Article By: Heather Callen
Photos By: Chris & Heather
Originally Published In The October 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
In the last installment of our most amazing honeymoon we ended in the loving, adorable arms of our 18-monthold grandson. Now, up to this point we had already traveled a few thousand miles across 8 states on some of the most beautiful roads anyone could ask for. We had checked countless things off of our bucket list and even added some new ones. However, I’m not sure any of it felt as good as hearing your grandbaby say “I Love You Nonna” while wrapping his little arms around your neck. It was awesome, and I think Chris melted a little when he was called Pap for the first time. We knew our time with the kids would be limited and we didn’t want to take any of it for granted so we did what most people would do… nothing. Instead of having them take us sightseeing or going to the theme parks we just existed as a family for a bit. It was simply awesome and we took full advantage of it for an all too brief time.
The time to push on to other adventures came much too quickly and prompted many mixed emotions. But we knew it wouldn’t be long before we’d see them again so off we went. We had to backtrack a little bit and headed north to invade Kiwi Indian Motorcycles. Not only did we want some time to visit with some great people but we needed their shop for some quick repairs. Somewhere during the thousands of miles that we had put on The Pearl the suspension had pretty much gone out. Thankfully, Legends Suspensions volunteered to send a new setup to Kiwi Indian so the rest of the ride would go smoothly. Now, some of you would have just bee lined it straight to the shop but where would the fun be in that? Instead we took the scenic route, The Ortega Highway. Yet another great road to ride motorcycles on that brought us to a legendary spot, the Lookout Roadhouse in Lake Elsinore. It was a cool little place that didn’t look like much from the outside but it offered beautiful views, terrific food and good Mimosas. I could have stayed all day, but the drinks were so good that if we had Chris might have had to bungie me to the bike.
We headed northeast on the 15 for the final leg of the ride to Kiwi Indian. Mike and Carolyn Tomas welcomed us with open arms and a cool sign, it was the first time I had seen my new name in print…whoa! Mike gave us a tour of the facilities and his collection: I was more than impressed. While Mike showed Chris some trade secrets involving fire, gasoline and exhaust, Carolyn was an absolutely gracious host. She fed us as if we were royalty and made us feel very much at home. We stayed the night so we could install the new Legends Suspension on The Pearl the following day. Wow, what a difference that made! After finishing up the install Kiwi had some business to tend to and we had some exploring to do. We were much too close to the southernmost point in the US not to check it out. Hell, just a few days before we were at the northernmost point so it only made sense. On our way south we stopped at San Diego Harley- Davidson in hopes of catching up with Chris’s longtime friend, New York Mike. Unfortunately, we missed him on this trip but had a great visit none the less. It turns out that Big Al was an avid reader of Cycle Source and new exactly who Chris and I were. It still surprises and sometimes confuses me when people know who we are from the magazine. I mean, why on earth would people actually pay attention to two simple folks from the Northeast? It’s kinda cool, but don’t tell anyone I said that.
We made it as far south as we could go, you could see Mexico from where we stood! It was also as close as I had ever been to Mexico and as close as I would get… for now. I say for now because I’ve heard rumblings that we may be doing the El Diablo Run next year…I’m in! Like most stops on this journey it wasn’t a long one but we were happy we did it, the sunset over the Pacific was more than worth it. We stood in complete awe watching the final minutes of sun as the surf pounded the shore with the Bull Ring By The Sea just over our shoulder. We headed back to Kiwi headquarters to get some muchneeded rest. We had some big plans in the works for the coming days. They would start with a visit from Xavier so he too could get the inside scoop on all things Indian but would soon heat up from there. Chris, Kiwi Mike and I were heading to Death Valley! Death Valley in August…you’re probably thinking we’re plum crazy. You might actually be right. We left Riverside in mid-afternoon in hopes of riding in some cooler temps. Wrong, it was a balmy 102° and we weren’t even close to hell… yet.