2 Guys Tour California Before We Turn 30

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Wingnut037, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Wingnut037

    Wingnut037 Two Sheds

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    287
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    SoCal
    Starting this off with a teaser pic, then I will get into the boring stuff you are more than welcome to skip. I am not clever, and most pictures are for my own amusement. If at least one of you smile, then that is good enough for me.


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    This story has an extended cast, but mainly the two of us. The guy in red needing a haircut is myself. My riding companion, Mike, will be mostly in grey. We have been good friends since high school back in Georgia. We both attended the same university, and ended up being roommates. Life ended up pointing me to the nearest recruiter, and at 23, a Marine. I was lucky enough to get stationed in California after spending a year in DC learning how to make maps. We continued being best friends despite the distance, a fun trip to Iraq, and another to Afghanistan. I still give him crap every day he does not move out here, as he always talked about it growing up.

    Fast forward to 2011. He gets married, I am his best man. I get married, but waiting for my Wife to get back from her second trip to Afghanistan before we have a ceremony. We realize we haven't done anything huge in a few years, and the first big 'I'm getting old' birthday is approaching. One thing leads to another and we decide on a motorcycle trip. I have my WR-X, and my sidekick can't exactly ride hers right now. Over the next few months we start gearing up, go through half a dozen route ideas, and end up with a rough schedule and dates are set.

    Before we know it it is time. I have done all the maintenance on the bikes to get them ready, and on my way to pick Mike up from the airport. We stay up late adjusting gear and packing our bags. I decide to ditch the pelican case I mounted since my GL coyote fits more than I imagined. Back to pictures.

    I do not know how all of this fit.

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    May 26, 2012. All packed up and ready to go.

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    I am riding the Black 2009 WR250X. He is riding the wife's blue 2008.

    Quick hop over to the Coast Hwy from Camp Pendleton, and we head south.

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    Meet a navy friend for some good eats. Sadly their VIP section was booked. If you are ever in San Diego, do yourself a favor and eat here.

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    About as close as you can get to the worlds busiest land border crossing with out sitting in line for 4 hours.

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    Hot pants. Everyone needs a pair. Heading north at this point

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    We are taking the 5 to get to his father's house in LA.With stock seats and 1.7gal tanks, stops are frequent. At 20 minutes you have to start squirming, at 30, you are looking for any reason to stop. One of the few times in my life I look forward to red lights. One random gas stop we happened to turn into this parking lot. Say hi to Mike.

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    We somehow manage to make it up to Topanga Canyon from San Diego in a bit over 3 hours with traffic. I am used to lane splitting, and gradually taught Mike with baby steps from stoplights, to stopped traffic. This is my typical commute to school. My first and only GoPro Video.

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    At about 6 we are at our first stop of the trip.

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    Just over 225 miles today. More to follow.
    #1
  2. Wingnut037

    Wingnut037 Two Sheds

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    287
    Location:
    SoCal
    Day-2. May 27.

    After a great nights sleep and good breakfast, we head out. Being in L.A., we were not overly surprised to see a caravan of Dodge Vipers, but turning to watch them pass we catch a glimpse of the car show they are leaving. Apparently this goes every Sunday. Here are a few highlights.

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    I know, I know, motorcycle forum. Back to those. We head straight south to catch the coast highway east of Malibu. We have been here before a few years back, so not many pictures.

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    The smell of strawberries here was fantastic.

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    Don't ask. I am not sure why.

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    Fish House in Santa Barabara

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    Noms

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    Well, we were distracted by the local bikinis and forgot to fill up after lunch. The blue WR is stock, and my black one is a bit more thirsty with the full FMF and power commander. Glad I brought the MSR canister as the next gas station is still 20 miles out.

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    Probably not a good time to miss.

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    First glimpse of vineyards.

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    Gas is starting to get expensive.

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    Stopped in Cambria for dinner.

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    Being a holiday weekend every campsite was taken and it was getting dark. The goal for the day had been to get to Big Sur, but we figured it would be full there as well. I wanted to stealth camp, but Mike gave the veto. Instead we got bent over with holiday fees at a hotel in San Simeon. At $155, it was still a hundred cheaper than the others on that strip. On the upside they had laundry facilities in the room.

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    They also had secure covered parking. Some Japanese tourist got a laugh out of us moving them inside.

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    Euro Trip was on the TV. Scotty doesn't know. 240 miles covered.
    #2
  3. whotmonster

    whotmonster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    159
    I have always wanted to do that...but not sure the GSA handlebars would make it! Have a blast and make sure you get pictures of yourselves together...you will want those when you are old enough that memory begins to fail :rofl





    #3
  4. Wingnut037

    Wingnut037 Two Sheds

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    SoCal
    Day-3. May 28

    We get a decent start. No issues getting the bikes out and loaded up.

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    This picture looks familiar. The coast is starting to get nice.

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    It was recommended we see the Elephant Seals, even though the males are not present. I am relatively confident the rocks in the background are covered in years of bird droppings. Mike does not agree.

