So I am now in Los Angeles California!!!!, Today I completed another 2 miles stones I got the must have photo for Los Angeles, the famous Hollywood sign! and Little Honda Surpassed the 7000 miles mark on this journey and currently has 35,909 miles on the clock!!!!….EPIC.
The last few weeks have been very busy, so apologies for not updating sooner!! I’ve met some very interesting people over the last few weeks and this blog covers a whole range of places, people and experiences. I have been staying with Timothy Ford for the last few days. Tim contacted me through the HondaC70 forum I had posted on before I left. I will write a seperate post on Timmy’s bikes as he has a few very special ones. But here is the account of the last few weeks,
(Its 2am so sorry for any editting mistakes!)
Wow is all I can say… well and a few other things I suppose..
Majestic, awesome (in the true sense of the word), spectacular, beautiful, amazing, humbling.
The below is a quote from the poem The Redwoods by Joseph B. Strauss ( and designer of the Golden Gate Bridge)
“This is their temple, vaulted high,
And here, we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awestruck soul;
For here we sense life’s proper goal:
To be like these, straight, true and fine,
to make our world like theirs, a shrine;
Sink down, Oh, traveler, on your knees,
God stands before you in these trees.”
I took a walk through the area, saw some speclatular looking trees and then took a tourist ride in a cable car up into the mountain, , trees are better seen from the ground in my opinion.
A couple of days later I reached Hombolt National Park where there are a lot more amazing trees,
I decided I wanted to camp in the woods that night. I hid my bike behind some trees, which was surprisingly difficult, and covered it with a tarp.
I found a nice spot not too far off the road, close to a river. I cooked my food that afternoon on the dry gravel river bed (the Winter flood plain).
There was a large fallen giant thant spanned the whole way from the road, through the forest and out over the gravel river bed. It formed a great bridge that allowed me to walk a path through 3 distincly different habitats.
That night I walked to the end of the tree suspended about 15 feet above the gravel river bed I sat and read some pages given to me by a guy who I met the night before at a beach.
I had camped at a beach the previous night which I arrived at by chance, after getting off Highway 101 due to heavy and fast traffic. I met a guy there with his girlfriend called Zane. They had been traveling for a few weeks in a large 4×4 and would be travelling for another 4 months or so. Zane was really enthusiastic and full of life and advice on the local areas. We only spoke briefly.
I lit a small fire and chilled out under the stars reading by my camp at the beach ( where I left my last blog)
The next day I was packing up my gear and Zane and his girl friend came over to me. He had few pages of printed A4 for me. I noticed it had a copper spiral paper clip. He said he had not given this to many people but he offered it to me and said I could either read it or use it as kindling. He was trying not to appear forceful of passing on his material. He had also written other novels as he told me, and he uses an Alias of Shane Dillon! Which he took to be a significant coincidence, and I too.
I took it and said I would read it and left for the Redwoods..
So anyway, I sat on the end of the tree in the dark of night in the redwoods, with just head torch and read his few pages.
To give you the jist of it, Zane is “done”. He is done with many things, and he feels like he has exhausted his usefulness in his present state in Life.
A few years ago, in a moment of dispair Zane had an experience that changed the course of his life. In that moment Zane described that he had stood in the presence of what he now calls God. He was not a religious guy beforehand he did not believe in God per se. Nor would I call him religious now, based on his literature. In his experience, Zane experienced a pure white energy and light, embodied by wisdom and was filled with what he described as unadulterated love. As a result of that experience he has made it his life’s work to follow his inspiration.
He believes that Life is simply for the experience and the body a means of transport, a receptical or a tool to experience it through. He now has no fear of death and welcomes the outcome. Though that is not what he is seeking. Death he believes, like any process is merely the finishing up of an experience and the transition to the next.
He believes we are at a dawn of a new age, an age of the evolution of human consciousnesses. He believes mankind has not yet unlocked our true abilities and realised our full potential, in particular our minds.
