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Old 12-16-2012, 04:55 PM   #91
Mercenary
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This is some down right SPECTACULAR photography. I am so looking forward to a continuation.....
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:56 PM   #92
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Nice Triumph add pics!

I have seen one in my area lately, very nice looking bikes!

Congratulations and again nice pics.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:16 PM   #93
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New Years Eve Ride.....NorCal Style!

If you've been following this thread you know how often I've passed through Yosemites high country this year but on the last day of 2012 I realized I hadn't made it down into the valley even once. That's fine by me as I usually only enjoy the valley in the off season anyway when the crowds are minimal, sometimes even scarce. With recent storms and a cold snap there was a possibility of dramatic conditions. If you've ever wondered why I love California riding this is a perfect example of a lunch run in the middle of winter.

With a lazy 8 AM start Gerbings is my best friend in the 32 degree weather at my house, knowing it's only getting colder where I'm going. Remember when you had to be tough to ride in this stuff? Not so much anymore. Two of the three entrances to the park currently have chain requirements, so I opt for the low road through Mariposa.

Wasn't really planning on documenting this ride, just wanted to eat my sandwich by a waterfall and go home. Most of the following photos are snapshots, not much planning involved, but it's Yosemite, kind of hard to not get an decent photo. The road was pretty clear all the way to the valley, a few icy spots but nothing to brag about, then a few miles in the valley it was like a line was drawn that says "Winter starts here" and I'm overcome with an exhilarated feeling from what I'm experiencing.
First stop, Bridalviel Falls. Scene it hundreds of times, but each time unique and this was incredible.





By now the road is a bit sketchy and I can't park many of the places I usually would as the snow is plowed to the edge of the road and I can't get off. To make matters worse the turnouts that were plowed had a solid sheet of ice across them, making them a not so good option. So my stops were limited to the open areas that see lots of Sun as the were plenty clear.

Like this first sighting of Yosemite Falls





And of course my obligatory "Magazine Cover" glamor shot. Have I mentioned recently how much I like this bike and how perfect it is for rides like this? The Tenere is almost to it's one year anniversary and I'm liking it more.





By now headed towards Curry Village and the road is iced bad enough that I'm letting cars pass me (unheard of in Yosemite) Feels weird to be riding when most of the cars around me have chains on. Last I saw temps were in the 20s and I had ice in my beard.

A few more memories from the valley.





Note the falling ice/snow to the right of the falls, and then look at the full grown trees to the left for scale and you realize what an event it was.
















This last shot is so well known because EVERYBODY stops here for a photo, as well as myself many times. But once again things are different this day and it warrants another look. Yosemite in winter is absolute magic.






Off to Cascade Falls where I find a sunspot on a rock and lay out like a lizard while I enjoy my sandwich. It's getting late and shadows long and I really want to be back in the gold country before ice starts forming . I almost felt I cheated myself with such a short visit, but this is winter riding.
Down in the Gold Country I enjoy some of my favorite backroads ( Does "Old Toll Road" mean anything to you locals? ) I love the old west culture and scenery around these parts and decide I needed at least one photo from Hornitos, an old town with wonderful ruins. A few plaques but no tourists, my kind of place. I think my favorite building is one that almost isn't there anymore, No sign or plaque so I can only guess what this old building was, but I like it better that way. How can you not feel like you're at the end of a good western movie?





I contemplate hanging out here until sunset as it's only a half hour away, but with some interesting clouds on the horizon I could see the possibility of an awesome light show getting ready. I'm rollin. Riding faster than I should have been I was desperately looking for the perfect sunset spot when I remembered I would soon cross the Merced river. Arriving with the Sun 10 minutes above the horizon I knew this was it. And it was.




Not since Lassen back in July have I been moved by a sunset like this. Again I knew I was witnessing a life long memory being made. Watching as the colors change so fast with unreal reflections on the water, it seemed almost mystical. Some of this water came over the falls I was looking at earlier in the day.




As the post sunset colors peak and slowly start to fade I pull out me end of the day cigar and enjoy the moment. I couldn't get myself to leave until the stars were out and getting colder quick. An hour or so till home and this was one awesome New Years Eve.

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Desert Dave screwed with this post 01-02-2013 at 07:53 PM
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:18 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary View Post
This is some down right SPECTACULAR photography. I am so looking forward to a continuation.....
Thanks! And here ya go!

Quote:
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Nice Triumph add pics!

I have seen one in my area lately, very nice looking bikes!

