Saturday, March 19, 2016

What A Road Trip....Part 1

Bring four truly nice couples together, on four motorcycles, for four days of riding through southern California and you have a great recipe for fun, adventure and camaraderie.

With so much to write about...and with so many photos to share, this will have to be a two part blog.  
Part 1 covers our first two days on the road. Part 2 will cover the last two days 
and it will follow in the days ahead.
Our first day - gathered at the Harley Davidson motorcycle shop in Yuma, AZ, prior to departure.
L-R:  Jeanette and me, Roger and Lorraine, Fritz and Bonnie, Trena and Lucky.

Having ridden with these folks, these past several years, Jeanette and I were keen on organizing a ride that would see these well experienced motorcyclists tour some of the southwest California's majestic mountain and seaside routes.
Trena & Jeanette trying to walk in the fine, fine sand in the Imperial Dunes area of the California/Arizona border.
We met Fritz and Bonnie (Iowans) three years ago in Gold Canyon, AZ.  And we met Roger and Lorraine (Albertans) two years ago in Yuma, AZ.  We have known and ridden with Trena and Lucky (British Columbians) for several years; here in the US southwest and back home in BC.
Trena, Lucky & Jeanette (I am taking the photo) riding out to Yuma, AZ (Sunday, March 13th) to meet up with Bonnie/Fritz and Lorraine/Roger.
We got together for a Sunday happy hour at Lorraine and Roger's winter home in Yuma, late Sunday afternoon.  It was here that Trena/Lucky, Lorraine/Roger and Bonnie/Fritz got to meet each other for the very first time.  Yes, they were strangers....but that did not last long. Everyone quickly became fast friends.

We discussed our ride over a nice dinner at a local Yuma restaurant.  We agreed to meet up at our Yuma hotel for our Monday, March 14, 2016 departure. 
Westbound along the Mexican border (Highway 94 on the US side) - making our way towards San Diego.
The weather on departure day, Monday was sunny and bright.  Approaching the mountain passes, that transition from the eastern desert into the Sand Diego side, the clouds gathered, the winds blew and there was a threat of rain.  We soldiered on; heading further south from I-8; into beautiful secondary California highways. By doing so, we skirted the bad weather.  Only a few raindrops fell....and those were not sufficient to cool us off.
Threatening skies.
Taking a break and adding some layers of clothing to ward off the wind, threatened rain and cooling mountain temperatures.
A short rest at this mountain village east from San Diego.
Once over the mountains, the sky turned blue, the sun was shining, the wind abated and we braved the afternoon rush hour traffic to our San Diego harbor-side accommodations.We find San Diego an easy city to navigate but we did get one surprise when turning right (north) on to California Highway 125.  It was a toll road.  We all had to stop, pay our $2.50 before proceeding into the city.
A favourite of ours, San Diego is a city Jeanette and I truly enjoy visiting.
We arrived at our harbor-side motel by 3:30, Monday afternoon.
Parked for the night.
Changed out into hot weather casual clothes, we gathered on the second floor sun deck for a celebratory happy hour before heading out for a seafood dinner out.
A beautiful setting - enjoying the company of good friends.
One of our objectives - for this trip - was to leave by 9:00 am and finish each day by 3:00 or 3:30 pm. And we managed that quite well. We were able to enjoy each location, once off our motorcycles.

One of the numerous photos taken in harbor-side, San Diego.  It was here that we enjoyed diner looking over this lovely view with downtown San Diego in the background.
An impromptu, after dinner, get together, in our motel room, had us enjoy some good conversation and great laughter.  Check out Trena, Bonnie, Lorraine and Jeanette in the photo below. The laughter was fast and festive.
Nearing the end of Day 1
We woke up to our 2nd day under blue skies, sun, no wind, no threat of rain and in balmy temperatures.  Yeah to that!  By 9:00 am, the bikes were shined up, we were coffee'd up, had finished our breakfasts, and we were ready to depart for La Jolla shores and points further north.
Tuesday morning, March 15th - Readying to roll out
At La Jolla shores.
Arriving at La Jolla shores, just south of the small city by that namesake - and only about 20 minutes north from San Diego - we were off our rides to enjoy the pounding surf and sheer beauty of this special place.  The sights and sound here are magical.  Although we could have spent more time enjoying the view, we cruised the shoreline into the city of La Jolla and continued to make our way further north.
So much beauty to enjoy here.
Just out of La Jolla, we pointed our rides north to the famed PGA (Pro Golf of America) Torrey Pines Golf Course.  Only one of the two public courses on the PGA tour, this proved to be a nice place to take another break.
      Click on this link for detailed information on Torrey Pines:      
Parked in line at Torrey Pines Golf Resort.
Most golfers will know that this fabulous golf resort is the home of the Farmer's PGA Golf tournament.  Its 'walk of fame' lists well known winners in the pro-golf world: Arnold Palmer, Gene Sarazin, Gary Player (The Black Knight), Phil Mickelson, Davis Love II, John Daly, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and more.
Walking along the 'walk of fame' at Torrey Pines Golf Resort.
From here, we left the coastal area and rolled east for the wonderful mountain roads. Those roads offer stunningly wonderful twists and turns, with ups and downs that thrill riders like us.  We rolled into the great little hamlet of Santa Ysabel (famous for Julian Pies) where our group enjoyed some great pie treats with ice cream.  Yum!

Click on this link for more detailed information on Santa Ysabel:
The famous (in this area at least) Julian Pie Company - Always a nice place to stop.
The mountain and valleys here are dotted with flowers of all colours.
Riding west from Lake Henshaw towards Oceanside.
The beach at Oceanside.
Arriving early enough, we parked our bikes before walking the long, long pier out over the sea and pounding surf.  The surfers were enjoying some nice waves.

Fritz was working to befriend this pelican.  It was more interested in guarding its fish scraps in the sink though.
Once off the pier it was a short and peasant ride along the Oceanside sea wall towards our hotel in Carlsbad.
Roger and Lorraine, keeping pace on the seashore.
Only a few minutes south and we had arrived in Carlsbad.  This pretty place by the sea was new to two of our couples.  Lucky/Trena, Jeanette/me have been here several times now.  And we never tire of it.  This little city does remind us of our previous home of 38 years in White Rock, BC.
Happy hour was had overlooking the Pacific Ocean while enjoying beautiful 80 degree heat.
We made plans for dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant; only within a couple of blocks from our hotel. 
Me, Jeanette and Lucky are basking in the late afternoon sunshine,  waiting for the others to gather for our walk to the restaurant.
And it is here (two full days into our group motorcycle ride) that we will leave you.  Check back in one day...or two...for the balance of our story, combined with more photos.

Before posting this blog, I edited over 400 photos.  Jeanette was certainly busy while riding.  And she did capture some truly good scenic pix.

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. Traveling with friends by Motorcycle is something we would only dream of doing. The scenery is beautiful.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. What a wonderful road trip, Only did that as a teenager.
    So many great sights to see and fun times with friends.

  3. Sounds like a great road trip--I love the ocean, the cowboy not so much.

  4. Wow what fun with friends. Thanks for taking the time to edit your photos, I know it is work.

  5. Am enjoying your ride and photos...The only thing that makes an enjoyable bike ride better is riding with a few good friends as well...makes it great. Stay Safe.

  6. sounds like the gang is having a great time!! ride safely!