Yearly Archives: 2007

Montrose at night
Montrose. December 24, 2007.

Christmas Lights

At 3am, this is how the Christmas tree lights up. With the help of a camera, a piece of foam, and a very curious boy. You don’t need Photoshop to have fun :)

I went snowboarding by myself yesterday at Snow Summit, Big Bear Lake. I think I can claim slight progress, and specifically tried to work on my transitions from heel to toe, and got more time practicing my toe side balance. I ate it pretty hard a few times, and I think there’s a huge bruise on my right ass cheek. I feel pretty beat up. No pain, no gain! Unfortunately, I think there’s more pain than there is any gain.

I also ate two bum meatballs during lunch that gave me the runs and some pretty bad bathroom action a few hours after I left. I had to make an emergency stop in Upland at casa de Arroyo, and finally met baby Evan! Always good to see old friends. Then I got home, sat on the john for an hour, threw up, and passed out. Then I wokeup at 3:30am for another round. Yes!!

_MG_6243

Baby Lara chillin’ by the Christmas tree. Here come the holidays!

Vanessa waiting in the rain

The van has been at the mechanic lately, and I’ve been paying her frequent visits as I start procuring various parts (tuneup, and emission).

Some new gifts care of Diamond Auto Parts:
Spark plugs
Distributor
Points
Starter
Oil and air filters
Oil pressure switch
EGR valve
EGR filter

They start work on her tomorrow. I hope she starts to feel better, since we have a long exciting adventure waiting after Christmas :)

Benjamin
Benjamin, 2007. Photo by Kat.

I’ve been on the road since Friday night, shuttling through different cities each day.

  • Saturday: Las Vegas, NV
    Touch-up of rental property with my brother-in-law, sister, and nieces. We brought Nickel with us, who apparently tinkled a bit on the carpet. Naughty dog!
  • Sunday: Big Bear, CA
    Went snowboarding with GP, and worked on my wipeout skills on my goofy footing. Tested the new gear I got at Skidazzle (board, boots, bindings). It might’ve been fatigue, but the board I thought was orange apparently turns pink under the sun. Hot!!!
  • Monday: Fremont, CA
    Took a morning Southwest flight up to see Kat, and headed to the Amtrak train station for the Coast Starlight Express train up to Oakland, and overnight (17 hours?) to Eugene.
  • Tuesday: Eugene, Oregon
    Met Kathy and Don, who graciously showed us the 1979 Volkswagen Transporter van we spotted on Craigslist. Body is really solid, a few minor issues but initial impressions were good and solid. Before they could even drop us off a Chinese restaurant to mull over the decision making, Kat and I jumped the gun and told them to head straight to the bank because their van was as good as sold! Took a break in a local pizza joint, and braved the 9 hour drive back down to NorCal. I must admit that it’s very weird to process the fact that I was 9 hours north of SF, when I normally take the 6 hour commute heading north towards SF. It must’ve been a pretty drive, but we were blanketed by darkness and the occasional fog around the mountains.
  • Wednesday: Fremont, CA
    Now I’m knee deep in researching about DMV red tape, and knick knacks to clean up and take care of for the van. First in order is to get registration, insurance, and tune-up the engine to pass emissions. CA law is the strictest on emissions, and is required for vehicles made after 1975. I need to find a mechanic!

And so here she is, ladies and gentlemen. You can be assured that we will have more pictures of her to come :)

YES!!

I’m up unnaturally early, since I passed out at the unheard of 2130 hours last night. I thoroughly wore myself out by completing the Vespa leg yesterday, and taking back the scooter from Fremont to Tarzana in one fell swoop – 400 miles in a straight shot running 9 hours. The route I took was straightforward along the 101, with a small bisection of CA-25 around Hollister and back on the 101 around San Miguel. All back in one piece!

The rear wheel is starting to square off again. I got the Continental Zippy 1’s after reading all the fanfare on the forums of Modern Vespa, but am not quite impressed how it handles the rain grooves on highways while carrying a load. It seems very skippy and squirrelly, but it could be that maybe I shouldn’t be on rain grooves in the first place ;)

Tempted to get a vintage small frame. Ride it coast to coast? Pan-America? This is getting too crazy in my head. Crazy, crazy, where the rabbit hole may lead.

The total cost of gasoline to traverse a little under 1,700 miles on a 150cc Vespa?

Under 100 dollars. :)

It’s been 1,692 miles on the Vespa since I left my house more than a week ago. I want to blog about the specifics (routes taken, mileage between points, camping outtakes), but I need to go to bed. In a few hours, I hitch a ride via car with my brother and sister-in-law back to SoCal.

In the meantime, I’ve posted links to the photo albums below. I’ll probably include more detail of the trips in the following days. Until then, “tcheuss out!”