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Old 09-18-2013, 03:52 PM   #1
Shesaid OP
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Location: Central CA
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Hesaid/Shesaid's Daytripping Thread to Fortune and Glory!

We never go anywhere good...

Hesaid insists that it is my job to post our adventures on ADV. I have been insisting that I will do so when we start having "adventures."

As new riders, our first year has consisted of day trips to areas that are accessible within a day's ride from home. As dual sporters, we agree that the goal is to make use of the on road/off road capabilities of our bikes, not merely trailer them to trailheads. Which has, so far, resulted in many long hours in the saddle with not so many miles on the odometers at the end of the day. Which might make for mildly interesting tales to tell friends and family, but falls far short of the expectations of the sort of readers we're likely to encounter here on ADV.

I'm looking forward to a future of inspiration and awe for this thead, when it will include tales of grand travels far beyond our meager break-in period as we build the riding skills and experience to venture farther for longer.

For now, I have agreed to get our "Hesaid/Shesaid Daytripping Thread to Fortune and Glory" started with the humble tales of our increasingly redundant weekend jaunts. Starting with our first "real" ride-- from back in May-- when I finally agreed to take a deep breath, let out the clutch, and brave traffic...

Our First "Real" Ride (May 21, 2013)

Monday morning I woke up feeling half stoned. And not the sort that has led to profit for Taco Bell with ingenius concepts like "4th Meal" and Mountain Dew slushies... more like several people stood around and threw rocks at me.

I should have taken some Ibuprofen before I went to bed on Sunday.

The thing with a TW200 (I refer to mine as "the Wombat") is that they don't go fast. And by not fast, I mean slow. It likes to cruise at 45 mph. If that's all it did, it'd be happy.

But we live in a wide open, flat, rural landscape with long, straight, country roads. Roads that stay straight and reasonably traffic free for miles at a stretch. Roads where most people open it up and regularly hit 70 between stop signs.

Between the Wombat's red line at 55mph and my beginning-rider-feels-like-light-speed-at- 20, leaving the womb-like comfort of the neighborhood or private roads (and I did put 40 miles on the odo a few weekends ago on some forest roads, of which I have no pictures) took an act of bravery I wasn't sure I posessed.

At some point, I have to cross the road, right?

So the BF and I saddled up the ponies and made a basic plan.

First, the Wombat was going to need gas. The TW is reported to get about 80 mpg. Great mileage but still doesn't get you far when you only have a 1.8 gallon tank. With 97 miles on the odometer, the Wombat had yet to see a gas station in real life. (The Wombat's been living in the BF's parents' barn. We've put most of the miles on it on their private road.)

$7.15 later, we'd topped up the tank in both the TW and the BF's DR650 and did some serious damage to a 32 oz Pepsi before heading through our downtown district on our way out of town.

We planned our course to avoid sensored traffic lights that don't know we're there, and as much traffic as possible. Naturally, that landed us on a senseless traffic light sensor in the midst of going-home traffic right next to a popular church. Unfortunately, none of that church traffic was going to help us out by needing to make a left turn at the signal where we were stuck. So after 3 full cycles of the signal, I got to legally run my first stop light.

Much to the dismay of the nearby traffic.

So, on that note, Yes. California vehicle code 21800 does specify that when a traffic signal sensor fails to sense traffic, it is permissable to procede through the light after determining it's safe to do so. California vehicle code also says that all traffic lights are supposed to be equipped with sensors that will sense traffic such as motorcycles and bicycles-- but in the meantime, at least someone in Sacramento has the good sense to realize it's not a good idea to leave motorcyclists and bicyclists stuck at stubborn traffic lights for weeks on end.

Our route took us through some lazy neighorhood roads and almost-deserted-on-a-weekend streets that didn't mind our comfortable 35 mile an hour gait. And then, there I was, at the stop sign of a tiny cross street, staring at the Big Road.

This was the one that had to be done. This was the one that was going to test just how fast the Wombat and I can go.

After a couple of deep breaths, and several checks for traffic, I turned onto the road and got up to speed as fast as I could. Holding the throttle open and maintaining 50 mph took some effort, but the Wombat and I were good.

I didn't worry about traffic, I kept my head up and my eyes on the horizon and we just went for it. Passed Cutler Park, around the big curve, and over the river till we made the turn on to El Rio.

At this point, we're out of the town we live in (Visalia) and pretty much in the town I grew up in (Ivanhoe) albeit, out in the boonies. I've travelled El Rio many a time by car and bicycle and never been impressed with the quality of the road.

On the motorcycle? Damn glad I spent a weekend on those forest roads learning to stand on the pegs and just throttle over whatever gaping holes might suddenly appear beneath me.

So once I was relatively certain that what should be a lazy, shady country road that peacefully winds along the river bed, wasn't going to kill me, I settled into it and and relaxed a little... ok. I wasn't relaxed, I was on the watch for psychotic, feral dogs that might run after me from any number of directions.

But we made it to the next intersection unscathed and proceded out to Charter Oak. That's the Wombat parked in front of the plaque that explains that this was the spot where our county was formed. Yes, there's a giant oak tree too, just not in the picture, hence "Charter Oak." By this time I was feeling pretty good.

All was going well and I was feeling like I might not suck at riding a motorcycle afterall. It's even kinda fun!

Our continued route took us further into the countryside, riding along stretches of country roads lined with citrus orchards with the wind in our... well, not hair. We wear our helmets-- and not just because there's a law that says we have to. But I have great Olympia Airglide gear and the wind just vents right through it. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors doing pretty much anything really.

We tried to remember to snap lots of pics of the bikes out and about since we don't have many photos yet.

We stopped by this pond and took some pics. The cow that was there was camera shy and moved away. It's already pretty hot and dry down in our valley, so there aren't many wild flowers to stop next to. I found some little yellow ones growing on a bush that looked very angry-- lots of spikey,pointy things growing on it.

A few laps around the country roads and we stopped for a bit beside a cornfield in the shade of some oak trees.

Got a great shot of Dr. Feelgood (The BF claims his bike's full name is Dr. James "Jigsaw" Feelgood) taking a break in front of the cornfield.

It was a nice spot to rest for a bit and discuss further plans and the impending need for lunch.

We have friends in Exeter, so I sent off a text message and we headed in that direction. Which meant another road where 50 mph wasn't going win me many friend with the rest of the traffic.

Nevertheless, and despite the BF's irritation at my lagging behind him on the open road, I managed to keep the throttle open and not be in too many peoples' way as we made our way to downtown Exeter. Where following the BF proved to be an exercise in staying calm and zenlike.

He never cancels his turn signals so I never knew for sure which way we were turning. I finally put the bike in a parking space. Exeter is a tiny little town, there is absolutely no just cause for circling it 20 times on the bikes.

