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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    Enjoying the moment yesterday on top of Calaveras Dome

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    I don't share most of my rides simply because I'm not always out taking photos, and you guys don't want to read an essay with no pictures do you? :lol3 Yesterday was one of those rides where I just rode.

    This was a continuation almost of an earlier adventure looking for Calaveras Dome as I made some of the same mistakes in trying to get back as I did finding it the first time, even though I took the EASY way yesterday. After the days ride I was inspired to look at the old report and it brought back some fond memories of my KLR days, and a time where I didn't have time for good photos and riding was priority one....sort of like yesterday. The photos really are pretty bad, but good enough for a sense of adventure. I think I was using a 1.3 MP camera and didn't have a clue how to use it.

    So I did my best to re-link the photos in the original thread so it makes sense again if you'd like to read it http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93815here

    ****Please don't bump that other thread, it's buried far in the archives where it belongs*******


    In the meantime here's a couple of snapshots from yesterday

    Following the flume in the canyon

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    Self portrait?? :lol3

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    #61
  2. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    Great shots as always! :clap
    #62
  3. jazzer

    jazzer Lost again... Yeah!

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    Beautiful Dave! Thanks for sharing. :clap

    Ken
    #63
  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    awesome!
    #64
  5. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    What's the opposite of an Iron Butt Rider?

    It's what I was this last weekend. Three days and only 1000 miles, but wow did I see a LOT. Not only see things but I had time to become a part of the landscape myself. I've been waiting for Fall to spend a little time in the Eastern Sierras looking for the changing colors, I also like riding in the cooler weather. My plan was to ride South to Lone Pine and explore the Alabama Hills and Mt. Whitney area and then just cruise back North and ride in to a lot of the dead end roads that lead to some high sierra lakes that litter the Eastern Sierra. Many of which I'm ashamed that I've never been to because I was always in such a hurry riding right by them to get somewhere "Better"

    So once again my ride starts by crossing the Sierras through Yosemite. Just outside the park on the East side is a road to Saddlebag Lake. Never been up it and been going by it for decades. I caught myself thinking I've got miles to go today, don't stop, but then I couldn't think of a BETTER way to start this particular ride then something new in my backyard. Half dirt and half paved the road makes you feel glad to be off the beaten path and instantly rewards you with incredible views. A few turns before the lake I see a PERFECT turnout for my morning coffee break. Even has a perfect stone to sit on and enjoy the moment.

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    When I ran out of coffee I realized I was still in no hurry so out came a cheap cigar and more chill time. I was there at least an hour. Not a good way to make time, but a great way to make the most of my time. Finally I rode the last few corners and down to the lake.

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    looking out at the dam.

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    I know most of you who ride out west here have done Tioga Pass many times. If you've never been to Saddlbag Lake it's only a few miles off of Tioga road.....just do it.

    For some reason Ellery Lake looked better than usual, probably because I now know what lies in those hills in the background . Yeah, I've got time to stop.

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    So now I put the hammer down for a few minutes down to Lone Pine. Fast forward to the Alabama Hills. If you've never heard of this before it's been used to shoot many films ,mostly Westerns, particularly well known are the Roy Rodgers and John Wayne flicks. All of that dramatic scenery with the High Sierra and Mt. Whitney in the background.

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    More on the Alabama Hills in a minute, right now it's getting hot in the desert and climbing up Whitney Portal rd to higher elevations and cooler weather seems like a grand idea.

    The small valley between the Alabama Hills and and Mt. Whitney. You can see the road switchback up the side.

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    Right before the dead end the road turns for a dramatic view of the mountain, about as close as I'm going to get.

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    Much cooler and a great place for an early dinner. This is where the Mt. Whitney hikers make base camp (if they come from the East) If you're reading this report from some other part of the world, Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the continental U.S. at 14,500 feet. Ironically you can see it from the lowest point in the U.S. (Badwater, Death Valley @ 280 feet below sea level), but that is another ride report.

    As evening draws and the desert cools I decide to ride back down and play in the Alabama Hills for awhile, and scout a spot for where I want to be at sunrise. Heading back down the mountain it's crazy how fast the terrain changes from mountain to desert.

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    A look North over the Owens Valley with late day shadows taking over.

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    Back to the Alabama Hills

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    How can you not feel small in terrain like this?

