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

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,805
    Location:
    Tracy, CA

    So here I am two weeks later on my return trip to Lundy Lake. A nice day ride where I could devote the time needed to explore the area. Lunch packed and out the door a bit after 6 AM I'm excited as to what the day might bring. The two Sierra passes I plan on crossing were both shut down due to the first snow of the year, Tioga re-opened and I had faith that at some point in the day Sonora Pass would do the same. Doesn't matter as this ride isn't about the passes, but an eastern Sierra lake.

    As elevation increases the temperature drops and it feels refreshing to use my heated gear for the first time in months. I love the crisp air, it makes me feel alive.

    If you enjoy photography, trying to get across Tioga road without stopping for a photo is torture, but I was trying to make time. I ignored the changing colors in the morning sky, made it past Olmstead Point with just a quick glance at Half Dome and pushed passed the first view of Teneya Lake even though the shadows were dramatic and took my breath away once again. However, riding along the edge of the lake I couldn't resist the mist on the water, frost on the beach and reflections on the lake before the sun comes over the towering granite.

    [​IMG]




    It was chilly, mid 30s, but that just made me feel a part of the scene. I could see the first rays of light peeking over the ridge and was glad I waited. The instant the rays hit the water the mist took on more of a prescence than smoke at a David Copperfield show. I always have time for this

    [​IMG]




    Looking at where I just came from, for those of you not familiar with the area, that is the highway cutting through the granite next to the water. Much different than summer when this would be crowded.

    [​IMG]



    O.K. now I'm going to make time. Really. At least until Ellery Lake with it's fresh dusting of snow. I hope I never get used to scenes like this.

    [​IMG]



    A quick ride out into the desert and then back into Lundy Canyon for a look at the lake. I spied some old two track next to the lake for a better vantage point.

    [​IMG]



    From there I went further up the canyon on a dirt road that would lead to the Hoover Wilderness where I was looking for a hiking trail.

    [​IMG]



    The best surprise of the day was a neat series of ponds along the road that I had to stop and enjoy.

    [​IMG]


    Wonder why they call these the Beaver ponds??:lol3

    [​IMG]




    I really love this next photo, and not for the obvious reasons guys...

    The rugged beauty of nature, with a silhouette of a softer type of beauty.

    [​IMG]



    The road dead ends into a trailhead (hiking) and I set off in search of a well known waterfall. Lots of photographers up there doing the same, and honestly I wasn't impressed when I found it. Two miles of hiking and a bit dissapointed, it was time to get back to doing what I love best, riding away from the crowd.

    Aspen lined roads made me slow down to enjoy where I was at.

    [​IMG]



    lots of short roads to camping spots, but my favorite was an overgrown dead end that led to a footbridge that existed for the sole purpose of reaching a valve that would divert some water from this creek. This would be my lunch spot, for some reason a ride doesn't seem complete unless I find a hidden gem that I can claim as my own, and this was it for today.

    [​IMG]



    Back on the highway headed North I take the turn off to Virginia Lakes. This is my idea of a powerline road. How can you NOT ride over the next hill to see what is there??

    [​IMG]



    What is your favorite flavor? We've got them all in this grove.

    [​IMG]


    Looking East I love the contrast of color to high desert.

    [​IMG]



    Cresting Conway Summit is the classic view of fall colors with fresh snow on the mountains as a reminder of a looming winter.

    [​IMG]



    This time of year I think of each ride over the passes as a gift as soon they will be inaccessible. This ride was no different.
    #81
  2. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,805
    Location:
    Tracy, CA
    I didn't start riding until I was a teenager, before that I spent years camping, hiking and backpacking and learned to appreciate nature at a slower pace. I feel like I'm getting back to that, and it's rewarding. Yeah, still not everybody has the patience :lol3

    :thumb


    VERY relevant pics! Seems this could have been your ride report :deal
    I'll look through some of my AFM photos and see if I can find any of you guys.

