November 3rd, 2016 – Most of you out there have seen Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, right? If not, seriously, what are you waiting for?? Shockingly, my hubby falls into that latter category. I know, I know… he’s weird. Anyway, if you’re amongst the NORMAL people out there, you’ll remember the scene where Pee Wee visits the dinosaurs.

Bondorella and I recently visited, too, although not in search of a beloved bicycle. We had another mission in mind involving the Ford dinosaur and the Cabazon dinosaurs… more on that in a bit.

How we ended up with the Dinosaurs…

Bondorella has been a city girl since I brought her home in 2006, and while we’ve had road trips over the years–to Vegas, to El Mirage, to Simi Valley–we mostly cruise Southern California. I’ve gotta tell ya… driving a 68-year-old truck with a flathead in this stop-and-go-stupidly-overcrowded-environment isn’t ideal.

The flathead!!

Not everyone has patience with her pace, plus many freeways have no side medians for emergency stops, and are loaded with distracted, aggressive drivers.

Mooneyes Christmas Show

So when the Paradise Road Show organizers asked if I could drive the truck to Pioneertown for a commercial shoot–with my project ’36 Harley-Davidson in the back–I thought, why not? The Two Crows  pace might better suit this former Utah farm truck. But could I leave her 100 miles from home?

Ignore my sagging headliner, please.  Fix coming soon.

The Journey

Once Friday rush hour subsided, we hit the 91 freeway toward Joshua Tree.

The flattie ran great, thanks to the work I had done last year. We took it slow and easy on the mostly open road, and then…

A Random Encounter

Somewhere around Beaumont on the east 10, we hit a backup. The slow lane crawled at 15 MPH. From the carpool lane, I heard an excited Beep! Beep! Beep! so glanced to my left and spotted the passenger in a tall pickup waving with a smile. Lots of people give Bondorella thumbs ups and waves and smiles, which always makes me smile in return.

A short time later, the truck pulled up beside us and again honked. I looked over and this time the driver–a petite, adorable blonde–was the one leaned over and waving like mad from behind the wheel, and–OMG!!!–I knew this girl. I recognized her immediately, even though I hadn’t seen her since HIGH SCHOOL in Phoenix  in 1985. Crazy, right? It’s been THIRTY-ONE years since I’ve seen her in person and yet we end up on the same California freeway at the same time and she recognized old Bon from Facebook. SO RANDOM.

Okay. Back to the Dinosaurs. Because they’re cool.

So maybe Mr. Rex and Mr. Dinny weren’t the real reason for our trip east, but certainly a bonus.

If you follow me on Facebook or my author site, you know last January I took on a 52 week photo challenge to force myself into setting aside the iPhone and using my DSLR. I’d gotten lazy with my photography.

It just so happened, that week’s assignment was Artistic Nostalgic. How perfect, right? Bondorella got a chance to relax after being on the road for a while, and I got to make this photo with a 1960s brontosaurus.(Read about that and some Cabazon history on my author site.)

And that’s how we ended up hanging with Mr. Dinny and Mr. Rex.

The Good Old Days

Speaking of nostalgia, you must know by now that I love old stuff, but as much as I praise the classics, I need to give props to modern cars as well. Anyone under 40 likely skipped the days of frequent stops to let vehicles rest. I remember plenty of family vacations sitting on the side of the road with my dad swearing at an over-heated engine. That doesn’t happen with modern vehicles. We push the hell out of cars, and they rarely kickback.

Not so with the classics.

When I hit the hill on Highway 62 going into Morongo Valley, and Bondorella’s temperature gauge started to rise, I didn’t pull over. Instead I had this internal monologue about how high was too high? And would pulling over only make it harder once I tried to get going on the hill again? And what if she didn’t start after the rest? So I didn’t stop. But I did slow considerably and she didn’t blow her top, but by the time I got to the house the radiator was pretty darned depleted.

Next time? I’ll stop.

The Shoot

After a good night’s rest, and a radiator full of fluid, we headed up the hill to Pioneertown for the shoot. What a cool sight! A whole pack of 30s, 40s, and 50s choppers blazing down the two-lane road, with a handful of classic trucks loaded with old bikes following behind. Can’t tell you much more than that, but keep your eyes open for the Stance Socks spot. I’m sure it will be spectacular.

You’ll also see most of these rides–including Bondorella and the VLD–at the January 14 & 15th Paradise Road Show in Palm Springs.

Home is Where the Flathead Is

The weekend passed entirely too quickly. Leaving Two Crows is never easy, but this time, I’d be leaving more than our weekend house. Remember at the beginning of the journey I mentioned I wasn’t sure I could leave Bondorella behind? Well, the decision was a no-brainer. The minute I hit the dirt roads, I knew I wouldn’t be driving her back to Orange County. The dirt just felt right.


Sunday morning, we drove away in our modern car, leaving Bondorella tucked into our garage with the Tangerine Dream and the Lonely Bull  and the VLD project.

I’m not going to lie. It’s been weird opening the OC garage and not seeing my pretty pickup, but then the weekend rolls around, and we head to our high-desert paradise, and there she is, waiting for a cruise the way it should be, on quiet two-lane roads where we can take our time and be the simple country girls we both are at heart.


Until next time…


HEY! Speaking of my favorite sign off phrase, remember in the Babes Ride Out post I mentioned the jacket I saw there, and how I wanted to do my own?? IT’S DONE!! And it rules. Stacey Krzywinski, aka Coyote Bruises, did a phenomenal job. Woo hoo! 


Join me for the ride!

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