Friday, March 11, 2005

We are in Palo Alto, at the Elks Lodge (map).

Yesterday morning, we hit the official two-week limit at the San Jose Elks lodge. We also had completely full waste tanks, and we needed to do laundry. So we loaded up the bikes, bailed out of San Jose, dumped our tanks and got Odyssey washed at Royal Coach, did laundry in Mountain View, had dinner with friends in Sunnyvale, and spent the night in front of their house.

As a side note, this is the longest we have ever gone between tank dumps -- over two weeks. It may seem like a small matter, but waste capacity is actually the determining factor of how long we can "boondock," and we are quite pleased with the results of this informal test. This is also the first time we ever dumped our tanks at a bus garage, where dumping is done over an open grate without benefit of a hose, which provided some perspective on this story. Royal Coach, by the way, has done some work on Odyssey in the past, and also stores and maintains the MaddenCruiser. They just got a whizzy new bus-washing machine, so we had Odyssey washed there as well.

Tomorrow morning, Louise has been invited to do a brief presention for our niece's third grade class, in Menlo Park. This Elks Lodge is "on the way" and will make it a bit easier for us to be in Menlo Park at 9:30am.

Now, normally, we would not bring Odyssey to Menlo Park just for Louise to spend ten minutes at an elementary school. However, we need to be half way up Mount Hamilton by noonish, and so we will be leaving directly from her morning appointment.

Tomorrow night we will be at Lick Observatory, enjoying the night sky through the Great Lick 36" Refractor -- a privilege upon which we bid at a charity auction last year. The Lick folks are generously allowing us to stay in their parking lot, so we can just roll into bed after a night of observing, rather than have to drive a long and twisty road back down to the valley.

We took an exploratory ride up there this past weekend. We've been up there on our motorcycles many times in the past, but never did we do so specifically looking for low trees, tight corners, etc. with an eye to whether Odyssey can negotiate the drive. Our conclusion is she'll do fine, but it appears we will have a police escort in any case. While on the summit, we ran into UC resident police officer Mark McDonald, who offered to meet us at Grant Park in Hall Valley and give us an escort to the top from there.

With any luck, we'll have clear skies, and I will have something interesting to post here.

The Palo Alto Elks Lodge is right next door to Trader Vic's, so we went there for dinner. We have to do that once every couple years, to remind ourselves that the food and, especially, the drinks, are overpriced. I had a pina colada -- and my hair was... perfect.

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