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Excited Chick Nicomama takes on Horizons Unlimited Meeting Cambria, CA, and Yosemite

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by nicomama, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    320
    Location:
    Franklin County MO
    Im in.
    #61
  2. srad600

    srad600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    728
    Location:
    Chino Hills, CA
    So sad, sorry for the loss of a fellow rider, too many have senselessly lost their lives lately.
    #62
  3. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,788
    Location:
    Basalt Colorado
    Pegs down, Godspeed Katherine.
    #63
  4. nicomama

    nicomama Rugged Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    615
    Location:
    Borrego Springs, CA
    My sweet, sweet peeps, I want to thank you all for your heartfelt and poetic words for Katherine. I feel her strongly with me and feel that she was/is here to contribute to a higher consciousness. So, let's take this amazing girl along to Yosemite for some one on one communing with nature with some big ass smiles on our faces! :D

    Sopascat/Cathy: Mama, it was just such a joy to see your sweet face at HU, and I so appreciated your help passing out the goods in my cooking class. Death Valley in March will be here soon enough. :evil

    Makalu: Are you a "fastpacker"? This ultimate group is surely a one-of-a-kind breed, and I'm sure cover great distances in their backpacking days. They are also probably wearing running/hiking shoes to keep the pace at the tippy top. Phew, definite studs. So, I definitely understand that if they are trekking super fast with those packs they would want to keep the weight monitored to the mili-ounce.

    Just a comforter in 30 degree weather? I can already feel the butt-breeze. When it comes to cold weather I'm a wimp. Gear to keep me cozy in cold weather is a definite must for me. So, my hats off to you you big ol' stud, you. I'll keep my zippers ; )

    Although I have to say, that these days my core temperature has risen. I'm a heater at night, and it's not "the change" a comin'. I feel vibration in my feet during the day and heat from my core at night. Pretty cool if you ask me. I'm feeling higher energy coming on, and I welcome the new shift, my friends. Join me ; )

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I had never been to Yosemite by motorcycle. Wow! You should have been in my helmet. All of the "oooo's" and "ahhhhhs". The beautiful twisty highway going into the valley was a gas, and we were hitting it at just the most gorgeously lit time of the afternoon.

    So it was Sunday October 16th, and we didn't think we would need rezzies this late in the season. Wrong! What is up with that? Does everyone want to come out and enjoy time off from work/school in Yosemite valley in 70 degree weather or something?

    No worries, something always happens to roll our way. There were many empty sites and no reservation tags on them, so we grabbed the first one we saw and hoped for the best...

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    After unloading everything from our bikes and setting up camp, I stopped in to introduce myself to my immediate neighbor. His name was Ray. I'm so bummed that I didn't snag a shot of this cutie, because this older gentleman was kickin' it by a fire with a glass of wine on a little table next to his camp chair. His wife wasn't yet in her chair right next to him. I also noticed that their "child" was a little dog who had a bed on a platform within reach of his owner. Guess he was the Dad's favorite, because the platform was bolted onto his chair.

    "Well you sure know how to do it right." I said.
    "Why don't you two come and join us?" he came right back.

    I really enjoyed chatting and getting to know him. But before he could pour us a glass of wine, a goup of boyscouts came to stake claim on their campsite. Darn. Not a problem. We packed up and moved down the way, and crossed our fingers yet again.

    We set up camp a second time that night and I got to work on dinner. Boy, was I pleased with this one. I had poured boiling water in my thermos that morning to have the dehydrated veggies. This is how the sauteed onions, garlic, yellow squash, red pepper and grated cauliflower looks when you put it in the oven to dehydrate...

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    These are the veggies dried...

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    You can see them here reconstituted after a full day with the boiling water in the pink thermos right next to the reconstituted chopped fresh dehydrated garlic in the blue thermos...

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    In one pan, I heated up the already cooked noodles from the Trader Joes Satay dinner (didn't use their peanut sauce this night), and used my own homemade pesto sauce that I jarred fresh just before leaving on the trip. I added the reconstituted veggies and garlic, and VOILA, a yummy full-course meal. The chopped garlic really punched it up a notch, folks. You can add that to any dish. :dg

    So we were just lickin' our lips after a tasty meal, when we saw a man approaching. "Oh no" I said, "He's probably here to grab his site." He walked over with his little dog on a leash looking down at the ground forelornly and said, "I'm afraid you'll have to leave."

