Well, I got the Beemer back from the shop. It only took six weeks and a large chunk of change. They ended up replacing the shifting forks and all of the bearings inside the transmission. (sigh...) I found the ST the day I dropped the BMW off at the shop and while it was there, I bought the ST and managed to put more than 3500 miles on it. Most of those miles were just commuting.
Yesterday, we went to the beach for a last day of summer for the girls. On the way home, we stopped and ate at a resturant in Gilroy. Lora brought the camera in with her but she thought I had it when we left. I'm still trying to figure out why Lora would think that I had the camera in the first place. She took it into the resturant, one would think she would take it out. While we were there, I even asked her why she brought it in. (I know, it sounds funny. It sounded just as funny when I was asking it. She doesn't go ANYWHERE without it.) But somehow, since I was the one who left it behind, I was the one who had to go get it.(?)
I figured I could make a ride out of it on the new bike. The fact that the new ST gets better than 40mpg made it an easy decision. I'm not one to ditch church, but I really didn't want to be riding accross the Valley floor on a near 100° summer afternoon, so I headed out in the morning.
I got to the resturant right at the noon rush and met a harried manager who would have been happy to have one (or six) less things to deal with at that moment. I told him who I was and he quickly told the hostess, "I'll be right back. I gotta go get this guy out of the doghouse." (What did Lora tell them on the phone last night?) A moment later, the manager was back, he tossed me the camera over the counter (literally), and I'm out the door.
As I'm getting on the bike, a quick look at the GPS reminds me that I'm only 6-8 miles from the top of Hecker Pass. This is the pass between Gilroy & Watsonville, and while it's short, it's twisty and one of the prettiest roads in the State. Since I was right there, I ran up to the top, just in front of a local Mustang car club. I snapped a few pics and headed back down.
On the way back, I stopped in Casa de Fruita for a moment. While I was sitting there, two more bikes, a Yamaha FJR and a Harley Fat Boy, each with two riders, pulled up and stopped next to me. The guys & I talked bikes for a while, and I overheard one of their wives saying how funny it was to be out on a trip with two Kevins. I looked at her and asked if her husband's name was Kevin. She said "Yes" and added that both of their husbands were named Kevin. I raised my hand and said, "Well, so am I!" She then asked if my middle name was Wayne. When I said it was, she yelled at her husband (the FJR rider) "Hey! This guy's your twin!" It was his middle name too. When she asked the other Kevin (the Harley rider) what his middle name was, he declined to answer.
Over Pachaco Pass, past the San Luis Reservoir and B. F. Sisk Dam and through the Valley's inversion layer. Up in Gilroy, the temperatures were in the 70's. Headed into the Valley, the temps were climbing into the 90's. The wind was very strong blowing into the Valley; between the downhill grade and the tailwind, my fuel consumption gauge was showing 60-70 MPG! Very nice. I stopped at the San Luis Drain visitor's center on top of the dam to look at their exhibits about the dam construction. (Interesting to me, probably not so much for the girls.) The water was very low behind the dam, so low, in fact, that the dam power plant intakes were exposed. They're usually under 50 feet of water. Interesting to see. After a short visit, and a few pics. I was on my way again.
By the time I got to the Valley floor, it was afternoon and well above 90°. Just where I didn't want to be and the reason why I left early in the morning. No matter. It was fun to get out on a second road trip in two days. I may have to start leaving things behind on all of our family road trips.
Total trip: 260 miles. Average fuel: 46.3mpg. Camera: returned (with a few extra pics). Lora: Relieved and Happy.