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    Not supposed to feed the wildlife, but I trade this guy a flower for his whopper wrapper.

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    A few close up. The sound they make is unique.

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    On my way to find a trashcan for the wrapper, I was mobbed.

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    Back on the road and we make it to this nice gas station.

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    I wonder how they afford this place. Ohhh, I see.

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    Southern part of Big Sur. Another poop rock.

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    Big Sur

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    They are crazy as well.

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    No photograph can do this place justice. Most beautiful place I have been. Too bad my ugly face is in the way.

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    Unreal

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    Random roadside attraction with required horsepower dance.

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    Mo beach.

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    Made it into San Fransisco the day after the 75th anniversary. I hear it was a good show.

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    Fisherman's Warf

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    Dungeness crab, mmmm.

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    Meeting up with some friends

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    Still have 40 miles to ride to our planned hotel stop. Yay

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    Nice parking here as well in Napa Valley.

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    265 miles. Big trees tomorrow as we continue north.
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    #4
  5. Wingnut037

    Wingnut037 Two Sheds

    Joined:
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    It was a struggle through some of the doors, especially with my bike having wider bars. If it wasn't so light, it might not of been possible.

    There are a few of us both, and a good deal of him. Just following his request to not be plastered all over the internet. Will add the next few days in the morning.
    #5
  6. akadvntr

    akadvntr Frozen

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    225
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Great job on the report and the pictures :D Keep going!
    #6
  7. Wingnut037

    Wingnut037 Two Sheds

    Joined:
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    287
    Location:
    SoCal
    Day-4. May 29

    Another day heading north. Our 'early' start ended up being closer to 10am.

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    Leaving the heart of California wine country.

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    Stopped here for a light breakfast. They have the lumber games on TV nonstop.

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    Simple meal of 4 sausage links, 4 strips of bacon, two eggs, half pound of ham, home style potatoes, and french toast. It sounded smaller on the menu.

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    Killed it.

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    We have been topping the tanks off every 50-60 miles to avoid fuel issues, and more importantly an excuse to walk around.

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    A small bit of dual-sporting. Supposed to be a big tree down this road.

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    Yeah, these are big.

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    The Chandelier tree.

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    Stop for the monster-bus? Yes please. I need to come up with some new poses.

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    Eel River

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    No excuse to not take this road.

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    Wide selection of gas in Miranda

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    Massive

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    Difficult to put into perspective. Mike is in there somewhere.

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    At the other end.

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    Back to the coast

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    Possible caribou farm.

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    Oh, hello.

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    First time seeing one of these signs

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    Queue the Baywatch music

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    Thought this made for an interesting combination

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    The 87 octane gave us crap gas mileage. Followed signs for gas into this Indian reservation. Pumps have been closed for years, but they did have an Emu.

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    Made it to camp at dusk, Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park. This place was clean, the bathrooms were nicer than any of the hotels, and the older couple watching the park were very helpful as we came in after the ranger left for the night. Highly recommended.

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    Checking out our site. #30

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    Setting up camp

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    Talked a stump into taking our picture.

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    What is this for?

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    Stuffing full of moto gear!

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    330 miles. Time to start heading south again.
    #7
  8. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Location:
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    Nice writeup and great pictures. Subscribed.
    #8
  9. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Feb 20, 2009
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    1,559
    Location:
    City of the Angels
    Thanks... hope to see more.
    #9
  10. gallinastrips

    gallinastrips Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    720
    Location:
    Taos NM
    Nice choice of bikes:clap
    #10
  11. WRC51

    WRC51 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    430
    Location:
    Hydesville, Calif
    Very nice, I have eaten at the Lumber Jack and most of your pictures of the Big Tree area is in my backyard. Thanks for the report on the Jedadiah Smith campgrounds, I have been wanting to stay there. Ride safe.
    #11
  12. RZRob

    RZRob Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Anaheim Hills, CA
    Great RR. Careful, it's addicting. You'll be itching to do another almost immediately. I guess if I had those bikes, I'd be wanting to venture the more obscure off the beaten path roads except I guess with that range, it's a tough combo (gas/desolation). Really sounds like fun though. Living in CA myself, I recognize many of the stops.

    RZ Rob
    #12
  13. rgiroux

    rgiroux Invisible Man

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    2,431
    Location:
    Socal near the great 33
    great report! Surprised we didnt see you on the road. Me and another guy made the reverse trip about that same time.

    :clap
    #13
  14. Tightline

    Tightline Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
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    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Another fellow X rider...subscribed!
    #14
  15. thehead21

    thehead21 -aka Jared-

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I literally laughed out loud when I read this! -Subscribed :deal
    #15
  16. Wingnut037

    Wingnut037 Two Sheds

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    SoCal
    There were tons of opportunities to get off the pavement, just not the time to take them. I had a hard time turning around to head home.


    I was saluting every potential ADV rider we passed. I forgot to explain that tradition to Mike before hand.

