Solo Trip to King City, Fresno County and
and Kings County to get ABC Letters
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

(click on thumbnails for full size)

I tried to avoid a very cool morning by starting late -- 10:15
Optimistically estimating the ride to be about 7-8 hours.
Doing so traded a cool morning for a very cool, late evening.
Arriving home at about 8:15 after about 10 hours and thoroughly chilled.
After 112 miles, King City was at hand.  I was ready for a bite to eat and a sit on something not moving.  I found a KFC and thought what the heck, something different.  There was a line and no one was behind the counter.  So I fell back on a tried and true.
In past years, I have used the same post office to identify King City for my "K"  2008, 2007, 2006, 2004
I hadn't realized it but this might be my most photographed location.

From King City, I head south on 101 for about 5-6 miles and pick up state highway 198 eastward.  On this road, one needs to be prepared.  There is a sign "Next Services 52 Miles"  Not a time to be iffy on gasoline.
About 25 miles along 198 is the border between Monterey and Fresno Counties.  I have used this location a couple times in the past to get credit for an "F" county.  20062004


This is a beautiful ride.  I have not been here in the Spring time before.  The rest of the year, it is much dryer.  Everything is green now, other times brown hues prevail.

Wild flowers are everywhere.  There are literally acres of yellow, white and violet.  Breath taking.

Unfortunately, not too many places to pull over to take photos.  The road shoulders are mostly narrow, uneven and gravel.

There is a big advantage in having a companionable co-pilot sitting aft with camera in hand.  Today, I had none.  Too bad.




     
Emerging from the hills into the great valley along 198, I came across a place with a number of interesting airplanes on pedestals.  I am purposely not mentioning the name for a reason below, but you might be able to figure it out from the images on the right.
I was a good boy and visited the Pass and ID place to ask if I could get on base to take pictures of the displays.  The pretty young lady said that if I did not have a military ID the answer would be "No".  I was parked in the lot in the middle bottom of the Google Earth photo.  The Pass and ID little building is on the right side of that lot.
So, I thought, as long as I stay on the public side of the main gate, it would be okay if I took a few photos of the displayed airplanes through the fence.

As I got back to my bike, two young men in uniform with the initials M.P. on the arm band drove up and asked what I was doing.

"Taking photos of the airplanes", I said.
"You can't do that."
"Why not, I'm in a public area?"
"We're at a heightened state of alert."

They were very professional, very polite, very young.  No use arguing, they were merely doing as they were ordered.  One asked to see the camera and went through and deleted all the photos I had taken there.  The other carefully wrote down the information from my driver's license.  I'm probably on the list that is prohibited from flying now (I know the real name but do not want to put it in writing on the web.)

 

They watched me as I suited up and got onto the bike and left.  Of course, I did not hurry.

The rest of the day I used a different camera.  Good thing I brought a spare.  My primary traveling camera has a rechargeable battery.  If it runs out of juice, I'm out of luck.  My spare, although not as good, uses AA cells which can be bought just about anywhere.

I'm sure that the military boys did precisely what they were trained to do re: deleting the photos.  But that procedure was as poorly thought out as was the policy prohibiting photos of objects in open public view.  We are not in a state of martial law.  Military authorities do not have powers over citizens in public places.

Of course, when I got home, since I had not overwritten the deleted photos, it was simple enough to recover them.  Not particularly effective to match wits with a computer nerd on his own field of expertise.
Moving on, I got to Hanford where the county offices for Kings County are located and got my "K" photo.  This is the last letter for today.   
Time to head home.  It was starting to get a bit cooler and I had 200 miles yet to go.
From Hanford, I headed north on 43 to catch Hwy-99.  Selma, Fowler, Fresno, Madera (refueled) and up to Hwy-152.  Then west into the setting sun with a windshield full of bug parts.

The last thing that goes through a bug's mind as he hits a windshield?  His butt.
Highway 152 is straight as an arrow due west until it hits the hills.  Then it goes up and winds past San Luis Reservoir.  It is always windy through these passes.  Tonight, the wind was especially strong and very cold.

On 152, is Casa de Fruta.  I have not stopped there in decades.  In fact, the last time I stopped, what is now a frontage road for Casa was the highway and you made a left turn across the on-coming lane to get to the shops.

Now, it's turning into a pretty big deal. Candy shop, fruit stand, huge play yard, train ride, restaurant, and much more.  I bought a cup of corn chowder and a cup of coffee trying to get some warmth back into my body and then put on every stitch of clothing and leather that I had with me.

While I was there, there were two bus loads of kids with what seemed like too few adults, boisterously enjoying themselves.  As they piled back onto the buses, I wondered how they ever knew if they got them all.  But I guess they had and on their way they went.

It was getting very dusky and the place was pretty much abandoned, the shops closing down one by one.  There were peacocks coming out searching the area for tidbits that might have been left by us tourists.

I had just bought a handful of Boston Baked Bean candies at the little shop and when one peacock came near I tossed him one.  Oooh, he liked that and looked for more.  He was not particularly shy.  Came right up to me within about three feet of the bike.  About that time, a family of four were walking by.  I gave a few to the little girl of about ten and she timidly dumped them in front of the colorful fellow.  Both were very happy with that arrangement.




A longish day, a really good ride, clear but rather cold weather.

All in all, a really nice time.

Updated: Thursday, March 25, 2010 10:13:36 AM