far enough east to come back from the west or if you don't try it will never happen

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by oMeGAS, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. elron

    elron Still Standing Supporter

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    Just read for first time and enjoyed quite a bit. The photography is better than you gave yourself credit for...seems your eye improved with travel.
    #61
  2. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

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    Thank you fellow adventurers.

    I started from Madison Wisconsin and followed I90 for a long while. Since my main target ahead was Yellowstone i was going for it as fast as i could and I90 was the shortest route. Did a small unintended detour and passed by Sparta, the bicycling capital of America.

    Somewhere in Minnesota while taking a brake, i decided to try the advrider tent space map. This was a decision that made a big turn in the way things evolved from there on. I just called an advrider buddy that i found on the map and that was ahead on my route. Luckily he was home and also willing to provide a tent space. And so i met the first advrider buddy that was going to host me throughout my US adventure, just after crossing into South Dakota, not far from Sioux Falls. I prefer not to go into details about it as some people maybe prefer their privacy. For me it was a meaningful encounter as i learned a few things that were going to be of use along the way later. I also received the recommendation to not miss the Badlands which turned the next evening in a beautiful ride through the cemented hills of the South Dakota. I already posted a video with parts of it in the ending post of the eastern ride and will add a link here also, just to have it in the right place.

    I did not bother to take out the tent as the weather was nice and i spent that night in the hammock
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    Not long after starting in the morning i hit heavy rain coming from the west really fast. I was lucky that just before it started pouring cats and dogs i hit a rest area.
    I propped the motorbike from the rain and went inside the small building in the area where everyone was stopping because of the rain and very strong wind. The walls inside were full of ugly posters with "Meth makes you ugly". There were people that stopped with their cars because the wind was so strong that the cars were bobbing on the freeway.
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    The rain was over in about an hour and shortly after the sun was also back.

    Crossing the Missouri river
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    Getting cloudy again but no rain. Still a long way to the Badlands.
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    I went through the Badlands() and also did the off road part named Sage Creek Road until Scenic and followed 44 into Rapid City where i met a group of motorcycles that were waiting for a platform as a Suzuki Boulevard had a broken distribution. They were going to stay at a camp ground outside Rapid City. I tried to make it there also but after a phone call they told me that the place is fully booked. I eventually found a camp ground late in the night on a hill above the city.

    The next day i decided to visit the Devils's Tower. The detour was not that long and i was really looking into having a close encounter of the third kind.

    The tower looks quite small from afar
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    But as you're getting closer you start to realize it's size


    At the tower i met a couple from Alaska on a big, big Harley and their Canis Motoris. If you can't see it look closer in the back.
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    After chatting with the rider i got another useful tip from the fellow adventurer. If i'm going towards Yellowstone i should make sure to take Highway 16 from Buffalo instead of the north route following I90. He also told me to make sure i ride the Black Hills of South Dakota but i was already pass them and i decided not to go back. There are so many things to see in this continent of a country that at some point you have to make decisions. Especially when time is not a privilege you have.

    So I left Devil's Tower and the Black Hills behind and headed to Buffalo where i spent the night
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    #62
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  3. elron

    elron Still Standing Supporter

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    Started in my backyard...Mad-town, born and raised.
    #63
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  4. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

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    I enjoyed Buffalo, a small town with a cozy atmosphere. The evening that i spent there gave me a bizarre feeling of timelessness. It was probably because i had no idea what day of the week it was and now that i recollect it, i probably did not even know what month it was. It did not matter. Highway 16 starts there and i somehow felt that the next day i will be as the free eagle that i saw passing over the evening.
    I spent a couple of hours chatting with a girl from Nebraska that was living in Seattle and was scarred by the big spider that took a looong pit stop in from of the bathroom door. Funny enough we met again in Cody the next day.

    Just before leaving the camp in Buffalo, after packing the tent and all.
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    Highway 16 is indeed a nice ride on two wheels. Climbing up from Buffalo you start to smell the cooler air.
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    On a nice sunny day, which i suspect from the deserty look of the area around Buffalo and also on the other side of Bighorn are numerous during the summer months, the view is beautiful

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    The road passes through a wide canyon
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    The past
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    The future
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    Once you've crossed it and you descend, it gets hot again and you eventually hit the endless fields of oil rigs.
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    Looks like something went kaboom in the future past
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    It got quite hot actually and i was getting dizzy from all the wind and sun and eventually stopped to take a nap on the side of the freeway. There were barely any cars passing by and it was as quiet as a grave. I realized that i did not have any water left and i was really thirsty. So i went for one of the cans that i bought back in Buffalo the other day, quite a good brew. Although i had no idea if it was allowed to drink and ride in Wyoming. But i was thirsty as hell and the can had magic in it.

