It's What Men Do

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by epicxcrider, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Well, I was the only new guy to motorcycles. I usually run deflated in the rough stuff, but we transitioned from rough to 80 mph highway sections so many times in a day it would have wasted a lot of time airing up and down. But I agree, low tire pressure is great in loose stuff!
    #41
  2. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Route 1 curved in and around the big pines that shaded us from the sun as we rose up towards the Redwood Highway. I really turned on the heat in this section, keeping the bike in 3rd and using the full range of the engine. The Heidinaus notably faster than the nobbies, Bernie and I quickly pulled ahead of Shawn in the miles of nicely banked corners.

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    Crap picture, sorry

    Arriving at the intersection of Rt 1 and 101, I pulled up to a group of Harley riders in a dirt parking lot. Looking the part in full leathers and tattoos I expected a typical New England greeting of looking the other way and pretending I didn't exist since I wasn't on a cruiser... Was I wrong! These were Canadian Harley riders! Only too happy to chat for a bit and share stories of the road. They were from Just outside of Banff, headed to San Fran. We were coming from San Fran, headed to Banff. Small world. (I really have nothing against Harley guys :) We chatted for a while until Shawn showed up, then broke off to head North.

    The day was getting on so we decided to look for a place to camp near Benbow or Garberville. The ride North was more relaxed now and quite enjoyable.

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    Note that the tree trunk is as tall as Bernie​
    #42
  3. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    After deciding not to camp at the state park ($55 for the 3 of us for a night!?!) we searched high and low in Benbow and Garberville for some primitive camping. Gassing up we saw another group of riders across the street. Riding a mix of dirt bikes and cruisers, clad in flanel with gear strapped to the bars or wherever it could be they were stopped for a break. Bernie rode over to ask about a place to pitch a tent while Shawn and I waited. No dice.
    Later I found out one of those kids on the cruisers was a buddy from college on a weekend trip - small world!

    Anyway, we rode around for probably an hour or so trying to find a place to camp. Dirt roads, dead ends, everything. Eventually we found a pretty boss spot :)

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    Dusk was approaching by the time we made camp, and I ate an avocado by the light of the stove as I cooked a can of soup. Camp was in a riverbed made up of very loose river rock. Driving through it was a pain, but we managed to find a few soft spots for the tents. Realizing nobody brought provisions for a bear bag, we made an offering out of all the food we had a good distance from the tents. Fortunately all we had was a few avocados and some empty soup cans.​
    #43
  4. Osmin C

    Osmin C Been here awhile

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    This has to be one of the best RR's I have read in a while. Great job!
    #44
  5. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I grew up around there. My #1 son was born in Mountain View. I am surprised La Honda Road is unchanged. Haven't ridden it in 30 years.

    I know those silty trails around Mono Lake too. I knew you would get stuck when I read what you were attempting. In 2005 I rode my KTM 950 from Boston to Monterey for MotoGP. I spotted a similar track that appeared to lead to the Mono Lake shore. I got stuck a mile in. Not only that, but I couldn't put the side stand down or even get off the bike because of the tall duffels and all. Plus I was solo as my partners went on up the road to Hwy 395.

    Sheesh...what now?

    Well, I knew enough not to spin the tire deeper so I gently rocked the bike out using the clutch. Turning around was about as much fun, but I was able to get back to tar eventually. :knary

    I was told later in that part of the country the dirt all lava cinder or something like that. It's not really soil or sand. I agree, it is bottomless, whatever it is. :eek1

    I have a hard time imagining you were stepping out the back end of that 500lb monster like a dirt bike, but hey...you're young and foolish. It took me years of dirtbiking around those parts to learn to slide a motorcycle and none of them weighed more than 250lb!

    Looking for more updates. I am most interested in your take on the country once you begin your eastern path home. Hope you get a chance to ride parts of the CDR, but I think you'll need tracks for that. It's a good route for the big bikes.
    #45
  6. CHECK_OIL

    CHECK_OIL Been here awhile

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    Midland Va.

