I woke up to another glorious morning in Palm Springs. I swear they don't have bad weather in this town. I've been staying the last two nights at my dear friends Madelon and Mildred's condo (M&M). These two lovely ladies and their condo remind me very much of the old TV show "The Golden Girls". M&M have been together for 30 plus years and have lived life to the fullest. Now they winter in Palm Springs, and summer in Seattle two doors up from me. They are religious about cocktails in the evening before dinner, and tell wonderful stories. I love them dearly.
So with the theme song from Golden Girls in my head..."thank you for being a friend, traveled down the road and back again, your heart is true you're a pal and confidant"... I waved goodbye and headed out down CA-111 through the string of cities that make up the Palm Springs area. This is the gay retirement Mecca and its a pretty cool town with lots of fancy shops and restaurants, and streets named "Bob Hope", "Kirk Douglas", "Gene Autry", "Dinah Shore" and "Fred Waring" (of blender fame), and of cours lots of "Sonny Bono" memorial things (what, again no Cher? what's with the queens in this town?!?) . I have to laugh as I drive down and out of town in the warm sunshine.
I headed south at Indio and along the West side of the Salton Sea this time, down CA-86 before heading West on CA-78. At this point I was about 200 feet below sea level, and the desert was quite warm.
I would have to rate this highway as one of the best I've ridden on in a long time. It's a lonely stretch of road, and after shooting straight west for a few miles to the mountains, winds and twists for a good 40 miles. Eventually the road climbs up out of the Salton Sink and ends up on top of the mountains at a quaint small town named Julian. This was apparently an old mining town, that has now been turned into a little artsy/shopping kind of place, famous for apple pies. I had a nice lunch at a local diner, and the pie was good -- but not as good as my Mom's.It was wonderfully warm and sunny still as I wound down the mountain through a string of farms and small towns northeast of San Diego -- Santa Ysabel, and Ramona and Poway. In Poway I picked up Interstate 8, and although it was a freeway and full of trafic, I think the warmth and the sun made it tollerable, and I truly hated to get off the bike at my hotel. I have a nice biker sunburn too on my face! The ride back today was the best of the three days on the bike. Tomorrow morning I'll ride it back to the Harley dealer and then fly back to Seattle via Salt Lake -- the weather is gray and rainy up there and is forecast to be the same. My best friend Dave said it's a sure sign of aging -- that I'm tempted to become a "Snowbird". I don't know if that's an insult or not. Dave is six months younger than I am, and like by younger brother who say's I'm "middle aged", delights in reminding me of my age. Maybe he's right though. I could definitely live in Palm Spring in the winter. I refuse to grow old however -- or is that grow up.