Over the river and through the woods...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by jckid, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    CA
    Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go…
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    I really could think of no better title for my first ADV ride report. After all, that’s where we were headed.
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    About the riders:
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    About me (jckid): I always say that I was practically born on a motorcycle. This is me at about one year old:

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    My mom and dad had been riding for several years by that point, and they certainly weren’t going to let the arrival of kids stop them from having some real adventures. My sister is five years older than me, and before I came along, they rode triple on various Honda’s, all under 200cc. Once I came along, it was clear to my dad that something had to be done. After all, we couldn’t all four ride on one little bike. He had the perfect solution. He upgraded to a 250cc bike and built a side car. The four of us traveled all over Oregon in that rig.
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    At the age of six, my dad got me a Honda Minitrail 50, and I’ve been riding off and on ever since.
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    About my husband: Now my husband’s only experience with motorcycles before I met him was riding a friend’s dirt bike a time or two. One of his best friends was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident years ago, which left him with zero interest in motorcycles. When I came into his life, I didn’t have a motorcycle, but he knew that I rode. I can distinctly remember him saying, “don’t even think about another motorcycle”.


    Fast forward a few years, and I was able to talk him into small (kid size) dirt bikes, which then led to Honda 230’s, and ultimately to my Husqvarna SM610 and his BMW G650X-Country. Last summer we started doing short overnight camping trips on the motorcycles.
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    The Trip:
    We had promised my 92 year old grandmother that we’d be up to see her this summer. She lives in Sutherlin, Oregon where I grew up. In my mind it was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone—go see grandma and go on a great ride. Due to time limitations, and the fact that we wanted to save some vacation time for later in the summer, we decided we’d ride one-way from Southern California to Oregon, but take the long, scenic route. My parents were traveling from San Diego to Oregon via Interstate 5 just before our trip, and they offered to take our truck up with them, so it would be waiting for us in Oregon. So our final plan was to take five days to get to Oregon, spend a few days with family, and then drive home.
    #1
  2. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    CA
    We decided to get a fairly early start for a couple of reasons. First, we wanted to beat the desert heat, as well as the winds that that can go from mild to fierce as the day progresses. The week before we left, the wind between Mojave and Pearsonville had been up to 50mph. Second, we wanted to arrive in Mammoth Lakes in time to catch the shuttle bus to Devil’s Postpile National Monument.
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    We stopped along the way at Red Rock Canyon.

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    Next we stopped in Lone Pine, CA, where we picked up a sandwich to take with us.

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    We had lunch at a rest area north of Independence. It was getting really hot by the time we arrived. I peeled off every layer of gear I had on, except for my base layer, and left it all in a heap in the parking lot with my bike. While eating our sandwich in the shade, we noticed that there was a creek right behind us. It didn’t take us more than a second to decide to get in and cool off. Problem was the water was obviously fresh snowmelt, and we could only stand to get in up to our knees. We dunked our shirts in the water, and enjoyed the cooling effect as we rode for probably ten minutes before we were sweating again.
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    <o:p>We arrived in Mammoth Lakes and checked into a rustic little camping cabin.
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    After unloading the bikes, we started to walk to nearest bus stop. The walk turned into an all out sprint, when we saw the bus about to pull away. What we didn’t realize at the time was that we had to take three separate buses in order to get to the Devil’s Postpile. Had we known, we could have ridden the bikes to a parking lot and only taken one bus.

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    It took quite a while to get to our destination, but we enjoyed visiting with several Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers while we waited for each bus. We eventually arrived at the trail to the Devil’s Postpile. It was a scenic walk along the river.

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    We found ourselves sprinting again to catch the bus to leave. The bus was full, but the driver let us stand. When we arrived back at the transfer area, nearly everyone walked to cars and left. We weren’t quite sure where to stand to wait for the next bus, so we asked the driver. There were also two PCT hikers trying to figure out where to go. The driver told us that the last bus had already run for the day! I have never hitchhiked in my life, but I was fully prepared to do so. We were pretty tired and didn’t want to hike the few miles into town. Luckily the bus driver called his boss to see if he could give us a ride on into town, and his boss said yes!
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    #2
  3. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    CA
    The ride north on Hwy. 395 from Mammoth was just beautiful.

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    We stopped at Mono Lake, where we met a guy traveling on a Goldwing. He had 107,000 miles on it, which impressed us.
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    Just south of Topaz, Nevada we were riding along a river when we went around a sharp corner to find a terrible car accident. A small sedan was upside down on the southbound shoulder pointing the wrong direction. The car was burning, but the fire department just about had it put out. I hope the occupants survived, but it didn&#8217;t look too promising. Shortly after, we stopped along the river.
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    At Carson City we turned west and headed towards Lake Tahoe.
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    Then we headed for Truckee and ultimately the tiny village of Sierraville, our destination for the night. We had a cabin reserved at the Canyon Ranch Resort. Now &#8220;resort&#8221; was a bit of a stretch, but we really liked the rustic charm of our little cabin.

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    When we checked in, I asked the lady if there was somewhere to eat in town. She said yes, that there was a good Mexican restaurant, but that they were closed on Monday&#8217;s. I asked if there was somewhere else to eat. She said no. I asked if there was a store. She said no. I then asked about a gas station, and then she did mention that there was a convenience store there. So we rode into town. At the store we asked the lady if there was somewhere to eat in town. She said no (only the closed Mexican restaurant), just like the lady at the cabin. So we picked up some soup, drinks, and snacks and headed back for the cabin.
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    The next morning we decided to have a dehydrated breakfast meal that we&#8217;d brought along. It was actually pretty tasty, but when we rolled out in the morning and headed for town, guess what we found about 400 yards past the convenience store? A restaurant that was open and had been open the night before! How in the world can people live in a town of about 100 people and not know that there&#8217;s more than one restaurant!
    #3
  4. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    CA
    We cut back over to Hwy. 395 and headed north.
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    We stopped at the burned out forest near Hat Creek.
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    Then we stopped at the Subway Cave. My flashlight died almost immediately, and my husband’s was quite dim. There were three other people in the cave, but they only had a lighter. It got really, really dark, and I was starting to worry as our light got dimmer and dimmer, but the tunnel ended up being pretty short, so we made it out.
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    We pulled into Burney Falls, early enough to hike the trail that leads to the base of the falls.

