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russell_bynum

Chasing the Moon

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russell_bynum

It was the end of a very long day. I finally rolled out of the garage at work around 11:30pm. I should have headed straight for the freeway and home, but I didn't. I set out south down the Coast Highway through Corona del Mar towards Laguna Beach. I was hoping for a big moon so I could see the ocean and the waves around Crystal Cove.

 

As I cleared Corona del Mar...no moon. I cruised on anyway and eased into Laguna Beach. I should have turned on Laguna Canyon and gone home, but I didn't. I continued south. Past main beach (Laguna) and past all the touristy stuff that is Laguna Beach and out the south end.

 

This part of the Coast Highway stays pretty close to the coast, it varies in elevation from right down there practically on the waterfront, to a couple hundred feet up on top of the sandy cliffs. Out of Laguna I started back down and passed Aliso Creek Beach. Still no moon and no sight of the Pacific. I could smell the sea at times...mingling among the smells from the restaurants and flowers, but I still couldn't see it.

 

I should have turned at Crown Valley and gone home, but I didn't. I kept going south. Past the Ritz and back up the hill north of Dana Point. When I crested the hill...it happened. I was rewarded with the most glorious view of Dana Point Harbor with the two old sailing ships and row after row of masts from the more modern craft. In the background I could see the lights along the southern stretch of the coastline down towards Oceanside Harbor. And just above the hills on the coastline was the most beautiful Champagne colored half-moon. Low on the horizon, but there shining bright.

 

I turned and skirted the edge of the harbor and started up the hill. I wanted to find a spot where I could get a good view of all of this. At the top of the hill, I hung a left and continued climbing. I came across what seemed to be the perfect vista but there was a car parked there already. Just then, the road made a slight curve and I was pointed directly at the car with my 1100's and high beam on. It seems I disturbed a couple....um...enjoying the view. Anyway, lets just say that wasn't the moon I had in mind to look at, but I laughed anyway and continued up the hill. shocked.gif It turns out there was no good spot up the way so I turned around and headed back down. Just as I crested the rise and the couple's car came into view, the car started and peeled out of there like crazy. Opps. 'scuse me. sorry. pardon me. smile.gif

 

I stopped there for a good 10 minutes just looking at the Harbor, down the coastline, and at the moon. I love harbors anyway and the metallic clang of halyards agaist aluminum masts was music to my ears.

 

Eventually, I headed on down and picked up the Coast Highway again. I should have turned and taken the freeway back home, but I didn't. I continued south past Doheny Beach. The moon is hiding now...too low and too far inland...it's behind the cliffs from here.

 

Finally, I hit San Clemente and I'm getting sleepy, so I point the RT towards the freeway. I should have stayed on the freeway and taken the most direct route home, but I didn't do that either. smile.gif I peeled off at Ortega Highway. I wouldn't be riding the "hoonish" part of Ortega today...my turnoff was long before that fun starts, but I like riding past Mission (San Juan Capistrano) and into the hills so off I go.

 

I made my turn and climbed up and over the coastal hills and descended back down into Saddleback Valley. The moon is still there, off my right shoulder popping in and out of view behind the hills as if to say "See...I told you to keep going. Wasn't that worth it? When can we do it again?".

 

It's warmer here. The coastal temp is usually a little colder and more humid and it always amazes me how different it is just a few miles one direction or the other. Even more interesting is what happens down in the creekbed a half-mile behind our house. The creek runs all the way to the Ocean and it's even got a fairly straight shot. Also, it's in a fairly deep valley, so what happens is it retains that coastal climate. In July it'll be 94 degrees at our house an 84 degrees a half-mile away in the bottom of the valley along the creek.

 

As I pondered the climate differences, I eased the bike into my neighborhood and home around 1:30am. I should have gone to bed, but I did't. I wrote this instead. wink.gif

 

Sometimes, don't take the direct route. Don't give up...the moon is there and you just have to keep looking until it comes into view. Smell the roses, and pastries, and sea breeze. Ride.

 

See you down the road.

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Limecreek

Great ride tale Russell! I could almost smell and feel the ocean all the way here in Texas.

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SEATTLE_RIDER

Thank you.........

I was just down there a few months ago visiting my two sons who both ended up in southern Cal after college. In years past I have shipped my Harley down in November for Jay Leno's Love Ride. Good excuse to spend a week riding the canyons, etc. Never have been in L.A. or Orange County in the summer on two wheels. The plan is to do it this summer !!

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Mjames

Russell,

 

What a bedtime story you tell! Poetry!

Like Limecreek, I really felt I was along for the ride.

 

Of course, if you were still riding Busa you would have found the moon a bit faster. smile.gif

 

Read about

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BamaRider

Enjoyed your story. Glad you stayed up late to tell us about it.

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Marty Hill

Russell,

 

Next spring can I follow you over some of these roads???

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TonyM315

 

 

 

YES!

 

Awesome write up. Laguna is my favorite beach of them all. Thanks for the ride....

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BrianT

I've been down that road many times on my bike, but never at night. Your write up makes me think August is too long to wait for that full moon ride through the desert.

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PhillyFlash

Great story, Russell. Felt like I was riding right behind you again. WISH I was riding right behind you again! I'll have to try to get out there this Spring. Maybe a group of us can get together and take that same ride one night...then do it again in the morning.

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BrianT

IN.

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Les is more

Truly beautiful Russell!

You know, I've done this in a car but the added sensory experience of being on the bike just puts it into another realm altogether.

Thanks for taking us all with.

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USAF1

Ladieeeeeeeeeeeees and Gentlemaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan

 

A new Stoooooooooooooooooory Tellerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr is borrrrrrrrrrrrrrn!

 

Good stuff Russ!

 

Pat

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Laney

Russell - that was great. That stretch of coast is a great ride, but I've rarely taken the time to do it at night. Next time I'll have much more to look for...

 

Thanks! smile.gif

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ericfoerster

BUENO !

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murrayg
In reply to:

Sometimes, don't take the direct route. Don't give up...the moon is there and you just have to keep looking until it comes into view. Smell the roses, and pastries, and sea breeze. Ride.

 

See you down the road.

In reply to:

 

I'm glad you didn't do all those things you were supposed to do. I think that's one of the reasons I like motorcycling it's not something on my, "I should have list." Thanks for the insight. cool.gif

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