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    #64
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  5. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

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    I was planning to make it to Yellowstone that day. After finishing Hwy 16 at Worland i went up to Greybull and then to Cody where i stopped for supplies and met the girl from the Buffalo camp in the store parking. She was traveling with her brother and some friends towards Yellowstone, no wonder. Packed up as much food as i could fit in the panniers and left Cody with the intention to find a campground as high as possible before dark. The road from Cody up is very nice but once you reach the higher ground and come out of the tunnel at the Buffalo Bil Reservoir the scenery is amazing.
    I made it quite far up until it started to rain. I tried a few campgrounds but i eventually realized that campgrounds above a certain altitude will allow hard shells only because of the grizzlies. So i started going back down and went from campground to campground as they were all full. I think i was at the fifth or sixth one when i was beginning to loose hope and was already speculating that i'm probably going to sleep somewhere in the wild with the grizzlies. I just entered the ground and was about to begin the tour of the camp places as they are all nicely placed along a looped pathway when a girl with a nice western hat waved. I was not sure if she was waving at me but eventually realized that she was indeed waving at me. So i rode up, stopped next to her and she just said "If you're looking for a camp place you're not going to find one, the camp is full, but you're welcome to share our spot, there's plenty of space." Thank you very much. It was already darkening by the time i managed to pitch the tent. The place was indeed big enough to fit ten tents and was next to the river. Shea was traveling with her boyfriend Chris and their kayaks in the back of the truck around Wyoming and Montana. Chris was off with the neighboring camp place inhabitant Andres, a young fellow from Venezuela, for some firewood as Andres was dead set on a big bonfire that evening. They arrived a bit later with the truck half full of big logs. Apparently a grizzly scared them away before they could fill it up. That evening and night was one of the nicest i've spent in United States. After dark Andres started the bonfire and we just started chatting away about each other's travels. The easiness with which i befriended them was incredible. The good ale was also facilitating the openness. The animal eating lemon cookies was the final drop. Around midnight a young fellow, bloodshot as a strawberry just appears out of nowhere from the dark and asked us if it's ok that they stopped next to Chris' truck in the alley. Him and two friends were doing a road trip from Toronto to Vancouver and ended up in Yellowstone late in the night and just pulled off in the campground to sleep. Sure, no problem. Within half an hour Chris and the young fellow, a student in philosophy from Australia and studying in Canada were doing a cuve from the cookies each other had. I don't remember when i made back to the tent but i do remember that i slept like a log after philosophical discussions about ai taking over the world and other otherworldly subjects. That night was something like Lemmi's summer of '71, an amazing time, I can't remember it but i'll never forget it.

    Next morning we had a breakfast and departed, each going our own ways. As i was aiming for California, Shea and Chris gave me their phone numbers and told me to pass by their place in Nevada City, not that far from lake Tahoe, if i feel like it and it's in my way. They were living in a wooden house in the forest and had plenty of space. They were heading to Montana but in a couple of days were returning to California. True californians, a beautiful and incredibly open and friendly couple.

    Saying bye bye...
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    I started up to the Yellowstone lake. No wonder i was not able to find a campground. They were all full for 76miles.
    Apparently some of them were fully booked for the next two years.
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    It's amazing how many trees have been turned to ashes in this place
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    Hwy 20 is one nice rollercoaster as you ride up to the lake
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    Made a quick swim in the lake which is quite warm considering the altitude, but then it's on top of an oven
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    Bisons roam freely through the park, sometimes leading a looong stream of cars
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    You'll need a lot of time to actually see all there is to be seen here. Probably a couple of lifetimes and by the time you finish with it you can start all over again as it changed into an altogether different place, and then again ad infinitum...
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    I pushed as far as Teton that day until the Grand Teton reflecting into Jackson lake came to view
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    Shea told me about a campground somewhere close to Two Ocean Lake, a remote place where you may still find free camping.
    And so i ended at the Pacific Creek campground. Not free but a nice remote place. There's 6-7 miles of offroad to it.