We had lunch at VIP pizza without hearing back from our friend.

It was only after we were done with lunch that it occurred to either of us to have actually used the helmet locks on the bikes. Which would save us some table space in restaurants, but our jackets are still a bulky burden when off the bikes.

Oh well, we'll adjust.

Not much going on in Exeter, CA on a Sunday afternoon. So we set a homeward course and got back on our bikes.

Pulled into the driveway with 60.1 miles on the trip odometer. Not too bad for my first time on the open road.

But I wish I'd known how sore I was going to be in the morning. It's gonna be awhile before I'm ready to ride around the world.

Hesaid's boring version of this story, complete with maps and routes. (I finally convinced him we just need one ongoing thread, not a zillion individual, unconnected stories for each trip we might want to share. Eventually we'll get the hang of this.)
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:18 PM   #2
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Location: Central CA
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Biker Break-In Period: The Next 80 Miles (June 4, 2013)

Another 80 miles on the speedometer and under my belt.

Never mind the 100 degree temps, there's no water in our local river, so we won't be canoeing-- that means another trip on the bikes. Besides, we need the riding experience.

We made our way out of town along a similar route as last time, stopping by the Chevron, topping up gas tanks, and downing a soda before meandering our way out of city limits. This time we opted to avoid any left-hand turn signals that don't know we're there.

This map shows our approximate route there. Google maps is not the friendliest to us when trying to map out our routes, so it's only approximate. And you can't really see the details of which roads are which so if it's really important to you, you'll have to look things up for yourself...

The route there: home to Sister's Mountain House via Hwy 245

We left town via Lover's Lane to Houston Ave, back around Cutler Park, over the river, and east on El Rio Road, around the corner, over the tracks, along Venice Hill and a quick meet up at the Charter Oak again. This may well become our standard for getting out of Dodge, so don't expect me to outline it in every ride report.

I agreed with the BF about heading up Millwood/Rte 245 through Elderwood, but made sure he understood we would be making a photo stop at the random rose garden first:

They help with polination for all the orange orchards, but these roses seem so random in the middle of nowhere.

It made for a great photo of the bikes. And look! I even managed to strap a small collapsable cooler on the back of the Wombat! Cool water on a hot day made big difference.

We wound our way up Hwy 245 (mostly it's just a two lane, windy road through the country,) past what used to be a really nice little country store in Elderwood... oh how we both miss that store.

There was a fire about a million years ago-- 10?15?-- and although the building got repaired, the store never re-opened. If I had the money....

We did stop to observe a moment of reflective silence for the little piece our our youth now gone, and agreed there was just something better about a good, cold Mug Rootbeer from that store.

I've always loved driving through the tiny, rural "town" of Elderwood. I don't know who owns and maintains this little resting spot at the big bend in the road, but it was nice to have a chance to sit and rest, have a cool drink of water and discuss our where-do-we-go-from-here plans.

While we rested at the picnic table, we waved at several other riders coming and going on the road. It was a hot day, but this is a popular road for motorcycles; all those twisties! And, of course, Sister's Mountain House at the top of the hwy for a refreshing beverage.

We decided that, hot or not, we were having a good ride. So we would go ahead and continue up to Mountain House and have lunch.

So I futz'd with my gear and we got back on the road: I swear, I am going to be great at being one of those Starbucks type riders. Standing around, adjusting belts and straps and zippers and velcro. I love my Olympia Airglide gear, but the precision timing required for helmet, sunglasses, then gloves, then velcro on the sleeves of the jacket... it takes me 15 minutes to get put back together. Matt has a modular helmet and zippered jacket sleeves-- he just puts down his face shield, on with the gloves and he's done.

So he waited patiently for me until I was back in my gear and in gear, and then I headed out onto the road.

We got really lucky with about no traffic on the roads at all. I am oh so not having fun "carving up the twisties" just yet, and this road gets twisty! First lean in one direction, then lean the other way. I ended up in 2nd gear on the TW-- and let me tell you! 2nd gear on a Yamaha TW200 is dangerously close to "any-slower-and-you'll-fall-over" slow! I felt bad for the BF; I knew he was behind me on the Suzuki DR650, trying not to run over me and not having much fun. But he was super patient and didn't gripe.

We get a lot of people telling us how proud/amazed/impressed they are that I'm willing to get back on a bike at all after the stupid drop/trip/fall/broken wrist incident. And the BF hears from a LOT of other guys about how jealous they are that his lady is willing to ride with him-- and on her own bike-- so I think he's extra willing to go slow with my little Tipsy Wombat (that's what we call the T-dub) and let me find my own pace on the roads.

By the time we arrived at Mountain House for lunch, I was feeling pretty proud of myself for making it through the twisties without having a panic attack. I know I'll eventually get far more comfortable with the leaning-into-the-corners thing, but for now I'm still getting used to just maintaining the speed of traffic. Which is hard enough on a bike that's lucky to get to 55 mph!

We enjoyed some Pepsi and sandwiches and decided we needed to get back on our way. We chose our route homeward, the BF waited patiently while I futz'd with my straps and velcro, and then helped me get the bike pointed down the hill... the Wombat is almost a perfect fit for me, if the suspension would just compress another 1/2- 1 inch when I sit on it, I'd have better leverage for pushing it around when the ground underneath my feet is less than level.
Then we were off, headed down Dry Creek Road. Which apparently doubles as hwy 216.

I did better on the twisty Dry Creek Road headed down hill around the curves, even though we encountered more oncoming traffic on this road.

When we got home, the BF told me he was really impressed with me as I was getting pretty low in some of the corners. Not dragging my pegs low, but pretty low. Which kinda freaked me out to hear. I didn't feel like I was leaning into the curves, I felt like I was downshifting to damn near "stop" and inching around corners! Good thing I didin't drag my pegs on any of them, I'd have probably freaked out and just fallen right over!

But seriously, it's good to know I'm doing it right, if slow. I can't wait till it stops being blood-curdling terrifying and starts being grin-tastic fun.

At the bottom of Dry Creek, we pulled over by the river for another cold water. I was pretty heartbroken when the cooler fell off the rear of the Wombat and all that icy cold water from the melted ice made a shortlived mud puddle by the rear wheel. I was hoping to dump it over my head before we headed home.

And if we're going to be making a habit of getting off the bikes for even a few moments, I'll be looking for some sort of soft, towel-like seat cover: the seat warms up fast in the sun!

I tried to get a couple of shots of the bikes that would show the river and the Sierra Nevada in the background, but our valley air is too thick to show the mountains and the high, over grown river bank didn't really do much for showing the water.

Oh well. Still not a bad shot of the bikes.

I have to admit, at this point we still had about 25 miles till home. I was tired. It was hot. The Wombat isn't the smoothest ride and I am starting to understand why everyone gets a custom seat.

