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

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

  1. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

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    BACK IN THE STATES!!!
    Good to see you yesterday, Dave. I still want to get together and learn some of your tricks for some of the shots. Sorry I couldn't hang out longer- I was still late for dinner after Alice's.
  2. Varkenjaab

    Varkenjaab Middle Age Crisis

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    This thread has some of the best travel photography I've seen. Congratulations. I don't know what training/courses you've done but the shots are brilliant and worthy of commercial use.

    I'm a simple Aussie who is coming to the PNW in October to ride some of your beautiful area (me on a V Strom, my mate on a GS1150) and we are REAALLLYY looking forward to it!

    This thread just makes me want to get there quicker and stay longer (than the 3 weeks we'll have).

    Thanks heaps. Inspiring work.

    Cheers, :clap:clap

    Geoff
  3. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    ....I'm sure the roads look the same while we are there :D, glad the photos spark a memory.

    You missed it, all of the hot motorcycle chicks in bikinis rolled in right after you left!



    Glad you're diggin it! If the thread inspires you to ride it must be working as I'm just trying to share my enthusiasm for my backyard. Hit me up with a PM if you'd like any specific info on some of these areas so you can check them out for yourself.

    As for my photo "training" it was 8 months of unemployment in 2009, and a desire to not waste the time without bettering myself. So I pursued something I was always interested in but never had the time.....and all for free, the internet is full of all the info you need.

    Thanks for the kind words, really, it is nice to know when someone "gets" something out of what I'm trying to share.
  4. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

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    Pro quality pics-thanks for posting them.Since I live in Modesto I like to ride up on Sonora Pass.
  5. Tex76

    Tex76 Motersykle Advntyers

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    Stunning Dave!! I'm going to be doing a tour of 12 or so Western states in a month, california is one place I'll spend a lot of time, and this thread has given me so many great area to explore. I love to photograph as well and I think I'll be draining batteries daily lol. Thanks for doing this!!
  6. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Somehow I almost completely missed Fall, my favorite time of the year to ride.

    Never thought I'd be one of those guys who say they are to busy to ride. It's not like I quit riding, I've still managed afternoon jaunts and local rides, but unless I'm out from sunrise until after dark feeling completely spent when I come home it just doesn't seem like I went riding. This year has been different but things are starting to relax again and I've been able to spend the last couple of weekends in the Sierras doing my thing. Not much to talk about as far as the riding goes, nothing broken or stuck, just the plain old normal awe inspiring scenery with perfect turns trans versing high mountain passes and lonely dirt roads that I have all to myself. Man this sucks.
    Lots of time to Enjoy The Moment, so here's a few shots from the road.

    Seems I missed the peak of the fall colors but this time of year still has a new perspective. The frustration of the crowded ,hot summer is gone, replaced with a slight sense of urgency to savor every moment of roads that will soon be inaccessible due to snow. this is the sort of place I could easily hole up for the winter.

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    An early stop along Silver Fork Rd has me parking the bike in the trees out of sight while I sit on a rock and take it all in.

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    Seems a good spot for lunch. While I was eating I watched this cute fella crawl across open terrain right towards me and stop to have a bite himself. I suppose I wasn't eating alone anymore. Sometime I surprise myself with how long I can observe something so simple and enjoy it so much. I swear I would've made a good mountain man in another century.

    [​IMG]



    The camera stayed in the bags for most of the day as I was catching up on some quality riding time. I did however make a very abrupt stop and u-turn to try and capture this moment. Coming home late in the day, heading up Hwy 4 from the East towards Ebbetts Pass all of you locals will recognize this set of turns, some of my favorite on this road, and I finally saw the view I needed to capture the character of these turns. If this doesn't make you lean a little with a content feeling of a late day ride ..........

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    Fast forward a week and I wake up on a Saturday morning with an Eastern Sierra wanderlust. On the road in the morning dark, nothing like the energy of watching the sunrise over the Sierras. First stop towards the top of the pass, and out comes the thermos of coffee in the near freezing temps. Between the fall colors just past peak and trace amounts of snow from a week ago familiar places once again looked new. The snow melts in a different pattern in fall than it does in spring, due to the sun being further south and the Eastern Sierras cooler than the High/West Sierra, these details are missed by most but I find it exciting. One of the benefits of photography is just how much it has opened my eyes to all of these visual details and makes me feel more at one with these places.


    [​IMG]

    I could stay there all day, and I debate it for a while. But it's early and I want to see more of the Eastern side.

    The fall color is spectacular in spots.

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    More places that I'd rather call home.

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    Further south I take a shortcut on Buckeye Rd, or something like that. What a neat back road that hugs a hillside giving awesome desert views and High Sierra views at the same time.

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    Further up I arrive at Twin Lakes.

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    While setting up for a scenic "road shot" a group of a dozen or so bikes ride by so I take advantage and get a moto photo or two.

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    Hooked up with this group at the west end of the lake and shared coffee and conversation for an hour or so. Again one of the best things about riding solo is the people you meet on the way.

    Miles of postcard-ish roads on the East slope

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    ALL mine. Or at least that is how it felt.

    [​IMG]



    Turning back on to 108 this character is on the side of the road flagging me down. My new friend John. Seems he needed a little help getting his bike back in the truck. I've seen guys truck their sportbikes and unload them so they can hit the pass and skip the highway before, but John is in his 70s and told me he may not be able to do this much longer due to physical reasons and how he cherishes ever opportunity to ride the best road in the world (my paraphrase). I was inspired to see his tenacity in doing whatever he had to in order to keep enjoying two wheels. I let him know he was an inspiration. We had the bike in the truck in a hurry and a great roadside conversation that I won't forget.