    I camped close to an old Ford bus full of horse ridding apparel that reminded me about the movie "Into the Wild"
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    They lifted the fire ban and i ended the beautiful day around the fire, after a cold bath in the Pacific Creek
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    #65
  6. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

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    Woke up to a nice sunny morning, packed everything from the traditional metal lockers and killed the fire before leaving
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    A really nice campground, remote and in the middle of the forest
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    A barely made it out of the camp when i passed by a white ford with a girl next to it looking at a front flat tire.
    She looked like she might need some help with it so i pulled over to see if i can lend a hand. I learned in the process how to properly lift a ford truck with a jack and how to do the wheel exchange. Pa1ge was just like myself roaming the country, looking for nice trekking trails and looked exactly like a tough junkie butterfly. We said farewell after she became auto-mobile again and i enriched from a short but meaningful encounter. We met again up the road when we both took the wrong left turn. Hm... I was running low on fuel but Pa1ge told me not to worry, if i run out she'll be running along with a canister in no time :)
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    All along the road between Jackson lake and Jackson town you can admire the Grand Teton on the right side
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    Jackson Wyoming is a beautiful town filled with the soothing cold mountain air, quite western like...
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    I followed Snake river all along to Idaho Falls where i stopped for the night in a campground along the freeway.
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    #66
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  7. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

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    Awfully busy all of a sudden. I'll have to follow this to the end before my memory fades into oblivion.

    Got up in the campground behind a gas station where i also took the chance to wash some of my clothing. It was quite interesting to notice the Idaho accent, quite different from what i've heard till here although i wouldn't be able to tell in what way. It was still english :) Had some problems with the washing machines they had on the grounds but the guy from the station was very friendly and helpful.

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    I eventually made it to Twin Falls. The canyon is truly impressive...
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    Downstream
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    Upstream
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    Some piece of engineering...
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    And now to get into the surrealistic side of Amerika. I make it to the state border line and crossed into Nevada. Just after the borderline there's a small town by the name Jackpot. Wandering if it has anything to do with hitting the jackpot because i kind of did. As i was running low on resources i found a grocery store just before exiting the place. Got inside and who do i encounter? None others than the same Chris and Shea. We looked at each other and went 'what a pot!'. How can we meet 2 days later in Jackpot Nevada? They were on their way home after kayaking on some lakes in Montana. And i was invited at their place. I still had around 500 miles and i was not hopping to make it that day. It would be a hell of a rush and i don't like rushing. The KLR is also not a very fast engine. They were hoping to make it home that day which they did. But we're comparing here a 650cc and a 3800cc Toyota. After sharing some of the things we've seen in the 2 days we departed with the agreement that we're going to see each other again in the evening or the next day or whenever i make it to Nevada City.

    I looked for a log time for a place for the night. I eventually made it to Lovelock and found a camp but no one around it, just a phone number. Unfortunately my phone was not working there, again. Just before making it to Lovelock i saw some signs advising you not to pick up hitchhikers because there's a Correctional Center Facility in the vicinity. Funny, to some extent. It did made me feel awkward. Maybe it's not the place to roam during the night. I rode further for maybe another 50 miles and eventually ended sleeping in a rest area. Just on the ground of the Nevada desert. Placed the motorbike and myself in the middle of the rest area with some cars around that looked to be doing the same thing, stopping in the middle of nowhere for a night rest. There was really nothing around but sand and rocks as far as the eye can see. I felt just like in the mongolian desert.

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    #67
  8. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

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    This is where i slept last night. In the middle of nowhere somewhere in the Nevada desert. It was almost 20 months ago but i can remember it like it was yesterday.

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    There was really nothing around but gravel and hills
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    I made it to Nevada City, actually somewhere along Highway 20 on the way to Nevada City after seeing Reno. I really liked the way the city looks as you come closer to it on Hwy 80 from the north east. I was lucky to be there on a sunny day. Oh wait, Reno gets 300 days of sunshine/year and the peak of that is in July to September, with 390 hours of sunshine/month in August when i was there. I guess i'm not that lucky myself. But that day i was as lucky as it can get, just being there in one piece on a KLR riding, riding, riding to the next flow experience.

    I started getting some pictures out of the many hours of footage i took with a camera that Val gave me so i can get some animated memories. I don't know when i'll get the time to make some more editing, it takes an awful lot of time to build a decent movie out of it. Here's a photo with a fellow motorcyclist waving just as Reno was coming into the view...

    Hi Reno!
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    I eventually met again with this beautiful and friendly couple at their place, somewhere in the big forest around Nevada City.
    They made it the day before and were actually home.
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    I spent two of some of the most beautiful days i've spent in California, at their place and around the beautiful Nevada City. Sleeping on a couch with a loaded shotgun underneath it. It was all very new to me like everything else but i was rest assured that they were only using it to shoot empty bottles in the forest, for fun. They let me sleep inside so that i won't get cuddled by the lovingly black bears that were visiting during the night.

