Wildflowers and Wild Bikes at The Quail

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Tyler, May 8, 2013.

  1. Tyler

    Tyler Miss Demeanor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Last weekend I was scheduled to attend my riding group's Wildflower Ride to The Hacienda at Fort Hunter Leggett. While I did make part of the ride, I had an unexpected and delightful detour along the way.

    Some friends, Dorothy, Geoff, and Brent, had bikes exhibited at The Quail Gathering in Carmel, an annual event showcasing motorcycles from the past, present and future... Dorothy told me about a group ride on Friday morning with all the entry bikes and I asked if I could tag along for a bit before meeting up with my group later that afternoon. I woke up at 4:30am (yes... really!!) and hit the road at 6am so I could get down there in time to join the ride.

    Brent, Dorothy, and Geoff with a stunning Norton they had restored and would be exhibiting at the show...
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    Brent and his steed for the morning's adventure...
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    I pulled up, took off my gear, and almost immediately, Craig Vetter (www.craigvetter.com) came up to me, introduced himself, and told me that he needed a Spyder to show at The Quail on Saturday in the Motorcycles of the Future exhibit and would I be willing to bring mine.

    After I picked myself up off the ground and kept looking around to make sure he was talking to me, I kinda stammered and said, um, I, well, there's this group ride, and, ah, uh, let's see, hmmmm...

    HELL YES!!!

    So he directed me to someone to get signed up and the deal was done for the next day. In the meantime, the group ride started off down Carmel Valley Rd. and I followed behind watching these glorious machines in what I call "The Dance"... back and forth along the twists and turns... no time to get the big camera out as the pace was brisk and I didn't want to hold anyone up...
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    Rest stop in the middle of Carmel Valley Rd...
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    River Rd...
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    Break at Robert Talbott's Sleepy Hollow Vineyards...
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    It was nice and cool inside the warehouse... another time, I might pop one of those corks and put a straw in it!
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    Brent's bike was having some plumbing issues...
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    Getting ready to roll again... there were at least 100 bikes in attendance...
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    Dorothy and her Triumph...
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    River Rd where you could see the line of bikes stretched all the way through this sweeper...
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    Did I mention we had CHP along for the ride and helping to block intersections to get the group through? One of the few times the sight of these folks behind me didn't make me nervous... LOL They did an awesome job and I think were having as much fun as everyone else...
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    #1
  2. Tyler

    Tyler Miss Demeanor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    And then... the cherry on top... we were all cleared to run three laps on the track at Laguna Seca...

    Laguna...

    Effing...

    Seca!!!
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    What a fricking RUSH!! I could hear the roar of the crowd as the announcer called out my name over the PA system... okay not really but I could in my head! ;) And some of the bikes that went by... the growl of those engines was so damn sexy... and there were Clifford and smack dab in the middle of all of it... definitely one for the memory books in my timeline! Fun article here on the ride and an interview with Geoff and Brent.
    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/305/16128/Motorcycle-Article/2013-Quail-Motorcycle-Ride.aspx

    Bikes lined up and ready to enter the track...
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    That's my windshield... I was really there!!
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    Following behind one of Craig's concept bikes... and the last shot I took on the track because it was time to have some FUN!!!
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    We returned to Baja Cantina for a catered lunch and my group ride arrived at about the same time. After lunch, we decided to hug the coast as it was about 95 degrees inland before heading up Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd. and finally coming to rest at The Hacienda.

    I never tire of the ocean and the views along Hwy. 1, aka Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)...
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    This part doesn't suck either...
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    Some views of Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd... lots of sand/dirt/rocks along the narrow one-lane road but amazing scenery so I took my time and just enjoyed the moments...
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    #2
  3. Tyler

    Tyler Miss Demeanor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    At one of the places I stopped to snap a photo, I was treated to an aerial display by the winged artist in the lower left of the photo... was hard to get a good shot of him as he swooped up on the valley current and then banked and dove down... I just stood there and watched him repeat his own "dance" over and over again... I envied his ability but could imagine how it must feel to soar like that... guess we all just soar in our own way...
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    The road dives in and out of the deep wooded areas... from briliant sun to dappled shade...
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    Amidst the oak trees...
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    Seems we're at the tail end of the wildflower run but I still managed to find some blooms along the way...
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    And out into the open... spring is near done now and the fields are turning golden once again...
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    I tucked my bike in the back with the other machines, took a quick shower, and then met the rest of the group for some dinner, libations, and catching up on the day's events...
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    The Hacienda has a large population of bunnies roaming the property who help keep the weeds at bay...
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    Leslie and Bob had the Commander's Suite that had a huge room with almost enough barcaloungers for all of us...
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    I retired early as I had another early rise morning... up at 5am, on the road by 6am so I could get back to Carmel for the show... when the alarm went off, I thought to myself, wth are you doing up this early?!? But as I traversed Carmel Valley Rd. once again, I remember that early morning has its rewards...
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    There's something special about that time of day... the dawn of a new day, fresh with possibilities, golden glow of the rising sun, and it was all mine...
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    A four-legged friend came to the fence to greet me along the way...
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    #3
  4. Tyler