    And then that little trickster started cracking up. It was the neighbor from our old site with a glass of wine in one hand and a leash in the other. Must have been his third glass, because he thought this was hilarious. But, so did we. He joined us for awhile to continue our conversation. Good ol' Ray, he sure spiced up our night.

    After Ray left, Paul and I got the campfire going and were really enjoying a neat deep conversation when two headlights pulled into our parking spot at 11p. Damn. This was it. A cute young couple. We nicely said, "No problem, we'll leave." When the sweet New Zealand girlfriend convinced her boyfriend to share it with us. Wow, what a sweetheart. So, Paul paid for the site for the night for them and I promised to bake them a cake in the morning to show our appreciation. We made a couple of really neat friends that night. Jon (after Jonathan like my brother) and Xanthe (pronounced Zanthee). We all had fun around the campfire that night...

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    After a good night's sleep by all, we woke up to this view...

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    And, I got a little cappucinos rollin' while my upside-down pineapple cake was baking...

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    I have to thank my dear, dear friend Andreas for showing me his luxury of making cappucinos on the road. He was thrilled when I told him about powdered milk. Then he could warm and whip his milk in any moto camp all over the world...

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    I had a little piece of cake with my blueberry and almond oatmeal, and I was in hog heaven...

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    We thanked Jon and Xanthe for their incredibly kind gesture of sharing the site before we hit the road to go explore...

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    It was so hard to keep my eyes on the road through the valley. Thank heavens it was a one-way loop, and I didn't have to worry about drifting into on-coming traffic when gawking at Bridal Veil Falls...

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    You know I got such a kick out of my buddy Ara's recent blog post describing what it's like to take photos while motorcycling. You stop and get off the bike; take off your gloves and helmet; pull out the camera; take the shot; put your helmet back on; and then your gloves and fire up the engine to do this all over again probably 100 feet down the road. This doesn't stop we lovers of moto photography in the least. You get used to the routine.

    I even continued to shoot throughout my most ambitiously scheduled day on my Central Coast ride last year (14 hours on my DRZ and close to 700 miles). On this ride, I tempered my shooting every 100 feet to be mindful of Paul and our schedule. But, he got pretty used to me wanting to shoot a lot...

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    After cruising all over taking in this jaw-dropping beauty for a few hours, we decided to stop for a snack at one of the most amazing views I had ever seen...

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    Found the perfect log by the river to take it all in...

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    It's no surprise that Yosemite is one of the seven wonders of the world...

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    Just ask Ansel. You could spend a lifetime shooting it from every angle under every weather condition...

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    After cruising around for another couple of hours, I noticed my camera battery was running low. So instead of charging it on the bike, we opted to play ma and pa in quaint handmade rocking chairs with a cup of joe on the Valley Lodge porch, while the battery charged inside...

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    While trying to balance Paul's camera on a trashcan for a self-timed shot, we heard a woman's voice come whizzing towards us asking, "You want me to take that?" And, so she did. What happened after that was so neat. Like Brent described so poetically earlier on, there are moments where, like ships passing in the night, bright souls appear and offer their light. And from that moment on, both sets of lives are changed for the better ever so slightly. This was the case with dear Rhonda...

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    Who absolutely lit up the rest of our afternoon with her lively 30 minute chat in the midst of her bicycle ride around the valley. She also rode motorcycles, and relished hearing about our journey and the HU event. We all walked away from that vibrant conversation a little more rich. Thanks, Rhonda, for sharing your beauty.

    We rode back to camp continuing to enjoy the moments that presented themselves. After enjoying a ready-made Indian dinner from Trader Joes, we hopped a shuttle into the village to treat ourselves to the Awhanee hotel. What a piece of architectural grandeur to match its surrounding beauty in nature's equivalent...

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    We grabbed a table in the bar area to cozy up for some fun coversation...

