Travelogue Chapter Four

 Sunday, May 26th (1:23 a.m.)

 Just finally turned in for the night.  It was really a nice day all-in-all.  I picked up three Poker Run forms this morning and took a look at the route we were going to be traveling on.  We didn't have much of a map (more on that later) so Mike did his best to tell me what to expect.  As it was, it wasn't quite enough.  If we had a good map of the area, or if I had a GPS with me things may have been quite a bit easier.  The instructions seemed pretty straight forward.  Go this way on this road for this distance and turn this direction on this road.... Nothing could be easier, right?  Wrong.  Unfortunately, the person writing the directions seems to have a big problem telling the difference between "Straight" and "Right".  At one point very early in the run, the directions say to go "Straight" on a particular road when, in fact, you were required to make a 90° right turn.  This theme carried for much of the poker run.  One time the instructions say to make a "Right" turn on to a road when in fact the road that you "turn" on to continues straight ahead and the road you are on makes a left 90°. Meanwhile all the street signs are hidden behind trees and bushes.  None of this has anything to do with the fact that Linda and I are having a wonderful ride, even the parts we saw twice because we had to double back to go down the correct roads...We spent 99.9% of the ride on back country two-lane roads and highways.  The other 0.1% of the ride was through small gold rush era towns.  One of the roads we rode has the distinction of being the shortest State Highway in California.

 I had almost forgotten how great riding a motorcycle can really be...  Almost...  (Ask me if I still feel this way Monday night!)  After yesterday's solo ride to re-familiarize myself with twisties, I was ready to take 'em on full force today.  There were a few times when I got stuck behind slower traffic, but not too very often.  It was just often enough to give me an excuse to look around at the scenery.  After riding around the area for a few hours and answering questions about stuff we found along the way it was time to head back to the barn.

 Arriving back at the fairgrounds it was time to take the riding "clinic" they were giving.  This was a "preview" as to what we will expect to see at the "Asphalt Trials" later this afternoon.  Basically it's "How fast can you go through this tight tricky course laid out with traffic cones?"  With the exception of "How fast" part, it's pretty much what I was doing every month in Guam with the MSF classes.  I didn't do too bad so hopefully I'll have a chance in the competition.

 When that was all done it was getting pretty close to the time to get my cards for my poker hands...  Although what I ended up with would probably be a pretty good hand for penny ante poker, three Queens ain't ever going to win much at a poker run of any respectable size...  Came pretty close to getting a Royal Flush (Where the HELL is that ten of spades??) with one hand but ended up with a Royal Bob-Tailed Straight Flush.  The last of the three wasn't any better.

 Linda's luck held out pretty well with the door prize drawing.  She won her choice of sunglasses from one of the vendors.  Because both her and Mike wear prescription lenses I am now the proud owner of a pair of sunglasses that is the same color (and even kind of the same style) as my motorcycle...  Thank you Linda!!!

 The morning is going to arrive soon.  Mike and I are going for a ride first thing.  We're going to try to make it up to the world famous "Rubicon Trail"...  It is a very technical, very unforgiving "off-road" trail that lives up to its name.  (For those of you not familiar with the French language it basically means "Beyond which there is no return".  I want to ride my "Luxury Touring" motorcycle on the Rubicon...  Notice I didn't say "Over the Rubicon"  ;)

 Well look at that...  It's about three clicks past 0200 and I gotta get going.  Need to get some rest for the riding (both on road and off, as well as the "trials" riding I am going to be doing all too soon....

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