8/17/11 A good day on the road. We left Yuma AZ and immediately crossed into California, one of our destination states. When we left the hotel at 7:30, it was 98 degrees outside! So much for cooling off overnight...
Once in California on I-8, we rode through one area of huge sand dunes. They went for several miles, and covered a huge area. No pics; it was hot, and we wanted to get on to San Diego. A while later, the Interstate narrowed to one lane, and all the traffic was sent through another Inspection Station, looking for illegal immigrants and drugs. We didn't have to stop; they waved us through. I guess two old guys on BMW bikes were not good candidates to smuggle immigrants or drugs.
It got fairly hot along the way, hovering around 100 degrees, until we started up the mountains between east and west California. The Interstate was fairly boring, so we found an old historic road that paralleled I-8. Hwy 80 was more interesting, with the road following the lay of the land more than the Interstate, and it had more curves. But, alas, it crossed the Interstate and headed north, so we had to get back on the fast road.
We had one side trip that a mutual friend had suggested. I was told that in a town along the way there was a Buck Knife factory. I collect knives and love to have them, so I wanted to see the place. So, off we went to find it. I had a street address, so the GPS took us directly to the location. But, it was not there! It looked like an industrial building, but nothing to do with Buck knives. A wild goose chase is what it was.
On to San Diego. The Interstate was not bad; traffic was moving fine, and it was not heavy. We followed the Interstate almost to the ocean. Once off the Interstate, I followed some small streets and found Dog Beach. A weird name for a beach, but it happens to be a beach dedicated to letting dogs run free and to be trained. LOTS of dogs there!
We walked out to the beach and let the waves run up onto our boots, and dipped our hands into the surf, to feel the water of the Pacific Ocean. It was cool, but not nearly as cold as the water is further north.
Then to find a place to eat. Just up the street we found Shades restaurant. I had a BLAT sandwich. Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato, and it was excellent. Gary did his usual fish and chips. A good lunch with a view of the Pacific.
Then we walked out on the Ocean Beach pier, a concrete pier built in the 1960s. It's the longest pier on the west coast, at 1,600 feet long! Much longer than any I've ever seen or been on. It's a fishing pier, and we saw a few people fishing, but they were not catching much.
Back to the bikes and up the beach highway, just taking in the scenery along the way. It's so weird to have the ocean just a few hundred feet from the road, and mountains immediately on the other side of the road. Neat! It was cool and foggy along the way, with the temperature dipping to 69 degrees. Almost cool! It was an extraordinary experience, going from 100 degrees to 69 in the space of 15 miles or so.