Wild Wild West 2

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by freefallen, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    A Pacific Northwest Russian fur trader apparently heard from.
  2. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Redwood National Park, CA - Home to the tallest trees on Earth.

    Along route 1 towards San Francisco, we took a small detour and rode through a forest of giant trees. They are truly enormous. The road is very enjoyable: lots of curves, shady, near the main road but at the same time away from the hectic traffic. No one here is in a rush and there aren’t even a lot of people here.

    I don’t even know how many people are needed to hug this tree:

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    It’s so peaceful and quiet:

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    We toppled one of the trees to count its rings :D:

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    Even further south we rode through Redwoods State Park - the world's most ancient redwood groves. They are very similar but the roads here are curvier and go along a river. It’s very pretty but we wanted to get to SF already. We rode in the park for 30-40 minutes and returned to route 1.
  3. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    A few pictures my son took from the back of the bike.
    He landed in Calgary at noon, I picked him up and we rode 300 miles to the town of Jasper which is located to the north of the park. There we stayed at a hostel, it was our first time in one. It’s was rather enjoyable. Mostly it was occupied by students and backpackers. The sleeping area has 40 bunk beds.

    We made many stops: near glaciers, waterfalls, nice roads and mountains. The park is beautiful on its own.

    En route to Jasper National Park, Canada:

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    All the following pictures are from the park:

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    Despite the fact I was here 1 day earlier and paid for my entrance, I had to pay another entry fee of $20.
    Learn from your southern brother that allows you access for the whole week for one entrance fee.

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    Route 1:

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    After this was Vancouver and Oregon, which I already wrote about. After that San Francisco. After 1 day of rest I departed for Yosemite Park. From there Death Valley, god dammit.
  4. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    San Francisco is my most western stop after which I turn around and head back completing my giant loop of almost 10,000 miles.

    Entering the Golden Gate Bridge:

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    Son's self portrait:

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    The ride down route 1 was impressive. Somewhere between Oregon and California:

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    Still Oregon:

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    So we wanted to see the golden bridge in all its glory? It’s almost always covered up by puffy white clouds:

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    But on the following day my son went with his friends and managed to capture some clear shots:

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    Having stopped in the center of SF, we went looking for some good food. As my son rightly noticed SF is a large farm with paved roads, tall buildings and many lights. After the sunset the streets cleared out and everyone went to sleep, by 10pm it’s practically a ghost town. Whether you want to or not SF is compared with NY, the city that never sleeps. Certain areas in NYC only liven up after 10pm. In Greenwich Village everything is open 24/7.

    A few parks were still in front of me, including Death Valley, where I planned on doing some heavy offroading. My rear tire was cause for some concern, I would have made it back home but the protector in the center of the tire was noticeably worn out. I didn’t want to risk it so I decided to get a new tire while in SF, in the morning I took my bike to a local shop. So my bike was now ready for the next leg of my journey.

    Right in the center of SF, not far from Lombard Street:

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    While we had a free hour to explore, we decided to walk around:

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    We stopped by Super Duper Burger for lunch. I think the burger had something like 3,000 calories because I was full for the remainder of the day:

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    You can’t find a better view when playing golf. These ladies were practicing:

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  5. ShimrMoon

    ShimrMoon Been here awhile

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    What a fantstic ride report! The pics are stunning to say the least. I'd like to know which model of Garmin you used. It appears that you've dispelled the myth that you have to have a Zumo 5XX or 6XX for motorcycle travel.

    Thanks again for a great report.
  6. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Thank you, sir! I really appreciate it.

    In my opinion, don’t waste money on Zumo. They do nothing better than the nuvi (just waterproofed). I use a sandwich bag in case of rain. One time I didn't use any protections while riding in a really heavy rain. It was just fine behind the windshield.
    I have 2 years old Garmin 1490, 5" screen. Before I used MapSource to create custom routes and now I use tyre.com which is free. The latter is highly recommended.
  7. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    California is incredibly expensive, from real state to gas and everything in between. Even compared to its neighboring states Oregon and Nevada.

    What I did like here, is that bikes are allowed to drive between the lanes in traffic. Drivers here don’t get pissed and throw the middle finger, but will move to give you room. Whether they like it or not the caged people have to make room and let us fly free.

    This is us going to my friend in San Jose. Route 101 was packed full, even the left lane that was for HOV. Thanks to these maneuvers we were able to make some kind of progress.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UQM2uI5hcEs


  8. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    After staying at my friend’s for a bit, I remembered that I’m meeting more people tonight. My friends are flying 300 miles in from Santa Barbara on a Cessna to Santa Clara. I asked my friend how long it takes to get to Santa Clara. He sarcastically asked me: "you want to get there today"? He said to relax and showed me live traffic for the entirety of route 101 was red. He then calmed me down and said only tourists and chumps like you take route 101. He said to take 280 which runs parallel to it. There was some traffic on 280 but I got there pretty quickly and was only 30 minutes late.
  9. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    My friends were patiently waiting for me and the pilot and his wife warmly greeted me. They reserved a table in a very pleasant table right on the airport. Famous Californian wine, delicious steak and good conversation. I’ve known these people for many years virtually and we finally met. It’s nice to meet lovely people and it’s twice as nice to meet with them far away from home. We talked about my future biking plans. My plan for Death Valley worried them and she asked that I update them in 2 days after I get past it. When I didn’t follow up, her woman’s intuition didn’t let her down. But that’s already history.
  10. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    The night passed so fast it was starting to get dark and it was almost 9pm. This meant that the pilot started to worry about his return flight. The brave captain planned to fly back at night but the airport in Santa Barbara closes at 11pm and the flight is 2 hours. Since he didn’t want to land in his backyard, time was short.

    Walked up to the plane, petted the round sides and the pilot started preparing the bird for flight:

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  11. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    So, wings are in place, tires full of air, wife in the ready stance and the sun ready to set:

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  12. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    They let me steer the yoke before takeoff:

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  13. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    At the airport:

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  14. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Demonstrating my Denali lights, one of which stopped working:

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  15. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Picture for our memory and everyone went their separate ways:

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    This was my only day of rest that I spent with my friends. The next day I planned on leaving at 5am for Yosemite NP and as soon as I arrived to my hotel in SF I went to sleep.
  16. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Yosemite NP - Deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area.

    I set aside one day for this park, of course it deserves more than that. But what can I do, the country is huge, I’m small and the rest of it is in front of my two wheels. Tomorrow the infamous Death Valley awaits me.

    I left at 5am from SF and started the drive along my planned routes. This park is magnificent in the spring when the dried streams turn into large waterfalls and the trickling streams become fast flowing rivers. In any case there are waterfalls that exist year round there. And my route included these sights. And not only waterfalls there are many lakes, mountains and great roads.

    Bridalveil Fall, 620 ft:

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  17. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    The picture was taken from Sentinel Bridge. This bridge is great because you can see two domes that reflect in the Merced River. At the right time, before sunset, the dome turns into a golden hat. But unfortunately I did not have time to wait:

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  18. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Driving further on mountainous roads to the river:

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  19. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    The water everywhere is from the mountains and very cold, very clean and drinkable. I didn’t drink any as I had enough with me. When I was in Great Teton for a week long of backpacking, we drank only from these rivers without any purification.

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  20. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Tenaya Lake:

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    I really regretted I didn’t have any extra time. It was so nice here: people are sunbathing, swimming and aren’t in any kind of a hurry. The only rush is with myself.
    Again, tomorrow is Death Valley (I wonder if it thinks about me as I do about it) and I want to get to the hotel earlier to finally get enough sleep before the hardest day of my trip.


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