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.
L.A.?
Or South Florida on the beach somewhere????

Let’s see what happens next!

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Face Full of America Si Como No

Aside

From Beverly Hills to Beverly Beach

coral sand behind sign that reads beverly beach welcome

I rode a motorcycle 2500 miles for this?? You bet!!

9 days and 2500 miles later, I land here to relax and recharge for the second phase of this “epic” journey. I come here lookin for something I left behind in the 70s – a funky beach shack motel where I can decompress.
No ghetto birds. No sirens. Light traffic going down a relatively serene stretch of A1A in Florida, on the beach, warm water, mellow but rideable surf (!)… I could get used to this 🙂

Si Como No

best surf shack motel in Florida the Si como No in with my Harley parked in front of my room

The Eagle has landed


That funky beach shack motel turned out to be the Si Como No Inn, a little 8 room motel on the A1A bout 30 miles up the road from Daytona. A surprising little jewel, considering all the Motel 6s, Super 8s and otherwise standard bland (but comfy) motels Ive been in. This li’l Shangi-La is artsy, funky, with an incredible combination of beach whimsy and attention to detail. Just amazing. The pics dont do justice!

room interior at the Si Como No with bed, kitchen and incredible details

The details reveal themselves over time... incredible (see gallery on my FB)


My new office. Yes, this is a working vacay doing web design between 500 mile rides. Now that I”m in Florida, I’m gonna crawl down the A1A and figure on getting to Miami sometime later in the week. After that visit to my ol’ homestead (and I don’t mean “Homestead”), the plan is to ride up 27 to central Florida to visit cousins I grew up with and haven’t seen in decades. After that, on to Atlanta area where my family moved to from Miami in the early 70s. Needless to say, I didnt move with them. Hell, I was making a living playing rock roll (then disco…) 5-6 nites a week in Miami, staying on or close to the beach in whatever town we played. So, no. I wasn’t moving to Marrietta.
This ride to Georgia is on the occasion of my pop’s 80th birthday. After that…???
More details of this last week’s ride, including Tucson, Austin, NOLA, Biloxi (!) and the end of I-10 in Jacksonville are forthcoming.
For now, it’s back to the Beach.
Si Como No

ps. It appears that WordPress is going commersh. The ad below is something new, so I’ll have to migrate this blog to my own website. someday…

POP 80 – Face Full of America

my red 2004 Harley Davidson FXSTi packed and loaded for the trip

My pack mule '04 Harley Davidson FXSTi softail custom loaded and ready to go Los Angeles to Miami, then Atlanta, then...??

one… more… day. it’s a cold, rainy, wet Saturday in Malibu. Take off is tomorrow early AM.
This is just a reminder that a big reason for this adventure, aside from realizing a long-held ambition, is the occasion of my pop’s 80th birthday April 30th in Atlanta (Marietta) GA.
In between will be stops in Tucson to see Val,  Austin, New Orleans, Pensacola, then Jacksonville (the east end of the I-10). After that, ride south along Atlantic coast to my old home, Miami. It’ll be my first time to visit Austin and NOLA. Y’all got any suggestions? People to meet and places to check out? Could help to have a place to crash for a nite or 2 and really get a dose of these classic blues jazz cities. Maybe even sit in for a jam –

I’m trying to get the email sign-ups (so you can get notifications) to happen on each post page. Until then, go to homepage for email sign up. And please register to leave comments. The comment spam is insane from robot software. You only have to register once 🙂

TTYL
nick

Face Full of America

Fixin to saddle up and ride the I-10 from sea to shining sea. Looking at the Google map, Texas is half the trip! Here’s what’s up (from Facebook Post)-

“Face Full of America Tour 2012″ – gonna be smellin’ the Gainesville green around mid April doin my easy rider thang, rollin the 10 from sea to shining sea on my ’04 Harley Davidson fxsti softail custom, leaving April 1st (ish) from Santa Monica, CA to Jacksonville FL, down to Miami, then wind around FL to see y’all on my way to pop’s 80th in ATL. After that, maybe Nashville, maybe Amsterdam…”

from sea to shining sea sea on my harley

white picket fence and the means to escape

T-minus 2 weeks and counting ’til liftoff.
From the Pacific to the Atlantic in about 2 weeks (depending) with stops in Tuscon, Austin, Dallas, New Orleans, and Pensacola. If you are family, friend or kind soul on this route, let me hear from ya! I’ll be coming in on a wing and a prayer, so a place to crash for the night would be really cool 🙂
Follow this blog for daily posts and travel vicariously with me on this amazing journey. Sign up for email updates and register to comment (trying to keep the comment spam to a minimum).
There’s nothing like a Face full of America 🙂

cheers
nick

ps to all my clients – dont worry, I will still be working! As long as there is wifi, then progress will be made. Gotta luv PayPal and the information superhighway.

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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

cheers
nick
100 mph daily