I haven’t mentioned it before, but since Brittany has been here we have planned to swing up to Anaheim for the next round of Supercross which fell on day 114. She sponsored our time there. That was our mission of the day. Travel a smooth one hundred miles north and back.
Going from San Diego to Anaheim couldn’t be more straight forward. The 5 will take you from downtown San Diego to, practically, the entrance of the stadium. We had all day to get there though, so I decided to put some curves in the journey. Once we gathered all of our things, we loaded up on the Goose for the first leg of the trip. This part would take us from San Diego to Camp Pendleton in San Clemente. My friends Bob Hearn and John Smith, whom I met at Luckenbach TX, recommended a visit to the base. I wanted to stick with their suggestion and at least get a picture for the guys. These two fellas have been in contact with me almost daily, via email or my blog, since I left Texas, and without a doubt, are now some life long friends of mine. They both went to school together, the Marines together in Vietnam, and now at 65 years of age, are still best friends. Our little visit to Camp Pendleton was short, sweet, and highly interesting. I’m not fully aware of the proper, on base, etiquette, so as I neared the entrance gate, I veered left into the visitors center parking lot at the last moment. Red flag number one. Then we parked the Goose. I immediately whipped out the camera and began snapping a few pics of the Camp Pendleton sign. Red flag number two. Then two serious looking fellas approached Brittany and I from the visitors center. One was a police officer, judging by his uniform and the other was a soldier in full camo. They didn’t look to amused. They took my ID, questioned me up and down, and after feeling satisfied with my story, they lightened up. The soldier eventually left and Brittany and I were still by the Goose with the federal police officer, Officer Ramos. By that time we were talking about traveling through California and the conversation was a lot more relaxed. Officer Ramos even mentioned that he could hook us up with his RV for a few days if we needed a place to stay. He turned out to be a great guy and I don’t blame him at all for finding us suspicious. After all, it’s not everyday that a guy like me with a story like mine shows up and starts taking pictures like he owns the place. Next time I’ll ask permission first.
From Camp Pendleton we veered off of the 5 for another sidetrack journey. It was barely past noon at this point and the racing didn’t start until 7pm. I wanted to take Brittany along the coast to see some more of California’s perfect little ocean side towns. We headed for Laguna Beach via a maze of endless subdivision roads, always keeping the Pacific to the left of us. This allowed us to see a few areas that aren’t so packed with folks. We found this one little overlook at the end of a cul-de-sac that displayed one of Lagunas sandy beaches, a huge rock formation full of sea lions, some energetic dolphins, and pristine homes stuck to the steep cliffs. Brittany said “This is just like paradise”. That was the reaction that I was looking for. It is genuinely nice to share some of these things that I’ve been fortunate enough to see with someone. I still do prefer to travel solo, but the variety isn’t bad. We could have gazed into the blue Pacific at that overlook all day, but the journey had to move on. Next stop. Anaheim.
In Anaheim we needed to track down some grub. Unbelievably, Brittany mentioned Hooters. I didn’t hesitate to say “Good choice”. Hooters is located right outside of the Angles Stadium. This was my second time eating there and her first. She took my rubbernecking well and for the most part it was a decent lunch. My philly cheese steak erased the memories of the previous days tiny tacos. Brittany’s order was a bit fudged up by our top-heavy waitress, but we survived. Next it was off to the races.
Anaheim’s, Angle Stadium, and its giant “A” in the parking lot, have been in my radar for years. Now I was finally there. To me this is a dream world. Supercross at the tours most famous stop. This is as big as it gets, and unlike the LA round at Dodger Stadium, this place was packed from the trackside seats to the, bird’s eye views, at the tippy top. I did not notice one empty seat. The series is shaping up to be, yet another, battle to the finish. Even the heavy favorites aren’t a sure thing. Without doing a full-blown re-cap, since it will air on TV, I’ll just say that Eli Tomac in the 250 class is becoming a dominant force and Ryan Villopoto put it to them like I knew he could. I love his riding style and will continue to root for my fellow ginger. Bubba Stewart was blazing fast as usual, but just didn’t get the start needed to dethrone the factory Kawasaki of Villopto. Brittany thoroughly enjoyed her first supercross and I was again glad to see her reaction.
After the stadium came the tough part. In front of us was one hundred miles of freeway at night in consistently dropping temperatures. Neither one of us prepared for it. We left that morning with all of the jackets we had, but forgot to stock up on an extra set of pants. In fact, Brittany only had stretchy capri pants to keep her warm. I’ve driven hundreds of miles in below freezing temps on this trip and haven’t been as cold as I was last night. With only thin jackets on, one layer of thin pants, chilly Pacific ocean breezes, and 70 plus mph winds from saddle of the Goose, we had to step it up a notch and take the cold. We did the trip in three sections. First, while we were still warm, we slammed out 60 miles. Then I did two twenty-mile runs with frozen knee caps and fingers. Her legs and fingers were purple by the time we arrived at the glorious warmth of Motel 6 in San Diego. Next time I’ll know better. 🙂