Sunday, October 14, 2007

2007 October 13 - tc's Giant Artichoke Ride

{CLICK on photos to view full size images}

Cranky has some additional photos at: Cranky's Blog

I have been meaning to stop at the Vista Point near Gustine for years. This is above I-5.

Tiny, Cranky, tc and Happy Wanderer at Hollister.

Jest shows up.

Bear {Brian Sublow} filling up.

Nite Lite trying to find the slot...................

Okay now we start the Ride. tc is the Ride Leader and Nite Lite is riding shot gun. Well, turning north onto old Hwy 156. Jest and nite lite get cut off in traffic. There is road work being done and one lane is shut down creating heavy traffic.

Cranky overtakes tc after a few miles since Jest and Nite Lite are still not in sight. So we make a U-turn and head back to the start spot. No Jest and Nite Lite. tc figures that they took the Hwy 25 exit instead of continuing along old Hwy 156 which is where we were.

So instead of losing Cat, we lost Jest and Nite Lite in the FIRST MILE of the Ride. A new record.

We hang out at Hwy 25 just before the Hwy 101 entrance for a couple of minutes. Brian calls his dad's cell and leaves a voice mail.

The six of us head through Gilroy. tc, Happy Wanderer, Tiny, Bear, me and Cranky in that order. Well, at one of the four way stops which we have all been floating through, tc and Happy Wanderer have stopped and take off. Tiny and Bear kind of float through, then I see the Sheriff's car second in line to our right. I stop. The Sheriff then turns on his blinking lights and turns, thus he does not see Cranky floating through.

Only Tiny and Bear get ticketed. What a bummer. Cranky is disappointed that he does not get a ticket.

Meanwhile this traffic stop takes about 20 minutes {two cigarettes}. Just across the road and up the hill from us is this huge house.

We have to change riding routes because of the long stop. So back to Hwy 152 into Hollister.

Harvesting strawberries just outside of Pajaro.
Castroville calls itself the artichoke capitol of the world. They have held an annual Artichoke Festival since about 1947 in May of each year. The Festival's claim to fame is that its first Festival Queen was Norma Jean Baker later better known as Marilyn Monroe.

Jest and nite lite beat us to the Giant Artichoke in Castroville. They get their food before we get ours.

My half eaten plate. I forgot to take a photo before I started, then Cranky reminded me that Sherm wants to see the "food" shot. :-) I have the Giant Artichoke platter, which is a steamed artichoke, deep fried artichoke and artichoke bread with a dish of mayo and a dish of ranch dressing.
These two may soon become the fellow that we saw in the parking lot. The next photo.

After lunch Tiny heads back home. He had worked from 11 PM until 7:30 AM that morning.

tc, rather than jump on Hwy 156 one block away, choses to head back to Hwy 1. Well, when we get to Hwy 1 we get a Right Turn Only, when we want to go to the LEFT. So going about a half a mile the wrong way we turn into a Fruit Stand parking lot and make another U-Turn. :-)

We eventually get to heading south on Hwy 1. Happy Wanderer leaves us at Fort Ord where he lives. So it is now six bikes {the normal number} but a different six. We were headed to Big Sur and make a gas stop in Carmel to avoid the $4.89/gallon gas price in Big Sur.

At the gas stop waiting for Cranky to use the WC.
Cranky and jest decide it is too cold and too late so they head back home from Carmel.

Nite Lite in his usual position, riding tail.

It is just the four of us as we head south on Hwy 1. tc, Bear, me and Nite Lite.

It is chilly and foggy. And the south bound traffic is being held up by a couple of slow moving cars. The last four times that I have ridden through this part of Hwy 1 has been from south to north. In that direction the traffic is not bad. But today was a bitch.

Fifteen miles after our gas stop, tc pulls off at a vista. He has grown tired of the slow pace. We are all tired of the slow pace. We meditate for awhile looking at the ocean.

We then head back home. tc will lead us along Hwy 1 to Hwy 129 via Pajaro Road. NIte Lite pulls along side of me when we get to Pajaro and asks "What town is this?"

I wave my good byes at Hwy 101 and I continue along since this is the back way to San Juan Bautista. I stop for a soda at the Windmill Market. In July of 2006 this is the place where Skid and I bought Sandy her "birthday cake", a piece of Mexican pastry that is the same as a pineapple jelly roll.

In fact, I bought a piece of that pineapple jelly roll. It is really good at this bakery. Most are on the dry side but the Windmill makes a moist jelly roll.

Great sandwiches {cheap too} and their tortas are delicious.

Then back on the road over Pacheco Pass. A gas stop at Santa Nella where a R1150R rider comes over to talk to me as I have a cigarette. He was feeling like the Lone Ranger as there were about a dozen Harley's parked along side his beemer.

I was planning to take Hwy 33, but it is too late and I do not like riding at night, so off along I-5. It is only 70 miles from Santa Nella to my home. I get home in a little under an hour from Santa Nella just as the sun is setting.

Todays Riders:
tc .............. #1245 ...San Jose
Nite Lite ... #4234 ...Petaluma
Tiny .......... #4685 ...Pinole
VSP ........... #5569 ...Stockton
Jest ........... #6372 ...Saratoga
Cranky ..... #16804 ...San Jose
Happy W .. #18670 ...Monterey
Bear .......... #19483 ...Petaluma

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