    Tyler Miss Demeanor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    I arrived a little after 8am to find a flurry of activity in preparation for The Gathering... my friends had some cleaning supplies that they loaned me so I could spiff Clifford up a little as he was covered in bugs and road grime... I think he cleaned up pretty well... and we wedged him in between the Flying Motorcycle (to the left) and Craig Vetter's concept bikes...
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    I took a ton of photos and if anyone is interested, you can see them all here...
    http://fancyfeettr.smugmug.com/Moto...ering/29318415_jJ4TX4#!i=2500837665&k=rw2jg8f

    A couple of my personal favorites of the day...
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    Looks like a Flinstones vehicle...
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    Something for everyone...
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    And of course the song to go with it...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0kJdrfzjAg
    #4
  5. Tyler

    Tyler Miss Demeanor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Best dressed award goes to...
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    Sibling bonding in the sunshine...
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    Another of Brent's entries... a 1936 BSA Q7... here's the before shot when they found it abandoned in a garage...
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    And with just a "little" time and effort (said tongue in cheek)... VOILA!!
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    Craig Vetter and I... he and his wife, Carol, are really lovely people and I was really honored that he had invited me to attend...
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    Their fierce warrior security dog, Willie...
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    The awards ceremony was still going but it was time for me to high tail it back to The Hacienda... Albert and Sam joined me on another romp along Carmel Valley Rd... came across a field of lupine... the sweet scent wafted through the air as the sun warmed up the flowers...
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    More of this...
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    And a countryside view...
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    You can see that big a** smile right through the helmet... :)
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    Lots of farm land out this way... the crops were in full swing...
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    Lots and lots of vines...
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    #5
  6. Tyler

    Tyler Miss Demeanor

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    We arrived just in time to freshen up and join the group for dinner and drifted off to sleep to the strains of karaoke that was going on in the bar (thank gawd for earplugs!!)... the next morning dawned cool, cloudy, and rain was a potential unplanned element... from 95 degrees on Friday to 58 and possible rain! I think Mother Nature is going through menopause...

    We headed out along Jolon to Lockwood, 198, and then Airline Hwy (aka 25), a huge favorite moto road around these parts... we pretty much had the roads to ourselves all day... not many photo stops so most of these are on the fly while in motion...
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    The view from 198 looking toward 25...
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    As we got closer to home, the sun came out to play and we stopped in San Juan Bautista for some lunch...
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    Happy tummies, happy faces...
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    Once lunch was done, Sam, Elynn, and Senad joined me in one last hurrah along Uvas Rd. and a final stop to say our goodbyes at Calero Reservoir...
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    Hardy soul out on the lake...
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    My traveling companions...
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    The sky started looking pretty ominous so we decided it was time to head for the barn...
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    The rain never materialized so made it home high and dry with a ton of (s)miles, lots of images in my head, great friends, and a memory that will rank pretty high up in my moto memories!! :)

    FIN
    #6
  7. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,098
    Location:
    Western Piedmont, NC
    That looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for the photos.
    #7
  8. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    855
    What a great writeup and wonderful photos...I stored several in my little neat ride file.

    Speaking of which...might it be possible to get a little run down on your routes and roads on your runs during this trip? Might like to do some of those myself some day...
    #8
  9. txplants

    txplants Pastafarian

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Texas
    Enjoyed the report and dazzling photos!
    #9
  10. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
    Great RR + pics!

    Thanks,

    JM.
    #10
  11. benwiggin2

    benwiggin2 Long timer

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    Location:
    Red stickered, in the wild, wild, west
    Fantastic photos!
    #11
  12. ata

    ata expat in the jungle

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
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    Location:
    Bilbao, close to the fu****ng Guggenheim
    awesome bunch of jewels
    :beer
    #12
  13. Tyler

    Tyler Miss Demeanor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    307
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    Santa Clara, CA
    Would be happy to do so! Where would you be starting from (city)? I can do a couple of quick Google maps for you. :)
    #13
  14. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
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    2,756
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Nice pics Tyler, thanks.
    #14
  15. WoodsChick

    WoodsChick Long timer

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    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Wow...stellar photos! :clap
    Thanks for taking the time to document the trip and post it here for us!




    WoodsChick
    #15
  16. LittlePosum

    LittlePosum Scrappy Marsupial

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    408
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    Weiser, ID
    That looked like a super fun ride to be a part of! I guess I'm kind of like a racoon drawn in to shiny things, those "Airstream" style motos were sure cool. Great pix of old meets new!
    #16
  17. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

    Joined:
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    2,816
    Location:
    Granbury Texas
    What a bunch of beautiful motorcycles in such great roads and scenery. Thanks for sharing.
    #17
  18. Tyler

    Tyler Miss Demeanor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    It was indeed pretty dang cool to be a part of such an auspicious moto event such as this... still seems kind of unreal like it was a dream or something! Some amazing machines there... and I know how much blood and sweat went into making them look the way they did... much respect! :clap
    #18