For West is where we all plan to go some day

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Jedi5150, May 20, 2019.

  1. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    For West is where we all plan to go some day. It is where you go when the land gives out and the old-field pines encroach. It is where you go when you get the letter saying: Flee, all is discovered. It is where you go when you look down at the blade in your hand and the blood on it. It is where you go when you are told that you are a bubble on the tide of empire. It is where you go when you hear that thar's gold in them-thar hills. It is where you go to grow up with the country. It is where you go to spend your old age. Or it is just where you go.”
    Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men



    I'd like to invite you all on a series of adventures that began more than 12 years ago; my exploration of the West by motorcycle. It will be stories of family bonds, the camaraderie of close friends, and the freedom of solo travels. From the barren expanse of the Bonneville Salt Flats, to the fog-shrouded groves of the Coastal Redwoods. From the snow-capped alpine passes of Colorado, to the rugged coastline of British Columbia. There will be tales of joy, sadness, injury, and triumph.



    I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have. Here is a glimpse of things to come:



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    #1
  2. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Jedediah Smith Redwoods: 2007

    Del Norte County, in the extreme northwest of California, is as good a place to start as any. My interest in motorcycles began in 1983, when I saw Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Watching the Imperial "biker scouts" zooming through the forests on the moon of Endor on their "speeder bikes", had a profound impact on me. I knew that one day, I'd be riding a motorcycle through the same redwood groves, searching for Rebel scum. I didn't buy my first motorcycle until 2002, a black F650GS. When I went to the dealership in San Jose, the bike I truly wanted was the R1150GS, but since my only real riding experience was the MSF course I'd just finished, they told me the big GS was too much bike for me. They basically refused to sell it to me, and only offered me the F650GS. I was so new to motorcycling, that I didn't really know I could go against their wishes. Crazy, I know. Well, fast forward a month, and I had outgrown the 650. I went to BMW of Santa Cruz (no longer in existence), and they were more than happy to sell me my dream bike, a "graphite matte metallic" R1150GS. I parked the 650 for the next couple years, until I'd paid it off enough to sell it. I loved my big 1150GS. Unfortunately, it was before I started taking a camera along on my rides, and I'm not aware of a single photo I have of the bike...at least while I owned it...:wink:


    The first bike I took photos of was my 2007 R1200GS. In the three months I owned it, I put on 11,000 miles, before it met it's end on a fire road near the ghost mercury-mining town of New Idria, in Central California. Here she is, on Hwy 199, overlooking the Smith River, just a stone's throw from the Oregon state line. In the background is the forest moon of Endor... And no, I'm not joking...


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    My wife and I used to go on camping trips to Jedediah Smith Redwoods, just outside Crescent City, CA. We were, and still are, huge Star Wars fans ("nerds"). We asked the locals where the Endor scenes were filmed, and they told us that although they had wanted to use Jedediah Smith Redwoods, since it was a State Park, they were not allowed to film there. Instead, they used private property just across the highway. Sadly, all the areas you see in the movie had been logged in the years before our arrival. Those hills behind my bike, in the photo above, show some of that private property. We obtained permission to check it out a bit, but nothing was recognizable from the film. But on that ride in 2007, I finally got a chance to ride my "speeder bike" through the forest moon.


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    Five years later, in 2012. A different bike, same background...


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    The Smith River, looking north from Hwy 199...


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    And looking south...


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    #2
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  3. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    Location:
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    Utah: 2007


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    Back in 2007, my brother, Alex, was living near Provo, Utah. He had a Honda Shadow 650, and when I went out to visit him we woke up early in the morning for a day ride. First we rode Provo Canyon, then tooled around Salt Lake City for a while, before heading up to Logan. We swapped bikes for a while, with him on my GS and me riding his Shadow. It was my first experience with a cruiser style, and I couldn't wait to get back on my own bike. It felt unnatural in the corners, and I remember thinking the pipes were incredibly loud. For no reason other than bragging rights, we took the 80 across the Wyoming state line, for a photo op. My vision of Wyoming was crushed. I'd always pictured it as majestic mountain peaks, with conifer forests and pristine lakes. Of course there are places in Wyoming that fit this description, but they sure aren't east of Salt Lake, on the 80. Nothing waited for me but some high desert sagebrush and a, "Wyoming Welcomes You" sign...


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    It was a warm fall day, and we continued up to Logan, where we again turned east, this time up into scenic mountains. Off of Logan Canyon, we took Forest Road 003. We wound through golden aspen and evergreen woods up to Tony Grove Lake.

    Forest Road 003, looking north towards the lake...


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    Tony Grove Lake, behind my stripped GS.


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    After canyon carving near Logan, we finally hit Salt Lake City on the way back to grab my belongings in Provo, at around 6PM. Sitting in the hot, bumper to bumper traffic of Salt Lake, I was sorely tempted to give into my urge to let my California lane-splitting self run wild. Not wanting to be a poor ambassador of my state, I managed to keep the temptation at bay. I rode on late into the night, finally reaching Squaw Valley just before 2 AM. That made it my first day of more than 1000 miles in the saddle. I was tired, and high up in the Sierra, it had begun to rain heavily when I pulled into the Village at Squaw Valley, for the night.

    By the time I left the lodge the next morning, rain had turned to snow. I putted along in a near white-out blizzard over Donner Pass. As near as I could tell, there was about 3" of fresh, unplowed snow on the 80. When I'd descended out of the worst of it, I pulled off for a photo op...


