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Old 10-02-2013, 02:03 PM   #16
Hesaid
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Why does the government have to shut down on a weekend when we already have plans?! We love our local mountains, but so much of them are National Park, which means crowded, a bit heavy handed with the rules, and fees to get in/out... But the roads are so nice. We could be riding through very uncrowded parks this weekend, if we didn't have other plans. There are areas of private and National Forest inside the park boundaries, so they can't close it completely, and besides, there are other ways in (which is why we have dualsports). And with nice fall weather to boot.

But I digress, yes, the local areas are nice, and both the two of us, and the two dogs like to partake. Except for that goofy cattle guard. We can all pass on that.

MV
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:34 PM   #17
Ladybug0048
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This is proving to be a fun ride report. I'm looking forward to more and watching how the two of you progress as time goes by. Are you the next Wans?
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:45 PM   #18
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I'm here to assure who ever might occasionally wander through (or actually subscribes) to this thread that I have abandoned neither the thread nor the bikes!

We've been extraordinarily busy, and writing about our travels takes more time than I've had to dedicate to the task.

I still have a handful of reports from earlier this summer to put together, as well as catch up with the most recent rides.

I even have VIDEO to share-- Be afraid, be very afraid... like most of YouTube, it's really pretty boring to everyone but my parents. But still-- I figured out how to edit the darn stuff and upload it, so I WILL be sharing it!

But right now, I have to drink a beer and make some chicken wings and talk to Hesaid about how great our ride was today... I promise to come back and talk to you about it too!

Here's a fun picture from the collection to show that we're really still out there.


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Old 10-21-2013, 09:49 PM   #19
Hesaid
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Not to jump the queue, but a few pics from yesterday's ride:

Shesaid and her Wombat


Who wouldn't want to explore roads like these?



Now I need to figure out how to share GPX files of the actual ride. I suppose I'll need to host them somewhere, or upload them to a site that allows linking/sharing. Anyone know of a trusted site?

MV
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:05 PM   #20
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It Ain't No GoPro

Try as I might, I cannot find any of the clips from our first attempt at doing ride video. This is nothing but GOOD for YOU, however! since Hesaid somehow convinced me that it would be worth a try to mount the camera to the number plate of the Wombat...

I desperately wanted to post about 15 seconds worth of that video! I figured 15 seconds would be enough to show you what a BAD idea that was while not being quite enough time to induce a seizure.

As it is, no need to take Dramamine before watching any video I might post.

The Great Video Experiment started innocently enough-- everybody else has video of their rides and we were a little jealous. But the price tag on a new GoPro camera interfered too much with all the other $400 farkles on our want list, and the more GoPro footage I watched, the more convinced I became that there were probably better action cameras available that didn't have the amazing marketing behind them that GoPro does.

So, while research into that theory commenced, so did some good old-fashioned ingenuity in the making-do department: every digital camera-- including my cell phone-- that I own, takes video. Why do I need a fancy action camera? All I need is a way to mount my regular point and shoot to the bike in order to get some usable snippets of video to show dear old Mom and Pop-- right?

So some time in the garage with the Wombat, the little waterproof Fuji camera, and a roll of duct tape, and I was ready to sit down in front of the Internet and get serious about finding a good mounting device for these purposes.

Voila! My Fat Gecko mount! For $20 and the patience to wait two days, I had myself a Fat Gecko mini mount that claimed to have a suction cup strong enough to hold a camera up to 4 pounds to pretty much any sort of surface-- even one that's curved, like the gas tank of the TW.

The little Fuji camera will record up to 30 minutes of video at a time until either the batterie goes dead or I run out of memory on the SD card. All I have to do is remember to reach down and start recording again.

Once I had several gigabytes of boring video (and Hesaid told me "We don't need a 2 terabyte hard drive" when I ordered the new computer last year! HA!) with Hesaid hounding me about making it into something worth watching (HA! again,) I finally sat down with the video editing thing and figured out how it works.

Hesaid is pretty sure everyone who knows I'm riding a TW will suspect that I sped up the video a tad.