    Their place was like in the tales. With a garden around the house where they were growing vegetables...
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    They even had a gate garnered with morning glories. Hard to believe that during the winter the snow can get up to 2 feet high.
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    Chris, taking a spin of his three wheeler around the small community of i believe 4 houses.
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    #68
  9. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

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    Two days of not sitting in the saddle, just enjoying the beautiful Nevada City and the surroundings. I literally played the lazy lizard with Shea and Chris on the shore of one of the creeks around and did kayaking on the Lower Scotts Flat lake and upstream the Deer Creek, as far as you can go with a kayak. The city, not sure why they call it a city as it is really just a small town, is really beautiful, with many victorian style white houses scattered through the forest. I could not tell that it was literally built 'by' gold. Unfortunately i don't have any pictures as i was not carrying anything with me. I just let myself be dragged around by Shea and Chris in whichever way they thought would be fan and there was plenty of it as i was spilling over the top. I do have two pictures that Shea took with one of those instant cameras. I'll have to scan them someday.

    Next stop was San Jose where i spent one night with a work colleague. I called him back when i was in Jackpot Nevada and let him know that i'm going to make it in the valley. He was happy to have me for one night at his house where i also met his family. I also met in the process two other colleagues that i've never met in person before but i knew from all the meetings we had every week, for 5 years. Just before leaving from the garage where i stowed the motorbike, to make it in Mountain View at their office, i noticed that the rear wheel was on the flat side. Rolling it i discovered the shiny head of a nail sitting quietly in the middle of the tire. Well, these do happen once in a while. First one after crossing the whole country is not that bad. Not to mention that i'm in town, i should be able to find a way to fix it.

    The nail was nicely fit and was only letting some small amount of air out. I set on finding the nearest repair shop that was just 5 minutes away. The mechanic tells me that he does not have the tools to work on a motorbike. He directed me to a motorbike workshop that was not far. Before leaving we pumped the tire back in shape and off i go to the second shop. I friendly transsexual tells me to go speak with the boss. The boss, a really pretty asian lady asks me about the motorbike. It's a KLR650. Nope, we cannot help you. We only deal Triumph and Harleys. She directs me to another workshop that should be able to help me. The trans helps me pump the wheel again up to pressure and off i go towards the third workshop, this time about 15 miles. I made it somewhere on El Camino Real with barely enough pressure to keep the rim from chopping the tube. I see some off road engines in front of the shop and my hopes take an upwards surge. They can help me and since the rear tire is getting close to the pavement between the knobs i decide to change the tire as well. They did not have what i wanted in my size, the mighty Heidenau K60 Scout, so i fitted a cheaper Shinko.

    Here's the shiny head of what i probably picked from the side of the freeway...
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    I was actually lucky that it was a big one, otherwise there was no way i could ride
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    Oh well, all is well when it ends swell. A brand new Shinko.
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    This tire and the folded tube that i did not now back then that i had inside was going to give me a hard time a few days later. And at the same time give me the chance to meet the beautiful, friendly and awfully helpful people of California. But for now let's start rolling towards the beautiful Yosemite and meet the captain.
    #69
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  10. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

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    Yosemite was probably the most impressive place i have seen in the whole country. I thought that was biased by the fact that it is also the place where the captain, one of the most famous climbing walls on the planet, governs over the Yosemite valley. There was no bias though, the place is amazing with very deep canyons, impressive rock formations and who knows what else, i've seen only a fraction of it and some of it through smoke.

    I made it until Moccasin lake on 120 in the rest of the day that i spent mostly to have a pressure holding rear tire. The park was filled with smoke from ongoing fires. It was already late when i arrived and there was nobody around except a ranger with whom I had an interesting chat about communism and american liberties. A long chat that left me with a feeling that i know a little bit more about America.

    The next day i woke up in a smoky atmosphere on the shore of Moccasin lake
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    Later I found the captain in the same smoke that was practically everywhere...
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    I guess i was just lucky finding a campground close to the waterfall and not far from the captain. 6 bucks for pitching a tent is contradictory to me considering that i was practically a whistle away from the wall and considering how much i usually payed for camping. Maybe the lady governing the camp thought i was only riding a KLR and you pay based on engine size. 650 is practically zilch in the country that put 8500cc engines on two wheels.

    I had asked, just as i will ask in the Grand Canyon, for a map and an advice on a nice half a day trek. Got one and when i asked how long is it to the top of the captain i was told that it takes like 12h to get there. So you cannot practically do a round for it it in one day? Not really. It's quite a looong way. Ok. She advised me to go to the top of the fall and see from there if i still have stamina. It's a long climb from the valley to the top of the fall. But i realized soon that the timings on most maps here are the worst possible scenario.