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    We couldn't resist sampling their cabernet and cheesecake...

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    What an end to such a glorious day. Nature's beauty, bike cruising, people connections, food delights. What else can you ask for?

    No wonder we slept like babies that night.
    #64
  5. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Yup, I'm a girl.

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,110
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    Looks good on that Ural! I'm really looking forward to reading all about your RTW trip with your kids, that will be a heck of a memory for you guys!! :clap I'm actually just south of Fresno and didn't even know the HU meeting was so close until AFTER it had already happened. :cry What sucks is I actually had enough time that week/weekend to ride down and visit but alas and woe...

    Anyway, I'm all :ear as usual for your rides, :lurk and :freaky! So glad you're doing better from that accident earlier this year!! **HUGS**

    ETA: Just got current on the thread. Sorry to hear about Katherine, she did sound lovely and I could see from the photo why she attracted your attention early on, she certainly had a presence about her. :(

    Yosemite is my absolute FAVORITE place in central Cali to go. No matter how many times I ride into the valley the grandeur, especially coming from the south and all the winding roads and trees, always blows me away. It's just, you look up and everything RISES around you. It's astonishing, breathtaking, and must be seen first hand to truly be understood. Love that place. :thumb
    #65
  6. nicomama

    nicomama Rugged Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    615
    Location:
    Borrego Springs, CA
    Thank you Ara Gureghian, BeemerChef, for posting this on your FB wall.

    It's no coincidence that we discover TED within the same week of each other.

    This is how to live a day...


    <IFRAME height=315 src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gXDMoiEkyuQ" frameBorder=0 width=560 allowfullscreen></IFRAME>

    Just in time for Thanksgiving. Thanks.
    #66
  7. BeemerChef

    BeemerChef Wandering Homeless

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,353
    Location:
    Living under the Stars...
    Just in time for "every day" my Friend...

    Ara and Spirit
    #67
  8. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,788
    Location:
    Basalt Colorado
    Ah Glacier Point. I have spent many hours playing on that wall. That shot brings back Many good memories.
    #68
  9. TravelBike

    TravelBike keep on..... :-)

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Germany / North Rhine-Westphalia
    Thanks for the report and nice pics! :clap

    hope to visit one of the next HU Meetings somewere in Europe
    #69
  10. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    465
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH USA
    Nicole, Thanks for sharing that TED video. I have subscribed to TED for some time, but had not seen that one. I am grateful for you sharing it.

    And, Ara, thanks for finding it for us.

    Brent
    #70
  11. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    542
    Location:
    Northeast Oregon
    I had seen time-lapse before.:D It certainly breathes new possibility into photography.:clap
    I like Ted's attitude though.."Oh My God!" excellent! Is certainly worth seeing his talk.:clap (A little jealous!:lol3)

    Thanks for the share! :freaky (I'm a better person AGAIN! :rofl)
    #71
  12. nicomama

    nicomama Rugged Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    615
    Location:
    Borrego Springs, CA
    I want to share with you guys this email exchange between my buddy Stephen and I. How fitting it was in context with what we've been talking about. Except this time, these two ships passed each other without acknowledgement.

    "Nicole been enjoying your latest on Adv. Was briefly at HU and had some ying/yang moments. Left Thursday and explored the ridge above Naciendo Rd., and then shared a spot at the San Simeon State Park with 2 moto women from Santa Cruz. Friday I drove to Morro Bay to deposit a check at my bank.

    Didn't know at the time, but I left my card in the machine. Bopped up to the HU and caught a few presentations, then back to site after stocking up on food. We went into town so I could buy the girls some coffee for the road and I discovered I had no card and very little cash. No problem, back to Morro Bay (this is Saturday) to the bank to retrieve the card and get more cash. But, the bank had closed. I'm so screwed. I had my thin wallet with me, just a debit card (gone), no checkbook. I do have food, so really I'm not screwed, but rather I'm laughing. So, back to HU. I pull in, see you walking across the place for lunch and then my friend calls.

