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  Ride Recaps
  November Chapter Ride - Oak Glen

January
February
March
April
May
SWStarBQ
June
June Lake
July
August
September
Jacumba
October
Pismo Beach
November
Death Valley
December

Fall is upon us – we went from temps in the high 80s on the preride, and this morning it was a brisk 59 degrees!  I arrived at Mission to a small but eager group ready for the ride up to Oak Glen and the promise of pie.  After some mingling and a fine breakfast of donuts, courtesy of Mission Motorsports, we made our way upstairs for our meeting.

There was the usual business and a welcome to Kathleen Plumley who was riding with Scott Komie.  Glad to have you with us!  The year is winding down, our last overnighter to Death Valley is next weekend, and we have our Holiday party in two weeks – where has the time gone.  Time for the raffle – Linda is under the weather, so Howard stepped in to handle the raffle – Thanks Howard!  Congratulations to our raffle winners, Greg Schedcik, Howard Montgomery, and Brad Edds, and a big congrats to our 50/50 winner Al Piwonka. 

The meeting concluded and we all made our way down to line up and head out on our way to pie!  We would be one group of 15 bikes and 16 riders.  It was still a little cool, so jackets were still buttoned up tight.  We headed down the 5 to the Ortega and onto the twisties!

There really wasn’t much traffic on the Ortega, so it was smooth sailing out over the mountains.  We dropped down into Lake Elsinore and round and continued on the 74 out through Perris.  We hit a little detour in Perris – Thomas the Train was in town picking up kids for a ride.  So, we had to jog over and around until we were back on the 74.  We stopped for gas before jumping on the 215 up to the Ramona Expressway.

We followed the Ramona Expressway out past the Dairy Farms – oh so aromatic! - and out to the 79 then up through Beaumont. We followed Beaumont Avenue through Cherry Valley until it turned into Oak Glen Road then up the hills and into Oak Glen.  We pulled into the parking lot for Apple Annie’s and scattered to find parking spots.  I will admit this is a challenging parking lot, but everyone secured a good spot.  We all eagerly made our way up and into line at the restaurant.  They were great (as usual) and were able to seat us all near each other at two large tables and one small table.  The food here is amazing – and if you clean your plate they will give you seconds for free!  Although that didn’t happen – we were all saving room for pie! 

Once we all had finished lunch and pie, we all waddled ourselves back to our bikes and back on the road.  We continued down Oak Glen Road down into Yucaipa where we stopped for our last gas stop.  With the days getting shorter, I decided to call the ride at the gas stop to allow everyone to peel off as they needed to on the way home.  We jumped onto the 10, to the 215 and then to the 91.  From here, everyone split off down the 60, or the 71, or stayed on the 91 to the 55 and home – oh and there were a few that took the 15 back to the Ortega to the 5 home.  

In the end, everyone made it home safely.  Next, I will see you all at the Holiday Party!  Then next month’s ride to the USS Iowa!

  October Chapter Ride - Ojai

Well the morning started off a little wonky.  Susan’s bike had a dead battery and so for the first time in a really long time, she was riding passenger.  We arrived at Mission a little later than usual and there was already a pretty nice group assembled for the longest riding day of the year – we were riding to Ojai and the weather was perfect.
 
We were joined by four new riders, Joel and Melissa Padilla, and Ingrid and James Behrendt.  We had met Joel and Melissa at our last bike night (Portillo’s) and were happy they decided to take a ride with us.  Once we got all the paperwork squared away they were ready to ride.  

As usual, we went upstairs for our meeting.  It was the same business, future rides and trips, happy birthday to me and to Ken Indorf, and the raffle and 50/50.  Ted Jones was the big winner – getting both the 50/50 and a couple of raffle prizes.  Congrats Ted!  

After the meeting we all assembled downstairs into two groups with myself and Don Carter leading (Don promised to bring his whole group back lol).  Once everyone was equally distributed we were off, up the 5 to Sunland for our first gas stop.  Traffic had been good to us this far – 

Once gassed up we jumped back onto the 5 and up to Frazier Park.  We gassed up again, and then crossed the street for Lunch.  Lunch was at the Mt Pinos Mexcan Cafe.  We have been here many times before and they always treat us very well. Thanks to Tracy Carter for assisting in the menu and serve ware distribution.  It was a great lunch with lots of conversation and a Mexican hat dance by Glenn Sandstrom – good job Glenn!
 
After lunch we headed off for some twisties out through the mountains and into Santa Paula. Group 1 stopped for gas right before the freeway and waited for group 2.  I checked my phone and found a message from Don Carter – one of our new riders had a flat.  They filled the tire with air and it held long enough to get to the gas station.  They filled the tire up and it seemed to be holding air (he had previously added some slime to seal the leak).  So we headed out down the road and into Oxnard.  Before we got too far, we learned that the tire had not held air and Joel and Melissa would be waiting with Al Piwonka (the tail gunner) for a tow truck.  Thanks to Al for helping them get situated and on their way home. 

We jumped onto PCH and started the scenic portion of our ride down the pacific coast.  There were some great waves hitting the beaches from Zuma all the way to Santa Monica.  Lucky for us the traffic down PCH was minimal.  We stopped at our last gas stop in Malibu.  Once group 2 arrived I decided that it was really getting late and the best choice for the group was to call the ride there and let everyone drop out where they needed to as we made our way home.  This ended up being a really good decision, once we got onto the 10 and then the 405 it was obvious that traffic was not on our side.  I am happy to report that everyone made it home safely.
Looking forward to next month’s ride – Oak Glen (this means apple pie) !!!

See you then!
   Chapter Overnighter - Jacumba

Thanks to Scott Hamilton who provided the recap for this trip. So sorry I missed this one.

The 2017 Jacumba Star 230 ride began with our breakfast meeting at CoCo's in Lake Forest where our eight bikes and one car joined together for a KSU at 0730 hours. Once we were fed and joined together Don Carter led us southbound on the SR-5 with Tracy Carter and Mike (Tumbleweed) Fry as Tail Gunners. After a brief stop at the rest area just north of Oceanside we exited onto Highway 76 eastbound and that was the last time we saw a super slab. 