    :lol3
    #46
  7. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Haha well you have to be a bit creative to make everything read well ;) You certainly can't ride these things like a dirtbike but it feels good to get the back end out once in a while and that's certainly possible. I really only had about 50-60 lbs of gear wet so the thing wasn't loaded to the gills either.
    #47
  8. motorradrudi

    motorradrudi tourguide

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sonthofen, Germany
    beautiful pics!!! :clap:clap:clap

    :lurk

    Best greatings from Germany
    Rudi
    #48
  9. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Day Six: The Lost Coast
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    I was up and out early to find a slightly chilly and overcast morning accentuated by the humidity from the river. I had a bit of a walk around to enjoy the area while Bernie and Shawn got moving.

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    I walked over to the pile of food with Bernie to collect everything and grab an avocado from the bag for breakfast. Then I hear from Bernie "Uh, I think we had a visitor". The bag of avocados, two clif bars and Bernie's camp spoon were nowhere to be seen. I remembered hearing something around the tent early in the morning but hadn't thought much of it.

    No avocado for me. Clif bar breakfast, pack up, move on.

    Going easy on the throttle to keep from digging a hole in the riverbed I led us out and back onto the Ave of the Giants. We would have to head South to gas up in Redway and then make for the coast on the road less traveled.

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    #49
  10. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    I'm not really sure what I had imagined NorCal would be like, but Garberville wasn't it. Beyond the SF area towns had been fairly small, few and far between - even along Route 1. There was plenty of traffic traveling the Redwood Highway, but exploring the towns and secondary roads revealed a different part of the state reminding me more of Northern New England than I imagined California would be. We started to see less money in the towns, a few shady characters here and there, people staring as we rode by. Everything you expect in a small woods town.

    We gassed up in Redway which, as always, took longer than I'd like. I took advantage of the time to watch the local color come and go, wondering aloud who was already stoned for the day based on how long it took them to remember they were there to get gas.

    The sun now bright in the sky and warming us up from the chilly night, we took the only road West out of town.

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    Practically alone on the road, we climbed and turned our way up. Where the road was steep we switchbacked through pines dense enough to turn day into dusk, emerging again into the brilliant cloudless sky.

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    The further we went, the better things got. As the scenery got better, the roads got worse - but who cares, we've got the bikes for it.

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    Occasionally we would pass a driveway, usually gated. It seems most people out here lived off the grid - relying on solar, wind, rainwater collection, and generators. The smell of growing cannibus was sporadic, but ever present.

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    At one point I had to stop just to take it all in. This is seriously beautiful country.

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    We passed through the small town of Honeydew, but I blinked and missed it.

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    Lots of pictures. It was beautiful.

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    After an amazing ride, we arrived in the village of Petrolia.

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    A real live phone booth!

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    #50
  11. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Petrolia is quite remote with only two roads leading into town. We stopped at the only store to pick up some food - and to my surprise they had quite a selection of home made dried fruits and baked goods. We grabbed a quick snack and chatted with the cashier about the area. She was from back East, and when asked "so what brings you here?" she simply replied by waving her hands around in a "just look around you" gesture.

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    We asked about heading to the coast and she said we shouldn't miss it - off we went. The road followed the Mattole river - one of a few undammed rivers left in the country - past a few small farms and then turning to a dusty dirt road that brought us to the ocean.

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    Barely a cloud in the sky, the ocean was just so BLUE! A cloud bank miles off shore obscured the horizon making the transition from ocean to sky hard to find. Despite the chilly Westerly wind, the bright sun kept us warm as we walked along soaking in the beauty.

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    On a map in the parking area I spotted a road a few miles away labeled "4WD REQUIRED". Perfect. We saddled up and rode up onto the bluff looking for the road.

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    Climb Climb

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    My Desk

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    We raced up the rough dirt road, passing through the low grass and clover of an old farm. Curving up into a wooded area, I spotted the road we were looking for. Let's see where it goes :)

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    #51
  12. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    I've been in that less well known area. Among the best places on earth I've ever been. Nice to see you got good weather to enjoy it too.
    #52
  13. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    We rode slowly down the dirt two track, the visibility limited by overgrown white pines. I round a small corner and get on my game as an old beat Subaru wagon racing up the road just about knocks me into the woods. Some old guy inside just scowled as he drove by, probably just as surprised as I was.

