First time in the U.S. - Asking for your opinions

Discussion in 'Americas' started by BGil, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    There is a road from 395 West to Kern River Road over Sherman Pass. We call it Kennedy Meadows but it may be marked 9 Mile Canyon on the East end. It's pretty far south but I think it's the only East West crossing below Lee Vining. on 395 but is an excellent twisty ride. Farther south on 395 is Hwy 178 which is fun too. From Lake Isabella south, Caliente Bodfish is awesome!
    #81
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  2. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    This is the only other southern crossing. From what I hear, Sherman Pass is a great road. It was still snowed in when I was there in March, so I didn't get to cross it.
    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Por...26b39a2234171!2m2!1d-117.86611!2d35.83306!3e0

    There are interesting trees in the eastern Sierra, but different than elsewhere in California.
    • The Bristle Cone Pine Forest in the White Mountains east of Bishop has some extremely old trees. They are very short and stubby due to high altitude.
    • The pine trees up against the eastern slope of the Sierra are just regular pine trees. All of the Sierra passes have those.
    • If you want to see very large very tall redwood trees, Big Trees State Park on Highway 4 has some. There are also some good ones on the north coast of California. Yosemite Park has some groves, but they are all closed right now. There are some big redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Monterey, but they are not the giant ones.
    • Another interesting type of tree, if you are really into that sort of thing, is the Joshua Tree. These are rather alien looking things, and can be found east-northeast of Los Angeles.
    If you are trying to save time, and make it to Mexico, you might consider skipping Sequioa NP (I may catch some flack for suggesting that :ksteve). My thought is that you have the Alps in Europe, so may want to see things as different from home as possible.

    You could head east until you see a Joshua tree, then head up 395. See the bristlecone pine, the Black Point Fissures and tufa formations at Mono Lake. Maybe the Ghost town of Bodie? I'd love to host you for a beer, but to really save time head straight up to Tahoe and over to the coastal redwoods on your way north.

    The north half of your loop is long, but I don't see many places to shortcut. In fact, if you are interested in the American Old West and guns, you might want to visit the Buffalo Bill museum in Cody Wyoming. If the whole cowboy thing doesn't interest you, skip it.

    Probably the place that is most different from Europe is southern Utah. There is some really striking terrain our there. Red rocky tower formations, natural water tunnels in Zion NP, etc. That area also has a strong Native American feel due to the prominence of the Navajo tribe.

    Or...forget all that time saving stuff and cover the western US really well. Store your bike, and come back and do Yosemite, Mexico, and Central America. You might even time it to attend the Baja 1000 race or Dakar. The DRZ is probably the perfect bike for the south lands. You'll be asking for all it has in Utah, where the speed limit is 80 mph in places, but I think it will handle it.
    #82
  3. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I put the gearing back to OEM with new sprockets and chain. The gearing will be fine for short freeway bursts and cruising comfortably at 65/70....I wouldn't do sustained speeds of 80 or more for two hours at a time unless I was changing the oil every 1000 miles! I think you need to change it every 2000 or 2500 as it is. Today I put a new oil and filter (with magnet) and supplied you with two oil filters to carry. Pictures later. I also will get the light/turn/horn handlebar switch today. Pictures later.
    #83
  4. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    The ride over Sherman Pass is great though the pavement varies wildly in quality. You get higher than 9000'. You could access an easy 4wd road on the border of the Golden Trout Wilderness and ride to Monache Meadows - the largest meadow in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Beautiful spot for camping but may be full of cows. I'm not sure when they move them to lower elevations. Really beautiful ride
    #84
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  5. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Oil and filter change complete with voodoo magnet 3225927B-D2DB-4D3B-82FE-E14A49B54080.jpeg BC8FC76C-95F6-493E-A9D4-090D7BF6E27A.jpeg 831FE686-4BA1-449A-BCB6-F2A9635BC265.jpeg 653332D3-1F07-4756-A370-8A6916D9A6B6.jpeg
    #85
  6. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Thanks James, I will be careful with the engine. See you this Saturday!

    Herb, I will probably pass close to Joshua Tree NP on my way back to LA.
    I think I will skip Sequoia and visit Big Trees then, and quickly head North to avoid the heat and the fires.