Don Carter took us on a ride with 10,000 twisties, curves and dips that we could hardly believe the roads actually existed. The weather was perfect and the traffic was non existent. 

We stopped at Flinn's for lunch where we all enjoyed a fabulous lunch and Gail Indorf who was following the group in a car commented "Are we done with the twisties?" No Gail we are not! 

Following lunch we continued east on some more curves, dips, hills and great roads until we arrived at the Pacific Southwest Railroad Museum. What we didn't know was that Cal Trans having done some roadwork in the area had left over pea gravel and offered the museum to spread it over their entrance road and parking lot.

Unfortunately for us, the gravel was about eight inches deep which made it almost impossible for a heavy motorcycle to navigate the treacherous conditions. It was quite a sight to see all of us as experienced riders plowing though the gravel like we were riding on wet ice. Fortunately, no one toppled over. Tracy Carter was the only smart one that decided to walk in. We were able to locate an alternate route out and didn't have to endure the same gravel graveyard to exit.

About 10 miles out of Jacumba our GPS's began chirping "Thunderstorm Alert" and a few minutes later the skies opened up and we road the rest of the way in the rain. Of course the downpour stopped as soon as we arrived at the Jacumba Resort. 

Once checked in we all settled in for some well deserved libations and a great Prime Rib dinner followed by a fireside chat. 

8:30 KSU the next morning turned into 9:15 and we were off. Ken & Gail Indorf stayed behind while Don Carter took on another day of great roads with too many twisties to count. Despite gravel sledding and a little liquid sunshine it was an awesome & wonderful trip with great Star 230 friends.

Thank you to all who participated and helped to create the memories.

 

  September Chapter Ride - Fallbrook/Deluz

Our original plan was to ride to Ojai, but the weather (it was supposed to get over 90 on the route), and a fire obstructing the 210 and 5 north, called for a change. So we opted for a tried and true favorite, Fallbrook/Deluz. That would take us south and it would be a little shorter. It was the Labor Day weekend, and the weather was still going to be warm, so there was no surprise that we had a small turnout of 13 bikes – but a lot of people showed for the meeting. Information was shared about upcoming events, and rides. 

After the meeting we saddled up downstairs into one group with Myself leading. After a little shuffling we were set and soon enough we were off, heading down the 5. As usual we made our first stop at the rest area past Pendleton. Too much coffee for some lol

From there we headed off back down the 5, off at the 76 and took the left on Mission Avenue. From there the roads started their twists and turns – could not have asked for a more beautiful day. The roads through Fallbrook were clear with very little traffic. Each twist and turn provided another beautiful view.

After a nice long ride through the mountains and oak trees, we arrived in Wildomar and our gas stop. After a little chatter and a nice break, we saddled up for the next leg of our ride out past Lake Perris and around Lake Mathews. We finally made the grade down into Dos Lagos and into the Chili's parking lot.

As always Chili’s was more than accommodating to us. They seated us and got everyone’s drink and food orders quickly. I can’t thank them enough – it was awesome. The food was good and the friendship was even better. After lunch we were back on the bikes and headed down and around the 15 through Corona and Glen Ivy. We exited lake and made our way down to Grand and onto the Ortega Highway. A quick right and we were back in the twisties. We were again lucky as there wasn’t a lot of traffic. As always Ortega was fun, great turns and twisties. Eventually we made our way down and onto the 5.

I had called the ride at lunch, so from the 5 we were all off to home. Next month we will ride Ojai! See you there.

 

   August Chapter Ride - Malibu/Mulholland

We had a great ride planned for the day up to Malibu and down Mulholland Highway. The weather was going to be a little warm but clear. I arrived at Mission Motorsports to an eager group of riders, ready for the ride up the coast. Once everyone had arrived we moved upstairs to the conference room for our meeting. We made our way through our usual business – birthdays and upcoming events.

After the raffle we all made our way down to the bikes and broke out into two groups with Myself and Don Carter leading. We left the parking lot and headed out up the 405 to the 10 west and onto PCH. 

The beach was still a little cloudy, and thankfully that meant less traffic going to the beach. Our first stop was the usual gas station in Pacific Palisades. With the anticipation of the twists and turns through the hills everyone was full of energy.

We filled up and continued on PCH until our right turn on South Topanga and headed up into the hills. We made our way around with turns on Old Topanga Canyon Road and a left at Mulholland Highway. It was then a left on Las Vigines and then back down Malibu Canyon Road to PCH. From PCH we headed back up at Latigo Canyon Road and a right at Kanan Dune Road then back onto Mulholland Highway again. We eventually ended up on Kanan Rd and our lunch stop at Islands.

As always lunch was great. They take great care of us there. Once we had all eaten and had as much water as we could hold, we headed back out for home. First though, a short gas stop for the smaller tanks before we jumped onto the 101 north. We headed North on the 101 to the 23 – which then turns into the 118. That dropped us down onto the 210 east and into La Canada/Flintridge for our last gas stop of the day.

The traffic had been brutal, and there were some road closures ahead – I chose to call the ride at the gas stop to allow everyone to take the route most efficient for them to get home. Although most of us would hang together, some chose to continue on the 210 to the 57 and some of us chose the 605 south. In the end everyone made it home safe and sound – a great day of riding!

 

   July Chapter Ride - 15 Year Anniversary Party

What a great day for a ride and a party. I arrived at Mission to an already good sized group ready for the meeting and then our short ride (well short by 230 standards) up to Al's house for our 15-year Anniversary Party. Looks like everyone is excited!

Linda started selling raffle tickets and 50/50 - we had lots of great stuff for the party! So she was selling a lot of tickets. After a lot of chatter and donuts we headed upstairs to the conference room for our meeting. We went over our normal business and some new business - CPR Classes, more from Cycle Light Solutions, Bike Night changes and more. Johnney Harper was there to give us an update on Richard Von Luft - If you haven't heard he had open heart surgery on Friday - he's doing well though and expects to make a full recovery and be back on the bike in no time! 

After the meeting we all headed out and saddled up for our ride. A few members headed out in their cars over to Al Piwonka's house to help setup for the party. Can't thank Al and his wife Suzy enough for opening up their home to us! Thanks also to everyone who assisted in setting up and helping them with the party!

