After Sunday Church at Apostles Lutheran, lunch was at a downtown San Jose Food Mall and included a meeting with Pratima and Atul, the Mother and Brother of Vaughn's girl friend Pooja. Great folks and we had a nice visit.
Monday morning found me taking the first leg of my trip back home to Montana.
From San Jose, Siri, the lady who runs my new Iphone 6, took me to Castroville
and the Bikers fabled California Highway 1.
The KOA camp at Santa Margarita was a great rest stop overnight as I prepared for a ride through a coastal mountain range on Highway 58.
I was looking forward to a sunny, morning ride through some of the windingest, twistingest mountain roads I have ridden.
My morning ride through the twisties began in a dense, heavy fog that was almost like rain. The mountain ride was a thrill and the sun burned off the fog when I was half way through the hills.
It was a good ride into Barstow where the KOA was easy to find and was nice and quiet.
ROUTE 66 !
The National Historic Trails designation made it sound like a well loved highway.
And perhaps it is in some areas, but San Bernardino County and the city of Barstow seem to have forgotten it's value as a tourist attraction.
It started out well with ten miles of fairly good road but then the asphalt became so broken up it was a nearly impossible ride.
Like other riders before me, I took to the sandy shoulder and rode the next eight miles at 15 to 20 miles an hour, dodging the ruts carved into the sandy shoulder.
The sign saying, "I-40 East looked very welcome and I was soon running at 65 MPH on "The Forty" as local residents call it.
35 miles from Barstow I stopped at "The Route 66 Oasis," for gas.
$5.25 per gallon Premium!
Back of Route 66, I had a good ride on this section of the olod road.
After a quiet night at the Barstow KOA I picked up Route 66 at Dagget.
Here the fabled highway wound it's way through 140 miles of desert, including the Hualapai Indian Reservation.
The road was good and I had a lot of time to think about the old TV series and the history behind this well traveled route.
It carried me to Bakersfield where I had a short jaunt on Buck Owens Boulevard, but missed the Myrle Haggard street.
The ride to Kingman went quickly as I was back on I-40.
The KOA was big and well equipped with fenced in tent camper sites with water and electricity.
The latter was needed for the electric heaterr saince the temperature had dropped to 27 degrees by morning.
The planned visit to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon was postponed as the cold spell moved down from the North.
I made a bee line for the Phoenix suburb of Surprise, Az where I found a big welcome and a warm room waiting at my second Cousin Lynn Weaver's home.
Rear brakes on the Yamaha seemed to be fading as I rode into town.
Fading brakes are not something you want to see when you are riding through the western mountains. Especially when those brakes are stopping, not only the motorcycle, but also a sidecar and a 300 pound Mini Mate Tent camper.
Lynn knew of a nearby Yamaha dealer where a first rate service department took the machine in, even though it was after 3pm on a Friday afternoon.
I thought the brake pads might be going out but they were good.
The crew flushed the brake lines and cylinder and I am stopping better than ever.
Fortunately for me, Lynn is a biker and knew where to take the machine and we were able to get it taken care of in a timely fashion. THANKS LYNN!
Saturday morning Anna was up early preparing a great breakfast of sausage, eggs and toast. What great folks to take in an itinerant biker and make him feel right at home.
Mid day Saturday I headed for Phoenix and rode I-10 around the city in the busy Saturday morning traffic.
Four lanes of fast moving traffic doesn't seeem to bother me as much as it did a few months ago.
From Jason leading me through the Monday morning Washington DC traffic, to Diana & Ilidio leading me through Miami, Joni and Stan advising on Houston traffic, and the Klebigs showing me what real traffic is, I have a lot more confidence.
All the same, it was a relief to find the road to Tucson a whole lot quieter and with less traffic except through the City of Tucson.
Scenery is fantastic. I think I have seen about every kind of mountain range the country has to offer.
Camped at Benson Arizona, 45 miles east of Tucson and decided I would stay an extra day since a cold spell that would make camping less than comfortable was moving into New Mexico and Texas.
Looking forward to a Houston visit with Joni, Gary and Stan, and to the long awaited Texas Hot Air Balloon ride.
I guess that last part depends on how much hot air those Texans can provide!
Meanwhile I discovered a nice little Lutheran church near Benson.
It was out of town a couple of miles and the name seemed right.
It was Peace In The Vally Lutheran.
The 2006 Yamaha V Star 1100cc Classic had 8,300 miles when I bought it in August 2014.
It turned over 20,550 as I left the church parking lot.
What a grand adventure this visit to our widely spread out family has been.
And what great people I have had a chance to visit.
The two minute set up of the tent camper took two hours last night as a steady stream of RVers stopped by to hear all about it..
One woman went rushing over to get her Mom, Dad and two brothers so they could see it too. They took pictures and web addresses where they could find more information.
A hard to understand gentleman from Montreal spoke both French and English while discussing camping in his RV.
He saw the 80 year old rider sign on my bike and said, "Well, how old do you think I am?"
I told him he didn't look a day older than 70 years.
He said, "Well I hope not, I'm only 61!"
I actually thought he looked older than me.
He left then, I guess he didn't want to talk camping any longer and he was moving a lot faster when he left then when he came.
People have been fantastic and the ride itself beyond spectacular.
I'll have more pictures later, after Joni shows me how to download them from that blasted new Iphone 6.
Watch for me, I'll be in the Right Lane America.
Derl "Lonnie" Lonnquist