My throttle wrist was starting to feel like my broken wrist does all the time now and my shoulder was sore. Basically: I wasn't having fun any more. I just wanted to go home.

We turned into our neighborhood with 79.5 miles on my trip odo. I just couldn't let it go at that, I led the BF on a couple of lazy loops through the 'hood until I was satisfied that we had done a full 80 miles.

For our next ride, we're thinking of an overnighter to Springville. But our summer weekends are filling up fast, so it might be awhile before we can get to it.

Hesaid's post about this ride. Don't worry, this is the last time he tried to post a ride report so no more linking back to his version. From here on out, all our stories stay in this thread.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:21 PM   #3
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once again, welcome to the forum and these are adventures to those of us here.
I'm glad you have begun sharing with us and we all look forward to your next adventure.
We appreciate the pictures and the words behind thm.
Please ride safely and once again thank you for sharing with us
'11 R1200 GS Adventure with a DMC M72DX Sidecar
'14 R1200 GS & '14 R nineT (march, 2014)
Live life like you mean it... but take your family and friends (and DOGS) along for the "ride"
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
Shesaid OP
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Location: Central CA
Oddometer: 175
The Next 136 Miles: 9 Hour Ride on 3 Hours of Sleep (june 12, 2013)

About a week ago, we came home to discover that our little diabetic, blind Aussie had decided to spend his afternoon chewing off the hair on his paw.

We have no idea why, maybe he was just bored: we checked for fox tails and other stickers, for bee stings and other insect bites, but found nothing to suggest he had any reason to start eating his foot other than he needed something to do.

Nothing sadder than a blind dog in a cone.

Parker has never been the world's smartest Australian Shepherd, he's been getting by on his looks. So who knows what he was thinking?

He kept chewing on his foot, no matter what we did. I tried wrapping it in vet wrap, but he ate that. I worried about it getting infected-- diabetes and all-- but I also worried that he'd get sick from licking off anything I put on it.

We finally put the cone on him on Saturday evening. This did not go over well with Parker.

He uses his face a lot to get around the house and tell where he is. With the cone on, he couldn't get his face anywhere near anything, so he had no idea where he was. Plus, he tends to get anxious (and eat his foot, for instance,) so he was not about to sit down and attempt to sleep with that cone on. 

We planned on getting an "early" start on our Sunday ride, and we'd had a long Saturday, so we went to bed early....

Well; we went to bed, Hesaid went to sleep. I, on the other hand, tossed and turned and tried to ignore my pathetic, lost, blind dog as he restlessly wandered the house making a racket like the ghost of Marley...

SCRRRRRAAAAAPE went the edge of the cone against the wall as he bumbled down the hallway. CRASH! went the edge of the cone as he walked into the couch. CRASH! went the cone as he walked into the dishwasher. CRASH went the cone as he walked into the trash can. SCRRRRRAAAAAPE went the cone as he bumbled along the living room. SCRRAAAAPE went the cone as he came bumbling back through the hallway...

It was 3:58 a.m. when I finally got up and took the cone off of him. It was 7:15 a.m. the next time I saw the clock, when Hesaid was hovering over me, reminding me that we wanted to get an early start.

Our approximate route, from home to Dunlap and back.

Via our standard Out-of-Dodge route, we headed east around 9 a.m. with intentions to do our first will-need-gas-before-we-get-home trip.

We got chased by our first dog, a German Shepherd that meant business. He was standing vigil at a property we've passed several times on previous trips, but this was the first time we've ever seen him. I was pretty glad Hesaid was in the lead, gave me a chance to see the dog before he saw me.

I grew up riding bicycles on these roads and I've had to out pedal many a dog in my day. So the good news is, no one panicked. We both saw the dog, waited till he was almost to us and then revved it up and watched the poor pup dejectedly plod back to his lair.

We were having a "hey, let's check out this road" sort of day and ended up taking a little detour that led us away from Hwy 245 and right by the slathering jaws of another dog.

Actually, the chocolate lab looked more like she wanted someone to play with-- but we didn't slow down to find out. She was chasing, we were gone!

It sure is nice to be able to make a clean get away without having to pedal at warp speed!

Eventually, we got back on track and came into Elderwood via Ave 384.

We stopped for a brief moment under the oak tree at the random picnic table again. Had some water and discussed our next leg of the route. Then we were back on the bikes and headed up Hwy 245 toward Badger, on the lookout for the Dunlap/Miramonte turn off.

It was nice riding through Badger-- a small (tiny) mountain community at a high enough elevation that it's mostly pine trees and out of the heat of the Valley. Mmmmmm... that was nice.

And those twisties were a little less harrowing this time. I'm still in no danger of "carving" them up and I still felt bad for Hesaid having to hang back behind me, but I was feeling more relaxed with them this time and even having a little fun.

We found our turn-off and made it through the tiny community of Miramonte where I spied a sign that pleaded with traffic to slow down... I checked my speedometer and figured they surely didn't mean me with my tire screeching 19 miles per hour, so I remained calm and carried on.

A Turnout with a View

About that time, we both decided it'd been awhile since breakfast.

Our plan was to take the windy roads out to Hwy 180 and then brave the busy road out of Kings Canyon Nat'l Park (Hwy 180) for the few miles to the gas station in Squaw Valley... or maybe it's in Dunlap? I'm not sure what the official address is.

Getting onto Hwy 180 was, by far, the scariest thing I've done on a motorcycle thus far. It is a very busy road, and we joined it at the bottom of the twistiest portion out of the Nat'l Park, just as traffic is starting to speed up to make up for all the time they've lost on the twisties higher up. Not unusual at all for cars to be sailing down the hill at 70 mph. And here I am on my little go-go gadget Wombat 200 with the throttle open, pushing 55 mph and trying to stay out of the way!

It was only about a mile to the gas station, but I still pulled over twice to let faster traffic pass.

Once the bellies of the bikes were topped up, we headed further down the hill another mile or two to top up our own tanks. This was the lunch we'd been looking forward to: Bear Mountain Pizza.

If you're ever on Hwy 180 headed to, or from, Kings Canyon National Park, you can't miss it and you should stop and have a bite to eat. The pizza is pretty good, the sandwiches are great.

We opted to split a pastrami sandwich and an order of "bear paws--" their take on garlic cheese bread sticks. Hesaid had a Pepsi, I drank a small vat of iced tea.