We were three groups led by myself, Scott Hamilton, and Don Carter. We headed out down the 5 to Ortega Highway. The weather was cool and still overcast, and there was no traffic, so it made for a really nice ride out the Ortega. We then headed left on Grand and over to Lake and then down Temescal Canyon Road. We had a short stop off of Temescal Canyon for gas (for the smaller tanks) and a chance to remove a layer now that the clouds were gone and the sun was out. 

We continued down Temescal Canyon and around Lake Matthews, past the Californa Citrus State Park, then through Arlington. We then headed left on Limonite and out past the Chino Airport, then through Chino and onto Carbon Canyon. Carbon Canyon dropped us off onto Imperial Highway and we took that down and into Anaheim Hills and the home of Al and Suzy Piwonka!

We were greeted by Linda Montgomery, our raffle coordinator, ready to sell more tickets to the raffle and 50/50. We all made our way into the back yard and wow! They had outdone themselves with great red, white, and blue table clothes and decor. They have a beautiful back yard! I won't bore you with a list of all of the food - but let me tell you it was so good! Lots of chips, veggies, salads, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, shishka-bobs - wow!

Everyone got themsleves a cold drink and snacks while the meat was on the barbeque, and then we all ate until we could not eat anymore. What a great time. 

Once everyone had eaten we started the raffle - over 30 items were raffled off! Lots of tickets were sold and lots of great items were handed out. Congrats to all of the winners. 

And then there was the 50/50 drawing. Amazingly the total amount was $230! lol For the first time ever, I actually won the 50/50! I was shocked. I am always happy to share my winnings - I called up Michael Misteshen - he's Al's godson and his faithful passenger. Michael is one of our STAR Teens and a great kid. He is always a great help with our raffles, picking tickets and handing out winnings - So today I wanted to share my winnings with him, he was surprised!!! 

As always 230 puts on a great party - and a great time with great friends. I can't believe how fast the time has flown - I could swear it was just our 10th anniversary. Thanks to all the members and their families for making this chapter what it is today! 

See you next month for our ride to Malibu/Mulholland Highway! 

 

   Chapter Overnighter - June Lake

The first leg of our journey to June Lake was a short ride out to Buffalo Bills at Stateline, Nevada. Because the ride was going to be right around 300 miles, we decided to start a little later than usual, meeting at the Starbucks in Orange with a KSU of 10am. We were all there ready to go, except for one – Dan Beach was at the wrong Starbucks on Chapman (there is an East and West – both with Starbucks). So after a phone call, we arranged to meet Dan at the Chevron on Green River and the 91. 

We headed out down Chapman to the 57 North, and then up to the 91 east and out. Dan was waiting for us at the Chevron and jumped into the pack. We were 9 riders on 7 bikes with one trailer (that would be me, lol). We continued up the 91 to the 10 and out to the 62 heading toward Twenty-Nine Palms.

In case you were wondering, we were prepared for the heat – or at least we thought we were. By the time we got to our first gas stop at the Chevron in Yucca Valley it was already hovering in the high 90’s. We gassed up and headed over to the Carl’s Jr. for lunch and a little cool down. We all made sure to drink lots of water and fill up all of our water bottles for the bikes. 

After lunch we jumped back on the road and headed out through Joshua Tree and out through Twenty-Nine Palms. The heat was rising and well over 100 by the time we made the left onto Godwin and out to National Trails Highway. Our next stop was in Amboy – for no other reason than to pour cool water over ourselves and take a moment. It had been between 109 and 112 for the last hour and hydration was our number one priority. 

We pressed on from Amboy to cooler temps out toward Kelso – it dropped down to 103 lol. Eventually we started to go up in elevation and the temps hovered between 95 and 100. Finally we made the right onto Morningstar Road and then up to the left on Ivanpah Road, and the final left onto Nipton Road. 

From Nipton we made on way to the 15 and one exit down to Primm. We exited and headed directly to Buffalo Bill’s. Our priority to check in, unload, and get the bikes parked.

I have never stayed at Buffalo Bill’s before – and if not for the $30 rate for the night will probably not stay there again. I have stopped here many a time on my way home from Vegas and always found it to be busy – but not this time. They no longer have valet parking or any bell men – we had to search for a cart to carry our stuff to our rooms. There were very few people in the casino and the rooms were a little “well worn”. But I will say that the beds were really comfy and the showers were good – oh and there was air conditioning. So not too bad. 

We all checked in and unloaded, then all met up down stairs. After a brief tour of the place, we found out that our choices for dinner were Panda Express, Denny’s, or go back out in the heat to someplace else – not an option! So after some relaxing, and some cold beverages, we decided on Panda. 

Panda was slow, and we had to wait for fresh chow mein and orange chicken, but in the end it was good. We all sat around eating and telling stories and having a grand time. After dinner we all split up with some heading up to their rooms, some wandering, and some trying a little gambling. Casino was dead – only a few people in there and no one was hitting anything. Maybe next time. 

We started out early Friday morning to beat the heat. We met for breakfast at Denny’s at 6am with a KSU of 7. Lucky for us an unnamed member kept a Bell Cart in their room from the day before – the hotel doesn’t make them available for use until after 8am? - so we were able to make quick work of loading up. We headed out to gas up, and then on the road. 

We started out on the 15 through Vegas then onto the 95 to our first gas stop in Indian Springs. Our starting temperature was 86 degrees. Our gas stop was right across the street from Creech Air Force Base. While we were gassing up we got to see a couple of drones take off and land. The Predator and the Reaper - really cool.

