Ahhh. It’s about time I catch back up on the reporting, now that I’ve caught back up on the adventuring.
I’m in San Francisco now, after taking my sweet time getting down through California. I started comin’ down the coast on the 101, and spent half a day playing in the Redwoods before heading into Arcata, where I was to meet up with a friend I had met in New Orleans. I camped in downtown Arcata for a night, in the backyard of the house my little brother stayed in while attending HSU. The next day we headed 40 miles south to Scotia, where we camped for two nights. It was a real pleasant time, but even after spending just one night in Arcata I was made very aware of a pattern shift. I’d been adjusted to spending a lot of time in the saddle, continuously moving. On the way to the campsite I realized I hadn’t rode in almost a whole day, something I hadn’t done in a week. After the first night in Scotia I was already itchin’ to hit the road again, it felt strange to stay still. I hit the road early after the second night, well rested and happy to be cruisin’.
Before 3pm I put in more miles than I had yet, a solid 183 from Scotia to Cloverdale. At the beginning of highway 1 I was greeted with the twistiest roads I’ve ever encountered in my life. Left-right-left-right, with elevation dipping and rising suddenly. We’re talking roller coaster action, the bike leaning from side to side, hugging the turns as I shifted my weight forward or back depending on the rise or fall of the road. Of course, my GoPro was dead =/. I’m sure there’ll be more good roads to be had, but I was very disappointed to miss out capturing it. I have little extreme riding experience, and the bike I’m on isn’t exactly sporty. It’s tall, and loaded. But the best way I can think of putting the feeling into words is by comparing it to those strange rockinghorse-like things occasionally found on playgrounds, the ones that are basically a seat mounted on a giant spring. One of those pulled all the way down to your right, til you’re flung sideways and are at an angle tilted to your left, & then back to the right. When you’re leaning into a turn, especially turns in rapid succession, your equilibrium bounces back and forth. It feels like flying.
One thing that’s certain, motorcycle touring is a great way to see a lot of scenery. When you’re in a car, it’s all out there, viewed through little windows, little TV screens playing images of the outside world. On a motorcycle, you are a part of that scene. There is no separation. I took Highway 1 for about an hour before getting sick of the fog and the cold. I cut back East to the 101 via highway 128, and within 15 minutes there was a solid 20 degree difference. I managed to charge the GoPro while I ate breakfast, and captured some decent twisty road footage before getting into Cloverdale. I stayed in a campground in the Sonoma lake area, which was absolutely beautiful. I was a little disappointed that I paid the $15 to camp, when I should have just snuck around the area. There were a few spots I was considering, but ended up caving in and forking out the dough. In exchange for my cash I got a port-0-potty, and a ridiculous amount of noisy neighbors.
Won’t be doing that again. It was a very pretty area though.
I’m staying in a hostel just on the North side of the Golden Gate bridge. I spent the afternoon street performing at the Fisherman’s Wharf area, and had a pretty good time. I did 6 shows, came away with enough to cover my two nights in the hostel and a few meals. It’s really only the third city I’ve performed in. It’s crazy how different the game is in every area, how different every crowd is. Street performing is definitely one of the most real-time experience I’ve ever had. You gotta be on your toes. And you gotta be confident. I had one show pay $3, and the very next show paid $30. Persistence, persistence, persistence.
Hittin’ it hard tomorrow, hittin’ the hay now. Thanks for reading =)