Here's a highly edited version of our "Epic Ride" from the Chevron station on Bridge and Mineral King (which has become our #1 starting point) up to "The Berry Patch" and down Davis Road, around Pine Flat Lake-- well, the battery died shortly before we got to the lake. So you won't get to see the whole ride, even in high speed. But I'm going to get to work on the ride report for that ride next, so you WILL get to READ about it!

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Old 10-24-2013, 08:39 AM   #21
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Yep, my TW don't go that fast unless it's on video too

Who needs a GoPro.

You done good with the video.

Legends of country music was qwerkie, just like I lik'em.

Nice job, hope you do more video. Really does enhance the picture's...or vice versa.
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:24 PM   #22
Shesaid OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdmiral View Post
Yep, my TW don't go that fast unless it's on video too

Who needs a GoPro.

You done good with the video.

Legends of country music was qwerkie, just like I lik'em.

Nice job, hope you do more video. Really does enhance the picture's...or vice versa.

You ain't heard "qwerkie" yet! The only one's who appreciate my taste in music are the members of the Country Bear Jamboree. I like making the videos just for the opportunity to showcase my ridiculous music collection.
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:14 PM   #23
Ladybug0048
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I like the video and the music.

More please
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:59 AM   #24
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yea! More music. And let's see how that mount does in the rough stuff.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:25 PM   #25
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The "Epic" Ride 8-17-13

Back when Hesaid was trying to talk me into dual sports and out of a nice, cushy, super sexy cruiser, he was very fond of suggesting that we could "go down the Berry Patch road all the way to the Kings River."

It would probably be comical to anyone outside of our relationship to think of this suggestion as one that would convince me that I would want a dual sport bike: while I loved putting my Jeep Cherokee into 4 low, the idea of riding a freakin bike (motorized or not) down that stupid, rutted-up gravelly road did not appeal to me.

CCXB-MT-BALDY-044


In fact, the more Hesaid tried to lure me into some romantic notion of dual sporting based on this route, the more I wanted to not own a motorcycle at all, and kinda didn't want a Hesaid either.

Conversations leading up to the purchase of our motorcycles tended to go a lot like this:

Hesaid: "Bikes. Bikes, bikes, bikes...when are we getting bikes? We could get bikes, y'know. If we had bikes, we could be riding bikes."

Shesaid: "I'm still making car payments. I'm in no position financially to buy a motorcycle right now. Wait till February when the car is paid off."

Hesaid: "SQUEEEEEEEEEK... but BIKES! And then we could ride bikes and we could go places on bikes!"

Shesaid: "LOOK! I said I'm not buying a motorcycle right now! So if it's that important to you to have motorcycles, then you will have to buy them both!"

A few days later....

Hesaid: "blah blah blah blah blah blah"

Shesaid: "Yeah. Ok. Whatever you just said."

Hesaid: "...and then we could take them down the berry patch road all the way to the Kings River."

Shesaid: "???? !!!! Uhhh... that doesn't sound like fun at all."

A few more days later....

Hesaid: "...and we could take them up to Millwood and ride around all those roads...and we could take them to the desert... and we could take them..."

Shesaid: "I don't want a dirt bike."

Hesaid: "I don't either... and then we could take them on another dirt road to another place that has dirt roads..."

Shesaid: "See how every ride you want to go on is on a freakin DIRT road?! I don't want a DIRT bike!"

Hesaid: "I don't understand why you think I want a dirt bike?... Then we could go up that dirt road the back way to Dinkey Creek and explore those dirt roads around that area..."

Shesaid: "I DO NOT WANT A DIRT BIKE!"

081713-davis-rd-(4)

A few more days later....

Hesaid: "Blah blah blah blah blah blah."

Shesaid: "Ok. yeah. Whatever you just said."

Next thing I know, Hesaid is dragging me to the local dealerships and making me sit on bikes. Which he tended not to warn me we were going to do before we left the house, so 9 times out of 10 I got to try to sit on bikes that were invariably too tall for me while wearing a skirt and sandals.

At some point, it ocurred to me that he probably wasn't actually saying "blah blah blah" all the time, but was probably rattling off bike makes and models and their specifications.

