My first sandstorm

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Calm before the storm

I knew the wind was coming, just thought it was coming Sunday, not the day before.  The wind picked up around midnight Christmas, and never slowed.  I like storms, and I like wind, especially when I am inside a structure with windows.  The irony is the windows are the cause of all my suffering.  The sand grains and dried mud are small enough to fit into grooves in the vertical sliding windows.

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Garage area under windows

Seeing and feeling the rush of wind and sand an rocks banging against the bus was a delight, until my sinuses came apart.  When I could not get the snot-flow under control, I also realized there was a cloud of dust inside the bus.  I know the bus was NOT airtight, but I had no idea how much material could actually penetrate the bus.  I finished day 2 of cleaning, an that was really only the left side, as the right side is mostly drifting dust – still dirty, just no piles of sand like the ENTIRE LEFT SIDE of the bus.

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First (of 2) bucket of sand

After emptying the vacuum from the day before, and replacing the filter, I emptied the entire back of the bus so I could vacuum the sand from the rear.  It took another four hours to do that, ten I had to go back up front, and redo the windows from yesterday.  I did not realize the sills were retaining sand on top, and sucking them thru when driving.  It has been a long 2 days.

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Xmas Day Ride

It’s all good, I needed to clean anyway, just wanted to wait till spring :(  But I did get to ride some awesome desert, and hope to finish riding here this week – more video to follow in a few days.

**WARNING**

The video below contains excessive profanity.

 

Help me, I am stuck in a Desert Sandstorm -California-Arizona Border

Since midnight last night, the wind has been blowing, and it is only getting worse.  I have been in ultra-strong winds before, for hours, but this is different.  20 foot visibility due to massive amounts of sand being carried in the wind is simply shocking.  The ind is blowing south into Mexico, and into the Imperial Sand Dunes.  Now I understand how dunes are formed.  In fact, one is being formed in the windward side of the bus.  The dust is so bad INSIDE the bus, I am actually considering loading up in 50 MPH winds and rolling east to escape.  If it does not let up in the next hour that is what I will do.  I cannot breathe.

Reality sets in

The last 5 days outside San Diego have left room for some retro/introspection, and allowed some thought about life on the road.  Not that these thoughts have escaped me so far, only they have been covered up(ignored) by the blazing and amazing adventures I have had weekly for the last 4 months.  Being forced to slow down has forced me to deal with emotions & notions that I normally ignore, given the fact that I will be rolling  to a new adventure in a few hours, or, I whenever I damn well feel like.

In addition, my goal with this project is to paint the positive (mostly) picture of mobile living, life on the road, and living your dreams.  These pages are intended to inspire, not to depress or discourage.  Besides, nobody wants to hear a whiny bitch, crying about being stuck in a pretty awesome town for repairs, while the readers are stuck in the typical American rut.

I hope that is NOT how I will come off in this post, or any future reflections.

My intent with this post is to share some reality with readers, and not gloss over the truth about the shiny, sparkling diamond of an adventure I have presented so far.  It is still a diamond in MY eyes.

So, the order was placed Friday morning, to get an Ohlins shock sent before close of business on Friday.  Then, time to go downtown to find mariscos (Mexican seafood), and see what the town had to offer.  Surprise -no where to park.  I did find a really nice park alongside the bayfront harbor, only to be surprised  by a Baywatch “cop” placing a ticket on my window.  I exited, asking him “WTF?”.  He said he did not see me, and apologized, but he could not unwrite the digital ticket.  He also explained that I was taking up too many spaces.  I pointed to the empty parking lot, and asked him was I REALLY causing harm?  He apologized again, and told me to appeal it, and gave me a card, to help with the reversal.

So this started the whole pissed-off-ball to rolling.  Nowhere to park in San Diego, and there is a TON of stuff to do in this town.  Oops, too bad, RV’s are not welcome – 24+ feet?  Not allowed.  So I have been hanging out in El Cajon, and other outlying communities, spending my money here, and thinking about the plight of the city-dwelling rubber tramps like myself.  I am thinking there are not too many of us in cities like San Diego, LA, or San Francisco, as they all have laws preventing parking for bigger rigs.

Maybe it is time to look at smaller rigs?

Woe in El Cajon

Tried to ride the awesome trails in Coral Canyon yesterday when the rear suspension went out. It is air suspension, which basically means I had NONE. It was a cruel ride back to the bus, made even crueller by the fact I did not even get onto the trails.

Oh well, I will spend a few days in the San Diego area waiting on parts – Stay classy San Diego

I had to do San Berdoo

Or as everyone else calls it – San Bernardino….National Forrest. It was so close, and I was not in a huge hurry to get back to the desert since the weather had been so nice here(and it was raining in the desert when I left). So I headed up the mountain until I saw the signs “Winter Conditions” and “snow chains required” and “no dude, we are serious, it is THE LAW to possess snow chains”. So I pulled over at the first ranger station and asked if I could park and unload here for the day.

And off I went, exploring.

I had seen the cars coming own the hill covered in snow, but I had seen that before.  I had never ridden anywhere where folks were pulling off to put on chains.  That was a first.

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So I kept going, thinking I might get to the “top” where the ice had melted, but I kept slipping, so I stopped, took some pics, and eased back down the hill to about 4,000 feet.

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I found some dirt a few miles from where I parked, and rode till the sun started going down.

Found some pretty cool single track, that might even be legal?

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Broke my crappy camera mount, so I had to do something different – new camera tomorrow.

 

Day 2 in Malibu

This place is pretty awesome.  Maybe the best part is they let me park right in front of multi-million dollar property, unload my moto, almost directly onto the beach, and ride awesome roads, then come back, drink beer, make dinner, and sleep right there in a really cool convenient spot.

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In short, Malibu ROCKS!!!

cool twisty canyon road – really long video

 

3 days in Joshua Tree

I only spent a few hours in JT Park, and the rest was spent in JT the town, or just outside it in a dry lake bed as part of the BLM.  I really like the space and the freedom, got some cleaning and maintenance done, and all the room in the world to do it.  If you don’t believe me, see if you can find the bus below.

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It is there, about two miles from the point I took this picture.  Zoomed in –

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Nice sunsets, and very quiet.

 

 

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Palms Springs is below, 20 miles away, in the middle of the Coachella Valley covered in smog from L.A.

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