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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DockingPilot, Feb 3, 2013.
Great start! I'm in!
Im in, this looks good!
It's always that way on your trips.
A Dockingpilot ride report is sure to be a good read.
Indeed, ' bug, except there's this thing called Eastern Time Zone ...
Looks like a good one to follow...
I thought DockingPilot was a night owl?
I am looking forward to this. Subscribed.
Looking forward to a good write up, carry on please!
Boys you are in for another treat from our Cap'n.
Another fantastic ride!
The weather gods smiled on us again as they usually do, blessing us with brilliant sunshine and ideal temps. Ok, maybe we had one day late in the trip that was a bit warm but we will get to that.
Trip planning, trip planning, trip planning......
Did I say trip planning? Frank and Mike handled the trip planning with advice from Dr. Tony Huegel (Doctor of Byways). A full year of planning and researrch once again resulted in great riding every day. Great scenery, a couple of great camp spots, some challenges (glad I was on the WR).
Thanks again to the best riding crew; Bruce, Frank and Mike.
Chopaka Mountain Rd would introduce us to the 1st dirt of the trip. And none too soon in our minds. Todays route would span 181 miles and take us to Lake Chilean.
We enter "the burn" area and crossed Lone Frank Pass. An easy ride allowing us to get our sea legs. The scene was almost surreal. You could see for quite some distance due to the burn. The expanse of the burn was mind boggling to us easterners.
I thought "how can this regenerate" ? "how long will it take" ? We were riding right through what was obviously a massive fire once. At 1st appearing extremely destructive. But as I started to I look closer, I could see mother earth was already regenerating herself and in a spectacular way. She had it all under control.
Wild flowers were bursting
Mike on his German steed. This bike and rider would be challenged to the extreme soon enough. This trip would prove, given a skilled pilot, the massive GSA can handle much more then you would imagine.
The WR was new to John. In a short time, John knew he bought the perfect bike for him. He loved it right from the jump. We certainly did have the full spectrum of big trailies covered. 250-650-950-1200. The little 250 would also prove itself on this trip, but in the opposite way the GSA did. The ying to the GSA's yang.
We popped out in Conconully mid morning. A small community of friendly people.
We took a coffee break. This was one of those moments fellas (and ladies of course), where you sit down with your coffee, lean back, kick your feet up and it starts to sink in.
All the planning and anticipation is over. Your actually here, doing what you love to do. And it has just begun..............
We ride on.
The Ruby Grade
It would prove to be our 1st challenging section. Of course the photos don't depict the the steep grade as it was, nor the extreme drop off on the immediate starboard side which grabbed your attention.
One of those grades where it was difficult to stop and snap a picture. Your skills at properly working your clutch would be tested when you did in order to get going again.
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And now from the cockpit of the GSA
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So well said! There is no better feeling in this life than that moment. Your words and pictures are an inspiration.
After the Ruby Grade the seas calm down and we are back on an even keel.
What did lie ahead though was a section of deep talcum powder type silt.
While negotiating my 650 single through it I couldn't help but wonder how Mike was doing piloting the GSA through that. She had to be like a wild rhino who was just hit with a branding iron. :eek1
Later on we meet up again and both Mike and the GSA were unscathed. Nothing to it it Piazza said.
Yes, we choose our small group of trip participants very carefully. Mike had been vetted a few years earlier and was a new member on our Forever West trip.
In the end, this trip would test Mike and his GSA to a whole new level, and prove just how right we were in inviting him into our circle.
I take a small break and Brucee blows by on the Super Enduro. A bike that has gone places. TAT west, our New England/New Brunswick adventure, Forver West, Maine and now this west coast trip.
This was a fairly long stretch and we were frikin starving ! Thankfully, the route popped us out onto a sealed road in Carlton and just down that road we see:
And thankfully they did have food. Not the greatest offering, but hey, any port in a storm right ?
Being it was Labor Day weekend, we had the foresight to book a Best Western well in advance from home. But we still had the very scenic Cooper Mountain to enjoy before we would descend onto Lake Chilean and the hot tub that awaited us.
Is that water I see ?
Was there a question earlier about packing ?
Lake Chilean becoming larger as we traverse and slowly descend.
We all arrived late afternoon. Brucee already put the SE to bed, shed his riding gear, donned his swimming trunks and was enjoying an ice cream cone as he headed for a swim in the lake. ,
yea kids at heart we were. And loved every minute of it.
Lake Chilean is gin clear. A bit on the cool side, but really was just what the doctor ordered at the end of a great day of riding.
For an easterner, looking at the lake was a sight of a different sort then what we are used too. Lakes by us are corralled by trees and lake houses. Wait, strike that, reverse it, corralled by lake houses and trees.
But here, you have a big sky and unimpeded view of the lake.
After the swim, we hit the hot tub.
Ah yes, this was a vacation after all
Beautiful day. And the weather was to die for.
We showered, shaved, called a cab and went for a beer and dinner.
Life was good. Still is of course.
John caught here in this photo looking at the lovely waitress.
Brucee having maybe just one too many ?
Next up: Day 3, Lake Chilean-Cashmere-Ellensburg.
Where the GSA and it's pilot would be challenged even further as we enter:
This photo pretty much sums it up.
The BMW Rhino next to the Yamaha Kitty Cat.
With my limited skill set I knew I wanted small and light bike for the challenging sections of this trip. The WR was perfect.
Mike handles that big BMW like Baryshnikov tosses around a small ballerina.
Then there is the packing. I pack the absolute bare minimum. Mike seems to have everything on his bike and can get to it quickly. "Hey Mike I need a left handed No. 2 phillips head screw driver". "No problem John here ya go."
I can't tell ya how many times I was struggling a bit with the little Yamaha and would come out of the section thinking "Oh man that had to kill Mike". Next time we stopped someone would ask Mike how bad it was for him in that tough section. Always the same answer "No problem". We would shake our heads in amazement and tell him how much we thought of his skills. Eventually we stopped asking..... And at one point coming up it caused me a great deal of anxiety.
I've just seen the video of the Ruby Grade from Mike's bike for the first time. Damn! That looks like work.
well now..DP and crew...thanks for providing a mid winter break...
good lunchtime tv...
what mods were done to the WR?