We got laughed at by some Harley types. I call them "Harley types" because I sure as heck didn't see any other bike out in the parking lot when we rode in, so I can't be sure what sort of bikes they might actually have in their garages back home but they made it pretty clear that they were also riders; I'd locked my helmet to my bike, Hesaid opted to bring his in with him. So we walk in, choose a table, and start de-gearing: helmet on the extra chair, sunglasses and gloves on the table, unzip/un-velcro and jackets off and over the backs of the chairs, then I bent down and unzipped the side zippers of my amazing Olympia Airglide riding pants (I also have the matching jacket... hint hint, Olympia, in exchange for the shameless plug, you can send the SWAG to my office at 113 N Church St....)

But I digress... so there we are, looking like some sort of Beemer-riding world travelers and there's this table of wind-worn, jeans-wearing types near by. I noticed a couple of the ladies at the table watching us and then their heads were together and then the whole table glanced our way and then erupts in laughter: I very much interpreted it as a little people watching going on-- with us as the people-- and imagined the commentary to be something along the lines of, "OH MY GOD, BECKY! Would you look at her GEAR!"

I definitely detected an air that they may have felt we were overdressed for the ride.... good for them. I love my gear, and I love my skin. Scars are only cool if you live to talk about them. Did I mention I like my gear? (cough cough, Olympia?)
In the end, the folks at the table were very nice. They chatted a bit with us and asked us how the riding was. We told them it was pretty nice out there, better than last weekend. And they wished us a happy, safe ride on their way out.

After lunch, we zipped and velcro'd everything back on and agreed that some sort of seat covers should be moved to the top of our to-do lists for the bikes. Those seats get HOT sitting out in the sun, even for a few minutes.

As we rolled out of the parking lot, a couple of Harleys rode in... my first thought was "So did those guys go home and get their bikes?" but I'm pretty sure it was an entirely different group of folks.

So we rolled out onto Hwy 180 for another half a mile or so till the turn off for "Geo. Smith Road."

The road is actually "George Smith Road" on the maps, but it's labeled "Geo Smith" and I prefer that. I makes me think it's named for a guy who makes things out of the earth. Like a metal smith... a "geosmith."

Well anyway...

The weather still felt darn near pleasant as we rode through the winding, rural roads that make up the Squaw Valley/Dunlap area. Up, over, and around hills we went. Enjoying the ride and on the lookout for Sand Hill Road.
Geo Smith road took us up some steep hills, and then around some creepy turns. The Wombat and I held it together and pulled over whenever traffic came along. We found Sand Hill Road and headed out of the hills and back to the low, flat, hot Valley floor.

Gah. That's where the 100 degree weather was. We'd already traveled more miles than either of our other rides, and home was sounding pretty good at this point...

But we couldn't just head straight home, first, we had to go back to the toilets!

Since that meant going back the way we came, we decided to cut across Boyd Canyon Road and get back on Hwy 245 and travel back through Elderwood again. For one thing, it meant keeping to the higher elevations for a little longer, and another rest and water break at the random picnic table.

Boyd Canyon road is scary in a car. It's one of those classic, one lane, steep-as-hell, mountain-up-one-side, sheer-cliff-on-the-other, twisty-isn't-the-word-for-it mountain roads you see in cartoons. Yeah, it's got a serious view, but one thing they keep telling you about riding a motorcycle is that you should look where you're going because you'll go where you're looking-- so who can enjoy the view?!

Not to mention how steep the climb was. Find a low enough gear to keep climbing in and keep on the throttle, you don't want to have to downshift on that grade, you don't want to stall! Getting going again on a hill that steep requires feats of coordination best not tested in an area where you may actually encounter traffic.

"I think I can... I think I can... I think I can..."

Seriously: If you're local to our area, find Ave 416 on the map. Head east. When you start seeing the big, yellow caution signs that say "Boyd Drive not recommended for trucks and buses" keep going. When you hit the bottom of the hill, downshift. Let me know if you disagree with my assessment. (Locals who drive the route regularly not eligible to play.)

But there are a few turn outs and we did stop for some pics that just don't adequately show the view.

Hesaid climbed up for a better view. He wanted me to climb up there too. My riding boots are not hiking boots. So here's a view of Hesaid looking at the view instead of a view of the view from where he is.

Eventually, the scary part of the road gives way to more scenic vistas that aren't 1300 feet straight down. We turned back out onto Hwy 245, took another short rest at the picnic table, rode through Elderwood again and began our search for the sight we rode past in the morning.

We really need to get better at stopping for this sort of thing when we see it the first time, but Hesaid is still acclimating to a hobby that involves stopping for photos and I'm still acclimating to a hobby where Hesaid lets me stop to take photos--as long as he never gets a GoPro, this moto thing might be good middle ground for us.

We found the right road, but turned the wrong way. As soon as we did, I knew it was the wrong way, but Hesaid continued up the road anyway. In the long run, this means his final odometer reading is a little higher than mine.
We turned around and found what we were looking for and headed home along our standard Charter Oak/El Rio Road route. The German Shepherd must have gone back inside, he didn't come to greet us again.

When we reached the stop sign that I've come to determine as the entrance to our neighborhood, my trip odometer said if we just did 4 more miles, I'd be able to report that our 3rd trip was as long as both our 1st and 2nd put together... I opted to let it slide.

As we waited for our garage door to open, while sitting in our driveway, the BF asked if we had to make the extra miles for a perfect 140... I just shook my head. I think we came close enough:

Final mileage tally according to the Wombat: 136

And what about those toilets? Well, we've had a lot of fun coming up with captions for the sight and reasons they'd be out there.

They were just sitting out there, in front of all those beautiful citrus trees and roses in bloom. We'll let you make up your own story:

We think it's a Build Your Own Rest stop Kit.

PS: Parker is doing fine.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Southeast Lower Carolina
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Hesaid/Shesaid but Parker rules.

You had me from the "Visalia" on the map. Then I was into the Wombat. But my heart now belongs to Parker. I just lost my part Austrailian Shepard(plus part of many other types) 13 year old best friend so Parker's picture is a welcome sight. Been to Visalia Airport many times and have three treasured "City of Visalia City Airport. Established 1927" caps I wear proudly and carry one with me when riding. Thanks for the memories.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:19 PM   #6
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Location: Central CA
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Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
You had me from the "Visalia" on the map. Then I was into the Wombat. But my heart now belongs to Parker. I just lost my part Austrailian Shepard(plus part of many other types) 13 year old best friend so Parker's picture is a welcome sight. Been to Visalia Airport many times and have three treasured "City of Visalia City Airport. Established 1927" caps I wear proudly and carry one with me when riding. Thanks for the memories.
Three Visalia Airport caps? I think I've only been there four or five times, and three of those times were because the MSF course was held there! And Parker isn't always sad and in a cone:

DR Feelgood , Tipsy Wombat, Pinkfoot, FatCat, and how they got their names: What the hell is a wombat? And now, the tales of their adventures.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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Well, of course I have to read a thread with the names hesaid/shesaid. "The Wombat" sounded familar, so I read on. Saw you ride a TW (hooked/in). Of course I may be looking at the TW from a different perspective than other riders. Then the writing style, funny and entertaining.