From there we made our way through the Amargosa Valley and into Beatty, Nevada. We stopped at our usual gas station and filled up, then decided to get lunch at KCs Outpost. Although it’s pretty much the only place to eat in Beatty – it is an awesome place to eat. We are there every year when we do our November overnighter to Death Valley and stay in Beatty. They were surprised to see us in June! They had some amazing lunch specials with all the sandwiches on freshly baked French bread – it was so good. Afterward they gave us all a slice of their lemon bundt cake – thank you so much! They were also nice enough to sell me a case of water – I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of water that we consumed during this trip. Thank you

After lunch we jumped back on the bikes and continued on the 95 up to Lida Junction and left onto the 266. Finally we were starting to gain some altitude and a little relief from the heat – well it dropped to 95. Lol Eventually we jumped onto the 168 for some nice twisties and over the mountains into Lone Pine. The area wer were riding through was setup for free range cattle and on our way into Lone Pine we encountered several cattle in the road. There was one pair of cows guarding two calves resting by the side of the road. Wasn't sure what they were going to do when we passed them - they watched us carefully. We then turned right onto the 395 and headed up through Bishop. Our last gas stop before heading up to through Mammoth. 

Finally we were up to the mountains and the temps dropped considerably. It was now in the 80’s and pretty comfortable. Finally we made the left onto the June Lake Loop and made our way around the lake and down to our hotel. We were greeted by Lori, the owner of the hotel. Lori has taken really good care of us over the years and we are always happy to stay at the Whispering Pines! 

She was quick to check us all in and we set about unloading and relaxing. This is the place to relax and enjoy the scenery. The mountain still has a fair amount of snow on it and the waterfalls are flowing - you have to see the pictures and even then they don’t do it justice. One of the waterfalls is an overflow from one of the three lakes at the top and is controlled – even then the water flow is tremendous.

We spent the evening sitting on the patio chatting and eating pizza – thanks again Lori for going and picking it up for us! What a great night – cool breezes and good friends. 

We started out slowly on Saturday with everyone getting ready and KSU at 8am. We headed out around the June Lake Loop with amazement at the levels of the lakes – there is June Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake. I can honestly say that for all the years we have been coming up here, we have never seen the lakes so full. In some areas they have had to sand bag to keep the water from rising too high over the roads. 

Around one bend I decided I no longer want to lead – a rather large Doe jumped out of the trees and ran along side of me, trying to figure out if she wanted to bolt in front of me or what. Eventually she bolted back into the trees and through the shallow part of the lake. 

At Silver Lake we saw the aftermath of a large avalanche that had come down earlier this year – a wide swath of downed trees and brush all the way to the water. From what we were told, debris was thrown 85 feet into the lake. Very sad to see. The last lake we passed, Grant Lake is enormous now – it has at least tripled in size. Finally we made the bend and then out to the 395. We made our left and then headed up to Lee Vining for gas and then breakfast at Nicely’s. Great breakfast!

After breakfast we headed back down the 395 and then a left onto the 120. This is one of our favorite roads when we come up here, a few twisties through the mountains, then the whoop-di-dos out to Benton Hot Springs! As usual we pulled over at the Hot Springs to take a look at the scenery and of course talk about the fun we just had. They must have been releasing some water from the springs as there was a stream along the road with hot water! 

After some discussion, we all decided to return back up the 120 to avoid the heat in Bishop, and because it was so much fun we wanted to ride it again. It was so different going back the opposite direction, still great fun! From the 120 we went back to the 395 and back north up to the Mono Lake visitors center. Every time we go here the lake looks different – this time the water levels are really high. We took our time and wandered the facility looking at all the displays and talking with the rangers. Always something to learn. 

After Mono Lake we headed up to Bridgeport for lunch. We stopped for gas and asked the attendant where he would go and he suggested the Burger Barn - so off we went. The Burger Barn is a very small take out restaurant with tables outside and a small indoor eating area – everyone in line told us that they were the best and we agree. We talked to one woman who told us that she lives in Sonora and as soon as the pass is open then head over for Burger Barn. I can tell you they had the best burgers and the best fries I have had in a while. 

We finished up lunch and headed back down the 395 and took the left up to Bodie. The ride out there is really fun and the views are great. There were two really large herds of sheep off on the sides grazing and lots of green mountains. We stopped at the last three miles up into Bodie where the road turns to rock and gravel – no one wanted to brave it this time (we have ridden out there a few years ago). So we turned around and returned to the 395. Most of the group returned back down the June Lake Loop to the hotel, but Luis and Minita Vazquez needed more sight-seeing and returned to Mono Lake and then up to Mammoth before returning to the hotel. 

After we returned, we all cleaned up and relaxed for a bit. Dan Beach was energetic and made the hike up the mountain to the falls and then back – you go Dan! Dinner was prearranged with the Sierra Inn Restaurant and Lori was kind enough to pick up a spaghetti dinner and all the fixings for us. Can’t thank her enough for all she did for us. 

While we were eating dinner Lori was telling us that her family owned a cabin out on the lake that was built in the 1930’s. She was telling us all about her family’s history and the cabin – she offered to take a few of us up to see the place. It has not been lived in for a few years and still has the original furnishings and fixtures from long ago. We were game and took the trip up the road a few miles to see it – how cool. It is right on the lake and not what I had envisioned – I was thinking little cabin in the woods and I was wrong – it is a large house with a second house/garage and a storage building. It was like a time capsule. Now Lori doesn’t handle bugs well, so she sent us in without her to take a look. A real adventure. I can’t tell you all the stories but Frank Capra the movie director lived next door and the property is still owned by the family, Clint Eastwood stayed on their property while filming once, oh there was so much interesting stuff. What a cool adventure.

After our adventure we returned to the hotel to get ourselves packed up and ready to ride home the next morning.

The decision was made the night before to leave early Sunday morning to beat the heat coming back. We all started to load up and get ready at about 5:30 am with kick stands up at 6:30. We tried to soak in the 50 degree temperature to keep it with us for the rest of the day. We actually had to wear jackets on the way out and that was funny knowing just how hot it would get pretty quickly. Once we were all loaded and on the bikes we headed out up the loop through June Lake and to the Shell at the 395. We all filled up and tried to wake up. 

We headed out down the 395. It was hard to say goodbye to the snow-capped mountains and the cool weather. We rode about 35 miles down to Crowley Lake and the right turn into Tom’s Place. We had heard about this place for a long time but never seemed to stop here. We pulled in at ten to 7 and wandered around waiting for them to open up. The smell of bacon was in the air. A creek ran right down next to the restaurant and it was flowing pretty good. We got a lot of great pictures here. Once they opened we took our seats and placed our orders. What a great breakfast! Really good bacon and farm fresh eggs – and chicken fried steak on their regular menu. It was really good. Too bad we couldn’t stay for lunch lol. 