    A very nice camp actually. It might have been so cheap because the showers were two miles away, as i have found out late in the night.

    This picture was taken from the tent place...
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    The critters around are very curious, daring and semi-domesticated....
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    I started to trek to the top of Yosemite falls following a dusty and rocky trail winding up in endless hairpins...
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    There was still smoke in the air...
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    The famous half dome, behind a thin curtain of smoke...
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    The Yosemite falls...
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    After making it to the top of the fall i decided to try to make it to the top of the captain even if i will have to return in the dark.

    The forest is filled with diseased trees and combined with the smoky air was giving me a feeling of the end of the world.
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    There were plenty of people until the top of Yosemite falls but I met no one from the top of the falls to the top of the captain and back although the trek is really beautiful and not at all demanding except in length.
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    I made it on the flat and wide top of El Capitan after more than 4 hours...
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    Although i would have liked to make it there climbing the face i still felt a little bit proud just to be on top of the huge boulder.
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    There was still smoke around...
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    From up there i could even see the simmering forest in the distance...
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    Half of the way back was in total darkness with no flashlight. The night was bright enough. The left ankle was giving me a hard time since hours. When i hit the camp i was practically dying for a shower although i was as tired as a prisoner in a gulag camp. But the showers were 2 miles away. There was no way i was going to get inside the sleeping bag like that so i went groping for the river and had a cold dive in the Merced river in the middle of the night while whistling R.E.M.
    #70
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  11. elron

    elron Still Standing Supporter

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    Excellent post!
    #71
  12. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Love your Yosemite write up.
    #72
  13. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

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    Thank you fellow riders. It feels nice to get an emotional response that helps me transcend this virtual world. Let's move a little bit closer to the end of the loop.

    By the next morning the air became almost smoke free and i could stare the captain in its clear face.
    I shortly visited the Bridalveil fall and then touched 120 again to follow it to its end where it meets 395.
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    You need to compare this picture with the one in the previous post that was taken less than 24h earlier to realize how much smoke was actually filling the whole area.

    You absolutely have to stop at every chance you get to a view which is very often. Riding this park is truly magnificent on a sunny day like i had. The memory of the russian Altai was coming back to mingle and give me a sense of my mind expanding in time and space.
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    Tenaya can be seen in the distance, the place for the next baptizing...
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    Icy cold and so joyful to feel it biting...
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    This is after crossing Tioga while descending towards Mono lake, looking back in sorrow to leave the place and at the same time pulled by the desire to see the Giants.
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    From here on i followed 395 to admire Mount Whitney and the whole range on my right until i turned right on 178 to end up pitching the tent in the night on the shore of Isabella lake.
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    #73
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  14. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

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    The ride from where 178 starts and all the way to the "Trail of 100 Giants" is a pleasure ride with little traffic. The shore of lake Isabella was quite busy when i go there in the night with several bonfires along the waterfront. It's pretty barren but somehow i managed to find a tree and even start a small fire, just for a bit of light.

    I only got to see the place properly in the morning light.
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    One spider spent the night working his art around the motorbike
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    The other side of lake Isabella, as seen from the Wofford Heights
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    The best part of the day was the ride along the icy cold Kern river. Taking a dive in its clear blue water after riding in the sun is just like a shot of adrenaline.
    It actually is a shot of adrenaline because of the very low temperature shock.

    I met 100 giants that day and i felt like a tiny dwarf for the rest of it.
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    Yojik, are you in here?
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    The temperature in the heights of the sequoia forest was pleasantly cool but by the time i made it down in the valley it felt like being in an oven. After meeting the giants i started toward the west coast by California Hot Springs, Bakersfield, Santa Maria and touched the coast in Gaviota. The only campground that i found was full to its brim. I couldn't manage to pursue anybody to spare a small tent space so i went back up hoping to find at least a rest area where i could maybe spend the night. After much running around in the darkening evening i ended up in Sleepy Hollow motel in Buellton. It was the first of the only two nights that i spent in a hotel. The second night was the fallout of the folded tube that eventually gave up after four days of riding in the sun. The next day was the most interesting day i spent in California. And it was all because of a mistake that someone did when installing a tube inside a tire.
    #74
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  15. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    20,442
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I too slept at a Nevada rest area oh so many years ago without a tent. Nobody bothered me.
    #75
  16. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Europe
    Woke up the next morning in a bed. Weird feeling after sleeping for so many nights in a tent or a hammock. Surprise, surprise. Just before starting the engine i noticed that the rear wheel was somewhat deflated. Not all the way deflated but enough to make it difficult to ride. Rolling it over i did not find another nail like i did in San Jose. The tire was new and i also could not spot any sign of an enter exit. Well, maybe it's some valve issue. I went about searching for a pump and i met John sitting in his huge truck enjoying a beer at around maybe 10am. He was living with his son in the same hotel, for 5 years already. I discovered later that many rooms were inhabited for years by the same persons. The American way of living. His son did have a pump and so i brought the tire back to pressure. I was then set on at least 20m of chat with John's son, waiting to see if it holds pressure and at the same time being weary that if it does i will not be able to explain it. Oh well, i'm in California, way more bizarre things have happened here. After more than 20m i decided to roll as the tire seemed to be at the same pressure although i did not have a way of knowing for sure. So i started again down towards Gaviota. After less than 10 miles i could feel the rear becoming slightly loose and i knew that it's going to be a fun day.