"The thing with a TW200 (I refer to mine as "the Wombat") is that they don't go fast. And by not fast, I mean slow."

As a TW rider, I find this funny. True, but funny.

I hope you keep this going. I like it!
For the record, I hate snakes!

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Old 09-20-2013, 01:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheAdmiral View Post
Well, of course I have to read a thread with the names hesaid/shesaid. "The Wombat" sounded familar, so I read on. Saw you ride a TW (hooked/in). Of course I may be looking at the TW from a different perspective than other riders. Then the writing style, funny and entertaining.

"The thing with a TW200 (I refer to mine as "the Wombat") is that they don't go fast. And by not fast, I mean slow."

As a TW rider, I find this funny. True, but funny.

I hope you keep this going. I like it!

Don't worry! The plan is to keep this thread going and going until we figure out how to sell the house, build sidecars for the dogs, and live on the road-- then we'll have to start a thread in the long distance ride reports. But I think that's a long ways off still.

I'm glad to hear from another T-dubber. I love the little bike and entertain grand notions of taking it on many adventures: the future holds very little super slab for me!
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:56 PM   #9
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Lost and Alone-- Now we have GPS! 06/22/13

So Hesaid tells me that we're going to go meet up with another inmate... our first official attempt at making actual, real-world contact with another member of the ADV forums.

Naturally, I am terrified.

But I guess we joined ADV for a reason-- and it wasn't just to live vicariously through others-- so it was bound to happen eventually.

So Hesaid worked out a plan to meet up with Potentialscat and his wife at their Big Meadows campsite on the promise that Mrs. Potentialscat is also still in the beginner stages of riding so they ride slow when out together.

This promise of "slow" was only vaguely reassuring, as Hesaid has forced me to read many of the Central Valley Dual Sporters posts and made me watch some of the videos there. These guys' idea of "slow" may not exactly be on the same level as mine.

Nevertheless, it seemed like an opportunity to ride the bikes to a place and meet some other people who at least know what the hell a "dual sport" bike even is. So I started asking all the usual questions: What route will we take? What time do we have to get up?

map whitaker forest

Hesaid sat down with the maps-- Hesaid LOVES maps-- and decided that we would ride up Hwy 245 (are you seeing a pattern to our riding yet?) and into Sequoia National Forest via the Whitaker Forest road... which I'd only been up maybe twice before, both times in the Xterra and once in the snow... and which Hesaid always refers to as "the road that goes by Eshom campground."

He figured that this route offered us the most bang for the riding buck, as we would get to actually use the dual purpose portion of the bikes by getting in some pavement and some unpavement.


As for what time we would have to get up in the morning? Well... that's part of the strange metamorphosis that Hesaid has undergone since buying a motorcycle. You see, Hesaid is normally what many people would refer to as just plain "uptight." Bordering on "control freak" at times. He's quite the Type A personality.

OH! He doesn't THINK he is! So don't tell him I said so. But he likes to plan things, he likes to plot out routes on maps and pack for every possible scenario, he likes to make a detailed plan and stick to it.

So, the Hesaid that I am used to would have looked over his PMs from Pscat and seen that they were planning on being in camp till noon, he would have then pulled out the calculator and looked over the records of our last several rides, done the math and determined that in order to meet up by noon we would have to leave the house by 8:43 a.m.

He would then have set about driving me completely insane with his plotting and planning and giving me directions on how to dress, pack, eat dinner the night before a ride, check my oil and tire pressure, put gas in the Wombat, and zip up my boots so that we would be pulling onto the road at exactly 8:43 a.m. in order to arrive at Big Meadows campground by 11:53 a.m. at a moving average of....


That's the Hesaid that I have known (and mostly loved) for years. So I was expecting something along those lines when he tells me he's confirmed a meet up.

Instead he's all shrugs and "we'll get there when we get there."


Who is this man?

Who cares! I like him!

But I'm thinking we need to allow 3 hours to get ourselves up there... I mean, I still take those twisties up Hwy 245 at about 20 miles an hour. And he wants to go up a dirt road too? This is gonna take forever!

So Saturday morning dawned bright and early and this was our first ride with not just a specific destination, but an intended arrival time as well.

Everything was going fine.

We made it up Hwy 245, into Badger, turned off and headed toward Whitaker Forest road. I was feeling pretty good about my riding and enjoying the morning. Hesaid was in front of me, which meant that I often lost sight of him since he rides faster than I do. But no worries. All in good time. We're both going to the same place. Ride your own ride, and all that.


And then I got a bug in my eye. Who knows how the little flying beast got into my helmet, but it did. Not just into the helmet, in my eye. Ouch. So I carefully slowed down, pulled to the side of the road, shut everything down, took off my helmet and proceded to remove the thing from my eye.

Meanwhile, Hesaid has disappeared around the next bend in the road. I am concerned not about this. When he rides ahead of me, he's very good about keeping an eye out behind him and making sure I don't get left too far behind. So, naturally, I expected to see him sitting on the side of the road shortly past the bend once I was underway again.

But when I rounded that bend, he was nowhere to be seen. Nor was he waiting around the next bend, nor the bend beyond that.

I wasn't going to spend too much time overthinking it or feeling all abandoned and get all weepy and mopey. I knew where we were headed and I was pretty sure I knew the way to get there. Eventually I was bound to happen upon him.
Then I came to the fork in the road with the sign for Eshom campground to the right and Whitaker Forest road to the left...

ummmmm. Ok. Maybe I'm not "pretty sure" of how to get where I'm headed afterall? It seems strange that Hesaid hasn't taken up guard at this spot just to make sure I don't head off the wrong way....

No. I didn't have a map. No, I didn't have a GPS. In fact, we had been debating the purchase of our next GPS for a few months. We have two older model Garmin Rhinos which served us well for many years, but they've both suffered some issues and neither are working. We want the upgraded Rhinos but we keep thinking of more fun ways to spend the money. So we keep making excuses to put off their purchase a little longer.

I had taken a gander at the map before leaving the house, I remember there being only one road that goes all the way through, up to the Generals' Highway. The problem was-- which way do I go?

So there I sat for a moment, racking my brain, trying to remember: Do I actually go through Eshom campground on this road? Is Eshom a spur off the road? Or is Whitaker Forest research facility the spur off of the road?


I briefly convinced myself that we'd always driven through the campground when taking this road, so I turned toward the campground. I made it just a short way down the road when I told myself, "DUH! The campground is just the campground! It's WHITAKER FOREST ROAD for a reason!" and turned myself around.

