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Sun Oct 21 2012: Earthquakes and Elephants in California

I really hate schedules. We're heading to Cambria, CA for the Horizon's Unlimited meeting, a chance to get together with like-minded travelers, exchange stories and tips. However, we've had to cut our desert-time short and head to the coast for the weekend. After 4 months of unscheduled wandering, having to make a date is kind of stressing me out, even if it's for something that we're looking forward to.

Show and tell at the HU meeting parking lot
The meeting was excellent, we really felt an affinity with so many folks that didn't bat an eye when we told them we quit our jobs, sold our home and just went riding. Back home, a few of our friends and a lot of our family thought we were a bit crazy to do this, but at the HU meeting, we met so many people that had either had done the same, were doing it right now (lots of e-mail addresses exchanged), or were planning on doing it that it felt like we were in a herd of black sheep. Lots of head nodding and Amens!

A little cankle-action, courtesy of my Death Valley off.
Not as bad as it looks, just a slight limp for a few days


Neda met Carolyn at the Adventures for the Cure dirtbike charity ride in Colorado a few years ago. They've kept in touch over the years and the girls were excited to see each other again!

The best part of attending the "Cooking on the Road" session

Spent most of the weekend in seminars like this, getting travel tips

Tents galore at the HU meeting

On Sunday night, we had a bit of excitement when a 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit King City, just 60 miles away from Cambria. We were in our tent shortly after midnight when the quake hit. We thought it was someone shaking our tent as a practical joke! The funny thing was the animals knew long before it actually happened, all the birds were going crazy about an hour earlier and 10 minutes before, the sea lions on the coast were making a huge racket. So bizarre! I just recently read about the Italian scientists who got sued for not predicting an earthquake. They should have used animals!

The next morning, all the California locals shrugged their shoulders - happens all the time they say. "If it ain't the Big One, nothing to worry about..." Geez!

Buddies at Big Sur

After the conference, we rode to San Jose with Carolyn, to get some service done to our bikes. Stopped at Big Sur to see the elephant seal colony.

Elephant Seal colony just south of Big Sur on Hwy 1

At this time of year, most of the seals are pups and teenagers, spending their time on the beach to develop bone mass on shore, before returning back to the weightless environment of the sea to hunt.

Graceful in the sea, but very awkward-looking once they climb onto land

Fastest hands in service bay! New chain and sprockets!

R12GS undergoing major surgery - final drive crown wheel bearing... :(

Captain America waiting for the bikes in San Jose

Rolling around San Jose on loaner bikes

Today marks a bit of an anniversary of sorts. One year ago, we officially told my parents that we were quitting our jobs, selling our home and riding around the world. That dinner was kind of an uncomfortable event... But tonight we're celebrating with order-in Chinese food and beer!

Treating ourselves in San Jose

A bit late, but accurate, nonetheless!

After spending a few days in San Jose, we've come to the realization that we're not big city people anymore. It's crowded, expensive and looks the same as any other big city. So we're off again...!

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