Swerving off of Highway 101 south into Mission San Juan Bautista, the origin of the Hitchcock Film, Vertigo, we spend the night at Pinnacles National Park and narrowly avoided ravens stealing our chocolate chip cookie bag. The next day we tooled along Highway 25 south paralleling Interstate 5 like in a flying dream, road swerving and curving, lifting and falling, our Prius catching the movement of the road in tiny hillocks just enough to create a roller coaster and a gentle rocking cradle effect to put us into a peaceful meditative state. It brings to mind those classic car commercials from the 50s with boat-like Chrysler Imperials or Chevy Impalas cruising the back roads of America, camera car hidden in front to capture the looks of joy in the passengers faces as they ride into the golden area of America on the road. As we drive along it soon becomes apparent that our car is a siren call for all chipmunks to throw themselves toward our car from the fields on each side of the road in a desperate suicide test. They watch us coming from afar, standing like Meercats above their lair and then tear full speed in synchronous speed with our car approaching ALMOST in simultaneous time to then just miss the wheels.We are unwilling participants in the "playing chicken with chipmunks" game!
The road out of Hollister that we travel bears the scars and movement of a tumultuous earthquake-driven topography in every direction, like sheets and bedspread following a loving tussle. Deer, wild turkeys, hawks, occasional coyote catch our eyes, and of course the ubiquitous Jacob's Aermotor wind turbines that provided electric power or water pumping before the electrification of our country in the 30s and 40s across America, stand on every homestead. These turbines were considered the Cadillac of machines. Richard Byrd, the Antarctic explorer brought one to Antarctica in 1933 and it ran until 1955. Most remain a broken tower of memory but a few have been restored and spin with the constant wind that buffets our car as we spin along the road south.
Passing through Lake Elizabeth near San Bernardino we spied an unusual looking, huge several story building made of stone, with scores of choppers lined up in front. We looked at each other and instantly shouted, "We've got to stop here!" pulling over so fast that we almost created a rear end collision with a 58 Chevy pickup tailgating us. Motorcycle clubs with their bad boys and molls were everywhere, shiny chrome and deep-throated rumbling engines, however, didn't exactly reflect the thinning pony-tailed, fat-paunched, leathered hombres, and their ridden-very-hard-and-not-put-away "babes in back." One "package" in particular with 6-inch stiletto heels and black tights had put so much money into her "top end" that she ran out of money for the back 40...or 50! Thick black mascara on heavily-lidded eyes and a walk that set up a hush like the wind in a bamboo forest followed her as she passed.