I headed up Whitaker Forest road, around the bend, through the cows, and started up the hill. I don't like the areas where the paved road gives way to unpaved road but isn't quite an actual unpaved road yet. And the strobe effect from sunlight shining through the trees made it hard to see the road surface in time to prepare for it.

I have so little riding experience at all, let alone dirt riding experience. And Hesaid is still nowhere in sight... this isn't like him. He usually tries to stay together.


I wonder where he is, but I'm committed to this path now. True to my nature on these stupid forest service roads, I put it in 2nd and aim the bike up the hill. Just keep going. Don't stall. Don't down shift. Don't fall over.

I convince myself that Hesaid probably waited till he found a level spot to wait for me to catch up... I keep going.
I ride over ruts and roots and rocks and through spots of poofy silty dust that freak me out a little. But I'm stable and steady and I start really kinda enjoying myself. I'm up in the forest and riding past Giant Sequoias here and there. It smells nice and there's not another soul around.

I'm starting to worry a little about Hesaid. Did he take the other road? Am I wrong about the picture of the map that I have in my head? What if I'm not on the road that goes through? What if this is one of those roads that just stops dead at the park boundary? What if I get almost there and then run into a locked gate, or the trail just disappears? I mean, it's just so weird that Hesaid hasn't waited for me.

What if I'm on the wrong road and Hesaid is frantically looking for me? I bet he wishes we had those GPS units now, then he could radio me or pole my position on the map.

Mind you, all these thoughts wandering through my head, but I never let off the throttle-- "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

I felt bad for Hesaid. I was pretty sure he was worried about me. But I'd made so much progress up this road, I decided to just ride it out. If it ended abruptly, I'd turn around when I had to. If it went all the way to the road, I'd see him up there.
I finally cross a cattle guard, pass a sign that says I'm entering Kings Canyon National Park, and still no Hesaid.


The road levels out and I start to think I'm through the worst of the scary road surface, but instead, I find myself grappling with my first real gravel road. My "just keep swimming" mantra gets a little manic. I try to relax and employ that whole lean back/go faster thing... "faster" in this case meant raising the needle into the double digits.

Oh yay! And washboardy too!

This sucks. I'm glad no one is here to watch me make terrified girly faces. I wanna go home. I wanna get off the bike and walk it. I want to get off the bike and let someone else ride it out of here. This sucks.

But I just keep swimming. Not literally, mind you. I was riding. Not swimming. But I kept doing it. All along the creepy gravel road up on the ledge on the side of a freakin cliff, around another bend, still no sign of Hesaid, around another bend... I kept thinking I was close to the road. I could see the giant expanse of blue sky where the trees and mountains stopped to make way for a road, but every turn in the stupid road just lead to more graveled washboard road.

And then finally! I came up over the last hill and found myself in the turn out directly across from the Quail Flat parking lot.

But still no Hesaid.


Now I got a little giddy. I wanted to jump and shout and hug random strangers and brag about how awesome I was that I just did that stupid road all by myself! But there was no one to hug. I hung out in the parking lot for awhile, trying to think like Hesaid and figure out where he was and how to connect back up with him. Preferably without having to go down that stupid road I just made it up.

I decided to travel down the road to the Big Meadows parking area. What if there are two roads that go through? What if Hesaid is waiting for me there? But when I got to Big Meadows, there was still no sign of him.

It occurred to me that I might be lost. But how could I be lost? I was right where we were going.

I'm really starting to worry about Hesaid now. I finally decide I have to go back the way I came and hopefully meet back up with him.

As I pull out of the Big Meadows parking lot, there he comes up the road! I stop. He stops. He jumps off his bike and runs up and hugs me and says, "As soon as we get home, we're ordering those GPS units!"

We compared notes on our rides, trying to figure out just how Hesaid got behind me on the trial. Turns out, he turned around and went back to find me at the same time I had headed toward the campground.

Needless to say, we missed Potentialscat and Company at their campsite. So we headed to Hume Lake for lunch and gas, where we ran into them on an ice cream break. Didn't get time to ride together, but it was nice to meet them.


[update 9-20-13: yes, we have GPS now!]
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:32 PM   #10
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Ok, I'm not going to quote the entire above, as I'm pretty sure any interested parties can scroll to it easily enough. What I will do is tell the other side of the story.

I think we can gloss over the first part of Shesaid's post fairly quickly, with just a few quick points:

1) It's true. I like to plan things.

2) It is also true that I like maps. Even though most of them are wrong.

3) Yes, I like to look at maps and do math.

4) I DID say that the road goes by Eshom campground, not to Eshom Campground.

Did you get all that? Good. There will be a short quiz later. In the meanwhile, the ride was going quite nicely up CA 245, past Mountain House, and on up Whitaker Forest rd. Until about here:


The intersection marked "A" was where we stopped and chatted, discussed progress, and just generally paused. This is where I took the lead, as we switch off from time to time. It's also the last time I saw Shesaid. I proceeded along the paved Whitaker Forest road, passing "B" and "C" and "D". Just after "D" I thought I'd pull over and wait, just to make sure she chose correctly at that intersection. I knew she'd be ok at "B", and "C" isn't even really there unless you're Google. So at this point, I've gone about 1.5 miles from where we were stopped, she should be right behind me. I'm just past the road to the campground, she should be able to see me, and hence the right road choice easily. But she never arrives. I get a little worried. I shut off my bike and listen. I can't hear any Wombat. My worry grows. I decide to turn back and look for her.

(insert later paragraph here)

I start to head back the way I came. At first just down to the creek (in the midst of the corner right after "C"). No Wombat. I ride back to where I was waiting. No Wombat. Of course there isn't, how could there be, she'd have had to go right by me, neither of us would fail to notice each other. So I go back. A little further now, a little past "C". No Wombat. I go further. All the way to "B". No Wombat. I turn around and go back to where I was. I turn down the road to the campground, maybe she went that way and I didn't see her? So I go down it just far enough to where it turns into dirt, and I can look for tracks. No Wombat tracks. So I go back to the main road. I turn off my bike. I take off my helmet. I listen. No Wombat.

(I'm getting pretty freaked out about now)

I spend what seems like an eternity trying to figure out a way I can ride without my helmet, so I can listen better. I ultimately determine that I cannot. I curse myself for wasting those 14 seconds. I go back the way I came. Past "C". Past "B". All the way back to "A". No Wombat. I go back to "B". "B" is a dirt road, maybe... But no Wombat tracks go down "B". At this point, I'm trying to steel myself for the conclusion that must await. She's gone off the road, crashing out into the forest. I begin to slowly head back towards "D". Bike off, coasting. Honking the horn at regular intervals. Watching the shoulders for any sign that a motorcycle has gone off the road. Listening for cries of help. Nothing.

