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Old Yesterday, 04:00 PM   #1
1200gsceej OP
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Location: San Francisco Peninsula
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My 4500 mile National Park triangle

The original plan had been to spend June riding to Alaska, then return through Glacier, Yellowstone, and Rocky Mountain Parks to join my family at camp in the Rockies near Granby, CO in the second week of July. But things came up in the latter half of June - circumstances change and plans need to be altered. In addition I had a brand new helmet and seat, neither of which had been broken in. So I rescheduled my trip to leave July 4th for Colorado via Yosemite (CA 120) and Zion (UT 9), then come home via Yellowstone Park (Chief Joseph Highway and Beartooth Pass) and Glacier Park (Going To The Sun Road). I took over 1200 photos, scores of which are, IMHO, pretty damn good. So here goes. I hope you enjoy.


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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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Old Yesterday, 04:45 PM   #2
1200gsceej OP
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20140704-Day1-Home-to-BishopCA

My goal the first day was Bishop, CA.


I headed east from the Bay Area to CA120 across Yosemite. I love this road. And even though it was July 4th, the traffic and people were reasonable. I swung by White Wolf, discovered by Ol’ Badger many years ago on one of our first trips to Mammoth Lakes. But they just have snacks now at mid-day. Even so, it is a nice rest stop along the way. I always stop at Olmstead Point and look down the valley at Clouds Rest and Half Dome. The majesty of the mountains and the extent of the exposed granite batholith domes never fails to delight and awe me. This time I climbed the rocks on the opposite (north) side of the road to see what was there. The road at Tuolumne Meadows and the Lake were crowded. But the blue sky set off the lake and the patches of snow still remaining high above the pass.


Then down, down, down the eastern escarpment for gas at the Mobile station where CA 120 meets US 395. It was there many years ago, during that first trip across the pass in my GS that I made the worried call to my BMW dealer to find out what was wrong with my breaks and why I had a flashing red light. How little I knew then (and not much more now, either).

US 395 through the Owens Valley is a beautiful ride sweeping down between 12,000+ foot mountains to the west and 10,000+ foot mountains to the east. I took the back/scenic road to Mammoth Lakes for another break at the Looney Bean coffee shop. Given that it was my first day out, I was surprised at how relaxed and seemingly unhurried I was. It portends well for the trip. US 395 continues its descent into Bishop, going from 7500’ to about 3500’ in one long 8 mile grade. The temperature went up 20 degrees F, so a shower was quite welcome.

Had dinner at Jack’s Waffle House, Bakery and Restaurant - a local institution. I think everyone > 60 for miles around was there. Probably because of the big fireworks display that was scheduled for that evening. Alas, I was too sleepy and tired of riding to stay up and watch it.

Photos to be attached.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post Yesterday at 04:51 PM
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Old Yesterday, 05:19 PM   #3
bluestar
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Over 1200 pix? I never seem to take enough tho on my last little 8 day road trip, I did manage almost 500. Waiting patiently to see yours.
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Old Today, 09:54 AM   #4
1200gsceej OP
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Day 1 Photos

Not going to post all 1200 photos! Ol' Badger is constantly reminding me that I need to cull the pile and pull out the ones that are striking and the ones that tell the story. This has been a constant struggle for me. I'll appreciate knowing how you think I did.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

This is me and the horse about ready to leave.



When I first saw this reservoir many years ago, the water was “up near” the roadbed.





RIM Fire of last year – visible along long stretches of CA 120







But once into Yosemite it was beautiful



Olmstead Point is not far ahead.





Climbing up the side opposite the lookout.



Life finds a way …





Half Dome in the distance



Scenes of Bishop





And I'll leave you with this one ...

__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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Old Today, 10:37 AM   #5
1200gsceej OP
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20140705-Day2-Bishop-to-StGeorgeUT

Today’s plan is to get to St. George, UT. So I was up and on the road by 6:15 a.m.


Going east from Big Pine was fun, even with the sun in my eyes. No time for the Ancient Bristlecone Pines this time. Ol’ Badger and I went there in that long ago trip. Rode the bikes up to 10,000 feet along the narrow winding road. There are individual trees from 1000 to 4000 (or more) years old. Not like the stands of Aspen which can also be 1000s of years old, not an individual tree but the entire organism. I’d like to go back again and take one of the longer hikes through the less accessible groves.

The stretch of road from Big Pine to US 95 I did in the other direction on my way back from the BMW Ride to the Guggenheim in Las Vegas in 2001. Hard to believe that it was just after 9/11. I was riding a rented HD (Heritage soft-tail?) during the time I was trying to decide what to buy and move up from my Honda 650 Nighthawk. I did the ride with a group from the BMW dealer in Watsonville – all of them on BMWs or Ducati’s. But that is another story.

Anyway, the beginning of the road is like Sidewinder Snake meets Roller Coaster dipsey-doodle! Tight curves one after another mixed in with ups and downs. As you approached a crest or rounded a turn, you could not tell which way the road was going to go. Then there were the many-miles-long slalom runs down canyon after canyon. Finally over a pass and into Nevada – high flat desert with signs of “Flooding …”. Another pass and down again to 2000’ and the temp went up. Ahead was a long, straight, flat stretch leading to US 95. I remembered this. When the BMW ride group I was with got to that turn off 95 they all immediately cranked it up and I was left in the dust! Even trying to push the HD up to 90 they were soon out of sight. This time it was just me, and since I’ve not let the horse run free very often, I let him go. A wonderful smooth hum from the engine, a low roar of wind around the new helmet, steady solid tracking, 110, 115, 120, … Peaceful and terrifying at the same time.