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    So here's a little bit of adventure. Passing the Marines Mountain Warfare training center I see a helicopter idling on the pad just off the road. It isn't until I'm at the rise that I realize he was hovering a few feet off the ground slowly moving in a horizontal plane, and I was damn near eye level with the pilot. With the rush of wind buffeting my bike a I slowed down for a better look and was overcome with the size of these things. I mean they are big sitting still but something about "floating" a few feet in the air make me feel real small that close to it. A cool feeling. I love mechanical things and power and this had both.

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    The light WAS blinking.

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    I pulled over and enjoyed the impromptu airshow for awhile while they did their training. So did these other riders, without stopping though....one more reason I'm not a big group guy.

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    A few more late day shots before home.

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    Speaking of home AND helicopters a few weeks ago the back side of Mt. Hamilton had a small brush fire. Spotting the smoke from The Junction I poured out a fresh beer and hit the road quick as I knew some action was coming. Straitening out 17 miles of some of the twistiest bay area road I got up there in time to watch CDF in action. Again, at eye level, these guys were maybe 50 yards out. It's these unique moments that make a ride an adventure instead of just miles, but what you witness along the way.

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    Not to mention in Fall these guys are out doing their thing as well. Somehow they remind me of my favorite riding season.

    [​IMG]
  7. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Thanks man...we're neighbors!

    Looking forward to your ride report!
  8. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

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    RE: dude in his 70s needing help. When Yeti and I were in Baja a couple weeks ago, there were a couple dudes up in years at Gonzaga who'd ridden all the way down there: one on a TW and the other on a Sherpa. I think both were in their 70s. They packed camp (probably after making the mistake of hanging out with Yeti and I and being a little hung over) loaded the bikes and kept on going all the way to Cabo. Respect.
  9. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Thanks for the update!

    I was up on the west side this weekend, dirt between 4 and 108 and back.

    If you believe the weatherman, we might have some more great riding days before the weather changes.
  10. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Yeah I think we all like to think that we'll be one of those guys who does this stuff forever. I guess we don't really know for sure until we get there. In the meantime the Timers usually have the best stories :deal


    That's some good riding in there, with all the spur roads I seems there is always something new.

    I look forward to the Fall weather. Feels good to need the heated liners in the morning. I'm happy when the weather is just winter enough for a little snow and interesting views.....but not quite enough to keep the passes closed :D In the meantime I ride every weekend like it's the last until spring.
  11. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    Dave, as always....:bow


    Your beautiful shots capture a vast array of the world/universe/life/riding....


    You remind me to slow down, take a look...

    and then take a shitty pic.....as that's about all I do....:lol3


    Thanks again, amigo, for sharing....:D
  12. tc339

    tc339 Adventurer

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    Jesus man, I after seeing all your fantastic pictures and roads you hit I need to figure out where these roads are! or tag along...

    Need a riding partner??? :D
  13. Eudaimonia

    Eudaimonia Adventurer

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    i don't think I'd ever come home if I had the Sierras to ride. Florida has pretty nice places but nothing coming close to this. my heart will always belong to the mountains (i lived in both Colorado and California). some places are just too beautiful for words. certainly this qualifies. when i Coloroado, i rode a road bike, so all that milage was sticky non-motrozied. i plan to go back with my motorcycle now that i've added that to my two-wheeled adventures.

    some of what you wrote re: photography and riding almost sounded like what i've said. we appear to be trying out similar things? i too am combining photography and riding and even created a blog to post all my stuff. recently started experimenting with video, too.

    thanks for sharing your photos, a gift to look at.

    domenic
  14. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Some of my favorite photos are ones I took years ago from disposable , cardboard cameras, and the quality is awful but I cherish the memories now, and wish I had more. (I've seen some of yours and they are WAY better than that!)

    If the slowing down part becomes enjoyable and not forced then I think you've achieved true motorcycle Zen :D



    Ask me any specifics you like, except for a couple of photos that are my "super secret" spots most of these are well known roads or close to them. In fact I love it when I can show a guy a photo of a road he's been on a hundred times and he sees it in a different perspective. Better yet, I love seeking out those different perspectives :D



    Yes, I truly appreciate what is close by and it IS often hard to come home. Often on day rides I'll hang out until well after dark just to stretch it out a little longer.

    I'm still a bit surprised myself at how this has turned into as much or maybe even more of a photography thread than riding adventures, but I go with what feels right at the moment. Blending the two is so perfect when you find joy in both . Sounds like we are on the same wavelength.
  15. dman

    dman Been here awhile

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    I think this is the first fall I haven't gotten up to the Sierras in a very long time. Thanks Dave for letting me at least see them through your pictures!

    -damn
  16. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Fall isn't over yet! :deal
  17. skimoto

    skimoto Adventurer

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    You are making me homesick for California.
  18. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Nice photo of a cool dude.

    I enjoy your reports and wonderful photography.
    I rode Sonora Pass this summer to see if your claim was true. I agree, its my favorite motorcycling road ever! Must... Ride... Again!
  19. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Well, what does that tell you? :D

    Cool! Another believer :lol3 I suppose the only thing that would make that road better is if it was longer, which is why I've been known to ride it multiple times in one day :evil

    I used to be shy about taking photos of strangers, only to have a memory full of countless moments on the road that decades later I wonder if I even remember right. So far I've yet to have anyone tell me no when I ask for a photo and I tell them it may end up on the internet. This guy was cool, hope I have the same drive in a few years.

    Besides my desire to learn "people" photography is going pretty slow :lol3
  20. UpST8

    UpST8 turnin gas to noise

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    Excellent photos and writing. Thanks!