I became the dubious owner of a 2012 Suzuki DR650SE... partly because it was the only bike on Hesaid's list of contenders that I could even touch the ground on. Partly because Hesaid works next door to the Suzuki dealer and had to stare at the DR650 they had in inventory every single day.

At some point, we did have a sit down, knock down/drag out, "talk" about why I might be under the impression that HE was more interested in a dirt bike than he claimed, and he assured me that he was actually interested in staying on the pavement more than not... he just wanted the "option" of being able to "explore" whatever road he might come across because he "knows" himself and knows that he will take whatever bike he has down whatever road he sees and doesn't want to destroy a less capable bike by doing so.

I fell for it. Just like I fell for it when he "assured" me that he didn't actually want to take the canoe on white water.

After-the-Roll

Well...the DR ended up not being my motorcycle soul mate. So, once the orthopedist cleared me to get back on the bike, I went out and got the Wombat. We've been happy together ever since.

And so it was-- several months and some 1500 miles later-- one summer day after picking wild black berries at the infamous berry patch, as Hesaid's parents bid us farewell and asked what route we were planning on taking home, that I heard a voice that sounded much like my own, agreeing to "take the berry patch road all the way to the King's River."

WTF? Who just said that?

Well. By this point, I'd put some unpaved miles under my belt and already survived the solo lost trip up Whitaker Forest research road-- I figured Davis Road (the offical berry patch road name) was a cinch at this point.

081713-davis-rd-(23)

And it really was. But then, most roads aren't too challenging when you're only going 8 miles an hour. (I love that TW)
So we made it down to the Kings River and stopped to hike down to the water to dunk shirts for some "air conditioning" since it was August and still very hot.

[imagine photo of us at the Kings River here-- Hesaid doesn't take pix like I do and I was using the camera for video, so you'll have to imagine a lot of pix in this RR]

Then we crossed the bridge-- oh yay! My first metal grate bridge. Oh so NOT fun! It felt like the knobbies on the front tire lined up just perfectly with the pattern of the grate as I gingerly inched across it-- to the other side of the river and began the ride around Pine Flat Lake.

[insert imaginery photo of scary bridge]

By this point, it had been a very long day already. We'd already ridden the bikes up to the berry patch in the morning to pick berries with Hesaid's folks. Then those 12 miles of Davis Road from the Berry Patch to the river took another hour of terrified, white-knuckled Mr. Toad's Wild Ride deathwish riding at a pace barely faster than I could have hiked it before we began the leisurely ride toward home.

In 100+ degree heat.

I was pretty tired.

Oh yeah... and I am still riding on a permit, don't have my Motorcycle endorsement yet. Which means, I have to get home before dark... and I have a 1.8 gallon gas tank with what appears to be about a 130 mile range based on what has proven to be our average ride.

It's a looong way around Pine Flat Lake.

Not that California has many "big" lakes, but Pine Flat is very fingery (I'm sure it's a real word.) So the road that circles it has to wind in and out of all those fingers.

the Epic ride

It should be a motorcyclist's dream. All those twisties.

And I'm getting better at twisties, but I just wanted to go home at this point. But the road just kept going and going and going! I was a quarter of the way around the lake, with Robert Earl Keen's "The Road Goes on Forever" stuck on repeat in my head when I finally just pulled over.

This always weirds Hesaid out. He always seems a little concerned, like he's worried I pulled over because I have to throw up or because I'm having an aneurism or something. But I just needed to get off the bike for a minute. Stretch my legs, get something to drink, have a snack, wait for my brain to wake back up.

The Wombat isn't the smoothest ride, I don't know if it's the vibration, the white noise of wind around my helmet, just the aloneness of riding (which I really love,) but every so often I feel like my brain has gone to sleep.

The problem with this particular break was that it was getting late. The sun was starting to dip behind the hills and we're on that whole "Shesaid has to be home before dark" permit schedule.

But I drank some water and had some beef jerky and generally wandered around getting the circulation back in my brain anyway.

