Fresno is luckily super close to Bakersfield, so we took the CA-99 all the way there and got to Fresno early enough to have a whole day to hang out with our couch hosts… and hang out we did! Andy met us with a big smile saying “hello my brother, my sister” and we knew right away we’d have a great time. 🙂 It sounds like he hosts people often, from all over the world and couchsurfers actually make return trips to the ‘states just to visit Andy & his sister, Katie – they’re that awesome. Not only did he make us feel at home right away, he really treats couchsurfers like family!
Katie told us that their house burned down to the ground a couple of years ago, so they took that opportunity to build the house they wanted, with an open plan kitchen, living room and music room (guitars packed the walls, with a little ukulele and a drum set to boot), so Kiernan’s guitarele fit in just right 🙂 They also do their own herb and veggie garden and they have chickens running around the yard that offer up fresh eggs every morning… that’s the way to do it!
A couple of hours after we got there Andy and Katie invited us to visit us their folks on their sweet rides. They had an assortment of bikes, a sweet long board, and it was nice to give their dog Dutch some running time on the way over. They had really nice folks and we sat and chatted about our travels in their backyard designed by a professional golfer. Their dad even told us about how he once passed on a job offer to move to Botswana for some agricultural work. On the way back to their place I rode the long board and was flying with dutch pulling me, it was really fun I definitely recommend dog power.
They had such a relaxing garden we spent the afternoon and night sampling homemade guacamole, firing up the grill, chatting about everything including travel plans, and generally how we saw the world. We had plenty to drink, dinner was delicious, and we had such a great time all night we could feel all of our travelling knots and stress melting away. Their friend Willie also had great go pro video footage and we enjoyed chatting about that. Unfortunately marelise fell asleep but I was lucky because we made a late night walk a nearby food truck and had delicious sopas for a snack.
Kiernan and I had planned to go up to Yosemite National Park while in Fresno, but we were a bit early in the year… A lot of the roads were still closed for winter, and most hiking trails including Half Dome were not open either. So instead of driving through the open bits of road, we stayed in Fresno (or Fres-yes as Andy and co call it) and had a sunny, chilled out day in the backyard, with some beer and lots of good conversation. The night we got to Fresno, another motorcycle roadtripper and couchsurfer-turned-frequent-Fresno-visitor dropped by for the night. Neil is an Australian and together with his Triumph Tiger and Wandering Swan travel blog has been touring the United States in consecutive trips the last couple of years. He has been to most of the states we have traveled through, and plenty more. He was around most of the following day to hang out and chat about upcoming travels (he was headed southeast, exactly our inverse), and so was Andy’s neighbor Willy; they kind of have an open door welcome-to-drop-by policy at their house that makes it feel more like a community than a household 🙂
After coincidence revealed that there is a delicious, traditional South African dish called potjiekos (check out What is potjiekos) and that they have the perfect cast iron cauldron to cook it in, we jumped on making potjiekos for dinner. We got creative throwing together beef, beer and assorted vegetables and spices to stew for a couple hours. I’m glad to have passed on some South African cuisine for them to continue to experiment on!
We really hope we can visit again and keep as touch since Andy’s about to head on a big trip of his own, probably europe.