    I think it's inevitable our paths will cross at some point


    Right back at ya! It's funny, as much as I enjoy the reports with places I've never been and many I'll never go to, I think I enjoy different perspectives of familiar territory the most.
    #82
  3. Dieselpwr

    Dieselpwr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    466
    Location:
    NJ
    Awesome pics. What camera you using? And I'm guessing there's some post editing as well.
    #83
  4. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,805
    Location:
    Tracy, CA

    Most of those photos were taken with a Nikon D5100, a pretty modest camera in the DSLR world, but for my needs has all the right features, and at least one you won't get on higher end cameras. Main selling point for me was the sensor, compare the dynamic range at base ISO with the bigger players and the 5100 stacks up well (often better). My post editing is pretty basic, final cropping and sizing with most of the adjustments being selective exposure. Shooting in RAW allows me to take full advantage of the sensors DR for the sunset photos where I can get proper exposure in the sky and foreground. I carry a basic 4 lens kit on the bike.

    That being said a number of the photos in this thread were taken with my Canon G11, quite an amazing point and shoot if you do your part right :deal
    #84
  5. Mr B

    Mr B Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    521
    Location:
    Merced, CA
    Hey you inspired me to take a quick trip out to Lee Vining, the colors were peaking and the crowds no where to be found! Awesome day. Thanks for that!

    [​IMG]
    #85
  6. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,578
    Location:
    City of the Angels
    I am currently going through an estate dispursement from HELL... due to the recent passing of my father. I've spent numerous long nights in senseless heated discussions with my siblings over the most insignificant of details. Luckily I've been able to escape to the serenity of this thread for some relaxation and mental reboot.

    I've been fortunate in having access to a Nikon D5100 and set it up in my topcase for a ride into the Wildomar wilderness. This is an area outside of Temecula in Southern California. I did a ride report mixing photos from the Nikon, a Panasonic point and shoot... and my IPhone during mulitple occasions to complete a ride report.

    Honestly, it humbled me to a greater distance between myself and those others who are so truly talented.

    My main problem ( or excuse) is that once I get my feet situated on the pegs of my bike... it's so damn hard to stop and set up for photos. I had two lenses and that was nearly overload in itself. The D5100 was great to play around with but I ended up relying so much on the presets and bringing a small tripod ended up being additionally complicated. And I realized first hand that it's not the tool as much as it's the toolsmith.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=814182
    #86
  7. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,805
    Location:
    Tracy, CA


    Perfect, that's what this is all about! Isn't it great that the ride to Lee Vining is a QUICK trip? :D Thanks for sharing



    I completely understand this problem. For years I would take off for a two week ride and come home with less than a roll of film worth of photos. Stopping was such a pain and took away from my ride experience. I wanted pictures later, but it was so much work. It's different now, I'm slowing down and am actually EXCITED about the whole photo process, and as long as I'm excited about it I'll continue. Who knows maybe I'll get tired of it in a few years and it will just be a phase, like so many aspects of my riding. Two years from now I might be ice racing bikes and the camera will be collecting dust...I don't know :lol3 My point is, don't force it. I've enjoyed plenty of ride reports with Iphone photos because the author was passionate about what they were doing. Keep on keeping on! :thumb
    #87
  8. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,805
    Location:
    Tracy, CA
    After all of these weeks of riding to places were I could enjoy the serenity and peace of my favorite places I was feeling the need for something faster and louder. I spent the last two weekends enjoying some two wheeled competition and thought I'd post a little of the action.

    With race seasons winding down I caught the last Supermoto USA race at Prarie City (Hangtown). I can't ever get tired of watching guys slide bikes on pavement in a manner that I have to be in the dirt to do! As usual the atmosphere was typical grass roots racing and I made a lot of new friends.

    Now I don't want to flood my OWN thread with 100 photos so here's a few of my favs and if you'd like to see more here's a link to the entire gallery at my Smugmug page.

    http://desertdave.smugmug.com/Other/Photos-de-Supermoto/26275034_VLfTMX

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Note the smoking boot....yeah baby!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]





    Last weekend it was Vertical Dirt. Skips at Carnagie was holding the last Hillclimb of the season. Skip was kind enough to allow me on the hill for a different perspective then I've ever experiencd before. This hillclimb is some of the most difficult photography I've ever done, besides challenging light and action you really need to put yourself in harms way to get some of the angles I wanted. Sometimes out of control bikes rocketing towards me, roost hitting my back and the constant falling rocks from above that could take you out, all while trying to move and balance on hill so steep I can barely stand. I saw one hill worker fall and roll at least 100 feet. Challenging and exciting....exactley why I had so much fun and can't wait to try it again!