I was feeling much better when I hopped back on the Wombat and started leaning into those twisties again... except for the concern over my gas tank.

We agreed that the marina at the lake was unlikely to let us fill up the bikes, so we continued on in the circuitous path around the lake. There used to be a little store down the hill from the dam that had a couple of gas pumps, but the store closed a few years back. I haven't been up this way for quite awhile though, so I found myself hoping that someone new had reopened the little store and I would come around the bend and see the store open, complete with gas, any minute...
Alas, when that bend was rounded, there sat the defunct little store-- complete with gas pumps still roped off with yellow caution tape.

[insert imaginary photo of the closed store]

*sigh*

Nothing to do but keep riding.

And then it happened. All of a sudden, it was quiet. Just the gentle sounds of the wind around me and the wild life settling in as the shadows lengthened... ahhhhhh. Wait. What the?

Oh yeah. Out of gas.

So I casually coasted to the side of the road, set the tank to reserve, fired it back up and proceded to calculate how far I could go before being out for good.

We came to the sign that said Reedly was 18 miles in one direction vs Sanger which claimed to be 14 miles in the other direction, and set out for Sanger. We coasted into Sanger and filled both bikes to the brim. Then we took a moment and shared a Cherry Pepsi-- we deserved it. It'd been a long, hot day and who were we kidding? There was no hope of getting home before dark at this point.

So we finished our Pepsi, fired up the bikes and headed for home. Naturally, we arrived at the corner just outside of the gas station just in time for the red light. We sat patiently and, upon the green light, I zipped across the intersection, ready to get back on the open road and out of town...

Wait. Where's Hesaid?

I checked my review mirror. There he was, still at the traffic light, looking irritated. I turned into the store parking lot on my right to wait. I watched him restart Dr. Feelgood and start across the intersection, only to stall again. And again.
Eventually, he just walked the bike around the corner into the parking lot of the abandoned Jack in the Box. I came to join him and watched him repeat the process a few more times.

Now, Hesaid is a professional mechanic. And he's well-suited to his profession; he is mechanical by nature. He gets along better with mechanical things than with people. He just posesses an innate understanding of all things mechanical. Seriously-- I call him the Dr. House of cars. So, if there's something wrong with Dr. Feelgood, I know Hesaid will know what it is immediately and understand exactly how to fix it.

What Hesaid isn't very good at is MacGuyvering. Oh! He has the ability to throw a quick fix together in a pinch, but he doesn't like to. He's the anal retentive mechanic-- things need doing right.

I don't know if we'll ever be able to sell the house, store the belongings, and hit the open road for any long term adventures-- I read ride reports on ADV all the time and I just don't know if Hesaid will ever really get comfortable with some of the in-the-field repairwork techniques required to get back a bike back on the road again. *sigh*
So there he is, wearing a look of consternation, trying to get the DR restarted. But it keeps stalling.

So it was that I found myself sitting on the shut-down Wombat in an alley in Sanger as the sun went down (and if you've ever been in an alley in Sanger at sundown, quite frankly, I'm surprised you lived to tell about it) with Hesaid in his "mission man" mode-- all barking orders, snippy, and impatient (eye roll) telling me to call his parents and put them on notice that they may have to hitch up the trailer and come rescue us.

Then he asks me if I have a "piece of dowel." Yeah-- he seriously asked me if I had a piece of dowel. Really?

Have I mentioned that he gets all snippy and bossy when he's frustrated? He doesn't think he does. In fact, he doesn't even think he gets frustrated! I live with him, and I am here to testify that the man gets frustrated.

I was not so thrilled with having to take my helmet off in the alley in Sanger to call his parents. Who weren't home, so I left a message while Hesaid went foraging for a "piece of dowel."

Eventually, Hesaid returned with a broken plastic coat hanger, then he pulled out the trusty Leatherman and snipped off a portion. Then he discomboderated some little hoses, shoved the coat hanger piece into one of them, started up the bike and VROOM! VROOM! he was ready to get out of there.

I thought I should call his parents back to let them know that they don't have to wait by the phone in a panic for further rescue instructions, but Hesaid was having none of it. He was irritated at the interruption of our ride and did not appreciate that it was so late. He said his parents would figure it out... I felt bad for his mom.