    Glad you folks enjoy it so far.
    #16
  17. Wingnut037

    Wingnut037 Two Sheds

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    SoCal
    Day-5. May 30

    Sadly this is turnaround day. Will be the longest one so far, so despite being so close, swinging up to Oregon just so we can say we did is out. The rest of the trip is going to be inland, so heading to the coast while we can.

    No idea how we fit all this stuff on the bikes. I love my Big Agnes pad.

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    Cool Steller's Jay sending us on our way.

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    One of many Paul Bunyans seen, but this is the biggest by far. Winks and waves too.

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    Giving Babe a helping hand.

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    An all too frequent requirement. A larger tank is on the list just after I figure out how to attach a lazy boy for a seat.

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    The bikes ended up liking this 87 better than the last time. No issues running it, but didn't come with the noticeable drop in mpg.

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    I forget what town this is. Food was OK, but a bit strange to order. I was going back up for some artichoke side dish that looked good in the deli case. Only girl working there took my 'order' for a small cup. She wrote it down on her pad, walked 10 feet to the register and asked if this is my ticket. After paying she said she will call me up. The second I sit down she calls my name, and re-checks my order and makes sure I paid. Some how I think there are a few steps that could of been skipped.

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    Looking out from our table if it looks familiar to anyone.

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    This is one of the few pictures we got of this section of road as it was just too good to stop. By far the best road I have ever ridden on. Scenery, elevation changes, great corner variations, and despite a bit of gravel, in very good condition. This section of the Coast Highway needs to be on everyone's bucket list.

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    Spits you out on the coast after a noticeable temperature drop. The couple on the BMW in the background took our picture said it was 17 degree change according to his bike.

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    The road continues to be amazing and the views rival Big Sur.

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    There were a few otter swimming around in this harbor. Watched them for a few, but couldn't get a good picture.

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    Nice view from an 80's style resort. Parking lot was full, but did not see a single person.


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    The plan was to cut in sooner as we are staying in American Canyon. Between a gold malibu refusing to yield, and more amazing roads distracting us, we stuck to the coast. Not a bad thing at all. It seemed each time we stopped it passed us again. We managed to make a quick stop and stay ahead of it. In one particular twisty section, we looked back from the point we were on to the last one a mile or so away. They had a caravan stretching beyond where we could see, to include a construction truck with a trailer trying to go faster than the malibu was willing to go. This was impressive feat on a nearly desolate road.

    We were trying to get a photograph of the many cows we passed, but they ran away each time we came to a stop. I do not know why, but the idea of calling them yelling 'Here cow, cow, cow!' worked like magic. They did not want the grass I offered.

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    Finally ended up cutting in at the 116. To our surprise this put us through the infamous Russian River Valley.

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    Some very prestigious vineyards here, but this is one more people will recognize.

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    Goes on for miles.

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    Italian place with good food. Prices were reasonable despite our waiter leaving the next day for a month in Hawaii.

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    Specials.

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    I went with the lasagna

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    Mike with the Osso Bucco

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    I sense a trend

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    They have laundry here too. The tide travel sink packets are nice to have.

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    I know I keep saying it, but you NEED to experience that drive. We were debating what else we would take up there. While we decided coming back with something simple like the Veyron Grand Sport or Carrera GT. It would still be amazing if you went on a Segway.

    395 miles today. Yosemite tomorrow.
    #17
  18. thehead21

    thehead21 -aka Jared-

    Joined:
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    Portland, OR
    Nice keep it coming!
    #18
  19. rgiroux

    rgiroux Invisible Man

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    Location:
    Socal near the great 33

    yep, remember that spot! That was a great run down from the Chandalier Tree!

    This is the view from over there by the trees in your pic

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    #19
  20. Wingnut037

    Wingnut037 Two Sheds

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    287
    Location:
    SoCal
    Day-6. May 31

    It is starting to get warm. The coast was keeping below 75 for most of the trip. Some morning/evenings were in the 50s and I was glad to of packed some of my government issued gear. We had all of our liners out and vents open today.

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    Hard to capture how BIG the views are here.

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    Yosemite! The wife still being active duty ended up getting me a free pass to all national parks to include a guest traveling with me. Free is nice.

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    Looking back at the entrance.

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    91* and snow

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    Easy to see where the glaciers were

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    Seems like I should remember the name of this rock. More horsepower dance.

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    Love having a FI bikes. Seamless from performance through the more than 9000' elevation change from yesterday.

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    Dog Lake trail. Just don't take your dog.

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    As we pulled up to one of the visitor centers they put up cleaning signs for the bathrooms. This was the next closest one in any reasonable distance. I should of waited.

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    Four legged things.

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    Leaving the park.

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    Found some more snow we couldn't pass up. It makes sense why many of the paths were just opening.

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    Mono Lake. Middle of nowhere and full cell reception helped us find a place to stay for the night. Parking lot is an extension of a diner and gas station.

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    Mammoth Lakes campgrounds.

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    Neighbors for the night.

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    Tent is up. Time to grab some grub.

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    Downtown Mammoth.

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    Cheers

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    270 Miles. Getting an early start tomorrow.
    #20