Enjoying the Moment...My Take on Riding Nor Cal

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Desert Dave, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Thanks again for all the responses guys, it's like having you along for the ride! Well, sort of :lol3


    How do ya like the new food out there? Pretty big step up I think :deal

    Well now you have proof I'm not just photoshopping these animals :lol3 My very unscientific analysis is the Bobcats are on the rise in population, as I've been seeing far more lately, I just rarely get a long enough chance to get a good shot, or it's so far away it barely shows in the photo. I'd imagine the birders out there see quite a few.

    One thing you have to watch for with the bird people SOME of them think it's o.k. to stop wherever they are and get out of their car if they see something rare. More than once I've come around a blind corner in the one lane sections to have a parked car right ion the middle of the road.

    I do use a tripod for anything low light or long exposure on water (and of course the night photos) but most of my shots are handheld. With image stabilization I don't think it's required as much. Some purists will disagree, but often they are looking at details with a microscope at much larger sizes than I find necessary.

    I don't think I'm using anything special, but here's a quick insight I've noticed. With digital photography going past a hobby and almost a everyday part of life with smartphones, Facebook and such we are getting used to looking at photos everywhere that were taken on the run , without much thought (usually with one hand) that are often out of focus and blurred. I think when someone these days takes a moment to practice basic photography skills the photos look even better by comparison, so in a way it helps me look good :D

    Nothing wrong with less than perfect photos as I've enjoyed some great ride reports taken that way. You've also noticed there are some real talented photographers here at ADvrider to. If I'm going to be honest I think the reason some of you enjoy my photos is the common bond of interests (motorcycling/nature) more than photography skill itself. Go to any photography forum and you'll see shots like mine are really dime-a-dozen, that's not good or bad, it just is. But I'm constantly working on it :deal:D
  2. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    I strongly disagree! That last bunch of photos was pretty special. Keep it up!:clap
  3. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    It would have been great to say hello and to thank you for all the highly appreciated entertainment and inspiration.

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    I picked this up in San Francisco and danced it down to L.A. on mostly country roads.

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    Skyline/Summit all the way to Watsonville was a great initiation on the new bike.

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    I traveled the Central Valley wine region all the way and was treated to spectacular scenery the entire trip.

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    Routes like Indian Canyon and Foxen road are amazing on two wheels.

    Got a bit carried away here... but hope to run into you on the journey sometime.
  4. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    It's not often I'm glad to have someone disagree with me, but this time I won't argue :lol3 Thanks Man!



    Glad to see you out enjoying our Nor Cal roads, I'm sure you had a better day riding than I did working :deal Maybe next time.

    I take it you went down Eureka Canyon? I really like that road.


    And what a cool bike!! :thumb How did you know I have a soft spot for Sportsters? Used to terrorize HWY 9 with one I modified back in the day. Had a close look at the newer ones when I bought the Bonneville.

    If we're talking cool, sporty bikes I've had my eye on one of these for a little while now. My friend Jimmy (that's him with the Thumbs up) shows up with one of these at The Junction and INSISTED I test ride....I said let me grab my helmet:evil Got to flog it for a half hour or so behind Hamilton. One of these could really get me in trouble

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    Not much more to share right now, but as long as I'm bumping this thread I'll throw in my most recent "wildlife" sighting :wink:

    Just thought it was kind of cool

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  5. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

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    BACK IN THE STATES!!!
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    That's right by a favorite work spot for me...

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  6. AdventureDave82

    AdventureDave82 Infinite Curiosity

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
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    Central Coast California
    Hi Dave,

    I just stumbled on your blog/post. Really gets my blood flowing and makes me want to get out there on the road ... and I just got back from four days in Death Valley. I love the rides you go on - beautiful country. I live in San Luis Obispo so I'm not too far away. Any chance you have GPS tracks of some of your favorite off-road routes?

    I just subscribed to your thread - keep 'em coming.

    Dave
  7. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Glad you're on board :freaky

    Love Death Valley. Haven't been there in a few years but that was the place that inspired me to mix my dirt and street together :deal

    I know all of my photos have a GPS on the bike , but I use it in a really limited way. I never use directions/turn by turn, follow tracks or save tracks. I just use it like a map that I don't have to try and figure out where I am :lol3 On occasion I'll waypoint something I might want to come back to and have a hard time finding again....like a perfect photo spot :wink:

    So I can't help you with any saved tracks, but how about a few photos from Sunday instead? My regular local ride, but perfect skies and the green is FINALLY here!!