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    We stayed in a camping cabin in the park.

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    #4
  5. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    CA
    We’d been hot up to that point in the trip, but it was in the 40’s when we left that morning, which felt chilly, especially since the road was in the shade, so the extra layers we packed came in handy.
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    We stopped in Weed to defrost and have a bite to eat, and then took Hwy. 95 towards Klamath Falls.

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    Our plan was to camp at Paulina Lake in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. We stopped in La Pine for some groceries, then headed for the lake.
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    We found a great campsite, got off the bikes, and were instantly standing in the thickest swarm of mosquitoes I have ever seen. And they weren’t regular Oregon mosquitoes, they were king size! We didn’t dare remove our helmets, and it took us all of about 5 seconds to decide that there was no way we’d be camping there!
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    So down the mountain we went to mosquito-free La Pine State Park. We made great tacos for dinner using Mountain House dehydrated Mexican beef.

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    #5
  6. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    CA
    We headed for Bend, stopping at Lava Butte along the way.
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    We had lunch in Bend at Izzy’s Pizza. We just couldn’t ride by without eating there. Their buffet is awesome! Sorry, I don’t have any food pics. I just didn’t have enough disc space this trip, because I took so many pictures.

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    We lucked out, because they had just opened the McKenzie Pass the day before, so we decided to take that route over the mountains. It was spectacular.
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    As we dropped down the other side of the mountain, I saw a familiar bike coming towards us. It was my dad on his 800 Intruder. He rode up from Sutherlin to ride the final leg of the trip with us.
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    We stopped for dinner at the K&R Drive-In in Rice Hill. As we were pulling off the freeway, I saw another rider pulling in. It was my brother-in-law on his 900 Vulcan. We had burgers and Umpqua ice cream and then rolled on to our final destination…my grandmother’s house in Sutherlin. We pulled into her driveway, got off the bikes, and found that many of our relatives were there awaiting our arrival. As we walked inside, a light rain began to fall, just as you’d expect in Oregon.
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    We’d made it. We had literally ridden over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house. And in doing so, we had covered 1,200 miles of some of the most scenic areas of California, Nevada, and Oregon. Our journey was small compared to some of the epic rides we’ve read about, but to us, it was truly an adventure and a trip we'll never forget.
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    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,302
    Location:
    Toronto
    Nice ride!! Looks like the X Country is serving you well :thumb
    #7
  8. 30Bones

    30Bones Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,702
    Location:
    Marion, IA
    Beautiful pics/ride! Is that the stock Husky seat? If so HOW did you ride it that far? :lol3
    #8
  9. shua

    shua plays in snow

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    225
    Location:
    Northern Mn
    I really gotta go west one of these years. It looks awesome out there. Great report so far.
    #9
  10. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    CA
    That would have been quite a feat for sure, but I have a Renazco seat. It definitely made the trip easier. I really never even thought about my butt the whole way. :D
    #10
  11. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,133
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    Nice report! Interesting to see that you don't need 40-liter side cases to go moto-camping if you pack well.
    #11
  12. Barterer

    Barterer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    17
    Great ride report (team sm610!! :thumb) I like the vintage photos too, like the one jumping your old XL185.

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    #12
  13. WoodsChick

    WoodsChick Long timer

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    Jan 18, 2006
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    Oakland, CA
    Excellent report, jckid! :clap

    Looks like you had a great time and great weather, too!




    WoodsChick
    #13
  14. ShiftHead

    ShiftHead the f is silent.

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
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    274
    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC
    That's a cool chick.
    #14
  15. RandinIowa

    RandinIowa A.D.D. Rider

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    117
    very cool ! beautiful job. i'm envious.
    #15
  16. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    CA
    Thanks for the nice comments.

    In regards to our luggage setup, we are running the following bags:

    On the Husky:
    - Motofizz Small Camping Seat Bag
    - Wolfman Enduro Saddlebags
    - Ortlieb Small Dry Duffle
    - Wolfman Enduro Tankbag

    On the BMW:
    - Motofizz Small Camping Seat Bag
    - Wolfman Expedition Small Dry Duffle
    - Mountainsmith Handlebar Bag (mounted behind windscreen)

    The Motofizz bags have been great. The water bottle holders are just big enough to carry two large MSR fuel bottles. The Motofizz bags are expandable, although we didn't need to expand them on this trip. The bag comes with a rain cover, which worked well in a light rain on a previous trip.

    The Ortlieb and Wolfman dry duffle bags work well. The small Wolfman duffle holds much more than the Ortlieb, and can expand to hold even more. We put the stuff that absolutely must stay dry (like sleeping bags) in the dry bags.

    The Wolfman Enduro Saddlebags and Tankbag work great on the Husky. The saddlebags hold more than you'd think. The only drawback I can see is that the rain covers don't seem like they'd be very effective on the saddlebags. The Tankbag is very handy, except as gas stops, when you have to move it out of the way. The rain cover on the Tankbag seems like it would be effective.

    This luggage setup worked well for a trip of this length and would work well for an even longer trip, as we did have room to spare. We do pack fairly light though and have ultralight backpacking camping equipment.
    #16