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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DockingPilot, Feb 3, 2013.
Put your head down and get through it...
Seems about the best one can do, but the reward waiting on the other side -- the Sierra -- is pretty great.
Nicest route on a dual sport is Hwy 162. From the coast you can cross Mendocino Pass then drop into the valley at Willows. 162 actually has some decent scenery and eventually brings you into Oroville. You climb right out of Oroville on some nice twisty pavement and in no time your into the Gold Country
Sounds like a good tip. I'll file that one away for future reference ... and riding!
According to oldtrucks , I must have picked the right way Mendocino pass was a awesome fast, fun road. Luck persisted and the road road was re-opened after recent fires to the South. On the East side, the lumber company must have watered the road not long before I was their. The conditions on that stretch were perfect. I passed a couple trucks hauling logs and was having so much fun I didn't stop to take any pictures . I made it to our gas/ lunch stop in Wilows by 12:30 and discovered the others opted for Rt20. :huh I ate and was in Oroville right on time to head up to Poker Flat. With a flight out of Reno only 36 hours away, I thought it best to play it safe and headed straight for Henness Pass.
Over here DockingPilot's RR detailed the crew's ride through the 'Forever West' in 2010.
This RR documented another section of the west that is also near and dear to me.
Long story - considerably shortened.
Ancestors on my mother's side actually came west on the Oregon Trail in 1853. Dad's side weren't so adventurous and waited until the trains ran, arriving in Washington State in 1889.
Both sides of the family carved their homesteads out of the virgin forest in southwest Washington on benches along and above the North Fork of the Lewis River near Woodland Washington. Both places are now underwater behind PP&L's Merwin Dam. I spent my childhood in Woodland and teen years in Vancouver, 20 miles to the south.
After high school I left for the Navy and never returned to live in the area, opting instead for a job in Eastern Washington where I lived for 27 years in the area of Walla Walla.
First divorce happened in mid-90's. Met a lady that wanted to teach at university level. Once PhD attained she accepted a position at a school in San Antonio. We left Washington for Texas in 2001.
Divorce happened in early 2011. Survived. Layoff happened in early 2012. Survived. Sold almost everything in San Antonio, including house, and moved a few items to the Sacramento area to be near son and grands.
Met a German lady (via the internet) that lives and works in Spain - here actually. (I'm actually writing this from the roof terrace of the townhouse. ) Pics of our time in Texas. And no wisecracks about the old dude if you please! :huh
So... By June of 2012 I was in Sacramento at son's place. Bought a small travel trailer for a western tour. Had the cruiser style Suzuki in the back of the F150 and I set off to visit old friends, cousins and see some of the sights of my childhood.
After camping in the Sierra's with son and grands over July 4th I set off on my 'grand circle' trip of the west. The only schedule I had was to meet a friend in Port Townsend in early August and then Bridget was going to fly in to Denver in mid-august.
I traveled Hwy 1 from the Golden Gate north, turning right and missing 'the lost coast', opting instead for 101 north. I'd stop at a camp ground and unload the MC and ride to see some scenery and some twisties. Load up the bike and move a few hundred miles and do it again.
By the time I got to northwest Washington my left wrist was killing me - massive pain every time I rode the bike. So I stopped riding as much. (As an aside, I discovered that riding the GS this past winter that it was something to do with the ergonomics of the Suzuki that was hurting the wrist. Don't have any issues on the GS.)
Went on across Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming on the paved roads pulling the caravan, but stopping at some sights here and there.
Met Bridget in Denver in late August and we did a whirlwind tour - Denver to Yellowstone. Four days there touring on the MC. South to Grand Tetons. Both places so thick with smoke from forest fires in Idaho that all vistas were just grey.
Further south to Dinosaur and yet further south to Moab and Arches and Canyonlands NP's. Then across Central Colorado and back to Denver to see Bri off for her flight back to Spain.
Once I got back to Sacramento I stored everything and came here to Gran Canaria last fall.
Back home in the Sacto area in December I bought a 2001 1150 GS (Seen here) and rode it in January and February in the greater Sacramento / Gold Country area. Now I'm back here in Spain and the bike is in storage. I'll return in late May to SMF.
These two RR's have inspired me to (sorta) repeat last summer's great western loop. I wanna see some more of the California coast. I want to ride in some of the mountains. I want to see what I missed last summer on the Olympic Peninsula. It's been 30 years since I went up Going to the Sun in Glacier on an MC. I went over Lolo Pass driving the PU & caravan - I want to do it on my GS. Out in Wyoming I want to stand in the actual ruts of the wagons when my ancestors passed 160 years ago. I want - more like I need - to experience that vast open plain and see the stars without any city lights interfering.
Then I'll mosey on down in to Colorado in late September and early October. By early October I'll be starting across southern Utah and back to Sacramento by late October or early November.
So thanks everyone for taking the time to do these RR's and inspire me to take this massive (for me) adventure trip.
Up until this time I'd been planing on messing about in NorCal and calling it good until I return here to GC in the late fall.
Thanks again for the inspiration!
Several times DP asked where the rains and clouds were?
Well, when I grew up on the wet side of the Cascades in the 50's and 60's, the summer started in late June or early July.
Grandpa was a farmer and always said that if your hay was [cut] down before the 4th of July you were gonna get it wet.
Summer ran from July through (usually) mid-October-ish.
Somewhere around early November it started raining. From time to time we had some snow and the very occasional cold snap that actually iced over the small lowland lakes. Mostly it rained.
Rain continued pretty steady from November until May. Then it was showers until July.
So... any rides in the July through September months will USUALLY miss the worst of the rain. Y'all might get a thunder storm or three, but not days and weeks of incessant rain.
Growing up in the rain I had webs between my toes. It took 3 or 4 years after I went into the Navy for my body to reabsorb these bits of extraneous flesh.
Having lived the rest of my life in 'dry' climates, they've never grown back!
As we all know, we are amongst the start of some anomalous weather patterns. I cannot say with any certainty whether or not this 9 months of rain still holds true. Certainly a potential case of YMMV.
Just finished, great report, really enjoyed. Thanks for taking the time to post.
Haven't been on in awhile, great job guys, looked challenging. Next time I want to see everybody's hands above the waterline in those hot tub pics....
"With a flight out of Reno only 36 hours away, I thought it best to play it safe and headed straight for Henness Pass."
Sounds like you all cut it close. It's good that there were options for you.
Hey Den !
Gotta touch base soon !
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Nice report and glad you had a good ride.
Another awesome ride report and I've just begun reading it.
Great report - don't know how I missed it years ago.