's and 80's.  And they were enjoying life with gusto! 
I could not confirm the age of this old motorcycle but is easily dates back to the 1930's.
This couple rode beautifully restored 1960's Harley Davidson motorcycles.
And this mid-80's couple, from Arizona, suffered a broken windshield caused by the strong winds they rode in.
Today's motorcycle windshields would not break in the wind.  Good thing the couple (photo above) were wearing shielded helmets when that piece of plexiglass broke off.  The fella's wife, riding in the sidecar,  told us that this old Harley Davidson was a former 1968 police motorcycle.  And they have owned it for better than 40 years.  It has a hand held gear shift with a left foot controlled clutch.  That would take some getting used to for us modern motorcyclists who have a left hand controlled clutch and left foot shifter.
We enjoyed a nice lunch in Julian before heading further north and back to our winter RV parks.
A stop at the Julian Pie Company also rewarded us with more vintage motorcycle riders.  Most of these motorcycles require a solid leg kick to start them....and some of them require several kicks to fire them up.
Rolling back into Palm Desert by mid-afternoon, Lucky and Trena were the first couple to be dropped off at their Outdoor RV Resorts park in Cathedral City.  From there, we drove to 1000 Palms where Hector and Diane were to retrieve their beautiful Portuguese Water dog, Chico to return to our RV park.  

Well, Art and Connie (the dog sitters during our San Diego getaway) along with Hector's sister, Roz and husband Stan had already planned dinner for us.  What a nice surprise that was.  Roz and Stan hosted and we enjoyed a fine outdoor dinner.  Hector and Roz's sister, Sharon who is visiting from Newfoundland, got to enjoy a nice visit together too.

L-R  Roz, Connie, Sharron, Diane, Jeanette
L-R  Art, Stan, Hector.
Yesterday (Saturday), Jeanette and Diane joined four other ladies for a shopping trip to Los Angeles.  They were up very early.  Jeanette did not bother to take the camera but when they returned from the trip, the were all smiles.

I, on the other hand, enjoyed a quiet day.  With several errands completed by 10:00 am, the awning and sun shade re-installed, and the barbecue and chairs set up once again, I followed some of the PGA golf on TV before getting in the shade of a low 90's outdoor temperature; relaxing on my outdoor recliner while listening to a nice variety of music from my iPod.

We look forward to a very special visit from family early next week....and are preparing for that.  More to come later.

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. Just another great day in Paradise. Nice pics of the bikes!

  2. Love all the old bikes...what a great ride up into the mountains.

  3. #hat a great tour you guys had, love the old motorcylces almost as much as the 90 degree weather !

  4. What great stories attached to those old bikes!