“It is a time of radical evolution. Not of machinery or of technology or convenience or destruction, but an evolution of consciousnesses through expanded awareness , whereby the power and the potential of the mind are realised, revealed and released, not to a gifted few, but to any who embrace the qualities of the dawning age, the Age of Aquarius which carries with it the highest ideals of Humanity.”
he continues ”…nothing has ever been released that has not released itself “, and that in order to move this process on he intends to take what he believes to be positive steps towards this advancement.
“As I stated in the begining, I am complete in this experience, and I am ready for my next. I am ready to evolve. At some undisclosed time prior to the date, as the caterpillar forges his cocoon I will sequestor myself into isolation removing all external influence and sustenance. I as I currently am will not becoming back, not in my present form anyway, if at all. I am submitting and applying myself- the entirity of who I am and the full force of my will and desire to the metamorphosis process. I am going forth to become what I AM.”
“… I have made my committment. My will be done, I can not fail”
Zane has set a date fo this 11 pf March 2012. He has a website/blog www.myspace.com/zane3x7 if anyone is interested in following whatever process he is about to engage in. The piece he gave me is in his Blog, entitled “The Unveiling”.
It was very interesting to have met him.
I left the headed down the road and came to Fort Bragg, and ended up at a small fishing pier called Noyo. Where I was met by a guy walking a dog. He said to me. “thats a long way to come on a small bike”. He mentioned he was from Ireland.. “oh yeah” i responded “from where”? Dillon Country came the reply .. was I hearing things?.. who? where ?
Dusty Dillion was his name from Athlone Ireland. The same location where the Dillons of Harpoonstown had originated. Was I standing in front of a long lost relative?. Probably I figured.
Dusty allowed me to set up my tent in his little RV park at the pier. The next day I spent with him, preparing some boats for the lighted boat parade he helps organise. Dusty is also good friends with Matt Molly proproter of Matt Malloys pub in Westport Co Mayo.
While there I also met a guy called Roger who personally knows Ted Simon (any self respecting motorcyce traveller will know who Ted is), and used to work for him on his organic farm. Ted was one of the early pioneers of overland long distance motorcycle travel and his book “Jupiters Travels” inspired thousands of people to hit the road on their motorcycle.
Thanks Dusty and Roger!!
After there I headed on to Mendocino, to catch up with MendoDave. Dave conatcted me before I left where he came across my post on a Honda forum. He had been restoring a old Honda Passport of his friend’s Daughter. He allowed me to use his workshop to carry out what ever maintenance repairs I required. Thanks Dave it was a pleasure hanging out for those 2 days!! (Dave also knows Ted!!- small world)
I continued down Highway 1 with hugging the coast and enjoy the unusual sunshine.
Down the road and stopped at Dillon Beach just north of San Franciso, and then pushed on for the Golden Gate Bridge. A Bridge I had been facinated with since I was a boy… and what a sight it was too..
San Francisco is a great “little” city, it is very diverse and full of culture, great food and hills.
My first morning there I met a Dutch girl called Sanne, so we headed off together to check out Alcatraz Prison, the so called inescapable island prison.
Aslo some hung out with some cool folk from the Hostel and ended piling Rob’s (random guy met at the pub) small bedsit apartment for late night drinks. Nice meeting you guys!
after that I stayed at with some friends of mine David and his wife Vanessa whom I met through my college buddy Seb. We spent a few days hanging out and exchanging music (all one way- thanks David) hiking and eating. and a little home maintenance of course…
One of the coolest things you can do in San Francisco, (if you are anyway engineering inclined) is ride the cable cars. San Franciso is the only city left that still operates them today. They started around 1880 and there were 470 miles of cable car track laid over several decades. Now just 4.7 miles remain, but with the hills in SF they still serve a practical purpose, but no doubt it is for historical and tourist reasons that they are retained.
A cable is located under the street and it travels at a continuous speed of 9.5mph. The cable car picks up the cable and locks on to it and is so pulled up and down the hills and through the streets. Speed is controlled by varying the degree of slip on the cable. In a world of safety, it is a wonder that they have not been closed down yet. My work colleagues would be horrified at the idea of riding one of these un-tethered but this is all part of the charm though I fear its only a matter of time before the axe eventually falls on this as Big Brother takes over ultimate responsibility for mankinds welfare. But they really add charm to this city and it wouldn’t be the same with out them.