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    After pretending I was on a smaller bike for awhile exploring the main road and numerous spurs I settled down to watch the sunset. To bad I couldn't capture all of the little Bats coming out like butterflys as they just added to the mood of the place.

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    A quick ride back to Lone Pine for the night and early to bed as I was looking forward to a pre-dawn ride back out here to watch sunrise. Want to feel like a real adventurer? Getting a Tenere sideways at highway speeds while the Baja lights illuminate the desert before sun up is just way to much fun.

    The first rays of light to hit the mountain are almost surreal with color.

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    Standing still in the silence, watching as the light exposes more of the foreground is hard to describe with words...that's why I bring a camera.

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    And of course a glamor shot for the boys in the Tenere photo thread :D

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    As the sun starts to do it's job I decide to beat the heat and ride north to Bishop and explore the mountains east of there. First stop, Lake Sabrina. More coffee and amazing views. I love these high Sierra lakes. last few miles had temps in the low 40s, no heat problem here.

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    I spent the rest of the day enjoying the Fall colors in the canyons.


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    I don't know where the day goes, a few short walks, a nap by the river and a photo or two and it's getting late. Another ride back into the desert and north to Mammoth for the night.

    Day three already?! I wanted to see Convict Lake, and thought first light would be worthy, but screw it, I slept in. Even with an 8 am start the lake was only a few miles away and I arrived before the light crested the mountains above the lake. While waiting for the light I was looking for, I stumbled upon this abandoned rescue helicopter. Appears to be damaged.

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    It wasn't long until I had the scene I wanted

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    Now it was time to ride.

    A quick detour on the June Lake loop, with a photo of June Lake just because I don't have one yet.

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    North of Lee Vining is the turnoff for Lundy Lake. I'm now in day ride territory and thought this would make a good spot to come back to, but it's so close and I'm right here so why not look. The colors were changing but I decided another week or so of cool weather will make for some incredible photo oppurtunities and I'd come back. I predict an update in this thread in short order but here's one shot to tide you over until then...


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    Seems almost every ride east of the Sierras has me coming home on Sonora Pass, and for good reason, it's one of my favorite roads. Period. After a few days of touring mode it's good to do the full tilt boogie on familiar tarmac. This IS my local road. I've photographed it to death but with the colors popping here to, I just couldn't help but walk off the road into the Aspens for a few final color shots of the weekend.

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    #65
  6. gunnr

    gunnr optimsm

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    Beautiful pictures.........thanks :thumb
    #66
  7. avejoe

    avejoe Been here awhile

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    Down around the corner half a mile from here
    Awesome!
    #67
  8. Hop-Sing

    Hop-Sing Been here awhile

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    583
    That was good! I ride Trials so I was looking pretty close to all those great Rocks.
    Pictures are great with all that color.
    #68
  9. The_Scottsman

    The_Scottsman There's Beer here??

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    Location:
    On a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
    Wonderful photography! That sunrise shot is breath-taking!

    Next time you're down near Lone Pine, take a quick ride over to Panamint Springs. The ride there takes you through some beautiful red-rock desert. The Panamint and Argus ranges provide some great photographic opportunities.
    #69
  10. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    I don't ride trials bikes but was thinking even a regular dirt bike could sure get me in trouble out there quick! (Fun kind of trouble) :evil A trials bike would be heaven.

    I've covered that area at different times, but long before I started taking photos, and you're right I need to go back. I can't wait until retirement when I won't need to come home until I feel like it :D

    That sunrise shot has to be one of the more spectacular I've seen as far as exposure goes (not color-wise). The light changing so fast in such a big place. Standing out there in the middle of it all is why I do that sort of thing.
    #70
  11. 4point

    4point n00b

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    Location:
    Bass Lake
    :bashWanted to go hunting this weekend............................CRAP! Now i want to head to the East side and take in those views.
    #71
  12. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Wow - Thanks for that. I guess I've never been to Lone Pine. :hmmmmm

    Love those high sierra lakes.
    #72
  13. DogBoy

    DogBoy Not a Gnarly Adventurer

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    Sacramento, CA
    Just stumbled on this thread. Dave, we met at the AFM races in July while taking photos from pit lane. Really enjoying your photography and writing.
    #73
  14. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Do both! I have no idea what the zones are like on the east side but I saw a fair amount of game up there.


    I think most people have just been THROUGH Lone Pine not TO it :lol3

    I remember you, good to see you around here! I'll have to check out some of your photos from the day.
    #74
  15. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    DD,

    Your imagery is at the "Mind Blowing" stages...