After breakfast we saddled up and made the turn back onto the 395 where we would stay for a very long time. We stopped a couple of times, first to remove jackets and then again for a mystery stop for Paul McInerny, but after that we were on the road until our next gas stop in Olancha. It was only 9am and we were searching for shade. Once gassed up and hydrated we continued down the 395 with our next stop at Kramer Junction. By now the temps were at about 104 and we were slow moving behind trucks. We stopped for gas at the Pilot and lunch at Subway. Lots of water was consumed and we cooled down as best we could for our last leg into Orange County. 

With heads and shirts wet, cool vests on, we headed back out down the 395. The stretch from Kramer Junction through Adelanto to the 15 was probably the most tedious of the entire trip. Slow moving and hitting most lights. Eventually we jumped onto the 15 and back to traffic reality.

We were extremely lucky and the traffic was moving at a decent pace. Granted we were early (noon) but we have seen it all on that stretch. We rode down the 15 to the 91 and then onto the 55. A few broke off at the 22 and some of us went all the way to the 405. We arrived at 2:30 and it was cool at home! 

Another great chapter overnighter in the books! See you for our next overnighter to Jacumba in September.

 

   June Chapter Ride - Sunrise Highway

A great ride was planned for the day – Sunrise Highway. It was shaping up to be a beautiful day for the ride through the Cleveland National Forest, the Anza-Borrego desert, Julian, Wynola, Ramona, and Lakeside.  I arrived at Mission Motorsports to find a group already gathering.  

Once everyone had arrived we moved upstairs to the conference room for our meeting.  We made our way through our usual business – birthdays and upcoming events.  Bill Gilmore announced that he and his wife Susan have sold their home and will be moving mid month to Colorado Springs to enjoy retirement.  We all sent good wishes with them.

After the raffle we all made our way down to the bikes and broke out into three groups with Myself, Ken Indorf, and Don Carter leading.  We left the parking lot and headed out down the 5 south.  

Our first stop is one that is more tradition then necessity – although if you ask all those who had coffee during the meeting is was necessity – the rest stop by Camp Pendleton!  You can tell that summer is upon us – the rest area was packed with cars.  Some schools must already be out.

From the rest stop we continued on down the 5 and then out the 78, then a left at Main and our first gas stop in Ramona.  By the time we hit Ramona it had warmed up a bit and everyone was quick to shed a layer to two.  Once we were all gassed up, we headed out continuing down the 78 (Main Street) and then a right in Julian on Main and then left onto the 79. We were pretty lucky that there weren’t a lot of cars or bicycles on the road and we were all able to enjoy the twisties and the views.  

Speaking of views, we took a short detour to Kwaamii Point – this is a short drive up what is left of the old road, which is now a memorial spot with informal memorials to lost love ones. Years ago, it was the original part of the Pacific Crest Trail that actually was once the old roadbed; a very narrow and dangerous drive with a steep drop directly below you. The road deteriorated and a large section slid down the mountain - it has since been rerouted around.  What is left is a place for hikers and one pretty amazing view.

There where three hang gliders there getting ready to take flight – one guy told us he has jumped from there and been able to glide all the way to Palm Springs!

Once everyone was done taking pics and looking around, we mounted up and continued on down Sunrise Highway to our lunch stop at Major’s in Pine Valley.  Major’s is a fifty’s diner with some of the best onion rings you will ever have.  They were great in seating us and getting everyone served.

After lunch we jumped onto the 8 for one exit to our gas stop in Alpine.  It was a quick gas and go for all of the smaller tanks. Once gassed up, we jumped back on the 8 west and our next exit was Lake Jennings Road and then onto the 67 North.  A few more twists and turns and we were onto the 15 north to Temecula.

In Temecula we had our last gas stop, then back onto the 15 and into Lake Elsinore.  From here we took our usual route down the Ortega Highway, up the 5 North, and back to Mission Motorsports.  

Great ride! Next month the 15 Year Anniversary Party, see you there.

 

    Chapter Overnighter - SWStar BQ, Camp Verde

We started our adventure out from the Starbucks on Chapman. We were met there by Ken Indorf and Linda and Howard Montgomery. I was the only one with a trailer this time – Gail was meeting Ken in Camp Verde, so she had the car and lots of room for stuff. We headed out up the 57 to the 91 east and out to the 10. 

Our first stop was at Gramma’s Kitchen in Beaumont for breakfast. We met Bob Barbano and Al Piwonka with his godson Michael there. We were now a group of eight riders on 6 bikes. As usual breakfast was great – everyone was more than excited to head out to Arizona. The weather was a little chilly, but clear and bright. The chilly part wouldn’t last long.

We continued our ride out the 10 for a while with our first gas stop in Fantasy Springs off of Dillon Road. By now the weather had warmed up and it would stay about 84 degrees the rest of the day. It was at this stop that Howard got a call and had to return to Orange County. Linda would continue on as my passenger – if only her clothes had made the trip with her. A minor mistake and her bag went back with Howard and his bag went on with her. More about that later. 

So we continued on, one less bike, down the 10 to Quartsite for our next gas stop, then into Congress for our lunch stop at Nichols West. This is a four star restaurant in the middle of nowhere. The burgers are amazing. Everyone was starting to unwind and just enjoy the ride. I can’t even begin to tell you just what a beautiful day it was. 

We finished up with one last gas stop before our last leg into Camp Verde. This leg took us up and around Prescott on some really great twisty roads and some amazing scenery. Eventually we hit the 17 for a one exit up jump and then made it to our hotel.

We were one of the first to arrive – in fact only two other bikes were in the parking lot and no others arrived until Friday. We checked in and found our way to our rooms. So, the hotel is down the hill from the Casino and all of the restaurants. They have a shuttle that runs back and forth. Seeing as we were starving, we all unloaded and cleaned up, then summoned the shuttle to take us up the hill to eat. 

Our choices were a Johnny Rockets (we had burgers for lunch), a Steakhouse (we planned on that for Friday night), or the Buffet. So the buffet it was – or wasn’t – hate to say it but the food at the buffet was not all that great. Good thing we were all starving! 

