Road Trip-Days 1 & 2

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
San Simeon State Campground

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, April 26, 2010

The previous entry was written when my motorcycle was in for servicing. I didn't get it back until after 3 PM on Saturday. I left on my Road Trip yesterday (Sunday) morning. The servicing included new (high performance) shocks. They guessed on how to set them up based on my guess on the weight of the camping gear and other stuff I would be carrying on this trip. The set up was wrong.

Using computer software that came with my Garmin GPS I pre-planned my trip by riding as much as possible off the interstate and on motorcycle friendly (i.e. more fun) roads. The part that I had to ride on the Interstate was near Santa Barbara. The wind was blowing hard, it got cold and foggy and the motorcycle was all over the road. I never realized how important setting up the shocks on a motorcycle was. A strong wind gust and you can be in the ditch before you can blink. Wish I had had time to bring the bike back to the garage with all the gear so that they could measure the sag, which helps in ensuring the set-up is correct.

I've started noticing another pattern in my life. It seems that I'm always rushed and never fully prepared for each of the trips that I take. It happened when I took the motorcycle to Europe. Rushed back from California, dropped the motorcycle off at the airline cargo warehouse and flew out 2 days later. Same when I moved out of my house in December. Rushed back from my mom's birthday in Winnipeg, emptied the house and put the stuff in my car hauler without confirming that the weight was properly distributed. Is all this a test of faith that nothing will happen? That all the planning in the world doesn't ensure that things will work out. That, maybe, just "winging it" is the best plan?

I made it to the San Simeon State Park for the first 2 nights of camping, roughing it in a tent with no services. Weather was decent. Walked to the Pacific Ocean for an amazing sunset.

Today I visited the Hearst Castle. Photos are not allowed for commercial purposes and cannot be published without permission. I left my cameras at the campground. But I did take a few photos with my cell phone. Check out the captions.

You have the option of 5 different tours. I chose tours 1 and 2. You take a bus from the visitor center to the castle 5 miles up the hill. I arrived at the center, and the first tour was ready to leave. Perfect timing. Get back from that one and tour 2 was ready to leave. Back up the route I just came down from. To find out about the Castle check out the website

Just a brief recap of the items from the day I need to document. During tour 1 I asked one of the guides if the State of California (with it's huge budget deficit) would consider selling the Castle if I had a spare billion or two to spend. Can't. In Randolph Hearst's will when he donated the property and all it's content to the State stipulated that it was for the people and could not be sold.

During tour 2, the guide provided information in answer to my questions. It was a much smaller group then tour 1. The main building, the "Castle" is 70,000 sq ft. There are 3 guest houses between 1500 and 4500 sq feet. Someone asked "why" he had built this property. This property was a place the family went camping and was their ranch property. The answer goes back to who he was. He loved to collect "art". He had a huge collection. The answer to "why" he built this property? To showcase his collection. The Castle was, basically, built around certain items in his collection.

Why is that an important item to document? Just a coincidence. Remember my Palm Springs entry when I went to the La Quinta Arts Festival? I mentioned I would need a 50,000 sq ft house to showcase all the art I wanted to buy there. Some things just make ME go hmmmmmmm!

Second coincidence. On the second tour there was a couple from the Netherlands with two boys. On the way back down from that tour one of the boys was sitting in the seat in front of me. He had turned around and he was practicing his English with me.

I spent the next hour or so watching a National Geographic movie about the Castle and wandering around the gift shop. I left and rode my motorcycle to the beach across the street from the Castle. I'm walking up the pier when I see the couple from the Netherlands and the two boys. Why? Who knows. Just a coincidence? The following isn't important but I still have to report.

I walked to the end of the pier and as I'm coming back notice the Dutch couple changing out of their wet suits as they had gone surfing. Right on the beach the woman pulled her suit off and stood naked on the beach. I was too far to really see anything but there was another couple walking quite close. Definitely not something you see very often in North America.

Back to the campground. Dehydrated spaghetti in meat sauce for supper. In bed by 8 PM as it's dark out. Back on the road in the morning.

PS. There's a problem with "just winging" it. I've tried waiting to the last minute to figure out whether I'm going to Australia. I'm NOT! I contacted the company that arranged the shipping of my motorcycle to Europe and that's all they do. They don't do Australia. Since I just found this out and have been busy preparing for this "road trip", my quick research has found that my only option might be shipping by container on a ship. That takes a little longer lead time.

I guess, I'm NOT going to Australia at the end of May!

And so! Where?

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