I find myself just past the creek, where the road begins to go uphill again. I'm trying to decide what to do. Uphill coasting isn't as easy. How many times do I go back and forth over the mile, mile and a half of road? Do I go off in search of help? Do I proceed on foot? Would now be a good time to find one or more gods?

About this time a small pickup approaches. A beat up old mini truck, the type where you could actually pull off that move where you act like you meant to shift, but put your hand on a girls knee instead. Except this pickup doesn't have awkward teens in it. It has foothill people in it. And a lot of empty Skoal cans. I flag them down. I ask them if they've seen a girl on a bike.

The driver asks "Bicycle?"

I say no, a motorcycle, like this one, but white, and smaller. The driver begins to think it over.

The passenger says "No. Nuh-uh, ain't seen any motorcycles".

The driver thinks a bit more. Finally he asks me, "Like a girl in a silver suit riding a motorcycle like that?"

I say yes.

He says "yeah, we seen her, quite a ways back, musta been like 20 minutes ago (turns to the passenger) How long ago did we see that girl on the bike?" Passenger says "No, nuh-uh." The driver turns back to me and says "She's way ahead of y'all."

(at this point I'm doing all I can to keep from reaching through the window, grabbing him and shaking him while screaming "WOULD YOU FUCKING FOCUS YOU DRUNKEN FUCKING HILLBILLY!! WHERE THE FUCK WAS SHE!)

I say, "But you saw her, she's upright, riding, on two wheels?"

He says "Yeah, but she's way up there."

I say that's fine, thank you blah, blah, blah, and I take off. Shortly down the road I slow down, as the logical part of my brain manages to convince the rest of me that outriding my skills in an effort to find Shesaid isn't going to help anyone (which frees up the logical part of my brain to wonder just how she managed to get AHEAD of me!). Nevertheless, I make good time. Once I'm on the part of Whitaker Forest road that is dirt, I can see Wombat tracks. Things are looking up.

I make it up to the top "F" on the following map, and I still haven't found her. But I'm still feeling good, I know where to look now. So after a quick check of the bathrooms across the highway (she is after all, a woman), I take off towards Big Meadows. Still struggling a bit to restrain myself, I manage not to pass an RV that's only doing the 35mph limit through the curves. I make it to the turn "G", start down the road to Big Meadows, when I spot Shesaid heading my way.

That about sums it up from my perspective. It was pretty scary. The feeling of helplessness, with the dread that the helplessness will only be replaced by something worse... Not my favorite feeling. On the plus side, I did get some experience riding faster on dirt. The adrenaline pretty much washed it right out of my memory, so I'm not sure I can say I learned a lot, but at least I know it is possible, and I can do it. Now, remember the missing paragraph up there? Here it is now, those few brief moments reconstructed by the two of us:

Shortly after we started moving again after out stop, Shesaid got a bug inside her helmet, and into her eye. So she stopped to get the bug out. This caused her to be unusually delayed, so when I stopped for her to catch up, she wasn't there in a normal amount of time. No here's the part we can't believe actually happened, and doubt we'd be able to do again if we tried. She comes up the road to just before where I'm stopped waiting, but doesn't see me by the side of the main road. She makes the wrong turn into the campground (but not far enough into the campground to where the road turns to dirt...). Meanwhile, I'm looking the wrong way while starting my bike and turning around, so I don't see her turn into the campground. I head back the way we came, while she figures out that she's made the wrong turn, and heads back out onto the Whitaker Forest road. Now, we're both on Whitaker Forest, but she's no longer behind me, but ahead. And widening the gap all the while, as I pace back and forth thinking she must be back here somewhere, I know she never passed me!

Much like her story says, we went on to look for PotentialScat and his wife, rested at their camp for a while, before we set off towards Hume Lake. We took a long way there, with plenty of it unpaved, up past the Buck Rock Lookout, before winding our way back to Quail Flat. From there down Ten Mile road to Hume, all of it a nice relaxing ride, with no one getting lost. The day ended up being quite nice, we met Scat, his wife, and another ADV'er (Piedralone I think?), had lunch, got gas, and had a nice ride home. Right back down the same road. Comparison of odometers revealed that I managed to go six miles back and forth from "A" to "E". And, or course, I ordered the Rino's.


DR Feelgood , Tipsy Wombat, Pinkfoot, FatCat, and how they got their names: What the hell is a wombat? And now, the tales of their adventures.

Hesaid screwed with this post 02-09-2014 at 09:44 PM
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:57 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=And, or course, I ordered the Rino's. [/QUOTE]

Oh. They're "RINOS" not "rhinos?" I always wondered why Garmin named them after rhinoceri.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:51 PM   #12
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The Devil's Driveway 7-6-13

This may be our first trip where I was feeling good and having fun. Since the lost on Whitaker Forest Road trip, we have GPS Garmin Rhino 655Ts and fancy mounts for them. Now I can see how far off my odometer is! Which kinda makes me sad-- now I know that when the Wombat's speedo says 55mph, I'm really only going 48.

Meanwhile, the Wombat got it's first oil change (yes, that's me. In our 120 degree garage, learning to change my oil) and I have been learning that the TW will actually go faster than 55 mph. Not much faster, but faster. And I don't have to worry much about the scary-looking red line on the speedometer that begins at the 55 mph mark. So that's a relief.

The Whitaker Forest Road was less scary this time, with Hesaid sticking close and making sure we didn't get seperated.
We had a leisurely, uneventful afternoon, winding through Big Meadows (Sequoia Nat'l Forest) and down the Generals' Highway to Stony Creek Lodge for gas and lunch.

I was having a pleasant day and enjoying the riding, until Hesaid said "Let's check the Berry Patch on our way home." (If you can read that in one of those haunting, ominous, echo-y sound effects, that'd be great.)

"Checking the Berry Patch" meant going back the way we'd come-- Whitaker Forest Road. I like going up so much better than going down.

It then meant riding all the way out, past Sierra Glen, and back to Hwy 245 in Badger, hanging a right and riding all the way to Hwy 180, turning on the Mackenzie Ridge road and following it to the infamous Berry Patch-- which is, as indicated, a berry patch. Several acres of free-range, wild blackberry vines growing along the outskirts of the national forest.

The berries are fair game (as long as you don't sell them) and we visit yearly to put some pie filling in the freezer. The berries grow along and around a natural spring that runs year-round (at least, during years when the water table remains high enough) and we usually bring the dogs along... who think the berries are stupid, but who think the mud puddles are great.

The option to simply ride along the Generals' Hwy and down Hwy 180 seemed more appealing, except for the part where I would be in the way of faster traffic trying to fly down Hwy 180: The Wombat can hang with the flow of traffic, but I can't...yet.

So the traffic-free but terrifyingly bumpy dirt road won the coin toss.