But we hit the road. About 20 miles or so later, he pulled over to remove the piece of coat hanger and recombobulate his little hoses and then we headed home.

081713-davis-rd-(10)

Yeah. It was dark by this point.

It was SO AWESOME!

No more sun glaring in my eyes. It was cooler now and the night air was so pleasent (remember, this was back in August.) We were cruising down lonely country roads, by corn and cotton fields. I got to discover the difference between my low beam and my high beam. Aside from the constant splatter of bugs against my face shield... riding at night was AMAZING.

Which I guess I shouldn't be too surprised to discover how much I loved it as I also prefer driving at night. You know what? I prefer LIVING at night. Let's just leave it at that. But so many motorcyclists report that they try to avoid riding at night at all, even seasoned riders, so I guess I thought it was going to be really scary and nerve racking.

Instead, I hit my Zen cruising along in the cool country night air, while poor Hesaid was probably just getting more frazzled after his adventure-- he doesn't love riding at night. He doesn't love living at night. I think he's secretly afraid of the dark.

We coasted into the garage well past my riding-on-a-permit curfew. I was feeling pretty good and all excited about my after dark ride. Hesaid was looking a little beat up.

Hesaid declared this to be our "longest ride ever" despite the fact that those new GPS units claimed it was a full 10 miles less than our longest ride thus far.

As for what happened that stalled out Dr. Feelgood? Hesaid our undoing was that cherry Pepsi: After riding for so long on such an empty tank, then suddenly filling the tank up to the brim and starting up the motor, it allowed some spittle of liquid fuel to get into a line that doesn't breathe liquid fuel. So kinda like swallowing wrong and getting liquid down your air pipe-- the DR just couldn't breathe right. So Hesaid bypassed the windpipe that was choking until he'd used up a little gas and had some space in the tank for the liquid fuel to expand as vapors.

That's my “I'm not a mechanic and I'm trying to explain it to others who aren't mechanics” explanation.

Here's another video-- it's the same ride as the last video, but this one features the Davis Road portion a little less sped up with fewer edits.


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Old 10-26-2013, 01:29 PM   #26
Shesaid OP
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Almost Up to Date!

Coming soon will be the tales of the dropping temps! Brrrrrrrrr...but Hesaid says my Wombat doesn't have the electrical supply for heated gear. Whatever will I do?!
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...and of course I have a blog, doesn't everybody?
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:39 PM   #27
Hesaid
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Shesaid's last post will require some corrections, but no time for that now. We just got home from our longest ride to date.

234 miles
5 counties
3 fuel stops
2 tectonic plates

And we even saw an Interstate! Didn't get on it, but we saw one. Ok, one pic, and then we're off to beer and wings.



MV
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:04 PM   #28
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Ok, as I believe I mentioned, Shesaid's last post or so would require a few corrections. Lemme see now, where to begin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
Back when Hesaid was trying to talk me into dual sports and out of a nice, cushy, super sexy cruiser, he was very fond of suggesting that we could "go down the Berry Patch road all the way to the Kings River."...
down that stupid, rutted-up gravelly road did not appeal to me.
The road, 12S01 in the Sequoia National forest, the Davis Flat road, is almost never rutted. And only partially gravelly. Most of the time. Besides, what do ruts matter? When you only need a path of a few inches, all the road between the ruts is perfectly usable. Who wouldn't want to go down this road:



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
Hesaid: "Bikes. Bikes, bikes, bikes...when are we getting bikes? We could get bikes, y'know. If we had bikes, we could be riding bikes."

Shesaid: "I'm still making car payments. I'm in no position financially to buy a motorcycle right now. Wait till February when the car is paid off."

Hesaid: "SQUEEEEEEEEEK... but BIKES! And then we could ride bikes and we could go places on bikes!"

Shesaid: "LOOK! I said I'm not buying a motorcycle right now! So if it's that important to you to have motorcycles, then you will have to buy them both!"

A few days later....

