Pursuit Horizon Blog 7 – From a Race track to Hwy 1 “The Black Out Zone”07 Jul 2012, Posted by The Journey in
Camping at a Racetrack. Oh look Fishies! Hwy 1. Come on let’s camp behind this creepy abandoned hotel. Zach’s man card is put on probation.
Day 12, 13 – Fish, Laguna Seca, July 4th, Abandoned Hotel.
After saying our goodbyes to Z’s friends (who were amazing, and very hospitable) we headed to Laguna Seca! Laguna Seca baby! I was so excited, all I could think of on the way there was think of the Red Bull U.S. GP that would be happening in about two weeks. As we got closer to the track I grew more and more excited. I wanted to get off the bike and explore this place, turn 5, the corkscrew, all of it! When we arrived the park ranger in the booth was very kind and unlike other state parks we have been to, this one was very laid back. Just pick a place and let her know, she even told us where the best photo spots were as she is an avid photographer herself. So given the choice between the rolling hill landscape and a view of the track to camp at, track it is.
It was in the middle of track day for cars when we got there; and as much as I wanted to go to the Aquarium (I am an avid saltwater fan) I wanted to watch that Lotus Exige go around the track more. So we sat in the grandstands, just Z and I, and watched the guys go around. It was awesome, just me and him, and some fast cars. The exotics were my favorite, as well as the Mini Coopers.
Side note: Z is in LOVE with his Mini, protective of it like I am of my bike. I was skeptical of the Mini’s until he took me for a drive in his, and now I am as much of a fan as he is! We must have sat and watched for a good two hours? It was awesome to just sit, stare at this track and watch a ghost race of the Moto GP guys in my head.
Since it was the fourth; Z and I thought we would go into Monterey to grab some food and a movie. We thought about sticking around for the Laser show (Monterey decided not to do fireworks), but a night at the track with him and a movie sounded better to me.
We awoke to the sound of a BMW s1000rr, and oh man with the right exhaust, that is a great sound. Those bikes are wicked fast, beautiful, and torque monsters. There was a superbike school this morning, and while I wanted to go participate, the Sea was calling. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the things I have always wanted to see. This place is a Mecca for research, and protection of marine life. I was so excited to go see it that I was a chatterbox the whole way there. Not to mention my baby hit 10,000 miles on the way there. I made Z stop just so I could take a picture!
The aquarium was unexplainable, such beauty. All the exhibits were very well maintained, educational, and beautiful. The jellyfish were by far my favorite part; they were gorgeous. Z liked the Sardines enclosure; it is basically a dome that people can stand under and the fish swim in a continuous circle, flashing silver throughout the room. I could have spent months in that place. The Ocean fascinates me so. I think Z liked watching me turn into a little kid staring into those tanks. I was just thankful he came with me and handled the crazy amount of children well.
We left the Aquarium and Monterey to pack up the tent and get on our way. I however did not check the map as carefully as I thought I had; as we were soon to find out.
We decided to jam south on 1 for the day and maybe stop at a state park to camp around 6. Seems like every place we stopped along the way was full up. Even trying to share a spot with people was a no go. This was very disheartening; it was cold, the sun was setting and the coast was beautiful, but we could not enjoy it as much as we both would have liked.
Let me just say that on a map, 1 looks like it has places to stop and camp the whole way down. This is false, especially on the week of a holiday. As we both realized we were running out of gas, hungry and cold, a town popped up. It was maybe only a town of 5-6 people, but it had an Inn, a gas station, and a store. SWEET! Or not. $7 for gas, no camping, $150 for a crappy room, $200 for a cabin, and a store that had neither real food, nor manageable prices. UGH. They ever so quickly informed us that the next town down had more services, but that was another 45 minutes away. “Great we are going to freeze.” Was all I could think. So after giving in and buying peanut butter crackers and a candy bar for Z we moved on. (All in all, stay away from Gorda, Ca.)
We started spotting places to “renegade” camp, as Z calls it. California… I have an idea for you. Instead of posting signs everywhere along route 1 that say “NO overnight camping”, tell us where the hell to camp. For example “Camping in 100 miles” Now that would be great. Thanks.
Growing more and more exhausted, cold, and hungry we kept heading south, hoping against hope that there would be a spot to camp soon. It seemed every sign we came across said that there was a town in 7 miles, and 7 miles later, no town. I was getting desperate. We found an abandoned Hotel, and Z took a quick jog around the back to see if we could park the bikes in the back, and it seemed like we had found home for the night. However there may have been someone living in there…so we decided to move on. It was now around 9pm, the sun had set a while ago, and now we are coming up on San Simeon. Finally, something that resembled a town.
Yet again, everywhere we went was full up. I am so over tonight, however Z and I are faring this pretty well. No fighting, no arguing, we are both just thrilled to be near civilization again. Finally we find a place in San Simeon state park. We have been informed by the ranger that all stores in the vicinity are closing in 10 minutes. That means if we want food, we have to go now! So Z drops the tent with me and takes off to go grab us some food. I quip “Man get food, Woman make tent.” He smiles and rides off. While I am putting the tent up in the dark all I can think is “Dear god let it be hot! A cheeseburger, a hotdog, anything warm!” He arrives right as I am finishing making the bed, and looks triumphant with a big brown paper bag in tow. I am eyeing that thing like it has gold in it.
