San Diego to Portland -Drive Day

Wake up around 8:30am on the bus, still in California. It's about an 18 hour ride up to Portland. Only four of us on the bus, everyone else flew. Everyone is up by 9am (hard to believe) and we watch Dodgeball on the satellite. I go to the back lounge after the movie and play guitar for a while. Then it's back to the front lounge for more movies, except I end up back in my bunk and sleeping half way through the next film. Wake up as we enter Oregon, we watch my DVD of The Aristocrats, a hilarious movie. We make it to Portland just before 8pm.

After a quick shower I head out for some food, but stop in the lobby to sit by the fireplace and talk with a few of the other guys on the crew. About an hour later, I still haven't eaten, so I walk around town with Burt/Brad and Chris from the audio crew. We find a diner and it's so late I only get a Chai tea and a slice of carrot cake. Good though.

San Diego -Show Day

Down to the gig at 11. I thought they tore this place down, it is ancient. Set-up and whatnot. Get visits from Brian and Rockit (previous tour) and also Jeff O(another guitar tech friend). Check out the new Taylor T-5 Thinline at soundcheck. Cool axe. Work up until the band arrives.

Good show tonight, guests have a good time. Long push up the ramp for loadout. We're rolling for Portland by 2am.

San Diego -Day Off

Get into San Diego before lunch. Head over to Baja Fresh with Jerry and Burt(aka Brad), for a burrito from heaven. They closed the Baja Fresh in Raleigh, so now I must search them out when on the road...

Head over to Border's for a Chai and some magazines, kills the afternoon.

Meet up with Brian (stage manager from previous gig) and get some Sushi for dinner.Good hang. Back to the room for reading and the internet.

Oakland -Show Day

FINALLY, a show day. Enthusiastically check out of the hotel and head over to the gig. I'm doing double duty today, since Jerry is in LA working the Grammy's with two of our band guys. I set up my guitar rig and Jerry's bass rig, with only one call to Jerry to verify something. Line check and crew jam, feels good to be back in the groove.

Take a short break before dinner, but I'm summoned to the stage as the bass player has a photo shoot today for a major magazine. Figures, no one mentioned it before. Go in and guide the photographer through the gear and laugh as TBP (The Bass Player) straps on three basses and mugs for the camera (he's a fun guy). Hang out with my guitar player and the drummer as this is going on, then its dinner time.

During the openers set, I meet up with Kenny (drum tech from previous tour) and his wife and walk them in. Hang for a bit then wait as everyone from the Grammy's (band and crew) are still on their way from LA. We hit the stage almost an hour late, but the guys play a killer set. On to the next town and hopefully another gig...

San Francisco -Sixth Day Off

OK, I'm officially over San Francisco. Maybe I should have done some touristy stuff like Alcatraz and a Cable Car, etc. I think I just want to do some work or go home. Spend most of the day working on my taxes, so I can have them done in the three days I have off between this leg of the tour and the next. Sneak out for some Thai from across the street (same place for those of you keeping score at home). Head out to Border's in the evening to by another book, the last one is done...

San Francisco -Fifth Day Off

Today's show is postponed as well. Go to Mel's Diner on Van Ness with Jim for breakfast. Then meet everyone in the lobby at 11am to go to the trucks, where we are pulling gear from three semi's for one song on TV. Of course all the stuff we need is in the front of each semi, so we spend a couple of hours unpacking and repacking the trucks.

Get back to the hotel around 2:30pm and head across the street to King of Thai (I haven't tried this location, honest) with a couple of the guys. Have lunch and then hit the Walgreen's for supplies. Back to the room for a few before meeting in the lobby to walk to the 4:20 showing of 'The World's Fastest Indian'. As I've said before, I saw this film a few times on the plane to Australia, back in December. I never saw the beginning, plus it was such a great film, I want to see it on the big screen. It does not disappoint and everyone in our group thinks it's great. Back to the hotel for reading and internet time, hope I can sleep tonight.

San Francisco -Fourth Day Off

Wake up early and take the BART train out to the East Bay. Get picked up by my friends (from a previous tour) Bill and Kenny and we head to another friends house nearby. Here we meet up with more people and pick up my loaner Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. We leave in a group of about 11 bikes (mostly Triumphs) and make our way across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and into Marin County (I think).

We make our way up a mountain to a State Park, where we stop and look back over the bay at San Francisco. The weather is beautiful, cool and crisp, and not a cloud in the sky. We make our way back down the other side of the mountain, but this time we do it with gravity, that's right, everyone turns off their bikes and we coast down about 10 miles to the bottom. This is beyond fun, and we're still doing speeds of 30-40mph in the twisties. I'm dead last, but hey I'm the tourist and I'm on someone else's motorcycle.

At the bottom, we restart our motor and ride over to a grab lunch at the Station House Cafe in Point Reyes Station, CA. Their 'Pulled Pork Sandwich' with homemade chips is excellent.

Back on the bikes we make our way back towards San Rafael, stopping at the Triumph/Ducati dealer for some ogling of the new bikes, and some accessories. We split up from here, as the Super Bowl has started and everyone is trying to get back to watch it. I'm invited to watch with the guys, but this will mean riding on the back of someone's bike back to the BART station at night. I choose to make my way back into SF before it gets dark, plus there's a Super Bowl party waiting for me at the hotel. I had a great time riding some of the best roads in the country, thanks to everyone who participated.

Take the BART back and arrive at the hotel midway through the second quarter. The tour has provided us a room with multiple TV's and lots of eats and drink. Sit down and watch the rest of the 'Bowl, and although not a fan, I'm glad Pittsburgh won.

Back to the room for reading and TV watching. I don't sleep very well, as the room seems hotter tonight than normal.

Sunday Ridin', originally uploaded by guitartech.

All our bikes lined up at the top of Mount Tamalpais State Park. I was riding a bike similar to the red and black one in the foreground.

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