The Breakfast Club: Morrow Bay Campout

Friday/Saturday, 11/12 November 2016

Pictures start here

Alberto writes


It all started on Tuesday, November 8th. Harry Bahlman threw a gauntlet:

SMBC’ers, I am zigzagging south down the coast Friday morning, perhaps Nacimiento-Fergusson road :) staying at Morro Bay State Park, site 098. Having dinner in town, then heading back Hwy 1 Saturday morning. Let me know if you want to join me.

Common Harry, what is wrong with you? Well you knew that a fool or two would pick it up.

Citizen No 1. I’ll go! - that was Alberto (yes, me) you all know me, no need to add a personal bio, and if you do nit t know me, well, you are not missing anything. I gave Harry a call, asking what bike woul he be riding? His new toy, the KTM or his trusty BMW. “BMW! ALberto”. Dang! I was disappointed. I was hoping he’d take the KTM and I would take my new toy… the KLR that Marco and Mike have improved with new LED lights, dashboard, Denali power Hub and a new battery! Yes, yes, I want to take this puppy out for a ride.

Citizen No 2. Dimitry Struve. I am sure all of you know Dimitry… but do you know WHO EXACTLY Dimitry is? I bet not. So here is my take of Dimitry.

Well Fool No 2 rides a DR650. Now this may be a humble looking machine, but the way he rides it… there is nothing humble about it. (More later). So, WHO is Dimitry? This much I glean from the man. He is a project-a-holic. He is a retired mechanical engineer with nothing “retired” - always working. At home, he told me, just in passing, of the many things he is fixing. Things that do not need fixing, well, he fixes them in case they bream. Or he breaks them, just so that he can fix and improve on them. What a man!

Citizen No 3. Carl Tyler. Soft spoken, very educated and well mannered. Let me put it this way, everything he is, someday I’d like to polish myself into. Nuff, said.

Back to the story.

Harry and I met at six am at the Los Gatos Starbucks. When Harry says six am, well, you can set your watch by him! Coffee, pastry, “sidestands-up” as he puts it.

Highway 17, just a few blocks away, off we are.

Somehow, Dimitry who lives in Santa Cruz, and Carl who I am sure came by Los Gatos all agree to meet at the Dennys in Marina by highway 101. Why so far?? No matter, off we are on our way.

The morning is crisp. The sky is open. The spirit is high. Harry led us to Marina, however much he wanted me to lead. Sorry Harry. You must remember that Alberto has no sense of direction and as such, avoids taking the lead. “Ok, I’ll lead, just do not be surprised if you see next exit Fremont or Milpitas”

Why should I excuse my lack of direction. Harry managed to get us lost! Good going Ace! We saw the Dennys sign from the freeway, but we got lost on the way to it. we got lost to the point of having to ask a high school girl for direction. “Go back, turn left… there”. On t way to “there”, Who do we see, Dimitry! Another lost puppy. Gives us a road salute, turns around and show up a few minutes later.

Not Carl. You can trust him to arrive without transgression… and he did a few minutes later.

Everyone had a “regular” breakfast, except Mr Perfect, who, henceforth shall be call Mr Hollow Leg . Carl orders a serving of pancakes, nothing new there until he asks the server: “excuse me, how many pancakes is that?” She replies,”two”. Without preamble, Carl clarifies, “well that is not going to do! I need more, bring me please a double order”. And , Carl had no problem obliterating the Double Order… how can he do that?! (hollow leg).

Impatient, I requested for us “to hit the road and do what we do best…ride”. Dimitry having inquired Harry’s preference of road took the lead.

Remember “more later”, from above? Well! When Dimitry takes the lead, he ain’t faking it. His bike, may be a humble one-cylinder, but the way he makes that one cylinder work… I saw him spanking that cylinder into performance!

Soon DImitry left us in the dust, and poor Carl left, at least, one or two counties behind. But he is a leader. He stops, waits for the rest of America to catch up, and without preambles… again, off he goes!

He took us south on highway 1, left someplace and up what I think was Laurel Grade. At the intersection, left onto the extension of Carmel Valley Rd to the end of it. Want a road”!! The back end of Carmel Valley Road is fantastic! Picture Highway 25… just with greater challenges on the left-right department. Eventually it lead to the town of Greenview.

Here, Carl headed North on Highway 101… fare well buddy!

Dimitry, Alberto and Harry headed toward Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd and Fort Hunter Liggett to head West and the ocean. Fabulous! A word of caution, lots of dry leaves with possibly wet pavement below it. The road is in bad shape. I had the feeling it was “granular”, making my bike skip sideways a little and my heart skip a few beats. I knew that soon I need to change tires, 11,000 miles is a lot of miles. Well, after this, for sure no delaying!

Later, in conversations, asked Harry about this “granularity of the road”… he replied “yes, he’d gone a little sideways, and He had brand new Metzler tires”. Phew! I thought I was getting scared without reason or just poor riding technique on my part. This is an important reply, as I consider Harry among our better rides.

The anticipated great view of the ocean was a flop! The coast was under some serious fog. You could not see the ocean at all.

Once at the coast, DImitry headed North and home. Harry and Alberto continued south on our way to Morro Bay.

Well, the weather dropped 15 degrees if not more. A jacket and a tee shirt will not do at 59° F. We stopped at Cambria for a hot chocolate., yum! Fiesteen minutes later we arrived to our campground. Setup camp and headed for the town and a possible dinner.

Moro Bay is a quaint beach town. Four or six blocks of tourists curios and ten thousand restaurants. Not cheap, when a Caesar salad goes for $14 the rest of the menu follows proportionately. A saving grace, up on the hill, a block away…

Giovanni’s. Let me tell you. Unqualified. The best Chicken Marsala I have ever had. You will not be disappointed. Not cheap. But I was not fleeced either.

By 7:30 pm we were tired. Walked around the campground for a last “total wipe out” and I called my day off. Harry stayed up for who knows how long.

Up at five-something in the morning. Harry returns from taking a shower. That’s brave! Camp showers just do not inspire safety, not to me anyway, I rather stay filthy.

Headed north on highway 1 to Cambria for breakfast. I remember once coming back from San Luis Obispo Marco had suggested the Redwood Cafe…. it is still as good, if not better, it helps to be hungry!

North on highway 1 was a dream. No traffic. No fog. 70 mph at for most of the ride until 10 miles short of Carmel…. Screech! Slam the brakes. 25 mph all the way.

Cut east at 152 and 101 all the way…. home-sweet-home.