Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Running with the Devil


Log Item: Palomar Observatory is located in San Diego County, California, about 145 kilometers (90 mi) southeast of Los Angeles. It sits atop a mountain in the Palomar Mountain Range and there is a twisty road that leads to the top of the mountain. The Devil wanted to run the road. (video made by somebody else on an inferior motorcycle) (Rick Clemson sits on a wicked corner, taking photos and this is a video compilation of crashes for Jenny, on the Palomar Mountain Road, also called San Diego County Road 6). Yes, people do crash on this road ALL OF THE TIME. It's one of those things.
The observatory operates several telescopes, including the famous 200-inch (5.1 m) Hale Telescope and the 48-inch (1.2 m) Samuel Oschin Telescope. In addition, other instruments and projects have been hosted at the observatory, such as the Palomar Testbed Interferometer and the historic 18-inch (0.46 m) Schmidt telescope, Palomar Observatory's first telescope, dating from 1936.
Calking-Off: I finished a conference call at about 10:40 am and called a friend, who was off work today (Tuesday). He was up for a run to Palomar. There are benefits of being on a motorcycle. If people call, you can't hear them and can't answer. There were a few missed calls and urgent voicemails covering items that are not the least bit urgent. Yes, I just walk around picking up money off the street, which means that it's more important to do this than to work. I made it back home at 5:00 pm on the dot...quitting time.

To get to the Observatory you must pass through three Indian Reservations. Unless you know the area, I'm sure that you never heard of the tribes/bands (Pala, Pauma and LaJolla). They were all immediately co-opted by Spanish explorers and enslaved without firing an arrow or taking a scalp. Yeah, pathetic, right?  The Pala tribe lucked out by having their ancestral land adjacent to Interstate 15 and opened a large casino as part of their revenge on the white man. 

You will note that the weather was perfect - mid-70's. Why work when you can ride? Why indeed?

The Line-up: Ducati Diavel and BMW RS1200

The plan called for lunch at Mother's Kitchen. It's still closed except for
weekends when motorcycles converge on the place. The summer schedule
begins in June...so much for lunch...I BBQ'd myself a hamburger when I got
back home.

Running with the Devil. They don't let you ride your motorcycle up to to the
observatory itself, so no chance for a glory shot next to the white dome.

10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Assassin, you wanted to go on a bike ride next time you're in LA...

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  2. Honestly? I'm jealous. What a fabulous day, fabulous ride and fabulous weather. Rebel deserves company. :)

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    Replies
    1. I do have a passenger back rest for the Devil.

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  3. Nice! And that road WILL bite your ass if you're not paying attention!

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    Replies
    1. It's not "if" you will go down, it's when.

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  4. Well, thanks for that bit of mental anguish, Larry. :) I watched all 4:30 minutes of that circus and have a couple of thoughts, in addition to skepticism about your judgment and gratitude for your survival: 1. Rick Clemson would do well to be a trained EMT. or alternatively, 2. Rick Clemson should own a towing business and simply drive out there every day on his tow truck, park it in the median, and wait. He could still get his photos, then he could load up the injured bikes and egos and drive them back down.

    But, all's well that end's well-- and with pretty weather, to boot!

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    Replies
    1. not the median... rather, on the shoulder

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    2. The local hospital, tow service, etc. turn a respectable profit on that stretch of road. It's the moral equivalent of I-35 in California.

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