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Broken Dreams and Scenery A long Ride Report


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Broken Dreams and Beautiful Scenery, April 28, 2002


I spent Saturday being dismayed that I couldn’t ride to Marin BMW. So, when Sunday dawned bright and beautiful I hurriedly called the Flame and said, “Get over to my place right away, and let’s put some miles on!” Chue-Shue, alias Jennifer, is never shy about going riding. She flew over from Diamond Bar to my place in 20 minutes flat. In another half an hour tires and oil were checked, face shields were clean, maps were consulted and we were accelerating out of town.


But where to go? Even though the sun was out, it was chilly. Plus I wanted to give my Joe Rocket Phoenix gear a try out. Soon it was decided. We’d head east toward Palm Springs, and improvise from there…


The ride from my place to the outskirts of Palm Springs doesn’t have much scenery, but it is fast! We covered the seventy miles in about 50 minutes. Now the weather was heating up and we decided to ride Dillon Springs Road as far as we could take it. The advantages would be no traffic and lots of interesting desert scenery. We turned off I-10 onto CA 62, and made an immediate right onto Dillon Springs Rd.


Now, they say that Riverside County’s speed laws are enforced by radar. I’ve never even seen an officer out in these parts of the desert. This is a good thing. Soon we were frolicking over countless whoop-de-doos in the middle of nowhere. I could hear CS giggling in the AutoCom headset every time we’d blast over the crest of one of these countless hills. After about 30 minutes playing, we came to Dillon and the I-10. Good spot for a break, a drink, and bathroom stop. We chatted for a few minutes with a very amiable CHP officer who was very interested in my bike; especially the Valentine One perched conspicuously on the RCU shelf:

Officer: I see you have a radar unit. Does it work? (Grinning)

Me: I see you have a radar unit. Does it work? (Grinning)


After exchanging a few more pleasantries about velocity, time, and distance, it was time to go. CS and I decided to continue south on CA 86 toward the Salton Sea. 86 is a great moto road. With mile after mile of agriculture, it is truly amazing what happens when the desert gets water. Grapes, dates, fruit, lemons, and tangerine groves seemed to stretch for endless miles almost up to the edge of the Salton Sea. We decided to pull over for a view, since the immensity of Salton Sea seems to be rivaled only by the Great Lakes.


Salton Sea was formed by accident. In the early 1930’s an aquaduct carrying water from the Colorado river broke. By the time it was repaired countless acres of desert land were flooded. The Sea remains today, but now it seems to only be a signpost of dreams left unrealized and shattered. We turned off the highway and rode slowly past ramshackle houses and broken down motels. We stopped at a large cracked wooden sign proclaiming a hotel and marina. We looked in the broken windows and at the ancient cracked swimming pool, long since dry. All that moved in this deathly quiet place was the wind and a few tumbleweeds that casually blew past the RT’s front tire. How many developers and businessmen came here after WW2 thinking Salton Sea could become a famous vacation area, I wondered. Did the dreamers take into account the blazing sun, the stink of the lake, and it’s incredible salinity? Today, only a few hardy souls live out here year round, their only company being passers-by and the droves of “snowbirds” that winter here in their RVs. We looked, took a few pictures, and decided to leave. “It’s creepy here,” said the Flame…


We happily left the Lake of Broken Dreams behind, intent on finding new adventures. About 50 miles from the Mexican border we turned west on CA78. A quick check of the map told us Julian, a quaint little town in the San Diego mountains was only 50 miles. Accelerating swiftly, we flew through the desert. The RT is happiest at about 95 mph, and we held it here until Val started giving us some KA band chirps near the Anza Borrego State Park entrance.


Traveling at a more leisurely pace now, we enjoyed watching the desert gradually give way to greenery. Cholla cactus surrendered its grip and gave way to pine trees and grassy green meadows. Deserted roadways also gave way to hordes of Sport-Utes, and bad drivers. On our toes now, we carefully threaded our way through the traffic, pedestrians, and horse-drawn carriages until we were out of Julian.


A deft twist of the wrist and we passed a couple of remaining RVs before we dove into the twisties once again. Cool mountain air, and Chue-Shue’s legs pressed tightly against my hips, we laughed as the big boxer danced off the mountain and into the parking lot at Dudley’s bakery at Santa Ysabel. We pulled off the helmets and said “Hi” to a group of Harley riders standing next to us. To a person, they returned our greeting with a sullen stare. CS and I wondered if they were having fun riding their motorcycles. Is “The Look” that important?


If you haven’t been to Dudley’s you should ride up one day. Fresh, hot baked breads, rolls, and other assorted pastries tempt the hungry rider. If that doesn’t do it, walk next door to the Julian Pie Company. Our favorite is Dutch apple with cinnamon ice cream. Don’t ask if we’ll share.


By now, we’d been on the road for most of the day. We opted for the most direct route out, a still pretty jaunt up through Ramona CA on 78. This is pretty county; rolling hills and expensive horse ranches abound. Unfortunately, tired folks in big RVs and SUVs dominate the late afternoon drive. We saw our share of bad driving!


Once out of Ramona we found our way to I-15 and a quick 88-mile blast home. We selected a speed that matched the flow of traffic and sped home. Soon we pulled into the driveway, 396 happy miles later. A safe, fast, fun ride with the one I love. Who could ask for more?


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Thanks for the great tale. I really love that country. It's great variety always keeps me interested. How fortunate there are such grand open spaces.


Hope to ride with you soon.

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MMMMM.... Dudley's! We stop there almost every Sunday on our group rides... Except for this past one. Instead we took the southern route down by Tecate and then stoped at Majors for lunch before heading home.

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Great ride report. I experienced that ride in person with Laney and Fernando this past February. The Salton Sea showed up "creepy" on the GPS. We went to a joint called "Moms" for pie. Only in California is there a musician in a pie shop. Loved it!

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Sounds like a cool ride. Julian is pretty country. Never made it to the Salton Sea yet (and I've lived in CA my whole life!), so I guess I'll have to get out there. Sounds like an interesting (albeit creepy) place.



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Mr. Frantz, I think you hit the nail on head...it's the "wide open spaces" that we yearn for, and the RT does best in...Fortunately, there are still places like this in So Cal, though it seems every year you must go further out to find them!


Luky speaks of Tecate...one place I've never ridden and I want to go! Maybe we need to get a day ride going....



Steve in So Cal

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