Face Full of America – Grand Finale

New Orleans Jazz Fest w Foo Fighters

The “Face Full of America” Tour, my (over) 30 day Easy Rider experience, riding my Harley along the I-10 from sea to shining sea, comes to it’s second conclusion this weekend. The first was to culminate in the celebration of my pop’s 80th b-day (POP 80) on April 30, 2012, which doubled as a family reunion. I’ve been living on the west coast for the past god-knows-how-long, and the rest of the family scattered back east, so it was good for us to get together.

nick sharpe on his harley davidson motorcycle in front of marker  that reads 6350 feet elevation

To the toppermost – highest point of the Blue Ridge Skyway

Somehow, the FFA tour gets extended, like this week’s North Carolina adventure. Asheville, N.C. is a relatively short putt from Atlanta thru the foothills of the Appalachians (aka North Georgia mountains). On the way, I took a ride on the Blue Ridge Skyway, a road I haven’t been on since we were kids on a family vacation. Turns out I had some old friends in the area and managed to locate David Dietrich, and ol’ school chum, living in what could only be described as a “Floridian’s Dream”, in the mountain and meadow country some 50 miles south of downtown Asheville.

Downtown Asheville turns out to be an oasis of artsy, modern liberalism surrounded by the community of those who “cling to their guns and religion”. It had bits of the Haight, Telegraph Road and Melrose, a sort-of mini Austin, with shops and restaurants that cater to the young and trendy with a hippie vibe ( I know… I couldn’t figure it out either!).

Bottom line – hot babes, cool town. Go.

The Grand Finale

First off, a big thanks to my old friends and family who helped make this ride possible – Val and Jane in Tuscon, Mike Knox in Miami, my cousins in central Florida and my family in Atlanta for lettin me crash at their pads, saving on motel bills and extending the adventure time!

backstage withe Rami Jaffee playin keys with Dave Grohl and the FooFighters at Jazz Fest May 6 2012

Rami Jaffee playin keys with Dave Grohl and the FooFighters backstage at Jazz Fest May 6 2012

Now we come full circle – thanks to fellow musician and Harley ridin bud in Malibu, Rami Jaffee, for letting me crash at his place the day before takeoff. Now at the end (?) of this adventure, I’ll meet up with him at the New Orleans Jazz Fest for his show with the Foo Fighters (yeah, I know… “Jazz”?) This will indeed be a grand finale to a fantastic experience that I could only touch on briefly in this blog. Sometimes I wish I could download my thoughts as I saw, felt and smelt the wonders of roads less traveled. Like I tell everybody, I dont have “plans”, I have “targets”. And they do move!

The fork is still in the road.
Or South Florida on the beach somewhere????

Let’s see what happens next!

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On the Road w Kara Kloudz

Road trips. Where I live, in what I call the “lower east side” of Beverly Hills, you don’t have to go far to leave the city behind. Situated near the foothills of the Santa Monica mountain range, it’s a relatively short ride from this urban core to the wild west we saw on TV and movies. When I get a brain cramp or just need to get in the wind, I simply roll up north on San Vicente to the Sunset Strip, make a left at the Whisky a go go, take Sunset west to the PCH, make a right, then get lost for a few hours. It’s even better when you have a really good rider come with. I guess that’s why I’ve stayed here the past 30 years. You can’t do this in Miami.

 celebrating life on top of topanga with nick and his harley davidson motorcyle

because we can

This is how we spend our Mondays. My friend lives in the ‘hood on the Strip, so it was a cool ride all the way to our li’l bit of heaven. I ride her to my secret view spot, where on a clear day you can see downtown LA 40 miles away, with mountains for a backdrop, and to the right, all of Santa Monica bay and Catalina. It just so happened that there was a German tourist with his camera capturing the scene. Turned out it was a professional photographer for iStock (score!). He took the shot of us on the bike, just as we were about to get in the wind.

Kara and Nick on red Harley Davidson at the top of Topanga

monday in socal - a good day can last 4evr


After a fantastic ride, we stop for a delicious lunch at Inn of the 7th Ray in Topanga before the last leg home.

lunch with kara at the inn of the 7th ray topanga panini and pasta on a mellow monday

"gas, grass or ass - nobody rides for a turkey panini"

next stop – Ojai

100 mph daily