    He wants me to help him shoot a 3 day music video in San Francisco. Since I have just enough money for gas, I decide to go. Finish the shoot. And at some point, check my email from HU. Read about your friend being killed, and see your photo with her. Her life ended where I had just been enjoying life to the max...even though at that point in the trip I was totally broke.

    I had just passed a guy stopped on a pullout in the middle of nowhere reading a book, sitting carefree next to his shopping cart. I pull a u-turn, give him my last buck and some food, then head home with a little kid's smile. Hope he made it down the coast safely. He was reading "Dharma Bums" and we laughed about the part in the book where they were all hanging out in Marin and all they could afford to eat were silver dollar sized pancakes. He gave me the book he had just finished, "On the Road".

    This life is truly fragile with many levels, isn't it? -Gently, Stephen"

    Stephen,

    Unbelievable! What an email. Isn't it funny how we all live our lives, and sometimes cross paths and sometimes just get so close to crossing paths? You were a gift to all that weekend, but especially to yourself. It's not about the money. I seem to keep screaming this out in my head, but for some reason this illusion we call life keeps laughing at me and asking me to pay the bills.

    "With what I ask?"
    "With this stuff we made up called money. You know, paper that we all say is worth something."
    "Oh yeah, that stuff. Well, here take this other piece of paper called a check that says I have something to make it worth something."
    "Great, you can stay living in your box."
    "Oh yeah, I've been meaning to tell you. I'm breaking out of my box. Gonna take to the road with my family and live some life and give away the only thing worth anything in this illusion...LOVE."

    Your story is amazing. And, you get the book in the end.

    Thanks so much for sharing,
    Nicole



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    #72
  13. 2eddies

    2eddies I'm not here.

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico, Rocky Mountains, USA
    Hey Nicomama,

    Here's to the Dharma Bums and all of the folks who have left the auditorium!


    Start selling all of that stuff off and put the rest in storage...:lol3 :lol3 :clap

    Those crazy SOB's from Santa Fe wish you well and Good Luck!
    #73
  14. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25,488
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    wow....can't resist, have to read all 5 pages in one seating.

    very nice rr nicole, and great to see your awesome (2) presentations at the HU event.
    #74
  15. rockydog

    rockydog just a guy

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,261
    Location:
    okieland
    Thank you, Nicole. Sunday morning small treats; french roast coffee, stinky border collie in the rain, shared friendships, and my big boy smile from your writings, pics, insight and joy.

    and thanks, 2eddies for your.. 'Here's to the Dharma Bums and all of the folks who have left the auditorium!'
    #75
  16. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    542
    Location:
    Northeast Oregon
    It is nice that you are prioritizing and including "the little things" in life! :D (they are really the most important things! :clap)
    I can't help but think that the school of world travel will have a profound impact on your kids; (for the better!)
    Take charge of their education, teach them compassion, common sense, and show them how they fit into the world!! :evil :clap:clap

    It will be good! :D :norton :ricky
    #76
  17. nicomama

    nicomama Rugged Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    615
    Location:
    Borrego Springs, CA
    So, we were all ready to hit Willow Springs raceway today to participate in the sidecar races, but the weatherman threw a monkey wrench into our plans. Time to peel off the leathers and boots and trade 'em for yoga pants and Uggs.

    Today, we were supposed to meet up with Donn Sayre who races sidecars, whom we met at the Griffith Park Sidecar Rally just 3 weeks ago. I was ready to rock n roll as a monkey (that's what they call the sidecar passengers) just like this person in Johnny Killmore's sidecar below. He's a racer who lives close by in Huntington Beach. I'm waiting for him to reply to my friend request on Facebook, so I can see if I can monkey for him, as well...

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    We so enjoyed Doug's Sidecar Rally, and especially the idea that the rain didn't stop their parade. The die-hards came out to show their support and tantalize us with their one-of-a-kind hacks and vintage rigs like Jay Leno here with his old-time Harley hack...

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    There were many a "flying chair" that were oggled by the spectators, like this cute boy on the horse...

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    Note that Ara/Beemerchef would like to add that his barings have lasted a long time, because he doesn't "fly the chair" even if his dog Spirit begs him.