We made it down Whitaker Forest Road without incident-- other than I think Hesaid wanted to yell at me to put in 2nd gear and GO FASTER! I make him crazy with how slow I go. He's so worried that I'm on the verge of instability at the snail's pace I travel, but I can only assure him that I feel very secure. I understand the reality of gyroscopic stability, but I really am just fine, if slow. And I'll pick up speed with time and practice.

We hit pavement and were headed toward Sierra Glen when Hesaid stopped and sent me (ME?!) to explore "Forest Service Road 14S43" ... well hell, I think that's the right number. I can't keep them all straight.

All I know is that somehow it was my job to turn off the nice, smooth, happy paved road and head up a slight incline, through some sand and dry, slippery dirt and then report back if that route was "a good idea."

Well hell no! it's not a good idea! I just barely managed to live through my second trip on that stupid Whitaker Forest road and I don't feel like pushing my luck by spending the next several hours of my life trying to explore some lonely, rutted-up Forestry service road that no one has been on since the first snow of last winter! Do you remember how you promised me we weren't getting dirt bikes?! How you promised me that you didn't want to do a lot of dirt riding either? That you just thought dual sports were the best idea just in case we (you) wanted to explore an unpaved road now and then?! Do you see how you insist on taking every single #*@!#*!! DIRT-freakin road you find?!! Explain to me how this is not riding on dirt? This is just like the damned canoe.

...and that's what was going through my mind as I turned off the nice, smooth, happy paved road to head up the slight incline, through the sand and dry, slippery dirt to check out the possibility of taking this alternate (DIRT!) route.

Then I reported back. He's just lucky that, at this point in my riding experience, I'm more afraid of being in the way of traffic than I am of falling over at 8 miles an hour on a traffic-free dirt(!) road.

So we started up Forest Service road 14S43... or some such similar number.

Hesaid periodically stopped to check the maps-- he needed something to do with his time while he waited for me to catch up. We took a turn here, a spur there, and then he insisted that the left-hand fork with the open gate that looked like the obvious choice for the more traveled way was-- naturally-- not the way we wanted to go to get the-- he promised me!-- paved road.

So he started up the steep, rocky, not-travelled-since-pioneers-settled-the-valley, right-hand fork of the road. I stayed put. He said he was "scouting" that route, I'll put it in gear and start praying when he tells me I have to.

He never came back.

I waited and waited.

I figure I'd better get going.

I started up the road. It was narrower than the previous road, covered in sharp rocks and dry leaves, and offered a delightfully terrifying view to the immediate left, directly off the sheer cliff that marked the edge of the road.

This was not what I had in mind when I agreed to get motorcycles! But then, frankly, none of our experience has been what I had in mind when I agreed to get motorcycles. Why should I seem surprised now?

I caught up to Hesaid and we continued on the upward path. It eventually turned a corner and offered less opportunity to fall off a cliff. And then....


Yeah yeah... it's a cattle gaurd. I know that. But I'd never seen this type of gaurd before. I came to a stop about 25 feet in front of it. I eyed it suspiciously. I was pretty sure I could go right over it as long as I hit it straight on and kept my feet on the pegs. Just like going up the dirt roads, aim straight, steady on the throttle.... but, ummmm, maybe there's a way around it?

As I sat there astride the Wombat, trying to psyche myself up into crossing that sinister mass of malicious metal tubes, Hesaid gassed his bike and headed straight for it.

And then I saw what it did as he crossed it! Oh HELL no! Seriously! What's up with that?

As the DR crossed the cattle gaurd, the hinged portions of the ramp bent and bucked in a wave pattern that kicked the ass-end of Dr. Feelgood (I told you that's the DR's name, right?) up and off as the bike made its way across.

Hesaid got to the other side safely, if a tad shaken and confused. He parked the bike and walked back to see just what the heck had just happened.

Meanwhile, I sat on the Wombat and tried to convince myself that now that I knew it was going to do that, I could totally prepare for it and it wouldn't be nearly as scary as the look on Hesaid's face said it would be.

I was either going to have to cross that cattle guard from hell, or I was going to have go back the way I'd come up. And Hesaid was not volunteering to go back over that cattle guard!

That's when Hesaid took a moment to inspect the barbed-wire fence that connected to the cattle gaurd. "Connected" isn't quite the right word as the post that the wire was connected to was actually just leaned against the side of the cattle guard and was easily moved aside.

Whew. (Hesaid has a thread about the cattle guard here.)

This route had, indeed, lead to a paved road. But that road was freakishly narrow and utterly covered with dry leaves and pine needles from the trees that completely obscured the sky over the road. The road wound around the side of a mountain and made me think there was probably a haunted castle at the top of the mountain.

The leaves were slippery, the road underneath them was bubbled and broken from weather and tree roots running under it and had huge pot holes hiding here and there under the leaves. And, of course, the "shoulder" of the road was 2000 foot drop off a sheer cliff.

I don't think the road had seen traffic since the previous autumn, but I ascended in fear of an unsuspecting car meeting me around a blind corner.

And the road went on...and on... and on. It just wound around and around and around the mountain-- and why are we going up?! The road we want to connect to is downhill from here!

By the time we made it to the end of the road where it connected to Hwy 180, I had dubbed it "the Devil's Driveway" and I did not care at all about holding up speeding downhill traffic on Hwy 180! I was just glad I got to ride on a nice, wide, even, road!

By the time we made it to our turn off for the Berry Patch, I had collected my wits about me once more and was feeling good. Feeling like I was back on familiar turf and from here on out, the riding shouldn't be too challenging.

Oh my! I never realized this was a gravel road. GAH!

But the gravel isn't deep, just enough to make me nervous. It's hard to employ that "lean back and throttle on" method while headed downhill. At least, it is for me at this point in my riding experience. But all went as well as could be expected and we made it to the famed Berry Patch to check on this year's progress.

It's been a dry year, the spring isn't running strong and Parker's favorite mudhole is dry.

The berries still have a long way to go before we need to worry about coming up for a day of picking.

Time to head home, via the famed Hwy 245. I think I actually take the twisties better when I'm exhausted-- too tired to overthink the technical aspect.

We made it home safe and sound, parked the bikes in the garage and made a beeline for the beer, without even bothering to note how many miles we'd traveled.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:14 PM   #13
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There are some things I could mention about that last report... Some, shall we say, exaggerations?

But I rode my bike today. And there are about two hours until the sun goes down, so...

(how do I type the not quite Braaappp sound of a stock DR650 exhaust?)

DR Feelgood , Tipsy Wombat, Pinkfoot, FatCat, and how they got their names: What the hell is a wombat? And now, the tales of their adventures.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:32 AM   #14
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Pretty riding area. Love the dog's in the mud.
For the record, I hate snakes!

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Old 09-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #15
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Location: Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
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Cool adventure, a little bit of everything, even the family dog.
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