US 95 and I-15 brought me back to reality. Hot straight highway. I set it on 80, screwed in the throttle lock, and turned on some tunes. The new helmet is much quieter. Skirted the north of Las Vegas. Then I-15 which was not a wind tunnel as my last trip there. The road goes through a nice gorge as you leave Arizona and enter Utah. The temp in St. George said 101 – I wonder what it was back in the desert.

I got there early enough that this was going to be a movie and steak night! Cleaned up, then sawTom Cruise in The Edge of Tomorrow. It was Groundhog Day meets War of the Worlds! But entertaining. When I came out half the sky was dark grey and moving in fast. I had no gear but my helmet. The steak would have to wait. I got a sandwich to go and just made it back to the motel before the sky opened up.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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Old Today, 10:55 AM   #6
1200gsceej OP
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Day 2 Photos

A dearth of photos today. I did not realize. Second day out – had the ‘move on’ switch set. Although it was difficult during the first part of today's ride – there were few places that I *could* stop to take a photo. And the second part of the trip was on US 95 and I-15, and not much interesting there. Hot, too!

Leaving Bishop



At the Big Pine turnoff



The high Nevada desert.

__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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Old Today, 12:14 PM   #7
1200gsceej OP
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20140706-Day3-StGeorge-to-CortezCO

Today’s ride would take me through Zion and northern Arizona.



This was my first trip through Zion west-to-east. It would be in the early morning – not mid-day or afternoon when the sun is much harsher. I was looking forward to the golden light and shadows. I was not disappointed.

The sun was again right in my eyes as I started out. But as I approached the Park, there were high white clouds that provided some respite, as well as interesting shadows on the landscape. I spent more than an hour riding, stopping, riding, walking, riding, stopping. When Ol’ Badger and I were first here we spent hours; took the shuttle bus up the north canyon and did several hikes along creeks. There are some cliff hikes that I would like to do someday as well. I had breakfast again at the Thunderbird Restaurant in Mt. Carmel Junction (there is a story that goes along with their sign). My second time here at a relaxing spot in the ride.

Ol' Badger and I talked about Zion over lunch yesterday. We both agree that if you have a choice, the drama is greater if you do Zion east to west. But regardless of which way you go, do go.

US 89 is dull for a ways past Kanab, straight and flat and open, but then it gets green and interesting as it enters Escalante. I stopped at a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) information station in Big Water. Never come across on of them before. National park and monument visitor centers, national forest information centers, but never a BLM one. Pretty much the same inside – info desk, maps, brochures, an assortment of tourist stuff. But the charts and relief maps on the wall were great. I’d never seen or thought about Escalante from the south.

Next stop was Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam. Never been here. Closest before was Lee’s Ferry, downriver from Page, where we put in for our raft trip through the Grand Canyon last Sept. I actually worked on the design/construction of a dam, back in my hard-engineering days - the Bullards Bar dam on the North Fork of the Yuba River. There is something about having built something that will ‘live on’ after you die…

At Glen Canyon dam I met Jim from Minnesota. He had ridden 9000 miles since having left there in April. Already done the CA coast. Lots of camping. I did not get a photo. I was surprisingly lax in asking and taking photos of the folks I met along the way on this trip. Perhaps I was more engaged in actually talking to them instead of recording their image. Still, I wish I had done both. I did get a photo of his bike:



The water level is down 90 feet and the basin is at 52% capacity. Level is going up about 6” a day – it had been a foot a day a month ago but was tapering off and would soon start retreating. Still woefully below its expected carrying capacity.

The Navajo Nation stretches east from Page all the way to Cortez; I would be riding through it for the rest of the day. Parts are nice. But much is flat and featureless for miles upon miles. East of Kayenta the surface is essentially a huge block of tilted sandstone. You can see the layers in portions that are exposed. Yet the land is essentially worn flat. Ever since the Grand Canyon river trip I had wondered how the rock surfaces could appear to be so flat between layers. Here was a real life geological example. How did it happen?



I stopped at the 4 Corners Monument. I had been here before in the '60s. I recall that there was a round dais, the roadway off the main highway encircled it, with two intersecting lines and the state abbreviations in the four quadrants. I do not recall an entrance (but why should I). Nor very many people (it was really pretty isolated ‘back in the day’). But now there was a dirt parking lot full of cars and RVs, and benches for seating, and raised platforms for better photo taking, and a line of people waiting to be in four places at once. There were booths in four arcs at the perimeter where merchants could display and sell their wares. Most were empty. (Ah, I did find this: "The current monument complex was constructed in 1992" some 25 years after my prior visit)







It turns out that like other state boundaries, there has been come controversy about the location of 4 Corners. I found this interesting. It seems that at some point the Supreme Court declared, irrespective of the wording in the statutes that defined the boundaries, that the location of the monument is the official boundary of the four states.

Finally to Cortez, the motel, and a good meal at Jimmers BBQ where I recorded these thoughts of the day.

Today's photos will be posted when time permits.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post Today at 01:13 PM
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Old Today, 01:40 PM   #8
2wingdoc05
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very nice!!! love the pics!!
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Old Today, 04:43 PM   #9
Questor
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This seems like a really nice route for a trip.
Some of the best National Parks in the best parts of the country.
"IN".

Q~
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Old Today, 06:21 PM   #10
Ladybug0048
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Keep those picture coming, I like them.
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Old Today, 06:32 PM   #11
bluestar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladybug0048 View Post
Keep those picture coming, I like them.
Same here. You're off to a real good start.
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Two lane blacktop isn't a highway, it's an attitude.
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