Congratulations and again nice pics.
Yeah first time in a while that I bought a bike with form over function. Shiny is ok
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:24 PM   #95
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Old Toll Rd and Bear Valley Rd, both great roads to head west from that part of 49.
Great pics especially the sunset!
Were they taken by Merced Falls?
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:09 AM   #96
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Old Toll Rd and Bear Valley Rd, both great roads to head west from that part of 49.
Great pics especially the sunset!
Were they taken by Merced Falls?
You Sir are correct!

I like both those roads but Old Toll is one of those roads that just screams with character. One of these day I'm going to take some time to try and capture the feeling of it in photographs, but until then I'll just love riding it.

Yes the sunset was the reflection of the Merced river just above Merced falls, where it is damned up.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:45 AM   #97
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love the new pics!
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:54 AM   #98
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Awesome Dave! Thanks for posting your inspirational pics. I need to get there soon!
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:21 PM   #99
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Dave you are getting me out of the warm house and onto a chilly Tenere. I looked at Old Toll Road and realized I had ridden it before (maybe five years ago) though I was following a friend at his pace. If the weather is clear I am headed to that area to ride Old Toll Road and the surrounding area. Thanks for the inspiration.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:16 PM   #100
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Oooooo-Ahhhhhh!
Great new set of photos Desert Dave!
The black bird one was especially amazing.
Thanks for braving the cold and sharing the pics with us.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:58 PM   #101
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Thanks guys, glad the photos are a ride inspiration


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Dave you are getting me out of the warm house and onto a chilly Tenere. I looked at Old Toll Road and realized I had ridden it before (maybe five years ago) though I was following a friend at his pace. If the weather is clear I am headed to that area to ride Old Toll Road and the surrounding area. Thanks for the inspiration.
Yes, the gold country tnis great this time of year. I think as soon as you get there the warm house will seem overrated

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The black bird one was especially amazing.
I was wondering if anyone would "get" that photo You should've seen the looks people were giving me when it was obvious my camera was focusing on this silly bird instead of the surroundings.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:45 AM   #102
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Dave, I think I've read a few of your posts in the past (bear cubs near Hetch Hetchy?) but somehow missed this thread all year. I've ridden many of these roads but rarely stop for many pictures, and then just snapshots. You're inspiring me to slow down a bit .... though I always try to get a shot at Ellery Lake, even if just "for the record". I have some pictures there of my bikes in the early '80's, but the ride I'll never forget, perhaps like you, was going over Tioga last January. I planned just to ride up 120 a bit, perhaps just to Olmsted, but this is so nice I'll continue and turn around at Tenaya, what the heck let's go to the summit, then I tried to get up to Saddlebag but there was too much snow. In the end, that day I rode from Santa Cruz to Bodie, and back on Sonora Pass, just days before the passes closed. Probably never again will that be possible in January. Thanks for sharing with us!

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Old 01-06-2013, 09:30 AM   #103
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Dave, I think I've read a few of your posts in the past (bear cubs near Hetch Hetchy?) but somehow missed this thread all year.
........ but the ride I'll never forget, perhaps like you, was going over Tioga last January. ........ Probably never again will that be possible in January.

-dman
Seems most of the year round Sierra riders I've met took advantage of last years unique winter, and those that didn't are kicking themselves Glad you got in on it!

Yeah the bear cub , buried somewhere in the Strom picture thread. The day I went out specifically looking for bear and couldn't find any and this one found me




I love those spontaneous photos. Yesterday a small bobcat crossed the road right in front of me, usually I know there is no way I'll have time to get my photo gear out so I just enjoy the moment, but this time I was able to watch the little guy run to a tree and climb the backside. (by the time this story gets to a campfire it will be "I treed a ferocious Bobcat and then pursued on foot" ) Took me a few minutes of searching until I saw him staring me down from inside a hollow part of the tree, never would show me much more than his eyes, and we played a little game where he would duck down, I'd wait a few minutes and then rustle some leaves and he couldn't help but peek up to see what I was doing.






Spent probably an hour stopped at a point of the road I usually just whiz by (or maybe stop for a whiz) and saw familiar sights from a different perspective. Neat.

While I was there heard some bikes coming and took a couple impromptu riders on dualsports shots. Caught up with these riders a bit later, real nice folks, who claimed to be long time lurkers around here, so here's their contribution to the site




Look at that smile! Not sure if it's the wonderful winter riding or the goofy guy on the side of the road taking the photo.



Everyone out doin their thing, love it!
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:49 AM   #104
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:55 PM   #105
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Wow! the word awesome is rather overused, however, I think it applies to your Bobcat photos. I have seen several, but never that close!
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