Harley Davidson California Dreamin’ Road Trip

This is what heat exhaustion looks like, it’s not good. Thankfully we stopped in time because one of us was going to pass out soon. I was starting to get light-headed, dizzy and I couldn’t feel my legs anymore. We had only been riding for about an hour and a half but the sun, heat and traffic really takes a toll on your body. Being on a motorcycle has its advantages, but not when it’s this hot. We stopped to fill up and grab more Gatorade and water before our long ride to Morro Bay.

Again, the ride was supposed to be the highlight of the trip with stops at the Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, McWay Falls and miles upon miles of ocean on one side and mountains on the other. Alternatively, we had to take the two and a half hour ride down Route 101 until we reached Morro Bay around 8pm that night. Morro Bay is a quaint little town with lots of vibe and colorful streets. The main attraction though it Morro Rock.

We finally sat down for dinner and drinks around 9pm at a very cool pub and grill called “Otter Rock Cafe”. The restaurant was slammed and service was pretty slow but the atmosphere was vibrant and there was a live band playing in the main room. Over dinner we discussed our plans for the rest of the trip.

Then, we started looking and calling for hotels around the area. All the hotels, motels and AirBnb’s in the area said no vacancy, booked, sorry… I guess there was an art show in town and a yearly car show in the other town. Add the fact that it was a holiday weekend, the heat forcing people out of their homes to stay in the AC and the wildfires, we were out of luck in Morro Bay.

We started getting tired and we were still not able to find a place to stay for the night. So, we tried calling towns 20miles out, 30miles out, 50miles out. Their response was the same, “no vacancy, booked, sorry”. You wouldn’t believe it if I told you that there were no hotels, motels, hostels, fire departments, police departments or a couch to stay on within 100 miles of our current location. What could we do? Get back on the bikes and start to keep riding south to find vacancy and that’s what we did.

We had a hunch from a website and a phone call that there might be a vacancy at a Motel 6 about 55 miles out from our location and set our sights on Santa Maria. As we pulled up to the filled parking lot we knew in our minds we had no chance of getting in but we went to the front desk and tried anyways. We were grasping at straws and just hoping some luck would find our way. But, no such luck at this particular Motel 6 so we kept on riding. Nightime riding is a scary thing, especially with no road lights and traveling at an average speed of 65-70mph on the highway.

You never know what’s going to jump out in front of you and what you can’t see on the road. My eyes were getting heavy, my throat dry and my headache and dizziness were starting to come back. Really, the only thing that kept me awake was Troy in my headset. That is, until our batteries died and we lost communication. All I had left to keep me awake was the ambition to not crash, the sound of the engine and blasting music to keep me from fading off.

Over this hills and through the mountains we rode 110 miles and ended up in Santa Barbara around 1am. That’s 110 miles farther than we planned, not to mention it was in the middle of the night. Right before we entered Santa Barbara, we crossed over the Los Padres National Forest. This was an incredible ride up and down through valleys and canyons. It seemed to be cooler and the temperatures dropped 15-20 degrees and it was such a relief. The cooler temps and the great ride woke me up as we entered town but I was still dead tired.

We came to a gas station in town to gas up and check out the local hotels, motels and hostiles. Not knowing if there was anything available we called hotel after hotel. Between the four of us, we’ve had to call at least 25+ hotels and we all came up empty.

We called the police, we called the local firehouse. I guess they don’t take people in? This is how it happens…we were sleeping outside for the night. 2am rolls by, 3am rolls by, 4am rolls by.

Troy was passed out on the patch of grass by the curb. My dad was passed out on the side of his bike. John was nodding off and so was I.

Around 4:30am, Troy comes around the corner, so tired he could barely speak…I noticed a stranger behind him and became concerned very quickly so I jumped off my bike to see what was going on. Troy comes up to me and says “this guy asked if we wanted to stay at his place, he’s just down the street”.

My first thought was to say “Heck yes, absolutely!”. But then my natural instincts kicked in and I had concerns. I was torn as to what do to. Do we stay at a strangers house in the middle of a city in which we didn’t know? Do we say yes and hopefully nothing bad happens? I mean, what could go wrong at this point? We didn’t have a lot to lose besides the clothes on our back and the credit cards in our pocket.

This is what we did; Troy and I stood with the four bikes at the gas station and my dad and John went with Carlos to check out his place. We started to get nervous after 20 minutes passed by and there was no sign of their return. A few minutes later and we finally saw them in the distance. Thank god they were safe and on their way back. They said the place was just a block away and had a nice room to sleep in with a bed and space on the floor.

The slight smile on my face was all I could muster with the remaining energy I had left before passing out.


Saturday September 1st, 2017: Tried to ride down PCH but road closures stopped us. Headed towards Morro Bay and could not find a hotel. Slept at a gas station in Santa Barbara until 4am and eventually met a stranger who said we could stay with him.

Miles Traveled400miles/14hrs

Trip Total: $831.88

Map Route: https://goo.gl/maps/RsTmkHs4nLv

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *