On the road...
No pictures from day one. I live a block from the ocean in New Jersey and rode up to the beach to take a shot of the bike against the Atlantic before heading out. Unfortunately I hadn't used a 35mm in years and everything on the Minolta is manual. Add to that the light meter battery didn't work so I lost that first shot which sucks. First day of riding, however, was fantastic. Rode from Seaside Heights, NJ to Somewhere in Tennessee. Camped that night on a wide portion of the median of I-81 about 40 miles west of Knoxville.
I took this self-timed picture after about 300 miles of pouring rain. Made it to central Arkansas that night but was shivering so bad that I had to get a hotel room. The temp was about 38 degrees and after the sun went down I couldn't dry myself off from the rain. Best shower and sleep of my life.
Somewhere in New Mexico. I should take this opportunity to mention that I basically slabbed it out to CA. I was meeting with my friend from NJ in Flagstaff, AZ and we were heading up to hang out with his brother at Stanford before heading to SoCal for Thanksgiving. The time schedule was tight so I averaged about 650 miles a day which I found to be quite exhausting with the open faced helmet and lack of fairing.
Flagstaff, AZ. Finally met up with my friend Eric from NJ. Same dude who rode out west a few weeks before I left. He took time off from working on his farm is Tucson to ride around with me in California. We wanted to camp at the Grand Canyon but it was snowing and neither of us were prepared for those temperatures so we rode to Santa Barbara, CA to crash with a friend.
California desert was really beautiful. I had taken I-40 all the way from Tennessee through California. Crossing over the Colorado River into CA felt pretty fucking good. Eric ran out of gas for the first time on his whole trip. Luckily I had an extra gallon on my rack that got us to the next service station.
Both of us were on a serious budget. I blew all the money I had on fixing up the R75 and my heated gear. The end result was this being a typical dinner. Somehow those Milwaukee's bests and peanut butter, yogurt and bagel sandwiches tasted better than anything else I'd ever had.
So the next few days involved riding up to Stanford from Santa Barbara and meeting up with Erics brother who is in his senior year there. The 35mm stayed in the saddle bags for the next few days as we partied and enjoyed ourselves. We made it there for the big game against Cal so we got to see Stanford at its finest. Lots of fun was had before heading down to Laguna Beach for the Thanksgiving festivities.
Somewhere between San Francisco and Long Beach.
Eric eventually went to San Francisco to stay with a friend and I took his brother Bill back from Stanford down to Long Beach to stay with my cousin. So we were two up like this on the interstate for about 8 or 9 hours. The R75 pulled hard the whole way and never skipped a beat. It was around this time that I feel like I really started to be able to fully appreciate that motorcycle. Her name is Heidi.
Laguna Beach, CA. Thanksgiving day.
After hanging out for a week in Long Beach we took the short ride to Laguna Beach for Thanksgiving. Felt good to be at the final destination. I want to take this opportunity to state that I have not once had to touch a single thing on the bike. And when I say that I really mean it. No touching the carbs, no air in the tires, no fiddling with this or that. Nothing. Just gas up and go. I was leaking a little engine oil but just kept toping that off as well. Trans, drive shaft and final drive were stable.
At night on the 1. Heading back to Long Beach after Thanksgiving.
Part 3 still to come....