Incidently, I have just finished reading George Orwell’s “1984″ published in 1949 ( hence the Big Brother reference), where the population is controlled through distraction by mass media, creating wars with no definable enemy and no measure of success, where the population is spied upon and unorthodoxy rooted out, and providing the illusion of freedom while systematically removing it. Phew!!..no similarities there then, glad that is just science fiction! A great read, and perhaps more relevant now then ever.
As I left San Fran i met up with a bunch of riders from the Bay Area Riders Forum. One of the guys from the forum had spotted me in a cafe and had posted about my trip. It sparked a big debate on the forum on the suitability (or unsuitably) of my bike for the trip. Long story short Jim Larramendy from the forum got a bunch of people together to meet me on the way out of SanFran for lunch. Thanks guys it was great to meet you and thanks for the escort!
That night I stayed with an old friends parents who had moved to SF from Dublin, and I had some nice home cooked food!… and LYONS tea!!!!! (Lyons Vs Barry’s Tea.. the age old debate) – Thanks Bridie and Val !!
Through the forum GoPro (sport cameras manufacturuers) got a hold of me, and offered to donate some accessories, and to replace a camera I was having some issues with. When I got there, they had a whole bunch of goodies for me including 2 additional cameras, batteries, an LCD screen and a whole host of other items. Thanks GoPro! I was particularly impressed that they did not even ask for a plug through the website or for me to wear their sticker on the bike or anything! .. but I do now.. cheers!
After that I pushed on on Highway 1. What an amazing ride. Miles and miles of motorcycle heaven.
Camping in California is a hassel, they make you camp in desinated areas and make you pay up to $35!!.. need less to say I try not to. But I got caught by a Park Ranger and moved on. So i stayed in a motel. Grr
Next stop was Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is an beautiful town, very rich and home to alot of stars. Need less to say camping is hard to come by here, but I think I found the best spot I spoke to some folk in the park and they said the homless camp at the church so I checked it out. I spoke to a fe people there, it seemed safe so I decided to camp there the night. Well I just slept in my sleeping bag outside in the lawn, I didn’t set up my tent, but it was perfectly comfortable and I never felt unsafe. Those guys were up early too, I felt like the lazy teenager, they were up a 5.30 am most of them and went off recycling!!!. I had a lie in… in the Church yard… first time for everything!
Before moving on from Santa Barbara, I checked my emails and almost forgot about an offer to meet up with a guy called Paul Dineen in Ventura. Paul has little Honda C70 Passport and had found me through the C70 forum. I dropped him an email and he said to swing by his workshop. I had a great welcome from all the guys (and 1 Gal- Erin) at California Carbide when I arrived. That night we all went out for some drinks and food in Ventura, and later hit a few bars with Dan, Evan and Johnny. The next day a few of us went for lunch and then I was escorted out of town by a Honda Passport and a Yamaha R6!! Thanks Paul and everyone at California Carbide, they were all really cool people!
(well on this trip anyway! - thanks for the pics Erin!!)
My next stop was Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, Paul had called his friend Jamie to let him know about my trip. So Jamie invited me to stay at his house and brought me along to 2 Christmas Parties!! Thank you Jamie, Ellen and Patrick!!
I hit the road again, this time to meet Timothy Ford and his wife Veronica just south of LA. When I got there Tim had rounded up a few of his buddies, to give me a welcome as I arrived. ( I will write a post on Timmy’s bikes as he has some crackers!!)
I arrived with just shy of 7000 miles completed and with the Honda having completed c.35,780 miles over 25 years. What a little fighter this bike is. For those of you that might not be into bikes per se, that is A LOT of miles for a tiny one cylinder engine!! Though the bike is starting to show some signs of its age, the clutch slipping a little and it is popping out of 3rd gear sometimes. I will update again on the bike status. But these can be dealt with.
So now I need to decide on my next steps, I was hoping to make Death Valley for Christmas. Death Valley for Christmas apparently is Mecca for some people, but I am not sure that will happen now. I need to make some very good preparations before I tackle the desert on the bike. So watch this space!! Where I will spend Christmas I am not sure, but I’m not too concerned right now.
More to come…