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    Was doing some landscape stuff and a target of opportunity rode by :evil. I like the way it turned out. This guy was going the other way so I didn't catch up to him but if any of you Bay Area riders know him point him this way.... I know I would want a photo like that with ME in it :D

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    And finally one of the the good 'ol Strom doing it's thing with me along for the ride. Still love that bike.

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  8. tomatocity

    tomatocity Retired and lovin' it

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    Beautiful photo. Is this Dell Puerto Canyon Road?
  9. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Yup. Its SO gorgeous out there right now.

    I always look at those high speed sweepers as a chance to warm the tires before entering the canyon :evil
  10. Erik500

    Erik500 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Netherlands
    Thank you for these incredible pictures.
    I really like the "stop and take time to really see the surroundings" -attitude.

    Spoken from all across the pond (the Netherlands) , it really inspires me to work even harder to get to explore that beautiful country of yours, one fine day.
  11. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Thanks Erik. I know it's the internet but I'm still amazed how I can show somebody on the other side of the world my backyard and it does something for you. Glad you left a note on the thread.:freaky


    As far as the "stop and take time to really see the surroundings" -attitude I really had a fine example of that this last weekend. Somehow I managed to turn only 250 miles into an 18 hour ride! That's a lot of looking around. But that was the point of this particular ride.

    It's a time of year I really look forward to, and any locals should pay attention if you like what I do. While the high Sierra Passes are still closed, my favorite, Sonora Pass (Hwy 108), was opened to Kennedy Meadows . This is only about 10 miles from the actual pass, and while tons of goodness waits up top ,the highway to that point has some of my favorite sights. Better yet, it's currently a dead end, one way in and back out,this is what makes it special for a few weeks here. Most won't bother to ride it because you can't go through, and until fishing season opens the sportsman don't bother either. ALL MINE! No traffic, no law enforcement :evil, very few people . Being it's such a short ride I'm forced to take my time, or I could be thee and back home before lunch.

    The ride starts up through the foothills and as I get into the trees the smell of pine inside my helmet had me let out an audible "oh yeah!". I did refrain from doing a fist pump motion in the air though. :lol3 Again, with the drought, the snow level is high and mostly small patches. I'm probably one of the few riders out here that will complain there isn't enough snow close to the road...in my book that adds character. Some of the shaded sections still have enough to make a postcard ride, isn't this way more interesting than summer??

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    First stop of the day has me at a familiar spot I almost always stop at. I've photographed it from every angle/condition and didn't think today would be special, but still wanted to walk to the edge for a look and enjoy the moment. Funny how when I'm not expecting much the light will show a subtle detail that makes it a moment.

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    Probably killed an hour there...what a way to waste time huh? :D Just for quick reference here's one of my favorite shots of these narrows I took a few years ago

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    Not much further up the hill every direction is simply the grandeur that brings me back. I still think tiny sections of this area would be the highlight of many parks and here the are almost run-of-the-mill until you take it in and notice each one.

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    O.K., now it's story time. I turn into Kennedy Meadows and ride down to the pack station which is abandoned for the most part except one old timer shoveling snow, being it's the two of us out there I roll over to talk. Right away we strike up a conversation about the local area, and I mention I'm always looking for unique photos. He informs me that he has a photo of what they think might be Bigfoot down by the river. When he says he has it with him I was off the bike anxious to see.

    Seems one of the caretakers was taking shots of the river with a camera phone, and it wasn't until later on the computer they saw a shape that doesn't belong . Looking at the photo it MUST be authentic, because like any true bigfoot sighting it was blurry with little detail, but still I could see what they were talking about. Knowing how shadows and tree stumps can play tricks on the mind I immediately question what else it could be. He then offers to show me where it was taken, which I took him up on, and he also offers me a beer (love mountain folk).

    By lining up reference points I think I was pretty close to where the shooter was standing, looking across the river, everything else was there except "Bigfoot". I couldn't even come up with something that could be mistaken for it. Now I'm a pretty logical guy, but I also love lore. I don't know what it was in the picture, but I do know for certain there was something in the photo that isn't there now. :deal

    My new friend "Crusty" showing me the sighting spot.

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    I hung out awhile shooting the breeze. Day was flying by, but I wasn't going to screw it up by being in a hurry. Thought I'd swing by "Columns of the Giants" for a quick look. If you've never been there, stop next time, it's a 10 minute walk from the road. Crazy volcanic rock formations similar to Devils Postpile, and actually quite a bit bigger.