Hesaid: "blah blah blah blah blah blah"

Shesaid: "Yeah. Ok. Whatever you just said."

Hesaid: "...and then we could take them down the berry patch road all the way to the Kings River."

Shesaid: "???? !!!! Uhhh... that doesn't sound like fun at all."

A few more days later....

Hesaid: "...and we could take them up to Millwood and ride around all those roads...and we could take them to the desert... and we could take them..."

Shesaid: "I don't want a dirt bike."

Hesaid: "I don't either... and then we could take them on another dirt road to another place that has dirt roads..."
Shesaid: "See how every ride you want to go on is on a freakin DIRT road?! I don't want a DIRT bike!"

Hesaid: "I don't understand why you think I want a dirt bike?... Then we could go up that dirt road the back way to Dinkey Creek and explore those dirt roads around that area..."

Shesaid: "I DO NOT WANT A DIRT BIKE!"

A few more days later....

Hesaid: "Blah blah blah blah blah blah."

Shesaid: "Ok. yeah. Whatever you just said."
For starters, I don't recall squeaking at all. While I might have muttered "blah" a time or two, it was nowhere near as often she makes it sound. While it is true that I like to travel the road less traveled, I don't quite consider that dirt biking. I tend to think of dirt biking as a riding style more than a description of the riding surface. Dirt biking involves sliding around corners, wheelies, jumps, climbing over logs, a bunch of stuff I'm not really interested in doing. But riding down a dirt road to a secluded campsite? Finding myself on the "other" side of a lake or canyon? A hilltop lookout with a view that most will never see? Those things, yes. If the road to get there is paved, fine, if not, I don't want to miss out. I think she mentions this in a bit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
he just wanted the "option" of being able to "explore" whatever road he might come across because he "knows" himself and knows that he will take whatever bike he has down whatever road he sees and doesn't want to destroy a less capable bike by doing so.
Yup. There it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
At some point, it ocurred to me that he probably wasn't actually saying "blah blah blah" all the time, but was probably rattling off bike makes and models and their specifications.
That sounds more like me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
I maintain we could have made it up those rapids. I think it was because it was so hot that day, and the heat was making the water less viscous, so it was flowing faster. Plus it wasn't offering us as much to paddle against, so... well... We could have done it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
Then we crossed the bridge-- oh yay! My first metal grate bridge. Oh so NOT fun! It felt like the knobbies on the front tire lined up just perfectly with the pattern of the grate as I gingerly inched across it-- to the other side of the river and began the ride around Pine Flat Lake.

[insert imaginery photo of scary bridge]
Ok. Can do. Pic blatantly stolen from JPaccassi:


And the river looks like this:

(thanks again to JPaccassi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
Wait. Where's Hesaid? ... ... ... we hit the road. About 20 miles or so later, he pulled over to remove the piece of coat hanger and recombobulate his little hoses and then we headed home.
Yeah. That part. I'm just saying, I had the tools, I had the knowledge, now I gotta bring the dowel too?

I guess that about sums it up. It really was one of our most epic rides to date. And only recently have we surpassed it. I imagine that story will be posted soon. And I'll try to get better with the pictures. We also have plans in the works that will allow our GPS tracks of the trips to be downloaded, either for your viewing pleasure or to recreate one of our journeys. For the time being they're mostly nice day trips out of the Fresno/Visalia area, but we hope to be ranging further soon.

I'll leave you with a teaser pic of our last bungled outing:



MV
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Hesaid screwed with this post 02-16-2014 at 09:12 PM
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:31 PM   #29
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Not Feeling So Hot

We took off to the farthest corners of California at the beginning of October for a camping/hunting trip. It was a heavily laden trip complete with Jumping Jack trailer, two 4-wheeled vehicles, a cast iron Dutch oven and a chainsaw... Not motorcycle-related at all, so it doesn't belong here on ADV (and it was a boring trip anyway, so you're not missing anything) despite the fact that Hesaid and his dad insisted on loading up my precious little Wombat and taking it along anyway.

