Day 5

Tim Murphy's House

The DR650 parked on the side of Morrissey Boulvard, Santa Cruz, California, USA
The DR650 parked on the side of Morrissey Boulvard, Santa Cruz, California, USA


It was a decent campground. I packed up the bike. People were sleeping still so I put the bike in neutral and rolled towards the exit before starting the bike. I road back towards Highway 1 the same way I came in. It was an epic little ride and the views from the top of the mountain were incredible. I could see the road below winding down and noticed a camper van on the side of the road. I wasn’t the only one who struggled to find a campsite.

I rolled past Big Sur state park and stopped at the Bixby Bridge. It was pretty impressive and I’d see it again in many photos. I believe it was around here I met a fellow rider in a carpark. He asked me where I was headed and what I was doing. He had been riding for a week and was about to go home. I told him I was going for 3-months. He was stunned and wanted to know more. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really tell him more than I was heading to San Fransisco to meet a friend. “I people talking about a place to go.. ‘Yo-sam-mite’?” “Yo-sammity”, he looked at me like I didn’t deserve to be on this trip. He pulled out a paper map (oh these again!). My eyes glazed over. He told me to checkout the Redwoods in the North. I think he even gave me the map. I stuffed it in my bag like I needed it.

I rode past a fruit stand in Moss Landing. I saw a sign that said 5 for $1 avocados. I couldn’t believe it. What kind of magical place gave you 5 avocados for $1. I turned around and went back. It turns out the avocados are not $1 and were a more reasonable $2.50 each. I reluctantly grabbed some fruit and left.

I got to Santa Cruz and rode up to the boardwalk. I remember seeing people in Australia wear ‘Santa Cruz’ branded shirts. It was a cute spot. The Wharf was lovely and I wish I could’ve spent more time there. It was a bit busy for a loaded up motorbike rider from a foreign country so I found a cafe nearby to contact my friend Tim Murphy in San Fransisco a 200km further.

I knew Tim from university. He used to work at the bar. He got an offer a Tesla and invited me to stay at his place in San Paolo. He said he would be finished work soon and would be home in a couple of hours. I gave me a little time to head to walmart to find a replacement USB charger for the bike. It was next to impossible to travel without a phone at this pace. I need it to look up campgrounds, points of interest, general information and emergancies. It’s basically my lifeline and Google Maps turn-by-turn chews up the battery. I was probably in the red at the time of calling Timi and used my computer to charge it. Turn-by-turn directions save a lot of time driving through cities compared to a map.

I worked my way to Walmart in Paolo Alto. It was peak hour as I rode along the interstate. I passed signs of Moutain View. A word I read a lot in IT that’s associated with Google and other tech companies. I came into the Walmart and saw a motorbike parked out the front. I decided to park next to it. Safety in numbers. There was also some kind of charity gazebo and I made sure the girl saw me get off the bike so if she saw anyone touch the bike she might let security know.

I was clearly concerned about people stealing things from my bike at Walmart

I went inside Walmart and headed to the car section. I found a 12volt USB charger to my surprise. I throught I’d have to go to a dedicated car store but it was 5pm. It came with a cigarette lighter socket. I didn’t have one on the bike. I figured I could cut it off and use the one on the broken one instead. It cost me 5 bucks.

When I came outside there was a young fella getting onto the motorbike next to me. I forgot his name but he told me about the bike he had. It was old, worn out and cheaply modified. It was a big and uncommon bike. He said they were cheap enough for him to buy two and use the other for spare parts. He suggested a great campsite he stayed at North of San Fransisco. He found it on a website called ‘’. It would become an invaluable tool.

I headed to Timi’s place. I got to the exit of the Walmart carpark before I realised I’d lost my perscription sunglasses. Shit. I quickly doubled back and had no idea where they were. I parked where I was before and looked around. There they were. Folded up on the footpath. I don’t know if someone folded them on purpose but thank god they were still there. I’m slightly short-sighted and they’re handy to extra detail, roadsigns and beautiful landscapes.

I got to Tim’s apartment complex. It took up a whole block. I message Timi from out front and waited. Sure enough, there he was! I couldn’t believe it. It’s a surreal experience to meet someone you know overseas. It’s like serendipity. He buzzed me into the carspace and I headed upstairs.

We caught up over a beer. He told me about Tesla and how he’d been working in Croatia. He got and offer over Linkedin and so did his housemate, also Australian. He had a good idea to hit an American football game. I believe I declined and he insisted it was his shout. I was knackered but how could I say no?

I think we took an Uber and walked the remaining leg. There was a bit of a crowd and a buzz. It was the San Fransisco 49ers and vs who knows. We lined up and grabbed a ticket. It was $100 USD each. My eyes went wide. Tim froze, also shocked. I told him I was on a budget and he insisted he would pay. He handed over the money. I honest to god owe him one for that day.

We got to into the stadium and it was a great choice. The size and noise of the stadium hit me like a fish. The place was packed and was as big as our biggest stadium in Australia, the MCG. We found out seats somewhere in the nosebleed section at high altitude. It didn’t matter though. We grabbed a couple of Coors and shot the shit. We had a couple more, and a few more. Before I knew it, the game was over. I don’t even remember who won. There was a halftime show with cheerleaders and I remember an odd ceremony where they celebrated a few veterans on stage. Something we don’t do in Australia.

We made our way out of the stadium. There were a few drunks in football jerseys singing and shouting. We spilled out with the crowds onto the street and made our way with them. We ended up getting lost somewhere in a business complex. Tim had a great idea to go to an In and Out Burger. “You gotta try it man, it’s amazing”, he said. Both fairly tipsy, he thought we could cut through a carpark around the back of a building. We make our way in and found a tall chain wire fence deviding us and the burger joint. “Ah shit, I think we can jump it”, I said as Tim looked for an easier way in. On the other side was another dimly lit carpark. Before I knew it he was scaling the fence. I joined, got up and leaped over. We made our way to into the burger joint.

There was a bit of a crowd inside. I can’t remember what I ordered but it was certainly under Tim’s direction. Inside it looked like a traditional burger joint. All the employees were wearing those white hats. I made an order and waited. The service was fast. Just like any other fast food place. I unwrapped the burger. It was a tower. Incredible. It was a real stack and not a flat, squashed pathetic thing you you get from McDonalds or Burger King. It was a 10/10 would do again.

We headed back and I noticed I was getting sick. I fell asleep immediately.



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