After dinner we wandered around the casino to see what was up – that didn’t take long. We were all ready to just sit and relax a bit. So we headed back to the hotel and spent some time just talking and laughing and maybe a few cigars. 

We all met up Friday morning to take the shuttle back up to the buffet for breakfast. Who could mess up eggs right? Well – it was the blandest breakfast I have ever had. No more buffet for us. After breakfast we headed back down to the hotel and saddled up for a day of adventure.

For those of you who were with us for our trip out to Sedona last year, you know that we tried to go to Montezuma’s Castle and got stopped by rain. If you remember we stopped in the parking lot of a hotel/Casino to change into rain gear – well that is the hotel we are staying in. So our first order of business was to go to Montezuma’s Castle. It literally was a right out of the parking lot and an immediate left, then down maybe a mile. 

The Castle was really interesting – built into the wall of the mountain in Limestone. A perfect fortress. We hiked around the park and were treated to a Ranger’s presentation on the Castle and the rocks and pottery that were found there. Very interesting. After the presentation we hiked back up to the gift shop and restrooms and then we were off again.

Well, our next stop was Walmart so Linda could get herself some girl clothes for the trip. Since Howard had taken her bag by mistake and left her his – and he is a little bit taller than her – she needed a few essentials. Lol So off into Camp Verde for a little shopping at Walmart. 

Now I know that a trip to Walmart doesn’t sound exciting, but I have to tell you that the scenery around Camp Verde is really awesome. We arrived and spent a little time shopping – Linda got herself a few things, Al got some flip flops, Ken got a prescription filled, and Susan got a couple of tops too! 

Once we were done shopping, we headed across the parking lot to Carl’s for lunch. It was such a relaxing day. Al was telling us about this Copper Museum that he had always wanted to go to in Clarksdale, so we headed out to see. We rode out through the rest of Camp Verde, through Cottonwood, and down into Clarksdale. 

The Copper Museum was really cool. It’s housed in the old Clarksdale High School building that was built back in the thirties. Each room contained specific types of Copper and Brass items, like kitchen, farming, ornamental, religious, etc. It was amazing – if you are ever in the area you should check it out.

It was time to head back to the hotel so we saddled up and headed back. 

We arrived back at the hotel and made dinner reservations for the group of us at the Storyteller’s Steakhouse. It was great to see that a few more people had arrived, with about 50 bikes in the parking lot. We all took a little time to clean up and then meet in the lobby. From there the shuttle was summoned and we headed up. The restaurant is decorated like a cavern with tables in little caves around. The food was amazing! Everyone was really pleased with their dinners. Susan and I split a Filet Mignon with some tasty sides. Ken and Gail had an Oso Bucco, it was all really good. Then there was dessert which we all ate even though we were stuffed. 

After dinner we headed back down to the hotel to catch the Meet and Greet. Sadly there weren’t many people there. Seems like there were more people in the parking lot. So that’s where we headed. We hung out for a bit in the parking lot chatting with everyone who had arrived. The evenings were really relaxing with no bugs, a slight breeze, and warm temps.

Saturday we all met up in the parking lot ready to head out for breakfast. Bob Barbano had identified a restaurant in town that had a great rating so we were off. We headed down the street to a place called Beto’s Mexican Food. It is a small restaurant with great food. In fact I think it’s the best breakfast burrito I have ever had. Al tried their Sopapilla and Gail had the Chorizo and eggs – it all looked really great. Again we all ate too much since the food was so good. 

After breakfast we had decided to take a ride down through Jerome and into Prescott. We had originally thought about stopping in Jerome, but apparently the Hell’s Angels were having a wedding in town and they were expecting over 200 members – so we decided to just ride through on our way to Prescott. On our way out of Jerome we stopped at the Scenic Overlook and we were joined by the Temecula Chapter. We invited them to join us for the rest of the ride and we were thrilled that they said yes.

Although we have driven through Prescott on several occasions, we have never stopped there, so we decided it would be great to park at the square and walk around. Although parking was a little scarce, we were lucky to find a few spots to accommodate all of us . Once parked, we decided to meet back at 1:30 and we all scattered. The Prescott square is filled with lots of antique shops, jewelry stores, clothing stores and lots of Saloons. Apparently, historically, there was once a Saloon in every other storefront. 

A few of us started out together and made our way around the square and eventually stopped for lunch at the Lone Spur. Lunch was really good and the restaurant was filled with some really great art and artifacts. After a small lunch we headed down to the Palace Saloon to meet up with more of our group. The Palace Saloon is one of the genuine article. You enter through swinging double doors into a great room with a big oak bar. We also spotted a semi-celebrity there – Cato Cailyn of OJ Simpson fame was at a table in the back of the saloon. Several of us took a look and agreed that it indeed was him. LOL

Eventually it was time to head back to the bikes and head back to the hotel for the Barbeque. We gathered together and attempted to find gas and head back. We found a small gas station at the edge of town and the smaller tanks filled up. We then headed back through and out of town and back to our hotel.

After cleaning up, we all headed down to the banquet room to check out the auction items. Unlike previous StarBQs, we were allowed into the banquet room, and after checking out the Chinese Auction items (buying a few tickets and putting them into the boxes) we found a table and sat down to chat. We stayed there until the event started. For once the StarBQ actually had a barbeque! The dinner was really good with barbequed beef, salad, beans, rolls, and then dessert. We all stuffed ourselves. 

The presentations began with Alan and Ginger speaking a bit about the organization and the Start Family Foundation. The hosting chapters were recognized for their work, and then the raffle and Chinese Auction started. A couple of our members won some of the auction items (Gail and Al). We hung out until about 8:30, then we headed back up to our rooms to start packing for the ride home.

Sunday morning a small group of us headed home, with others heading out to other destinations, continuing their vacations. In the end it was just Me, Susan, and Al riding with Linda and Michael as passengers. We left early, deciding to press as far as Wickenburg before stopping for gas and breakfast. The goal was to beat the heat – ha!

By the time we got to Wickenburg it was already 85 degrees. It was comfortable but we knew it would get hotter the lower we got in elevation. We had breakfast at McDonald’s, opting for a quick meal and then back on the road. 