    Sherman pass seems interesting. I will see if I can fit it in my route.
    #86
  7. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    My motto is....'Use the machine in such a fashion that aids in maintaining the integrity'......it's your home for three months.
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  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    FYI, 108 is closed now too. 4, 88, and 50 are the next choices going north.
    #88
  9. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    Just so you know (in case you don't), Joshua Tree NP will still be hot in September, possibly even very hot as in above 100 degrees F (say 40 Celsius). By the end of the month, the nights should be cooling off. And also, there is no water available in the park - you need to haul all your own or beg some from motorhome campers, not something I would rely on. It's a great spot if you have any interest in rocks and/or rock climbing though most climbers from out of the area don't arrive until October.
    #89
  10. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    DC8ADF50-9D29-47A2-88E0-CE695089F1E9.jpeg Early morning modification for luggage installation
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  11. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    4E587093-11A2-49CA-B277-D256794185FF.jpeg BGgil bike packed for go!!!
    #91
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  12. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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  13. pceire32

    pceire32 Irish

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    Good camp grounds on Sherman Pass Road, Fish Creek $17 a night but Fish Creek overflow is directly across the road and is free. ( you can use the toilets & get fresh water in the main Campground.) Troy Meadows $17 (overflow closed) both campgrounds are at a good evelation and cool around 7000ft. Stop at Kennedy Meadows General Store good hamburgers and is a waystation stop on the Pacific West hiking trail between Mexico & Canada. Great twisty road but watch for fallen rocks & debris on the corners.
    #93
  14. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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  15. pceire32

    pceire32 Irish

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    The Sherman Pass & Kennedy Meadows are 250 miles South of the Sonora Pass and is open !
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  16. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Coming from Claremont its:
    15 north..to 395 north...to 58 west...to Caliente Bodfish road.....that takes you to Lale Isabella and camping on the Kern river. Then you take a right at Roads end on J41 and go through Kennedy Meadows back to 395 north......You take that past Bishop..past Toms Place and turn left at the Mcghee trailer park.....but stay right on the small road and go to Mcghee campground for your next stop. Then come back out and head north on 395 again........................
    #96
  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Oh, got it. Different Kennedy Meadows than one east of Sonora. I edited my previous post to avoid confusion.
    #97
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  18. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    The first night camping was on a campground north of Kernville. Free, almost empty and near the river Kern for a bath.
    After that, North to see a bit of Sequoia NF, then Sherman pass - very nice!

    Then North again. A quick visit of Mammoth Lakes where something funny happened. As I was waiting at a red light when I noticed that the car in front of me, a red Tesla, had a strange things on its roof: a laptop. The light turned green and I managed to pass the car, waving frenetically to the driver to stop. Hopefully, she did and her Mac was saved.

    The next day, Yosemite. A small part of it unfortunately. The road was closed at White Wolf.

    After that, Mono lake, Topaz Lake, Tahoe, then West to the coast.
    #98
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  19. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    Here's the route I'd ride if I was going that way:
    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Wal...66742!2m2!1d-121.4206552!2d40.49766!3e0?hl=en

    But since you want to ride to the coast and there's a monster fire near/around Redding, you might want to cut out Lassen NP in the route above and just ride as direct route to the coast as you can find. Ride Monitor Pass over the Markleeville (I lived there 2 winters, really neat small town). The west side of Lake Tahoe is scenic BUT the traffic at the north end is just unbearable. The CHP had to institute a bicycle patrol because there is no way a car or motorcycle can get through the traffic jams that frequently occur on the northwest side. Hence my route along the east side. To get to the coast, you could ride west on I 80 after Truckee so you can avoid going anywhere near Redding. Maybe some NorCal folks can recommend a route to the coast that avoids the main fire.

    edit: should have said "main fires" as there a couple of giant ones. Here's a link to the best fire map available:

    https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

    click on any fire near where you want to go and you'll get a more detailed map of the areas covered by those fires
    #99
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  20. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Sorry Jonz, my updates are lagging behind me. I'm already at Clear Lake.

    Indeed, I went to Markleeville, then West side of Tahoe (traffic unbearable just like you said) then Truckee.
    I tried to take the old Soda Springs road but stopped to camp after 10 miles then went back. I don't have the tools yet to repair even a puncture and as I didn't see even a single car on that road, it felt unsafe to keep going that way.

    Then I took the freeway 80, wich is surprinsigly beautiful, then a stop in Colfax where I had business to do - pretty little town by the way.

    Now I'm heading West, to the coast.
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