The next morning, the weather reporter for the local television station stood before a telestrator upon which fluorescent green Doppler dots swept inland from the Pacific. “Expect unsettled weather throughout the morning and into the afternoon.” We engaged in a misty walk to a breakfast place noting from the wet pavement and running gutters that it must have “rained like hell” last night. But, by the time we returned to the Best Western, packed and saddled, the sky was as azure as a gemstone.
A bullet had been dodged. Or had it?
HIGHWAY 1 NORTH of Monterey is a freeway. Without yesterday’s crosswinds, the ride was smooth. Above Castroville the road pares down to two lanes and the cruise through the fertile coast valley is pleasant, if cool.
An hour quickly passed and once back on the highway, the specter of “unsettled weather” appeared on the horizon. Coursing north, an angry, black billow sat off shore. Beneath it, the Pacific’s horizon was lost in a gray, streaked downpour.
The bottom had, indeed, fallen out. Highway 1’s west-northwest cant seemed to be driving us directly into its core. Progressing toward Half Moon Bay, we couldn’t help but alternately eye the road and eye the incoming storm. The further north we ran, however, the further toward due west the thing seemed to rest, by the time an hour has elapsed, the beast was behind us. We stopped for photos.
Dodged another one.
ONE THING I’D VOWED never to do was to operate a motorcycle in the city of San Francisco. Clutches. Hills. Buses. Trolley tracks. Wacko drivers who squeeze through intersections on the red. But after a chilly detour up 35 and over to 101 – past the famed sport bike rider hangout Alice’s Restaurant, the temperature had dipped to 38 – we found ourselves heading north through the Sunset, across Golden Gate Park and over the bridge.
The three-day trip had come full-circle. We stopped at the north end for a view of the city and for farewells. Riding buddy Randy would return to Santa Rosa to turn in the GS although I know he’d just have soon continued north to Seattle on it. I would head across state route 37 to Sonoma, Napa, Berryessa and home. A grand time was had by both of us and the only thing we missed was the storm.
Anita Caprioli: http://www.anitacaprioli.it/
Church of the Open Road Press