    Full gallery here http://desertdave.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Vertical-Dirt/26403981_fpmwwZ


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Life on the hill :lol3

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    #88
  9. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,385
    Location:
    BFE, SW Oregon/SF BayO'rhea
    AMAZING SHOTS!!!!! :clap
    #89
  10. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,805
    Location:
    Tracy, CA
    Not an Adventure bikes, but a new two wheeled adventure none the less.


    I had a project 70s XS650 that I never finished and sold a decade ago. I realize some guys modernize these into cool street trackers, but honestly that was more of a commitment than I was willing to make at the time. It WAS fun for the retro factor since it made the right sound, shook like a paint shaker and looked like sex, but riding it was fun for a trip to yesteryear, not somewhere I wanted to stay for more than a quick novelty run. It was great eye candy in the garge. Like a grab a drink and just look at it awhile.

    [​IMG]

    For so long now my bikes have been about purpose, with style being a distant second. I miss having a bike I could just go out in the garage and stare at for awhile. I've been eying the new Bonnevilles since they came out but it wasn't the right time until recently. A couple of weeks ago I bought one. It has cool for days and I've always wanted one. On paper the numbers were acceptable for an afternoon jaunt, but I didn't take this bike to serious. Just a toy.

    Then I took her on some of my favorite local roads and was a bit shocked as to how much fun I was having. I haven't owned a real sportbike in years, but this thing is so small contrasted with my current rides that I couldn't help but feel a sport nature, quick steering but not nervous quick and low COG. Brakes are acceptable, but better than I expected looking at the two piston single disc. Injection has the Fueling spot on, better than a number of "premium" bikes I've owned with F.I.

    Suspension sucks, but I can feel around that, easy enough to fix. Working in the garage today to bolt on an exhaust to make it sound right, and Works Performance for the rear. No it'll never be a sportbike but I'm sure it will surprise a few on my local roads and if I can't keep up, big deal, it's just a cruiser right?:lol3

    And I once again have a bike that I can enjoy just looking at in the garage.

    [​IMG]

    So a little adventure, breaking in an unfamiliar new bike with fresh tires in the rain on a road notorious for sand a gravel and now wet leaves. No ABS, no traction control, just the raw feeling of Man and machine making it happen.

    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]



    You don't see me trying to take pictures like this of my Tenere or Strom tank :D

    [​IMG]

    If nothing else this bike just rides so different than my others that it is fun for that reason alone. In a lot of ways it reminds my of my '78 SR500, which is the first bike that made me feel like I could hold my own in a canyon.


    [​IMG]




    And at the end of the day it's still about Enjoying The Moment.

    [​IMG]




    __________________
    #90
  11. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,042
    Location:
    Prince George, BC Canada
    This is some down right SPECTACULAR photography. I am so looking forward to a continuation.....
    #91
  12. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,783
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Nice Triumph add pics!

    I have seen one in my area lately, very nice looking bikes!

    Congratulations and again nice pics.
    #92
  13. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,805
    Location:
    Tracy, CA
    If you've been following this thread you know how often I've passed through Yosemites high country this year but on the last day of 2012 I realized I hadn't made it down into the valley even once. That's fine by me as I usually only enjoy the valley in the off season anyway when the crowds are minimal, sometimes even scarce. With recent storms and a cold snap there was a possibility of dramatic conditions. If you've ever wondered why I love California riding this is a perfect example of a lunch run in the middle of winter.

    With a lazy 8 AM start Gerbings is my best friend in the 32 degree weather at my house, knowing it's only getting colder where I'm going. Remember when you had to be tough to ride in this stuff? Not so much anymore. Two of the three entrances to the park currently have chain requirements, so I opt for the low road through Mariposa.

    Wasn't really planning on documenting this ride, just wanted to eat my sandwich by a waterfall and go home. Most of the following photos are snapshots, not much planning involved, but it's Yosemite, kind of hard to not get an decent photo. The road was pretty clear all the way to the valley, a few icy spots but nothing to brag about, then a few miles in the valley it was like a line was drawn that says "Winter starts here" and I'm overcome with an exhilarated feeling from what I'm experiencing.
    First stop, Bridalviel Falls. Scene it hundreds of times, but each time unique and this was incredible.