“I got us a quart of milk, (great I hate milk) chocolate, (for him i am sure) salt and vinegar chips (ok those aren’t bad, now show me the cheeseburger) and chocolate frosted mini wheats.” I almost fell over my heart sank so badly. He told me how everything had closed except this little mini mart. And I became very grateful for him braving the cold again and for the food I did have. We both silently chowed down and with our bellies satisfied enough to go to sleep, we both quickly drifted off.
Even through all the horribleness that accompanied last night, the coast was gorgeous, awe inspiring, and breathe taking. I would definitely make that trip again… in the daytime.
Day 12/13 – Two days down but nothing but work.
After leaving San Francisco we stayed with a friend for two days. I had some freelance work to do on a TV spot and decided to work on that for the day. Truth is we need the money as we are already over budget and this is just the start of week two. I really hope when we get out of CA that the camp sites and activities cost less.
Even though we had two days down time we worked nonstop catching up on work that needed to be done for the project. It seems like all we are doing is working on the blog and documentary. Ironic since the point of this and our tag line is “Stop working; start living”. If this was just a normal road trip without the blog and documentary it would be a whole lot simpler. However I really do enjoy sharing on the blog and love the film making process.
A girl who loves fast things.
Hello Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. After stressing about not being able to find an open camping spot on the 4th of July Amanda remembered Laguna Seca. This was brilliant and they had spots open. We had a choice of camp sites. Some with romantic views of the rolling Monterey hillsides and a few with views of the racetrack. Amanda went straight for the racetrack side camping spots like a kid running into the toy store. The whole time we were setting up camp she was looking over at the track with the “I so want to go explore” look written all over her face. And as soon as camp was set up that is what we did.
There we sat watching the cars go by and betting on the on track battles. Most women would be just sitting there daydreaming wishing time would pass by faster. However today as I sat here with her next to me it felt strangely romantic. It was a wonderful moment we shared together, one of the most relaxing times we have had together in the last few weeks. I think we both were wishing it wouldn’t end.
Fireworks, umm no they are having a laser show instead. We thought about it and then just rented a movie and headed back to our trackside tent. Hello Ricky Bobby 🙂 And so begins a night of talking like southern Nascar drivers.
Here fishy, fishy, fishy. Hwy 1 is that you?
Today we are starting the day off with the Monterey Aquarium. It should be mentioned that Amanda is absolutely in love with all this under the sea. I must admit the fishies are growing on me. However the Monterey Aquarium should have a no kids day or at least a limit on the number of people admitted per day. It seemed like 15 minutes the number of people inside was doubling. After an hour I felt like the old sardine factory turned into an aquarium had reverted back. We were packed in there and it was kind of ridiculous considering they charged us over $70 to get in and now all I could see was the backs of people’s heads and screaming kids everywhere. The first hour we were there did make it worth it and the huge sea turtles and otters were just awesome. Plus Amanda was so very, very happy and that is what I like to see.
HWY-1 The Blackout Zone.
Amanda started calling Hwy-1 the “Black Out Zone”. She started this after we stopped at about the third campsite and it was full. The phone had no signal, so no GPS, and there was not much along the highway. One gas station we came across and had to get fuel at had the nerve to charge almost $7.00 a gallon and the food and rooms were crazy overpriced. However we did not choose to ride Hwy one for its amenities but rather because we had heard it was beautiful. That part is so, so true. It is amazing! Beautiful greenery and hill side homes in some parts and spectacular coastline views and cliffs in others. For motorcyclist the road is windy and twisty just like we like them. For once in my life I didn’t want to go fast on a road like this I only wanted to look at the views. This road is definitely a must for any motorcyclist.
No where to camp. It’s Getting dark and cold. SH#!
In Pursuit of the Horizon we were definitely riding as the sun was setting and it was getting cold, real cold. The sun is now just setting with only a glimmer of light left and for the last thirty minutes I have been looking for places alongside the highway to sneak the bikes behind and set up camp. However CA has signs everywhere saying no camping and there are barbed wire fences alongside the road. Of course I really don’t give a damn about that and am still looking but I see no places that Amanda’s CBR can go. It’s just open fields with knee high growth. Sweet up ahead there is an abandoned hotel. Behind it looks promising. There is one car parked out front with nobody in it. I start knocking on the doors to find out who it is and ask if we can camp behind the place. Nobody answers and just then the only Highway Patrol we have seen all drives by and slows down. I can tell Amanda wants to move on so we do. If I was alone I would have risked hiding out there for the night but I know she would be stressed about it.
And I was so proud of myself; Grr.
It’s now dark and we see one more campsite it also says it’s full. We pull in and luckily they let us set up camp. The ranger told us the market up the road closes in 15 minutes. Amanda tells me she will set up camp and I should rush to go get food. I head off and find it with five minutes to go before they close. Later I find out I went to the wrong market. I was at a liquor store / mini mart and not the market. They have nothing. I buy the only box of cereal, milk, some chips, and a bar of chocolate and head back. It was that or frozen burritos or day old donuts. I gather some plastic spoons and 32 once paper cups to use as bowls. At least we will have something to eat and Amanda looked hungry when I left. Mission accomplished; man has provided. I rush back to the campground and she has the campsite up. I then hear “I set up camp now show me some hot food man”. I show her the bag with a sense of accomplishment. I made it to the store in just the nick of time and I managed to get us something. Amanda’s face just drops and the disappointment shows. 100 credits have just been removed from my man card. Next time I’ll stay at camp and she can go get food. Then at least when she gets back we will most likely have good food and I would have tried to get the tent up. Who says she can’t do both. I’m the creative one and I just look pretty 🙂