Leaving Pismo Beach, the Ninjette was again thirsty. We stopped at Los Alamos for gas, and took photos in case Los Alamos was a famous place. (Spanky researched it. It is.)
As we drove through the farmlands, we saw the people picking vegetables. Watching them diligently working, I felt a saddness about the inequity of life. It is likely that the people in those fields would ever be able to have an adventure like this one, as they labored to fulfill the base of the pyramid of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Have I worked hard to be where I am today? Yes, but much of it also came with privilege, luck, and happenstance. I feel immensely grateful for my life, my family, and this adventure.
We flew through the farmlands, and again returned to the landscape of the coast. A typical coastal landscape might look like this, if you look away from the water.
When we passed Pepperdine University, it became manicured grass fields for a long stretch. But then returned to normal.
We stopped at in and out burgers, as Nathan was told he must.
We picnicked by the bikes (read sat on a curb because every table was full) and Spabky slurped down all our coke.
Then back on the road, with glimpses here and there if highway. Suddenly, beauty, beach, and Mullholland Highway!
This was significant. When we started this trip, we didn't know if I was going to make it this far. We said we could turn around whenever, it was our honeymoon. We could turn around in San Francisco, or Monterey. But out dream was to ride the coast. I had even thought if we made it to LA, we'd turn around there. But here we were, Mullholland drive, a day early! My skills and stamina have truly improved on this trip.
Of course, the snake is a challenge for even the best of riders. I've watched plenty of these
http://m.youtube.com/user/rnickeymouseand with the high sides and low sides seared in my brain, I took the corners at a slow and comfortable pace; faster than I would have when we left Seattle, but slow for a sport bike. That was ok with me... Only halfway through our trip, I needed my bike and body in working order to get me back home!
Nathan got some pictures of me our on the highway.
Then we came upon the rock store.
In my mind, and because of the many you tube videos, I had imagined a flashy tourist attraction would be waiting, but I was pleasantly surprised. We met the owners and the owners family, and we're congratulated heartily, and offered a tour. Rich told us all the history, how his dad used to deliver bread to the general store, there next to the pony express. How after his dad bought the place, he and his dad brought gasoline up to this little pump with nothing for miles.
We found out it was called the Rock Store because it was... Made of rock.
The other buildings pointed out to us, the pony express living quarters and the stables for the horses. He showed us the small original building, and where they added on. He showed us the many famous movie stars that had visited.
His son pointed out the photo of his bachelor party, and his grandson toddled out and sat on my bike! I was honored!
These are by far some of the nicest and down to earth people I've ever met.
While we were there, Nathan took the baby Ninja out for a spin on the Snake, and I snapped pictures of him and everything else.
Even Spanky got to monkey around!
Back on the road, we rode the snake one last time, wove our way through the canyons, and got back on the Pacific Coast Highway. It wasn't long before we decided a stop at the beach was in order!
Oh yeah, I forgot the part where we bought new bling. I love my new hoodie!!
Spanky played too. :-)
After this, we decided to stay the course on the Pacific Coast Highway. Little did we know it went past LAX and was stoplight after stoplight after stoplight. It went on and on, and there was no way San Diego would be our stopping point. We were tired and hungry!
As we drove, we could smell every resturaunt. Steak, salmon, Thai, garlic, pizza, even the hot buttered popcorn coming from the AMC. I don't know how they do it, but those resturaunts have captured the market on smell-o-vision. Mouths watering, we pulled in at a Travellodge on the beach, booked a balcony room with a view of the beach (Kris's requirement for the last night on the coast) and found a scrumptious Mediterranian dinner.