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    Our reward was not long in waiting - after clearing the low pines a road lay out before us seeming to continue into the horizon as it followed the vast rolling hills down towards the ocean.

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    I watched Bernie and Shawn ride onward until they finally dropped out of sight.

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    Cresting the ridge, it was hard to find a sense of scale looking down towards the endless ocean.

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    Words failed me.

    #53
  14. WaywardSon

    WaywardSon Long timer

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    Somewhere East of Omaha....
    Been through a lot of that country, but not all. You are doing a great job of capturing it. Nice work and thanks for taking us along:deal
    #54
  15. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    It's easy to talk - but kind of hard to say anything about this place

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    We rode down to where to road leveled off and walked around for a bit

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    The GS in it's natural habitat

    And Shawn in his
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    Then back up.

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    #55
  16. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    The ride up was steep and loose, but nothing crazy

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    First Bernie, then Shawn

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    Then me

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    Back down.

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    We headed back to Petrolia.

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    #56
  17. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Back in town, we headed North on the only other road out of town -

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    and before long, we were back on the coast.

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    Beautiful day to be a cow

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    We headed inland again.

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    The roads were rough, but awesome with no other cars

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    I could get used to this job
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    Before long, we dropped out of the mountains into Ferndale

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    #57
  18. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    It was July 4th and we were looking to see some fireworks tonight. Crescent City looked like the place to be, so we got back on 101 North. It was a nice ride but there was quite a bit of RV traffic and the 59.9 degree constant 20mph wind was starting to get old.

    Finally, we reached Crescent City

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    We rode around looking for a place to camp and probably wasted half an hour doing that. Finally I caved and we pulled into an RV park. This wasn't actually all bad as we had a nice spot for tents and got to do some laundry. Around 7 we rolled out to find some food and drink.
    If Garberville wasn't what I expected, Crescent City was a total let-down. We hoped to find some good food and a good size town with a nice Main st. All we found was a spot to park the RV on the way to Oregon. Disappointed by the food we walked over to watch the fireworks on the beach.

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    What happened next we couldn't have predicted..


    #58
  19. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Crescent City seems to have converted the parking lot at the beachfront to some kind of "Trailer Park by the Sea" affair. Basically, it's an RV only parking lot that on this particular night was completely full up with drunks. People crawled out from under the floorboards of society to come to the big fireworks shindig.

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    The beach was full of people setting off bottle rockets, smoke bombs, whistlers and volcanos. And the sun was still bright in the sky. Kids were smashing up fireworks on the rocks so they'd just fly around randomly. The "punk" kids in their pickups in the parking lot were firing more towards the beach. We would flinch every time something went off. We got to see firsthand why fireworks are illegal in a lot of places.

    The most impressive show happened before it got dark and someone set off probably $500 worth of mortars.

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    Couldn't even wait until dark to set them off

    We were standing there in amazement when some guy walking by said to us "It's like hillbilly hell here" laughed and kept walking to set up his chair for the show.

    This whole thing reminded us of the only other event like it: The Thomaston, ME 4th of July. All the way back home on the East coast, the exact same shenanigans had happened three hours before. If you've been to either, you know what I mean.

    We'd had enough laughter for one night and left before the town show even started. We knew tomorrow would be a long day.


    #59
  20. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Day Seven: The Oregon Trail

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    We got up early to get a good start on the day and damn it was cold. It was even worse when we got on rt 199 and headed up into the mountains at 70. I was thankful for heated grips as I watched the temperature drop into the high 40's - and thought Shawn must be struggling a bit without them.

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    By the time we reached Gasquet it was in the low 40's and Shawn had his left hand clamped to the cylinder head. I knew it would warm up when put the mountains behind us so I pushed on without stopping to put on more gear. The highway was a great ride, but it was hard to enjoy it in the cold.

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    It finally warmed up when we reached O'Brian, Oregon and our pace became more relaxed as we warmed up in the sun. The landscape clearly changed ahead of us as we headed towards the Eastern side of the mountain range.

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    Riding up Rt 62, I spotted a little detour that turned out to be a great little ride - taking Butte Falls Road to Crowfoot road. It spit us back out on the Crater Lake Highway after enjoying a bit of the volcanic landscape.

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    Then, we hit the dirt.

    #60