    I ended up right at the crossroads of 101 with 1 in a place called Las Cruces wondering how to grab this.
    The rear was already too soft to ride it back to Buellton. I could at least check in for another night in the same hotel and in town i should be able to find a workshop to fix the darn thing as i did not have anything with me to fix it. The KLR is a heavy engine, unlike the lc4 which i could just drop on the side and take the wheel down and work on it. I did not have any patches anyway nor tools to take the tire of the rim. I carried such tools from home to Vladivostok and back but i never needed them. Hm, what should i do about this? I opened the tent space map and i called the closest person that i found on it. Luckily i get an answer and an immediate sure let me see how i can help you. You're at 101x1 so you're not far from me. What's the size of your rim, 17? i don't have a 17" tube but let me ask some friends about it. I was quite shocked to find someone that's just willing to help me like that, on a Sunday. Eventually we clarified that he's not in the same place as the tent space map because he moved more to the north, 101 and 1 also meet somewhere up north. I'm actually quite far from him and he cannot help me but he put an alarm on one of the local forums and hopefully someone else will be able to help.

    As i was waiting by myself on the side of the road covered by some trees from the hot sun of California a big Harley ridden by a what looked exactly like a leather pride girl stops by. What's your problem? I'm flat. Bummer, i broke the gearbox shifter. What, the shifter? You mean the pedal? No, the rod coming out of the case broke. That's odd. I had to get a look at her shifter, i've never heard before of anyone breaking that. The rod was indeed broken. What is this place, the Bermuda Triangle? And how in the world can you brake a shifter rod like that, just riding. She looked at the bike, than at me and while shrugging her shoulders said complacently 'What do you expect, it's a Harley.' Like, i'm not at all surprised that it broke, it's just a Harley. Oh well, i'm not aware of this. I thought Harleys were kind of tough. She was dead funny.

    Some minutes later two ladies riding along pull over asking me if everything's ok. My rear is flat. I asked them if they have by any chance any tools to fix a flat but they don't, just like me. They must have the triple A that the leather girl asked me about and was waiting on. So is anybody coming to help you? I have no idea, i talked with someone and he said he put an alarm online, eventually someone may react but i have no idea. You need a ride somewhere, there's nothing you can do here anyway? I guess going back to Buellton and at least checking in the hotel would be a better idea. I can then maybe find someone with some tools that can haul me back. The one girl that offered to give me a ride says that she never rode with a passenger. I did, for quite a while but then it's your engine and your call. I don't have a problem riding with a passenger and I don't have anything against riding this cute Bonneville.
    And so i made it back to Buellton on a small and very swift and lucky Bonneville, with lady Q as a passenger. The two saving angels wished me luck expressing their confidence with, don't worry, everything will be ok, this is California.

    Thanks again Rachel, i hope Mercury still spins at the rhythm of your rear wheel...
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    Now let's find some way to bring the engine back also. John was sitting in the same truck with the same kind of beer by his side. I asked him if he can haul me back to where my engine is along with the pump. It's Sunday and finding some service will be probably difficult. He shows me the beer can and tells me that it's his third. But maybe i can ask the guy living at some room number, the one that cleans the rooms in the hotel, if he's willing to drive his truck.
    I go find the guy and explain to him the motorbike, flat tire, John's truck and him as a driver story. He tells me that it's ok but that he has bedbugs. What? 'I got bedbugs'. So what does that have to do with driving? I don't know. I go back to John and tell him about the guy and the bedbugs and he replies with Yeah, he has bedbugs in his head. Come on, let's go, i'll drive. But you had three beers already. It's ok, don't worry about it, another 15 minutes passed and it's ok now. We put some gasoline in the tank and headed back to Las Cruces. I chatted along with John from Glasgow that worked for many, many years as a truck driver and some other jobs along California and Nevada and now has a problem with his legs and cannot walk, reason he stays all day in his truck and drinks beer. A really nice fellow, probably way over 70. We made it at the place where i left the engine and i started working on inflating the tire with the hope that i can ride it back into Buellton.
    While doing this i got a call from a girl. You have a flat tire and you're on 101 with 1? Yes. Ok, i'm in Santa Barbara and i have all the tools at home, can you ride here? I can try, let me see if it works, i'll call you back. If it doesn't she can still talk with some friends and maybe come haul me with a truck. She's like 3x the distance to Buellton but at least she has tools and i can hopefully fix this for good.

