Sunday, May 24, 2009

day thirteen: Lessons on Highway 1 (Salinas to Ukiah)

The word for the day is “profusion.” Why profusion you ask? Well profusion is defined as “a large quantity of something or the quality of being profuse.” Some people accuse me of the second definition as opposed to being profound. I say anyone can be profound but it takes a special person to be profuse! It’s also defined as an abundance, a large amount, and excess and a plethora. I said that profusion was the word for the day because Michael and I experienced everything in profusion. We saw wild flowers in abundance. I’m not a horticulture specialist but I saw incredible varieties of flowers not present on the east coast. Bromeliads grow here voluntarily. If you don’t know what a bromeliad is, look it up. You’ll improve your level of knowledge and at least appear more culturally sophisticated simply as a result of reading this blog! There were a plethora of dairies as Mike and I traveled up hwy. 1, California’s true coast road, complete with twisting, winding turns. Now, some people don’t care for the smell of silage and manure and new-mown hay and cows in general, but to me these are special smells, which evoke old feelings of time spent with my grand-dad on his farm in Belton, SC. There were a large amount of bikers. These included the two-wheel kind which have designer labels- you know, Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Kawasaki and BMW, as well as the two wheeled kind which require pedaling and persistence. Bikers were everywhere along the coast road and generally appeared to get along without undue animosity all day long. You’ve probably realized by now that I’m trying to use each of the definitions of “profusion” in my record of the day’s events. The only one I’ve left out is the word “excess” which certainly describes my verbosity, gregariousness, conviviality and exuberance!

The route Michael and I took today started in the Salinas graveyard viewing John Steinbeck’s gravesite. I have to say that, for a Salinas great, his grave is certainly understated. Maybe there’s a lesson for us all in this. From here we traveled to San Francisco and above up hwy 1 through small towns with names like Inverness and Bodega Bay before cutting over to Guerneville (which had a profusion of inns, pubs and bed and breakfasts) to hwy 101 north which led to Hopland (that’s right, “hop” land like the hop that goes in beer) and Ukiah, our ultimate destination for the day. The route we rode at the last was roughly a square. Mike suggested that we might want to ride it with our girls and tell others about it. To sell it properly I suggested the name of “the California Square Route.” (you know route like root- it’s a math joke!) In all, we covered about 298 miles and are coming dangerously close to the 5000 total mile mark.

For supper mike and I walked about 30 minutes each way to go to a local"organic brewery and pub." We couldn't stand the thought of mounting up again! We met a cool guy named Sean who was riding a new Kawasaki 1400 cc bike scouting a route for an upcoming ride. Good luck with that Sean. Well, I'm done for now- no more profusion-see you next time.


  1. The day's highlights:

    1) Seeing Steinbeck's grave. As dad mentioned, it wasn't much. It made me step back and think for a minute on life and what it amounts-to. I don't know if Steinbeck was a believer or not; my inclination based on what I've read is that he wasn't. If that's the case, it was just kindof sad to look at his headstone (with all of his talent and creativity in mind) and have sort of a "well, that's all" feeling. It's such a shame for someone to miss the only thing that really matters and gives meaning to our lives. I know this blog isn't sposed to be this sobering though, so that's all I'll say on that. If nothing else though, it was a good opportunity for me to praise Christ for my salvation.

    2) Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge--we didn't get any pictures because it would have been life-threatening...the traffic was INSANE!! It actually took us about an hour an a half to get through the city (which was about 22 miles!) Needless to say, we were happy to get free!

    3) Highway 1--it truly is the neatest feeling to wake up, jump on a motorcycle and ride all day down roads you've never seen, with no particular time table or place to be. Highway 1 was so beautiful. The funny thing is that you could ride on it all day (which we did) and cover little to no ground. You see, it's super curvy (as it's just following the coast) and has a speed limit of 35-40 most of the time. We finally had to cut our losses and abandon hwy 1, in order to reach our goal by nightfall.

    4) Local Cherries and "BBQ FLO's" (Fresh Local Oysters)--Every coastal town that we drove though on hwy 1 had some sort of awesome-looking, hometown sea-food joint right on the water, advertising "BBQ FLO's". Me and dad valiantly fought the temptation to stop and have an oyster "Po-boy" on account of we had just eaten, and there was no excuse for us to be hungry. We did however give in to the desire (which had been kindled the day before) to eat almost a pound of fresh-picked cherries. And we were so overcome that we paid $8 for the lot!! Haha, sorry mom...I know that's a little steep for produce.

    5) I feel like a total fatty every time I use food as a highlight, but again I digress. Eating at the local organic pub and brew was so good! I had this massive burrito and the recommended complimenting brew--"the Liberator." Haha, I told dad that I felt instantly freed by this "Liberating" duo!

    Sorry Matte, no beer-floats yet...I chickened-out. I laughed remembering how doc lies when the bartender asks him "why on earth would you wanna drink that?" Know that if I do find a place that will make one, I will at least say with pride "because I've always wondered what it would taste like!"

    Man, I love and miss you all. BD--glad to see your beautiful face in the lists!!

    All for now, M

  2. oohh, I remember the local cherries. They were delicious. But if you ate as many as you say you did, I bet I know what happened next...

  3. Alan, your profusionalizementation created obfuscation of the apparently ubiquitousness of your felt frabjosity (calooh callay!).

    But it was worth it.

    Thanks to both of you for sharing, I'm loving the notes and the pics. Kristin and I honeymooned in SF, Napa Valley and Monterey --it's a beautiful place.


  4. Bud--

    Thanks for the bit of literary allusion...The Jabberwaki (spelling??) is a staple among our boys.

    The "wine valley" truly is a beauty!


  5. Hi guys! The second picture of ice plant reminds me of Santa Barbara -- my home town. See any Bougainvillea? Did you notice the Eucalyptus tree smells -- or maybe just the Redwoods? I enjoy your daily notes and am wondering.....what thesaurus are you using? I'm impressed!