    This shot shows MAYBE 25% of the ridge, it's so big it's hard to take in.

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    I'd been there by myself for maybe 20 minutes when I heard a distant yell and realized I wasn't alone. Pulled out the Telephoto lens for a look at other enjoying the moment in their favorite way.

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    A guy and a gal doing it instead of dreaming. Cool stuff. (sorry for the size of this photo but you just have to see the detail)

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    I continued to ride to many of my favorite spots that I haven't seen since fall just to check their status. Wow it's already getting that wonderful late day light that is so inviting but also makes you realize the day is winding down. Still in no hurry.

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    An evening moonrise just adds to the day.

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    Didn't really try hard for a sunset photo, just sat and took it all in. By the time I got rolling the sun was down and I was in the Twilight Zone. Looking at the large moon had me thinking about night photography and making plans for a "later" date. Then I said why not now? no better time than the present......that AND I really wasn't ready to go home yet.

    How many of you have stopped at Donnells Vista? Probably many as it's a popular spot and the view from the cliff is spectacular. How many of you have rolled in after dark with the place all to yourself and walked down to the overlook? Probably not as many. The moon lit up the granite like a dream-scape, no flashlight needed.

    These trees always have character, even more after dark.

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    Falling stars over the reservoir. (well, actually the movement of the Earth, but falling stars sound way more romantic)

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    This is the sort of thing I live for. Looking at scenes I can't believe are real WHILE I'm looking at them.

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    I hung out until about 11pm enjoying it all. I didn't even realize temps had already dropped into the 30s until I noticed my breath and the wet seat on my bike as I mounted up. Home around 1 am. For not having a plan (like I ever do) the day sure was packed full of life long memories made.
  12. waylongway

    waylongway madmax

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    Thanks Dave,
    Most exhalent :thumb
  13. redog1

    redog1 KLR650-2009

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    Looks like an awesome day!:clap
  14. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

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    What a cool photo. It looks like the tree is hugging the moon. :D
  15. HoJoOkie

    HoJoOkie Adventurer

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    Dave,

    Once again you've shown us some fresh and exciting photo's. I'm stunned with the volcanic rock cliff.

    Up till now I've never considered visiting this part of our country. Certainly has me thinking.

    I'm so glad you live out there to bring us the great photography.
  16. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    :thumb

    Glad you're along for the ride. While we have a high concentration of explorers on this site, it amazes me people who live near me that have no clue of these places, and they are within a few hours.
  17. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    I originally composed it with the lower branches over the moon. When I noticed the curved branch above I figured I should hang out some and wait for the moon to move to position itself. :wink:
  18. kalho13

    kalho13 Adventurer

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    Great photos Dave. You are doing great with your new photography hobby!
  19. HoJoOkie

    HoJoOkie Adventurer

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    Naw, he not a hobby photographer, he doesn't know it yet but a professional if ever there was. Better than most I've seen.

    Do you use a tripod on all photo's? I don't seen one strapped to your mount. And how much camera gear do you pack?

    Please keep more photo's coming our way.
  20. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Most of the photos are handheld, I do pull out my tripod for anything long exposure like the night shots and moving water. Yes, I carry one in my Jessie bags, If I'm traveling and need the space for something else I'll strap it on top.

    I carry , my Camera and 4 lenses and a few filters, a kit that works pretty well for me. I also bring a second camera, a P&S that does amazing Macro and doubles as a backup in case something ever goes wrong with my main camera.

    Believe it or not that is pretty minimalist Are you doing something similar? If all the gear isn't your thing I still think some of the newer high end P&Ss or mirrorless cameras, as long as they have the ability to shoot in RAW and full manual, could take care of most of the things I do. Then you would have one small camera that fits in a tank bag and done. Many of the Bonneville shots in this thread were done with a Canon G11 because that's all I want to carry on that bike.

    I recently bought a cheapo "diopter" lens that can attach to the G11, which allows you to shoot Macro at full zoom and be in focus a little further away. Last weekend when I was shooting the rainbow shot in the narrows I sat and waited a bit to see how the moving sun would affect the positioning. While sitting there I noticed these Bees on the rock doing their thing and decided to have some fun. Really tough as the depth of field is maybe a millimeter or two.

    Funny here I was in the middle of amazing mountains and streams and all of my attention was focused on something the size of a dime

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