    About maybe 5 minutes later Wymann calls. Do you have a flat somewhere along 101? Yes. Where exactly are you? Next to a place called Las Cruces. Ok, i know exactly where you are. I'll be there in 20m. 20m later he appears with a big truck, we haul the motorbike to his place and then spend like three hours trying to fix the flat. Shinkos are good tires but they are extremely hard. It's really difficult getting the tire off and back on the rim. I managed to eventually fix the old tube that i still kept from San Jose by patching it. After spending half of Sunday helping me to fix the flat tire Wymann was asked if there's any way that he can be re-payed. He's answer was, No, you have to help someone else. Yet another beautiful human from California in my path.
    The reason the tire was flat was because the guys that installed the new tube inside the new tire back in San Jose did not take good care and it ended up folded, with the fold eventually cracking at the Sleepy Hollow motel in Buellton California. And allowing me to meet the beautiful and friendly inhabitants of that side of California.

    It was one crazy day that ended eventually with me back at the hotel with a tire that was going to hold pressure until Troy, Michigan, for another 5000 miles or so. And chatting with John and his son about their golden days.

    The next morning I said good bye to good old John from Glasgow and his big truck that did not have a hood...
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    and his son...
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    and the Sleepy Hallow hummingbirds...
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    and eventually took a dive in the Pacific at the Goleta beach...
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    I also passed by Hollywood and found only three stars that i know...
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    I actually don't know who this last star is, but i did meet him back in Yellowstone. I just don't remember it.
    #76
    elron and GraniteStateGS like this.
  17. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Europe
    I made it to Vegas on a beautiful sunny day. Riding from LA the opposite direction was completely packed, car after car for almost all the way. It was Monday and everyone was going back to the big city from the other big city from where some were returning richer and the rest of 99,99% poorer. The hot air was burning the skin on my feet as i was riding the freeway. But i actually enjoyed the Nevada desert quite a lot. I like the hot and dry air. This was to be the second buddy to welcome me for two nice days in the desert metropolis. Thanks again J. Say hi to the other J. from the southern hemisphere big round island if he's still around. And don't forget B.

    I had to see the strip and lose some buck, just to let the thrill pass by. Not my kind of a thrill anyway.
    Went by me just like the guy in the picture. The fear and loathing is all coming back like a mirage.
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    It\s kind of like Istanbul, with the right kind of mindset, just fuzzy because of all the multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers.
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    It's hard to believe you're in the middle of the desert
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    But you actually are
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    On a planet that's cruising at over 67000 miles/h. But it's all a mirage.
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    You're in the middle of the desert and there's nothing but sand, as far as the eye cannot see.
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    J. was not home when i left and the cat was the last one to say farewell
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    I made it two days after arriving to the big dam on the mighty Colorado
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    Truly impressive the size of this achievement
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    Via Kingman, 40E and left on 64 i made it to the Grand Canyon Village which was fully booked.

    After taking a peak at the impressive view from the Rim Trail..
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    ...I crashed at the Ten X campground, 10 miles outside the village, when it was getting dark with the intention to go down in the canyon the next day.
    #77
    GraniteStateGS likes this.
  18. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Europe
    Canyon day was looong and weary. 8 miles down to the river and double all the way back in about 6.5 hours of constant trekking. But it's so beautiful that you don't feel any weariness. Just the anxiousness to see what's over the next ledge or corner. The so called Bright Angel Trail is one of the ways to descend down into the canyon. There are other descents but not that close by. The people at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center have no idea about treks in the Canyon and they sent me to Backcountry Information Center which is on the other side of the village. There i asked how can i descend to touch the river. I was advised to not go all the way to the river as it is too far for a one day round trip. There is actually a campground in the Indian Village which is about half way from the start of the trail and the riverbed but you need a permit to stay there.

    You can find millions of pictures with the beauty. These here are mine, taken on September 7 2017...