    I've been so truly humbled.

    This is one of those golden nuggets I comb for on advrider.

    And I love that it's in the back yard... so to speak.

    More magical journeys, please.

    And thank you once again.
    #75
  16. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

    Joined:
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    Wow man, thanks for the feedback....now I'm a bit humbled. Really, I know plenty of riders around here go to these same mind blowing places that I do, I just got tired of coming home with snapshots that made people say "oh that looks nice" (ho hum) and I'd be thinking inside "No, you don't get it, it was awesome!" I'm just SO glad that people are looking at my photos and getting it now.

    This thread is becoming a lot of fun for me and sometimes I sit back with a beer and read it just to take me back to where I was in my mind, and as long as few of you are enjoying the journey to, I'll continue to post.

    Yesterday I rode a bit over 400 miles, did a two mile hike and still had time to enjoy a few moments, and today I'm recovering from it :lol3 I'm feeling a little lazy and thought I'd go through my photos later this week, but after reading your post I feel inspired to start right now. I should have some up in a couple of days.

    In the meantime, a little story from after the last adventure that was cool for me.


    This photo just showed up in my Email this last week.

    A couple of weeks ago in the Alabama Hills I saw a photographer doing the same as I was and apparently he scouted the same spot for a sunrise photo that I did. There I was in darkness a half hour before sun up with my gear all set up and this guy rolls in literally 5 minutes before the first rays of light hit the mountain, a quick nod to each other and he quickly gets ready for the show. Not a word was spoken for about 15 minutes as the light transformed the landscape in front of us. Finally as things settle down two strangers acknowledge each other and we begin to talk of the awesome display we just witnessed, a shared experience. Another moment on the road.

    What I didn't know is he took a couple of shots of me enjoying one of my passions and looking at it I can remember the thoughts in my head and the feeling of the place at the time. A special photo for certain, and thanks to a stranger, now friend, in the desert for taking the time to look me up.


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    #76
  17. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Your images are what my mind recalls... of the places I've seen in your photographs. But you actually manage precision timing in setting up your photos. Honestly, I rarely am fortunate enough to visually capture many moments during the dawn or dusk "magic" hours as you so patiently do.

    As I've said on other threads and have had the stark realization... It takes an extreme amount of patience beyond what great photographers require... to be a photographer by way of motorcycle. The additional patience to stop the fun of riding, to begin the fun of setting up for the photo... simply has me perplexed. The more I photograph my motorcycle travels, the more I have a greater appreciation for you that do it all so well planned, so patiently, so precise and so creatively.

    And I personally love the balance of scenic photography on it's own... and also as a backdrop for a beautiful adventure bike, which conjured up the thoughts of the journey to and from. Additionally, I enjoy the short narratives that can be added giving the right subtext of the trips... like a simple reveal of the location, interesting or strange situations and drama involved.

    You've certainly got the perfect balance going on.

    And perhaps I'm one of the more fortunate ones in that I've experienced many of your locations first hand, so I can really appreciate how much more special you manage to capture these in photos. Just like I wish I could do, and as I swear they reflect in my mind from when I was there, only better... As I recall.
    #77
  18. Mr B

    Mr B Been here awhile

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    Merced, CA
    Great shots Dave,

    keep up the nice thread/Blog!!!!
    #78
  19. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    San Francisco, CA, 94102
    Hi Desert Dave,
    Like Bob says, not sure how I missed this ... great photos. So there you go: five stars ... :ricky

    A couple of relevant pics, in the spirit of Where Did You Ride Today?, to demonstrate how good your pics are:

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    Tioga Pass, January 8, 2012 ...

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    Yours truly, AFM#113, at Sears Point, July 1, 2012 ... My wife, Cary, is an ADV Rider, too (puddles), AFM#968 ... looks like we were both racing the weekend you were there ... wouldn't it be fun if you got some pics of us! :D

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    Looking back at Bodie on the way to Aurora Canyon ...

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    Puddles and the Alabama Hills, August 26, 2012 ...

    Thanks for the wonderful thread! I'm sure we'll bump into one another in Nor Cal one of these days ...

    See you around the campfire,
    -- SFMCjohn
    #79
  20. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

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    Really, really nice!!!
    Great photo work.. I love seeing our area through the lens of someone else.
    #80