They paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot

Day 2 July 10,2008


Well I started out the day with the intention of replacing my face shield that I had lost at day’s end yesterday. I called a couple of motorcycle shops but they were not going to open until 9 AM and I wanted to be down the road a piece by then. So I hopped on the Recluse and headed on to Santa Monica where I intended to find a place to buy a face shield.

As luck would have it, I saw a sign for Wal Mart, one of the few truly unique shopping experiences left on earth. I was having Wal Mart withdrawal so I turned in. As a side note, 12% of the American population goes to a Wal Mart every day. I like to do my part.

I went immediately to the helmet isle and while I could not find a face shield, they had helmets exactly like mine there. So I bought another helmet. Then I moved my headset over to the new helmet and put the old helmet back into the original container. I toyed with the idea of asking for a refund for a second and then thought that would be bad Karma.

So I placed the old one in a shopping basket outside figuring someone would take it. A couple came up and started chatting about the Spyder which is a very common occurrence. I asked them if they wanted a helmet and they took it. So there you go.

Now for the good Karma. As soon as I got on the freeway I noticed that the noise from my fairing was gone. No more ear plugs needed. Whatever little difference there is between the two helmets was enough to quite it down. So I was happy.

I headed down to Santa Monica pier which is the official starting point for this journey. The traffic getting there was unbelievable. Obviously gas prices must not be high enough because there were ten lanes of cars stopped with engines idling. What a mess.


Baby Recluse Spyders

But Santa Monica was nice. The pier was full of people enjoying the carnival rides and roller blading on the boardwalk. The beaches there are huge and full of people enjoying the water and the sand. It never fails to impress me how many good looking women there are in Southern California. I know milk does a body good but it seems like they have been drinking a lot of it.

From the pier I started dong some serious navigation to find and stay on Route 66. Some people don’t know that Route 66 was never one road but just a bunch of pieces of road hooked together. And they occasionally rerouted it over the years. And then they paved the entire LA county and drew some white lines on it and called it good. So I could not tell you exactly where I was at any given time.  I did stop and plot a new course every 15 minutes or so making my way out to the valley.

I did go through the downtown sections of towns I had previously blown by on the freeway. Towns like Hollywood, West LA, Beverly Hills and Pasadena look a lot different from their old downtown sections. Some towns like Hollywood look a little run down while others like Pasadena are pretty darn nice.

I finally picked up Foothill Blvd which is Route 66 and followed it out to San Bernadino. I stopped every 400 yards for a red light. So divide 400 yards into about 50 miles and you get the idea that there were a lot of red lights. No green ones. Not a one. I swear. So my total mileage for the day was a very warm 150 miles.

But after five hours of that I had reached one of the critical stops on this tour- The Wigwam Motel. It is what its name implies. It is such a nice place that they give you your very own remote control for the TV when you check in. The Hiltons could learn something from the Wigwam guys.


Getting my kicks

As soon as I arrived I met a group of bikers who had just come in from Chicago taking Route 66 the entire way. So I am not the only crazy one. It took them two weeks. And they were real bikers. At least they smelled like real bikers.

I am sitting in my little wigwam with the AC going full out trying to turn it into an igloo which would be a lot better. Tom Tom, the gps, is very happy to be in a teepee.


The Recluse in front of its Wigwam

So it has been a good day. The new helmet really has helped out. It is still way too hot but I did not suffer like I did yesterday. I ate and drank Gatorade all day. The scooter is doing well but it does not like stop and stop driving. I am in good shape and will go in search of beer in a minute.


That’s me in my new Wal Mart helmet

I found the beer and also found that they do not have and internet here in the Wigwam. So I am going to send this, yes you guessed it, by smoke signal. Let me know if you don’t receive it.



Filed under updates on an average life

2 responses to “They paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot

  1. Hi (cough) Bob….enjoying (cough) your new posts (cough, cough), but just one (cough) request. (cough, cough, cough) No more smoke signals! (cough).
    Tha (cough)nks,


    • Bob

      These are old posts that some other bikers refer to when making the Rt 66 trip. For some reason they came down and now I am putting them back up. One day at a time. It was a good adventure for me and I am thinking about doing it again.

      Sorry about the smoke.


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