    You start easy going on a straight piece that slowly becomes steeper and steeper
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    You can also jump and make it faster if you own a parachute and 1000 base jumps on your portfolio. Or you're just suicidal.
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    I felt like i was missing the third eye to properly grasp this. This is not just distance, it's also time.
    Down in the middle as a green patch is the Indian Village where the campground is located.
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    The only way to get stuff in and out of the canyon besides using your own body machine.
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    That was a looong way down. But i'm not bored yet.
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    Still plenty to go. The river is far away.
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    Mikey mouse and Mikey wife were hiding here all this time and made an army of mikey mice.
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    There's actually a little bit of water flowing in this creek bed
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    The mighty Colorado river. Downstream and ...
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    ... upstream. Just the place to try out the new bathing suit i bought in Vegas.
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    The water is a blessing after the almost three hours spent in 35+C. The deeper you go the hotter it gets but if you make it to the river it's worth it.

    And as a second prize i get to climb all the way back up
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    And all this while the planet has turned this side slowly away from the star.
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    There's plenty of squirrels and everybody tells you to stay away from them as they can bite a deadly bite with all the things they can transmit with their sharp strong teeth.
    And they are evil like every other squirrel. Nah, they're just scared and always afraid they're gonna run out of food.
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    And now the funny story of the Bright Angel single hop IPA. After finishing the trek i recovered my helmet from a shop just at the beginning of the trail. The girl at the counter was nice enough to keep it for the day. I then had a long chat with a guy working in the canyon administration. He was very friendly and open and told me that i can camp even in the forest as long as it is the National Forest and i'm not inside the National Park. I then made it to a shop to bring my supplies to an acceptable level. I prized myself with a can of beer that i just grabbed from the fridge that was filled with many ales. I did not even look at it as i was tired and i still needed to make it at the camp ground and pitch the tent again. I enjoyed the ale in the camp in the dead of night and i still didn't know what i was drinking but it was good stuff. It was the next morning that i saw that i actually got the Bright Angel single hop IPA. I laughed my face off.

    They even put a map in case you have one too many and get lost in the canyon :jack
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    Go see this place before you sputter out.
    #78
    elron likes this.
  19. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Europe
    After packing the tent and setting ready to roll i was contemplating the heavy clouds gathering as if the place was a cloud magnet.
    I crossed the whole continent and i had very little rain, just some drops up in Yellowstone and the hour long storm in South Dakota. Time to swim back to the surface from the bottom of this sunny place. Just a little bit. I forgot to mention that i never had with me proper motorcycle rain clothes except a good rain and wind jackets but no pants to keep me dry. And i was fine for many, many miles because of lack of water falling down from the sky.

    From the village and for about 2h i rode through rain, just for the fun of it. Fun was not covering the whole deal but before making it to Cameron on the Colorado the clouds were completely gone. I remember i felt like coming out of a cave and soaked down to the skin i just dried riding in about 20m. I also remember i met Bob H. again. He was riding a multicolored van while the Colorado river was flowing against our push on the left side, deep down into the canyon. I was just reaching from behind on 64 and his van was all painted in the rainbow colors with the darn animated dog readin' all over the van "Pass Shaggy the baggy so he can roll Scooby a doobie".

    After Kayenta Oljato unfolded on all sides...
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    Is this what is left of the once mighty navajo people?
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    Sucked dry
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    The dogs from Mexican Hat. Just like the many stray dogs in romanian gas stations.
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    I stopped just before Bluff where i stayed for one night in the nicest campground in the United States, on the riverbank of San Juan. And also the cheapest.
    The evening swim in San Juan set the day to a perfect end.
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    #79
  20. oMeGAS

    oMeGAS derspy

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Europe
    The morning was even better with all the good night sleep recharging
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    There are ancient drawings on walls close to the camp
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    After stopping in Blanding and talking with an older guy i got convinced that it's worth a detour to the Natural Bridges canyon.
    And as most of the time older guys are right, it was worth it. I was close to spend a night under the big bridge which still looks small in this picture but it will get bigger...
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    Once you've descended into mad... lower grounds...
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    I had the eerie feeling i've been here before, probably transported by some of the movies they filmed here...
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    Ain't this the perfect spot to camp? No, of course you're not allowed.
    There was no water flowing at that time through the riverbed but there's plenty of water flowing sometimes for that much green
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    After passing by Church Rock...
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    ...and other beautiful geological formations of the Utah territory, there are so many that the summer season would probably not be enough to see them all...
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    ...i ended up in Grand Junction and spent the night in the backyard of another buddy, the third one. Thanks again under pressure Guru.
    #80