Tag Archives: silicon valley

10 Days and a Wakeup

5 working days and 5 pack up and check shit out days and the Silicon Valley experience shall be coming to and end.

The hot springs adventure last weekend was the tops. I was the only overnight guest so had the whole place to myself after 8PM. Spent 20 of my 24 hours there either in a sauna, hot tub or the swimming pool. Soooooooooooo nice. Highly recommended, folks.

Plans from here on, you ask?

Well, short term, it’s spend time checking out Muir Woods, the Monterrey Aquarium, NASA Ames, and a few other local spots too busy to see during weekends, haul shit to Bend and get settled in-ish, play and spend time with friends for a week or so. Then fly back down here, check out the back to back comedy onslaught of Bill Burr and Doug Stanhope, wrap up last minute business and head off on the big moto trip.

Long term, no fucking idea. This has become a regular occurrence throughout life and I’ve come to accept it. GIS gigs are lean these days west of the Rockies at my level and the ‘moving somewhere ever 1.5 to 2 years for a gig’ has run it’s course. Time to settle in somewhere and make it work. Not sure where that is, but you’ll be the first to know once I get it figured.

Trip prep is going swimmingly. Got the first round of gear selection figured and will be doing some dry runs with packing and set up. Put the raising links back on and holy shit, what a difference!

(For non-motorcycle people this may get moto nerdy for a bit)

After ditching the stock rear spring and having Top Gun rebuild the dampener while installing a dandy little 7.4 kg number, the KLR went from sloppy and piggy to fun. Did progressives, a fork brace and smaller fender up front earlier to get that under control, so for around $300 the pig went from spooky to quite capable off road. Still seemed a bit low with the stock dog bones so got some risers and the suspension went from good to awesome. After coming south I figured I’d throw the stocks back on for a more manageable ride height and while it felt a little wonky it was left so. With how low it rides stock I threw the raisers back on a month ago and have re-ridden many of the routes  I found here and fuck, never should have taken them off in the first place. Handles so much more crisply and just feels better, never taking them off again. Need some stock and lowering links for your Gen 1 KLR? Got some.

In describing my trip to friends here I’m getting a lot of good little spots to check out. Refined the route a bit and have been spending spare time combing through Google maps and travel sites for more goodies to check out along the way. This is gonna be so much fun. Here is a link to the .kml files I’m building the route around. More a general idea than a set route, but something to work with. Pull them into Google Earth to check ’em out if ya wanna.

And should the summer wear on without reasonable offers of employment, the folks down here liked me so much they offered the possibility of a new contract after a mandatory 3 month layoff. This leaves the possibility of taking the summer off to do a ton of moto trips, travel, play hang with friends then come back down for another year of bitching about how I hate it and making enough $ to live comfortably on and pay down student loans.

We shall see.

 

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Bustin’ Loose!!

Howdy!
I’ve come to find my previous tactic of waiting long periods of time to blast out rambling missives doesn’t serve my writing urge very well, so I’ll be posting more frequent, shorter posts about random dumb shit. This will either elicit a squeal of glee or a groan frustration, but that’s on you.
The powers that be at Fruit, the Cupertino based tech company I moved to this hellhole to work for, has recognized my hard efforts and blessed me with a paid day off which I’m applying to tomorrow. And how shall I utilize this? Stoned surrounded by food wrappers in front of a screen? Perish the thought. Thumper and I are headed, here in a bit, to Mercey Hot Springs, a little oasis of peace in the odd little dry land patch between I-5 and the 101. I’ve spent most of my camping, riding, get the fuck out of dodge time in this general area and it has been a lifesaver.

Fancier and more spendy than my favorite developed springs in Oregon it’s rustic by Cali standards. Keeps the super yuppies at bay.

This will also be a tiny shakedown run for some recent adjustments to the bike and new gear that will be part of the big 4000+mile 3-4 week SW moto ramble I’ll be heading out on after my contract is up here in a few weeks. I’m so goddamn excited! Gonna be a hoot. More details on that to come, be good to run into some folks while I’m oot and aboot.

Time to prep Thumper and finish packing, y’all have a sweet Sunday.

Wrapping it up in Silicon Valley

imoutSoon, very soon.

March 10th is my release date. After a year and a half in Techville it’ll be time to huck most all the shit back into Mighty Whitey and make a final trek north to Bend. For all the shit talking I could do, and have done, concerning this place and my time on it, I have to say it’s been a hell of a learning experience and some good times have been had. Many cool places I’d have never had the interest in or taken the time to check out have been explored and enjoyed.

Desert moto trips, coastal moto trips, trail running in the Sierras, backpacking in the oak savanna, fucking about in SF, and here soon seeing 2 of my favorite comedians back to back nights in San Jose at the Improv. Bill Burr the 22nd of March followed by Doug Stanhope the next night. So damn excited I may pee myself.

These 2 fun filled nights, however, are only a precursor to the big thrills on the horizon. I’m going to drive Mighty Whitey north, fly back down to catch the shows then jump on the KLR and take off on a 3-4 week road trip all around the desert SW. Fuck YES!!!

Having taken a number of 2-3 week road trips in one of many trusty Subarus over the years, this will be my first this long on Thumper. A multi week outdoor adventure trip involving National Parks, deserts, bouldering, hiking back-road moto adventuring and general fucking about across thousands of miles of mostly desert. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Being a solid minimalist, I’ll be avoiding the “Oakies heading West out of the Dustbowl” look many ADV riders seem to be so fond of. Lashing mountains of heavy bulky shit to a mildly powered bike that will be expected to handle in some tough conditions seems to be a recipe for disaster I choose to avoid. Luckily, most of my gear is higher quality lightweight backpacking kit so I should be able to pack all I need, have a little room and not have to wallow down the road like a pregnant water buffalo.

Many applications have been slung and none have stuck, so what the fuck, why not hit the road for a bit? I’ve seen images of so many cool places it’ll be good to go in person and lay my eyes upon them. Life is too short to just suck up digital content.

Plan to hit a variety of places all throughout SoCal, AZ, Utah, Colorado, NV then back to Bend. This whole thing actually came about figuring how to get my bike back north while the roads might still suck. Thought about running up the coast to Astoria, but the weather is typically shit in the spring on the coast and I’m fucking done with Cali coast trips. Then it was Death Valley for a few days which morphed into a big adventure. Carrizo Plain Natl Momument, Death Valley, J-Tree, Salton Sea then to see a high school friend in southern AZ enroute to Bisbee just in time for the Mishka Shubaly and Christene Lavene gig. Might even be able to buy a beer for Doug or one of his delightful band of misfits. May dip into Mexico for a look-see, not sure yet. Then north through Utah to check out old stomping grounds to Montrose, CO to visit friends. After that it’ll be road trip improv till I roll into me town of Bend.

Anyone along the route or who will be out and about that time of year and wants to hook up and travel a bit, shoot the shit or offer a patch of grass to sleep on I’ll be checking FB on occasion. Lots of Instagram will be happening and blog posts from time to time.

The big adventure begins roughly March, 25. Still have a few things to check out here before rolling out of Cali for good.