Our next stop was Quartzite and the temps were rising. We gassed up and hydrated. We were enjoying the scenery but not the heat so much. We knew that the worst heat was in front of us, and it was a doozy. Once we hit Blythe the temps had reached 106 degrees and at one point between Blythe and Banning it hovered at 108 for a bit. Thankfully once we hit Brea the temps had dropped down to a cool 95 degrees. By the time we hit Fountain Valley it was a nice 78 degrees and comfortable. 

Another successful overnighter – next, June Lake! See you there.

 

    May Chapter Ride - Borrego Springs

What a difference a week can make. The preride day was bright and hot – today not so much. Although there was a threat of rain, the weather was not really showing much so we decided to head down to Mission and see. I arrived to find a nice group of brave souls ready to ride. In fact, in the end we ended up with about 25 bikes and riders.

The group gathered upstairs for our meeting where we were joined for our ride by Dave Long from the Temecula Chapter. We covered our usual business, the LED light deal I have going, and our plans for the SWStarBQ. After a few raffle drawings and the 50/50, we headed down to the bikes to group up and head out.

We were two groups with myself and Don Carter leading. We headed down the 5 South. It was a little chilly, but not too bad. We made our usual stop at the Camp Pendleton Rest Stop and then continued on down the 5 to Santa Fe Drive. We exited and headed east. The route took us out Paseo Delicias around Lake Hodges and into Ramona for our first gas stop.

Now during this part of the ride we only encountered some light misty rain, and some light cloud cover. After gassing up, we headed out through Santa Ysabel, Wynola, Julian and onto the Banner Grade. There were a couple of times that the cloud cover dipped low and there were a few rain drops but we were all prepared and stayed dry.

Eventually we started to descend down the other side of the mountains, and the weather changed dramatically. Lots of sunshine and a nice breeze. (Thank goodness, on the pre-ride we got hit with some real heat and a lot of wind.)

We turned onto Yaqui Pass and down into Borrego Springs. We stopped at Pablito’s for lunch. Lunch was great – they put us out on the patio and provided some great food and great service. 

After lunch we all debated what gear to put on – we knew we were going back up the mountains and into the rain again, but in Borrego Springs it was now hot. So it was a mixed bag. As we headed back up the Montezuma Valley Road we quickly left the warm sun behind and were back into the cold and misty mountains. We hit a little more rain on our way through Warner Springs and up the 79 and then the 76 into Pala for our last gas stop. 

The weather had made the ride a little long so I decided to make an executive decision to call the ride at the gas station in Pala and let everyone split off to home – but first one piece of business, we voted Ted Jones in!! Welcome Ted!

And with that we split into two groups – one going straight out the 76 to the 5 north, and one going up the 15 to the 91. 

Great ride – next month Sunrise Highway, see you there.

 

   April Chapter Ride - Mt Palomar

Not a cloud in the sky and mild temperatures in the forecast – this was a great day for a ride. I arrived at Mission Motorsports to a few early birds ready for our ride to Mt Palomar. Scott Komie was already there with his new to him Goldwing – yes another Goldwing in the group! Lots of other members arrived, along with a new rider Jack Ayers – Hi Jack!

Once the donuts arrived, we all followed them inside to get the coffee going and the raffle tickets sold. Then we were upstairs for the meeting. Not much news, next bike night April 13th at Tutto Fresco and our 15th Anniversary Celebration will be following our July ride at Al Piwonka’s house. 

After the meeting, we were downstairs and lined up into two groups with myself leading group 1 and Don Carter leading group 2. Once everyone was ready, we headed out down the 5 south to the 76 east and out towards Pala. Our first gas stop was at the Pala Casino gas station. I can say it a dozen times – it was a beautiful day. Sun was shining and it was about 72 degrees. 

We continued down the 76 east where we finally hit the twisties – the hillsides are all green with lots of flowers blooming. The smells of orange blossoms and lilacs were everywhere. The critters were out as well – lots of squirrels and birds. I was shocked when a Bobcat crossed the road in front of me and then up the hillside. In all my years riding and travelling through California, this was the first time I have ever seen a Bobcat in the wild. 

We made the turn up the South Grade road and headed up Palomar Mountain. The mountain views were spectacular – especially with the clear skies. A few bicyclists on the road, but not too many. After some twists and turns, we arrived at the observatory. 

We took a little time to explore the observatory and the grounds surrounding it and then we were back on the bikes to head out to lunch. We returned down the mountain and then off on Mesa Grande Road, this is one we haven’t ridden before – it took a little longer, but was well worth it. There were great views and great twists and turns. Eventually we made a right onto the 79 headed to Santa Ysabel. 

At the junction with the 79, there was a couple of men with a camera on a tripod taking pictures of the cows on the rolling green hills. Apparently, they had called the cattle to dinner or something as the entire herd was running towards where they has the camera pointed. It was amazing to see all those cows and their calves running.

We arrived the junction between the 79 and the 78, and our lunch stop, the Apple Country Restaurant. Lunch was great! Could not have asked for better service – and the pie! 

After lunch, we were back on the bikes and back up the 79 toward Lake Henshaw – which is actually a lake again after this year’s rains. We followed the 79 back up through Warner Springs, around the mountain and into Temecula. We stopped for gas at the usual Chevron in Temecula - then we were back on the bikes and down the road to the 15 north. 

We took the 15 north to Baxter and then down to Grand and onto the Ortega. The ride out the Ortega was nice and smooth – except for this white car that was going so slow and would not pull over no matter what - eventually they finally realized that there were a whole bunch of bikes and cars behind them and they pulled over. From there it was smooth sailing out to the 5 north and back to Mission Motorsports. 

At Mission we were treated, (as usual) to some freshly barbequed hot dogs and drinks and the ride was called.

Next Month Anza Borrego and Julian! See you there!

 

  March Chapter Ride - Fallbrook/Deluz

The Fallbrook/Deluz ride is always one of the chapter favorites. So as usual we had a great turn out of over 30 bikes ready for the ride. The weather was clear and would stay in the mid 60’s – perfect riding weather. Everyone was milling around, eating donuts and purchasing raffle and 50/50 tickets, then, eventually we moved up to the conference room for our meeting. It was a little crowded, with a few spilling out into the hall. Information was shared about upcoming events, and rides. 