13.1004-alturas-(8)

I'm not sure why we took the T-dub-- no one ever road it-- but it had fun riding in the back of the truck anyway.
Point being that, while we were gone, the 100 degree weather here in the valley decided to become 80 degree weather.
Well THAT ROCKS! And we were super eager to get back to our (I warned you it was boring) leisurely riding routes within a day's journey of Home.

While the Federal Government was still shut down, we really wanted to take a trip back up to Hume Lake-- a private community located within the boundaries of Sequoia National Forest, in the past of the Nat'l Forest that is entirely surrounded by Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks.

Since Hume is private, the Parks service had to keep it accessible, and were all about taking advantage of that and making the trip through the closed Park to get there.

The day was a splendid 80-85 degrees down here on the valley floor, but as we wound our way up the 245 toward Badger and Pinehurst to the junction with the 180, you can imagine, it got chilly.

Very chilly. I pulled over in Badger to add the liner to my Olympia Airglide jacket and we returned to the climb in elevation.

By the time we got to the 180, we looked at each other and sadly shook our heads. We would not be heading any further up the mountains that day. We were just too cold and clouds were gathering.

Millwood 10-21-13

The next weekend we headed back up the same way. This time I was prepared for the colder temps at the higher elevations. I have my liner zipped into my Olympia Airglide pants and one of the liners (there are two) in the jacket.

I still don't have winter gloves, but I have glove liners that block the wind, so far I've been doing ok.

Millwood 10-21-13

Not much of a ride to report, but we had a great day and got some nice pics of the fall colors-- as they are in these parts.

Millwood 10-21-13

Plus, we scouted some of the forestry roads in the Millwood area with plans to bring our niece back up with the FatCat for one last hurrah before the snow fell.
Millwood 10-21-13

Hesaid had to perch on this rock while he checked the GPS to decide the most fun way home for us. He makes me SO nervous doing this! I don't have the inseam to spare to do anything of the sort.

Millwood 10-21-13

We're still exploring the country roads that run through the Miramonte/Dunlap/Squaw Valley area-- there are SO many of them and they are all wonderful.

Millwood 10-21-13
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:34 PM   #30
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Parkfield 10-27-13

I realize I write more than I photograph. This is mostly because I can sit down and type up a story at my leisure, while photos have to be carefully wrangled from the scene during the actual ride.

For the time being, I can either use the little point and shoot to take video or I can use it to take photos. I think photos are the best way to go, for the most part.

Hesaid likes to remind me that our new GPS units also have cameras-- but how many photos of me do you see?

Uh huh-- it's not that easy to yank the Rinos out of their RAM mounts, cue up the camera and then hope the picture you just snapped comes out because you can't see a darn thing in the display screen.

At any rate-- I am working on more photocentric RRs while saving my pennies for a better camera, or two.

Also, not to be overlooked, is the fact that I am "wordy."

So, I will attempt to take more pics to offset the words and eventually not have to sift through my photos of past events to fill in blanks with relevant images that aren't even actually from our ride!

This last weekend (October 26-27, 2013) we really should have been good little grown ups and stayed around the house, petting dogs and cleaning things.

Instead-- we RODE BIKES!

Parkfield 10-27-13

This was our first venture westward. I practiced my photos-in-flight methods... need more practice.

Parkfield 10-27-13

I really have to get more involved in these route planning sessions he does, or he needs to figure out how to put his routes into the navigation feature of the GPS.

We were gradually meandering our way to Coalinga for gas with plans to head west on the 198 from there to see if Priest Valley Station would be open for lunch.

First, we stopped by the Kings River at Jackson Avenue to see what our options for winter canoeing would be this year...
Parkfield 10-27-13

NOT good! I have never seen this section of the Kings River dry! Kinda brought a tear to my eye as I wondered what the muskrats are doing?

Parkfield 10-27-13
That was all under water the last time we were here.

Parkfield 10-27-13
After gas in Coalinga, and a futile trip by Priest Valley Station on the 198 to find that it will be closed till spring, we turned back and headed over the mythical Parkfield Grade.

The Parkfield Grade has earned its "mythical" status to the two of us after years of having it on our individual to-do lists and yet never quite managing to travel over it.