    [​IMG]



    By now the road is a bit sketchy and I can't park many of the places I usually would as the snow is plowed to the edge of the road and I can't get off. To make matters worse the turnouts that were plowed had a solid sheet of ice across them, making them a not so good option. So my stops were limited to the open areas that see lots of Sun as the were plenty clear.

    Like this first sighting of Yosemite Falls

    [​IMG]



    And of course my obligatory "Magazine Cover" glamor shot. Have I mentioned recently how much I like this bike and how perfect it is for rides like this? :D The Tenere is almost to it's one year anniversary and I'm liking it more.

    [​IMG]



    By now headed towards Curry Village and the road is iced bad enough that I'm letting cars pass me (unheard of in Yosemite) Feels weird to be riding when most of the cars around me have chains on. Last I saw temps were in the 20s and I had ice in my beard.

    A few more memories from the valley.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Note the falling ice/snow to the right of the falls, and then look at the full grown trees to the left for scale and you realize what an event it was.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]




    This last shot is so well known because EVERYBODY stops here for a photo, as well as myself many times. But once again things are different this day and it warrants another look. Yosemite in winter is absolute magic.

    [​IMG]




    Off to Cascade Falls where I find a sunspot on a rock and lay out like a lizard while I enjoy my sandwich. It's getting late and shadows long and I really want to be back in the gold country before ice starts forming . I almost felt I cheated myself with such a short visit, but this is winter riding.
    Down in the Gold Country I enjoy some of my favorite backroads ( Does "Old Toll Road" mean anything to you locals? :evil) I love the old west culture and scenery around these parts and decide I needed at least one photo from Hornitos, an old town with wonderful ruins. A few plaques but no tourists, my kind of place. I think my favorite building is one that almost isn't there anymore, No sign or plaque so I can only guess what this old building was, but I like it better that way. How can you not feel like you're at the end of a good western movie?


    [​IMG]


    I contemplate hanging out here until sunset as it's only a half hour away, but with some interesting clouds on the horizon I could see the possibility of an awesome light show getting ready. I'm rollin. Riding faster than I should have been I was desperately looking for the perfect sunset spot when I remembered I would soon cross the Merced river. Arriving with the Sun 10 minutes above the horizon I knew this was it. And it was.

    [​IMG]


    Not since Lassen back in July have I been moved by a sunset like this. Again I knew I was witnessing a life long memory being made. Watching as the colors change so fast with unreal reflections on the water, it seemed almost mystical. Some of this water came over the falls I was looking at earlier in the day.

    [​IMG]


    As the post sunset colors peak and slowly start to fade I pull out me end of the day cigar and enjoy the moment. I couldn't get myself to leave until the stars were out and getting colder quick. An hour or so till home and this was one awesome New Years Eve.

    [​IMG]
    #93
  14. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,805
    Location:
    Tracy, CA
    Thanks! And here ya go!:D

    Yeah first time in a while that I bought a bike with form over function. Shiny is ok :lol3
    #94
  15. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,783
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Old Toll Rd and Bear Valley Rd, both great roads to head west from that part of 49.
    Great pics especially the sunset!
    Were they taken by Merced Falls?
    #95
  16. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,805
    Location:
    Tracy, CA
    You Sir are correct!

    I like both those roads but Old Toll is one of those roads that just screams with character. One of these day I'm going to take some time to try and capture the feeling of it in photographs, but until then I'll just love riding it.:D

    Yes the sunset was the reflection of the Merced river just above Merced falls, where it is damned up.
    #96
  17. Cuttle

    Cuttle me? what?

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,706
    Location:
    Mars
    love the new pics! :clap
    #97
  18. jazzer

    jazzer Lost again... Yeah!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Tracy, CA
    Awesome Dave! Thanks for posting your inspirational pics. I need to get there soon!:clap
    #98
  19. tomatocity

    tomatocity Retired and lovin' it

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    861
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    Dave you are getting me out of the warm house and onto a chilly Tenere. I looked at Old Toll Road and realized I had ridden it before (maybe five years ago) though I was following a friend at his pace. If the weather is clear I am headed to that area to ride Old Toll Road and the surrounding area. Thanks for the inspiration.
    #99
  20. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    521
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Oooooo-Ahhhhhh!
    Great new set of photos Desert Dave!
    The black bird one was especially amazing.
    Thanks for braving the cold and sharing the pics with us.
    :D