    This wonderful annual event in Los Angeles' famous Griffith Park is founded and run by sidecar racer and owner of Sidestrider, world renowned sidecar customization company, Doug Bingham. Here he is with the kids and I...

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    Doug is the granddaddy of sidecars and has through the years even supported Hollywood productions by filming hard-to-track subjects like the Olympics with his customized hack for the cameras.

    Doug loves to encourage all of the participants and spectators of this wonderful community. Here he is chattin' it up with my new friend Kevin Kautsky who is a drummer for a local LA '80's cover band...

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    Dig Kevin's amazing vintage rig that used to be his dad's. His dad was Doug's partner back in the racing day when Kevin was a young boy. He begged his mother to let him go race with his dad, but she wouldn't let him because of her perceived danger of it. She said he could race when he turned 18, but his father died just shy of his 18th birthday. What a heartbreaking story. Well, Kevin keeps his father's memory alive by racing now and firing up his dad's hack at every opportunity...

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    He has befriended racers Donn Sayre and Steve Sull, whom we met, as well, that day and who have promised to take us racing with them. Hopefully, the rain didn't squash those plans totally today, and we can reschedule.

    I got such a kick out of all of the one-of-a-kind customized rigs like this Vespa and its dangerous sidecar...

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    I'd like to invite you to come drool with me as we take a gander at this gorgeous vintage Panther and the customized enclosed Globe sidecar...

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    And, let's not forget this hot Norton with its sexy zepplin sidecar...

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    It was a family event with even the youngest getting in on the fun...

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    I mean what kid could get in one of those things and not have an ear-to-ear smile, anyway? Take Touratech's founder Herbert Schwartz who customized his own hack to take his two boys around Italy this past summer...

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    It's happening, folks. The next generation of family adventurers. Can't wait to add my 2 cents to it!

    What I loved about this event was that it supported creativity up the wazoo. What's a wazoo anyway? I think that question was answered in the 2000 awesome super bowl ad for ETrade...

    <IFRAME height=315 src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/oftjwYmlfoA" frameBorder=0 width=420 allowfullscreen></IFRAME>

    Take this very creative rig for instance...

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    I think you'd see flames comin' out of that exhaust.

    Lots of classics were struttin' their stuff...

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    Many a Ural was there representing...

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    I'm diggin' those goggles guys...

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    Lots of unique paint jobs, as well...

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    Loved how friendly Craig and Jenni Priestly were who let me ask a big favor of their good-lookin' Retro Ural. Yep, they let the kids climb in to feel the fun...

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    And of course, mom had to get in on the action...

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    This was such an amazing event and a true testament to the huge support amongst the tightly knit hack community.

    I will be joining the "Soviet Steeds" forum website to see if I can hook up with some local guys and start building up these hack-steering muscles over the next six months. Will keep you posted.


    Also, really want to let you guys know how truly important your feedback is to me. I keep a running notebook of my Adv ride reports that holds notes and research for each trip, but most importantly I jot down every reply by hand into my notebook, so that I can respond to each and every one of you. It means that much to me. I mean without your fun bantor and feedback these reports would not be as wonderfully dynamic as they are from those great responses.

    So, thanks guys. Off the highjack and onto the rest of the report where I say adios to Yosemite and hello fun ride home.
    #77
  18. TallRob

    TallRob Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,387
    Location:
    Agoura Hills ,Ca
    Darn it! I cant believe that I missed the Hack show AND the All-Brit Bike show at Hanson Damn.....Both are held on the same day and its a blast to go to both.......totally slipped my mind.
    #78
  19. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,640
    Location:
    Tijuana, BAJA
    Hey Nicole! so nice to see you going for a big ride ! :lurk

    Arte
    #79
  20. nicomama

    nicomama Rugged Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    615
    Location:
    Borrego Springs, CA
    Hey guys, didn't want those who have kept up with this report to miss the latest YouTube vids that I added after Paul whipped them together. I shoved them into their appropriate spots earlier in the report...

    Post #18: Steve Burns of Burns Moto
    Post #21: Hot mama Sherri Jo Wilkins
    Post #32: My cooking class

    Fun to take you along. More later ; )
    #80