Parkfield 10-27-13

This valley was beautiful and great to ride through.

Parkfield 10-27-13

But it wasn't long before the climb began. The road went up, up, up, and around, and around, and around like a big strand of over cooked spaghetti had been draped over the hills.

Just when I thought we'd reached the top, we'd round a bend and find more up.

Parkfield 10-27-13

Hesaid was interested in these rock formations. Wanted to know what they were, how they got there, why they were different than everything else.

He's kinda like a 4 year old that way.

I stared at the rocks pretty hard for awhile and tried to channel my past as a potential geology major and came to the conclusiont that they are most likely volcanic necks, or plugs, where the magma cooled inside the cone of the volcano. Then the outside of the volcano wears away and leaves these rock formations.

Hesaid was pretty sure that the map at home names the individual formations but he couldn't remember any of the names.

Parkfield 10-27-13

We found a big, and relatively level, turn out to rest and take pictures.

Parkfield 10-27-13

It was October 27-- exactly one year to the day since I broke my wrist on the DR. Here's a nice shot of the scar from my surgery while I wave; I think I'm going to send it to my Orthopedist. He'll be thrilled to see me back on the bike!

Parkfield 10-27-13

There's a very nice memorial marker here that tells about the history of the family that settled the area and eventually built the road.

Parkfield 10-27-13

We need practice on our selfies-- we're from the generation of film cameras where you just could never quite hold the camera far away enough for it to focus. Kids today have no clue!

I love my modular helmet, but I'm in the market for one that's a little less fish-facey.

Parkfield 10-27-13

Well, I found the end of the UP finally, and the end of the pavement! Have I mentioned I don't love dirt?

But seriously, it's an awfully nicely graded dirt road with very little loose gravel. It shouldn't scare me at all. But it does. And then I feel stupid for being scared of it.

Hesaid put it in neutral and had a blast coasting quietly down hill all the way to Parkfield.

Parkfield 10-27-13

I put the Wombat in 2nd gear and gingerly made my way down the road.

Parkfield 10-27-13

I learned about Parkfield a million years ago on one of those shows like Ripley's Believe it or Not-- it's the "Earthquake Capital of the World," sitting on top of the San Andreas fault.

It's also a truly tiny community, boasting a whopping population of 18.

I'm looking forward to returning for a chance to stay at the inn.

Parkfield 10-27-13

Meanwhile, we were excited about lunch.

We enjoyed a hot meal at the Parkfield Cafe. Hesaid was pretty grumpy about Pepsi not being an option, but I'm happy to have an iced tea. My tri-tip sandwich was plenty satisfactory.

I should have take a picture of the ceiling in the cafe, covered with branding irons hanging from the rafters. As long as they're secured up there, it must be like living inside a windchime when there's a quake.

Parkfield 10-27-13

Just as we were leaving, another couple on a touring bike was pulling in to the cafe. I was a little sad about missing the opportunity to chit chat with them-- we're still in that, "HEY! You guys ride bikes like us? What a coincidence! So do we!... let's be friends!" phase. We want to talk to anyone we see who's wearing cordura hi-viz touring jackets or riding a bike with panniers.

We'll out grow the geek phase. I'm sure.

But we were on a schedule-- still gotta get home before dark, and we'll need gas again before we get there. So we crossed the bridge onto the Pacific Plate and headed for Hwy 46 because we did not have time or gas to go back the way we came.

I had to ride the little TW on Hwy 41 all the way from the 46 to Kettleman City. Talk about scary! I had the throttle wide open and that, along with some pixie dust and happy thoughts, kept my speed at 57.9 mph. Much to the dismay of the traffic that wanted to go 75.

But we made it to Kettleman, gassed up one more time, checked the maps and finally found our way to the east.

Parkfield 10-27-13

I firmly believe we would have made it home before my curfew if we hadn't gotton stuck at this train crossing while the train was picking up and unloading cars. We didn't mind hanging out and watching-- Hesaid is a train geek.

This was our longest trip yet: 230 miles and almost 8 hours of moving time according to the GP
S.
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