The Flight of Bear Canada

Day 17 - April 29th
San Diego, CA

The first thing I did today was pack my gear and my bike. I was hoping the parcel from Caribou would come in before checkout time. No such luck. So I rode off and did the tourist thing at Cabrillo National Park.


The beach at Pacific Beach. Funny, didn't see David Hasselhof running down the beach in slow motion. Maybe that's a good thing.

Juan Cabrillo was one of the first European explorers to discover this area. There is a small exhibit in the Visitor's Center detailing his exploits. Outside there is a small radio shack detailing the use of the point for defense of San Diego harbor during WWII. After seeing the emplacements in Gaspe and Cape Spear, what was left of Cabrillo was disappointing. One radio shack with a cool but small display. The point would be a good aircraft spotters place, with military aircraft flying in and out of the naval base.

There was also a turn of the century lighthouse, nicely restored with displays.


The lighthouse and assistant lighthouse keepers house.


The generator shack for the searchlights.


The seaward side of Cabrillo

Then while returning to the motel, I stopped for a bike on the side of the road. As I stopped, I noticed that its tire was flat. So I pulled out my pump and patch kit. Then I noticed that the rear tire was worn down to the cords and the flat was caused by a 3/4 inch gash. I couldn't fix that. I chastised the rider for letting a tire wear that down, and apologized for not being able to help. He did say that he had a friend arriving with a truck. With motorcycle tires, grip is life. With rubber, you can grip. And with grip, you can control the bike. And with control of the bike, you can ride.

So finally getting back to the motel, I opened my door and noticed that the message light was flashing. I ran to the office and found my package had arrived. I left with my package, giddy as a school child. I began to work on the bike, trying to remember how it was all put together three years ago. But it went just as easily as before. So it looks like Bear Canada is ready to take flight again.


The Wandering Bear's mobile repair shop.


The Wandering Bear's mobile repair shop with a completely new rack.

Day 18 - April 30th
San Diego, CA to Tijuana, Mex.

Back to the land of madness...and hot latina chicks.

First off, I decided to check some cool stuff in San Diego. I first stopped off at the Maritime Museum. I checked out the B-39 Soviet era submarine. Funny thing was that this was the same Foxtrot class submarine that was parked at a dock near my home. The interior was cramped and rundown. For contrast I checked out the USS Dolphin, which was a research submarine. The fit and finish was night and day different. I also checked out the Star of India sailing ship.


Entrance to the Soviet B-39 "Foxtrot" class submarine.


The forward torpedo tubes


The Captain's cabin.


Interior hatch.


Diesel engine room.

And that was the Russian submarine. Originally the Kremlin wanted 1200 of these babies to defend Mother Russia from the decadent capitalistic west. The fit and finish reflect that. But hey the Russians will point out that it works and it's not likely to look any worse in combat operations. But to see the difference, check out...


Control station, USS Dolphin


The galley.


SS555 USS Dolphin, Navy deep diving research submarine.


Soviet B-39 "Foxtrot" class diesel-electric attack submarine.

Then I checked out the USS Midway. That was cool. The ship was a maze of rooms. Machine rooms, ready rooms, galleys, and quarters. The hangar deck was vast and open. The flight deck was cool, with aircraft on the deck. My only regret was not hitting the Midway earlier. The ship takes a lot of time to really explore. The ship can easily eat up four hours.. Well four hours if you skip the flight simulators on the flight deck.


The approach to the Midway


The hangar deck, looking from the bow, aft.


SNJ Trainer


One of the flight ready rooms.


F-14 Tomcat on the flight deck. These aircraft weren't assigned to the Midway since they were thought to be too heavy. But a pair of Tomcats did land on the Midway in an emergency.


F/A-18 painted in "Aggressor" colors for the Navy's "Top Gun" fighter school. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Top Gun aircraft are not painted with the red star, now it's something vaguely middle eastern.


F-4 Phantom.


A-7. It's sister aircraft the F-8 was called the "last of the gunfighters" since it's sucessor the F-4 didn't have cannons due to the belief that cannons and dogfighting were outdated. Air combat over Vietnam proved them wrong.


The bridge of the USS Midway CV-41.

Then it was onto Tijuana. The border crossing was painless and it was back into the madness of Mexico. I went back to the same hotel I stayed before. I then walked downtown.


Tijuana, Mexico and San Ysidro, CA. There is a border stuck in there somewhere.

Mexico is a place where you could see beaters on the road, along with a sweet, lowered 1937 Ford pickup. Now this is in the same Tijuana, where I've scraped my skidplate. And if you didn't believe you saw a 37 Ford, a 57 Chevy would roll by right after. I also saw a lot of blue and red flashing lights as several police vehicles were stuck in traffic. Or police cars driving down the road, at night, without headlights on. And there is also the mad traffic. And the best you can do is sit back, drink your Tecate and say "This is Mexico".


Tijuana at night.


Sounds like good advice.

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Contents Copyright (C) Michael Fodor 2012.