Sparky's Blog

Motorcycles, Travel, Adventure, Nature, Friends

Memorial Day 2006


This first picture was taken by BigSteve and is my absolute favorite! We had a great time as usual. Ventura Chapter rides are always a blast - mostly because of the people. This was one of those days and it is what I would call a perfect day in Southern California once again. We get 15-30 bikes every time we ride and this was no exception.

We always have a safety meeting before each ride to go over the hand signals and route. Afterwards we headed for Santa Barbara and scooped up Ron in Carpenteria, who was waiting for us on the overpass, and he fell right in to the pack at 65 MPH. Stopping for gas in Los Alamos, we took a short break to chat and snap a few pictures.

This is a picture of Ron and I in the lot next to the gas station. A big man with an even bigger heart Ron was tagged "Rescue Ron" by the officers and members for the numerous times he has either stayed behind with a disabled bike and rider in need of a tow or come running to a bikers aid out of the blue. He seems to be the one to always step forward when help is needed.

Juliann snapped this picture at full speed, as we left for SLO and the little town of Pozo. I guess I was still adjusting my wiring and microphone and the wind was whipping the fringe on my grips, if you are wondering what all those black things are.

This is a typical turn out for us. As you can see we are fortunate to have a lot of members who come out to ride all year long. That is the key for me simply because it is much more fun with the different people and variety of bikes. It's really not about the number of bikes that you have in the pack but the large group of people that are enjoying the fun. This ride was a lot of fun!

We took the long way home, out the 58 through Taft and south on the 33 to Ojai, but had to stop for a few minutes and overwhelm the market in McKittrick. This little one horse town is probably, only still on the map because of this motorcyclist's watering hole and we took full advantage of the facilities.

And so, after a few more pictures and a cool drink we mounted up and headed back the last leg of the trip. It has become a Ventura Chapter tradition to take a nice long ride on Memorial Day Monday, a tradition that I hope lasts for many years to come. This ride was  one to remember and I am very thankful to Juliann and Skinny Dave and others who bring their cameras.


6 days in the Southwest


Kman and I joined up in Devore off the 15 on Wed. morning May 17th, 2006, and spent the night at Nevada Mugs' place in Vegas. We launched from there up into Utah and thru Zion. Having seen it before we kept moving and got to Bryce in short order. Bryce was amazing and we stopped several times to take pics and enjoy the canyon.

Just on the other side of the park, we spent the night in Escalante and headed out to Capitol Reef and Grand Staircase the next morning. The roads through here are incredible and the bright red landscape made me feel like I was on Mars. On to the Glen Canyon Nat. Rec. Area and across the Colorado River where the scenery flattened out and we rolled into Mexican Hat for the night.

The next day it was on to Monument Vally and the Navajo Reservation. Many films were shot here including John Ford's "Stagecoach" and "Back to the Future 3". I was very impressed with these rock formations standing like totum poles, but we kept moving east toward our next destination Canyon de Chelly (pronounced de Chey).

There were plenty of places to buy trinkits and we stopped often. The people were extremely interesting and the canyon had ancient drawings on the sides of it. Heading south from there and then west, we passed thru the Hopi Reservation and made it to Cameron for the night.

Day 5 was the South Rim in the morning and Sedona in the afternoon. Having never really seen the Grand Canyon this was a must for me. We stopped to look down inside a couple times before actually entering the park. Finally there it was, surreal in a way, and almost a bit of a let down even as magnificent as it was. We had seen so much that week, and it felt like the adventure was coming to an end.

So we spent the next night in Precott watching the weather reports from Calif. It seems there was a bit of rain headed our way, but we were prepared for it and the next morning we headed for home. Down the Yarnell grade and across the desert westward went Sparky and Kman, their thirst for adventure quenched for the time being. What will be next you ask . . . We shall see . . .



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Hell's Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen on Ortega Hwy
Kelly & Tommy from San Diego
Sparky - Ready to Ride!
The Famous Condiment Coffin
Southern Cruisers Riding Club

Well, I finally got to ride with the club again. When BigSteve said he was going down to meet the guys on their way back from San Diego, I was all over it. We were making good time too, when suddenly an SUV did a "flip and roll" right in front of us, so we stopped to help. The lady and her baby were OK (amazingly enough), thanks to seatbelts and child-seats. We arrived at this out-of-the-way biker hangout as the other chapters started pouring in one by one. They had heard we were gonna be in town and so they decided to throw us a multi-chapter lunch. Riverside then Orange County, finally my own Ventura Chapter and San Diego, they all came out to enjoy a burger and visit for awhile. The S/W Coast Regional Officer and Calif. State Officer were both on hand and we all enjoyed being with our SCRC family again for a few hours.

 Hell's Kitchen has a great menu and the prices aren't too bad. I had the pastrami and it was around $7.50. The place is very biker friendly (I didn't actually see a car there) and there were even venders. I got my jacket repaired by the lady who was sewing patches, and bought a new doo-rag for Monica. I really missed her on this trip and the cell wasn't working so I was content to flirt with the waitress who was very friendly.  The real attraction, though, was the hydrolic "condiment coffin". This you had to see to believe! (Sorry no pic) So after another beautiful day on the backroad playgrounds of SoCal, I was ready to head home. One more trip around the parking lot and Mark snapped this final picture of that ol' Sparky smile. Thanks "roomie" for the pics on this trip. Wait . . . Here is the pic of the coffin from Rhoby (thanks sweety). There is a handle in the shape of a skull that operates the hydrolic motor. Push to open and up the lid goes slow and smooth. Pull again and down it comes like the crypt-keeper. Absolutely one of a kind! So the next time you are heading out Ortega Hwy toward Lake Elsinore stop by.


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