There was a little discussion about the need for everyone to take advantage of the rider classes available out there. Vinnie puts on a skills day once a year, and there are several advanced rider classes that can be found. Also, if you don't care for the group setting, you should talk to Paul McInerny about the possibility of taking a little of his time for some riding instruction - Paul is a retired Garden Grove Motors Seargent and trainer.

We broke into four groups with Myself, Scott Hamilton, Ken Indorf, and Richard “Taz” Green leading. After a little shuffling we were set and soon enough we were off, heading down the 5. As usual we made our first stop at the rest area past Pendelton. And as usual we were bombarded by foreign tourists wanting to look at, touch, and sit on our bikes – oh and of course take lots of photos! This time the visitors were from China! 

Once we were able to pry the last tourist off of the bikes, we headed off back down the 5, off at the 76 and took the left on Mission Avenue. From there the roads started their twists and turns – could not have asked for a more beautiful day. The roads through Fallbrook were clear with very little traffic. Each twist and turn provided another beautiful view. The recent rains have made the hillsides green and the flowers bloom. There was a little sand on the road, but very little of the water that we had seen on the pre-ride.

After a nice long ride through the mountains and oak trees, we arrived in Wildomar and our gas stop. After a little chatter and a nice break, we saddled up for the next leg of our ride out past Lake Perris and around Lake Mathews. We finally made the grade down into Dos Lagos and into the Chili's parking lot.

As always Chili’s was more than accommodating to us. They didn’t even flinch when I told them the week before that I would have over 30 members there for lunch – and of course then we brought 36. They seated us and got everyone’s drink and food orders quickly. I can’t thank them enough – it was awesome. The food was good and the friendship was even better. We filled up half the restaurant. 

After lunch we were back on the bikes and headed down and around the 15 through Corona and Glen Ivy. We stopped for a quick gas stop for the smaller tanks and then jumped onto the 15 south. We exited lake and made our way down to Grand and onto the Ortega Highway. A quick right and we were back in the twisties. We were again lucky as there wasn’t a lot of traffic but it had started to cloud up and the temps had dropped into the low 60's. As always Ortega was fun, great turns and twisties. Eventually we made our way down and onto the 5. 

Just a quick ride up to Bake Parkway, a left and a couple of rights and we were back at Mission Motorsports. A really great day! 

Just a little business, some hot dogs and water, and the ride was called. Next month Mt Palomar! See you there.

 

    February Chapter Ride - USS Midway (postponed from January)

Finally, we get to go to the USS Midway again! It seems that every time we schedule this ride there is always a weather problem that has cause it to be postponed or cancelled. Thank goodness today there was no rain in sight.

I was excited for this trip and I guess so were a few others. We had a great turn out with a couple of new faces. Once everyone had gotten their cup of coffee and a donut or two, we headed upstairs for our meeting. There was a little bit of business, some raffle ticket pulled and the 50/50. Congrats to all the winners! 

We broke into three groups with Myself, Scott Hamilton, and Ken Indorf leading After a little shuffling we were set and soon enough we were off, heading down the 5. As usual we made our first stop at the rest area past Pendelton. For once we actually weren't met by foreign tourists - shock! After a short rest, we saddled up and continued down the 5 into San Diego.

We arrived at the USS Midway and were able to make a deal with the nice ladies working the parking kiosk to cut us a break on the parking fee - yay! We promised to park four in a space in exchange for a discount. 

Once parked we gathered to discuss when to meet back at the bikes and then Scott and Ken went to get our tickets - we had prepaid and gotten a nice group rate. We were able to keep the group together long enough to get up the galleyway and then to take a group picture - but then they all scrambled. 

For those of you who don't know it, Scott Hamilton served on the USS Midway. He was kind enough to provide a nice tour of the flight deck and some wonderful stories of his life on the ship to some of the group. Some others went down to the engine room, the bridge, all over the ship. Lunch was in the Fantail Cafe - an outdoor patio off the rear of the ship. 

There was a lot to see and each time we all get to explore a little more - 

Once the tour was over, we all met back at the bikes for the ride home. We made our way out the parking lot and around to Pacific Coast Highway. Our first stop was for gas and then we hopped onto the 5 for our ride home. We were originally supposed to take a different route back which would have put us on the Ortega - but it was still closed due to damage from the recent storms. So it was straight up the 5 for us.

We were very lucky and didn't really hit much traffic heading back to Mission. Just a quick ride up and off at Bake Parkway, a left and a couple of rights and we were back at Mission Motorsports. A really great day!

Next Month - Fallbrook/Deluz. See you then!

 

    January Chapter Ride - USS Midway - Rainout

As always, our first chapter ride and meeting of the year is crazy; with new ride waivers, new officers, and of course the charter reading. I was ready for all of it, but I was not ready for the rain. There was some rain and the threat of rain throughout the day - so most everyone arrived in cars.

Everyone was great and arrived with their waivers pre-filled and it was easy for us to get through the process of checking and signing off on them. Thanks to Mike Fry and Paul McInerny for helping get those waivers processed.

After some catching up and socializing, we moved everyone up to the conference room for the meeting. There were rockers to be presented for outgoing and incoming officers and leads, and a few mileage rockers.

The following Officers and Leads were announced:

Ed Palaoro - President
Scott Hamilton - Vice President/Lead Road Captain
Mike Fry- Sergeant-At-Arms
Ken Indorf - Secretary/Treasurer
Greg Schedcik- Vet Representative
Paul McInerny- Lead Tailgunner/Lead Shepherd
Linda Mongomery - Raffle Coordinators
Richard Von Luft - Bike Night Coordinator
Susan Palaoro - Web Master


There was the usual info on upcoming events and information. Then we settled in for the reading of the charter. Thanks to those who volunteered to read the pages and help us get through. Once the charter was read we were all downstairs to head out to breakfast.

And that’s a great way to start off a new year! Keep an eye out for our new ride schedule due out January 22nd. See you in February.

 

 
 
 
 
 
   

 

 

 

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