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    As I came down from Donner Pass, to the San Joaquin Valley, I was struck by a bit of historical irony; In one day, I'd ridden extensively through Utah, crossed Nevada, and into the Sierra Nevada. I had taken photos of my bike on the Bonneville Salt Flats, which if you remember, are what sealed the fate of the Donner Party. In August of 1846, they were delayed by crossing the great salt flats, with their wagon wheels becoming buried up to the hubs in the mucky earth. This delay resulted in the party climbing into the High Sierra in winter of that same year, and getting stuck in the pass that now bears their name. Of the 87 souls that began the trek, only 48 survived. Going from Bonneville to Truckee, which took them months and cost lives, I'd just done in an evening. It gave me a newfound appreciation of our exploring ancestors.


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  4. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    Return to Utah: 2009

    The next multiday ride I did was another Utah trip to visit my brother in 2009. Alex describes Interstate 80, through Nevada, as, "the absence of scenery". I have to disagree, I find beauty in the stark high deserts of Nevada. I see it as topography on a grand scale. On this trip, however, I was wishing for a bit less rain. And hail. In the middle of nowhere, approaching Battle Mountain, we rode into a bad squall. A crosswind was blowing so hard that I had the bike leaned far over to the right for miles on end, just to keep riding in a straight line. And then rain turned to hail, and my electronics started to short out. My bike kept stuttering on and off. When it got so bad I felt it was unsafe to continue, I pulled off underneath an overpass to ride out the storm. I was joined a few minutes later by a GSA rider who had the same idea. It's been many years, and I don't recall his name, but I hope he's still keeping dry, and keeping the rubber side down.


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    Now before I continue, I should point something out; I used the expression, "we rode into a bad squall". This was a solo ride out to visit my brother. The "we" I refer to is me and my bike. When I began doing these long distance, solo rides, I would come home and tell my family all about the adventures. One day, mid-story, my Mom asked me who I had been riding with. She said, "I thought you were by yourself". I answered, slightly dumbfounded, "I was. What do you mean?" She explained that I'd been saying, "we", the entire time I'd been telling the story of my rides. Subconsciously, my motorcycle had taken on a persona, and was a living, breathing, companion on my journeys. I still find myself doing it from time to time.


    In 2009, Alex had just moved to Tooele, Utah, home of the famous, "Miller Motorsports". I spent a couple days visiting and riding with him. His Honda Shadow was a thing of the past, and his current bike was a blue Kawasaki Versys 650.


    Yours' truly, riding into downtown Tooele...


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    Alex and I decided to spend a day exploring Antelope Island, on the Great Salt Lake. As we rode across the causeway from the mainland, I remember being impressed (and disgusted) by the clouds of tiny flies we were riding through, thanks to the brackish water of the lake. They died down by the time we got to the island, and we had a nice, sunny day to enjoy. You can't go to Antelope Island and not eat a buffalo burger (unless you're vegetarian, of course). The shack we stopped at had a nice outside deck. We went back years later, and the restaurant is now on the other side of the island. So this photo you'll see of it is sort of a collector's item. Haha


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    Alex and I both had children by this point in our lives, so we stopped into the cool little museum, and bought some stuffed animal bison for our kids (visible on top of my duffel)...


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    Alex, with our bikes on Antelope Island. If you look closely, you'll notice my license plate...(remember me mentioning I wanted to ride speeder bikes on the forest moon of Endor?). I've kept this plate through several bikes...


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    On my way home, as I crossed the salt flats, they had recently gotten some rain. A couple inches of water covered the flats for as far as the eye could see. It was here that I began a tradition of self-portraits in the rear-view mirror...


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  5. Phoenix101

    Phoenix101 Long timer

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    in :lurk
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  6. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    Exploring the Eastern Sierra: 2010 (Part 1)



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    So in 2010, when I was in getting the 24,000 mile service done on my R1200GS at Santa Cruz BMW, I laid eyes on a magnificent beast I'd read about, but never seen in person...the F800GS. I asked if I could take it for a spin while they worked on my bike, and they happily agreed. It was a mistake. I walked out of there a few hours later, with no R1200GS, and a brand new F800GS. Sitting still with a brand new bike is a tough thing to do, so I cranked out the 600 miles to get the initial service done, and two weeks later I was off on my first multiday trip on it, this time with a work buddy, Dan. Dan later earned the nickname, "Route Boss", since he is the planner and organizer of our group rides.

    May 19, of 2010, Dan and I set off on our tour of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I mentioned earlier that I never took a photo of my R1150 GS, which I bought a month after I started motorcycling... Well here she is. I sold her to Dan, and he's been riding it ever since (about a decade and counting). And I'm on my (then) new F800GS, behind him...


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    After heading down the 101 and cutting across to Bakersfield, we took Hwy 178 to Rancheria Rd., which is where our adventure began.


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    Rancheria Road is a great ride. It starts off in the golden brown rolling hills, and rises into chaparral. Before you know it, you've ascended into Alpine forests, as you enter Sequoia National Forest.


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    Snow often lingers in the High Sierra well into May. We found that the road was still closed at a locked gate, so we backtracked a short distance and made camp for the night.


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    The next morning as we road out, we were met by Dan's two brothers, Phil and Dave. They joined us for the next couple days of the trip, following us in their truck.


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    We rode past Lake Isabella, and made our way out to Hwy 395. It was my first time on the southeastern side of the Sierra, and I was blown away by the scenery. Growing up I'd spent a lot of time on the western side of the Sierra Nevada, and I'd crossed the range a number of times up near Tahoe. I always figured that the eastern side, south of Tahoe, was more of the same. I could not have been more wrong. For those who may not be too familiar with the Sierra Nevada, the range is 400 miles long, from north to south, and is shaped like a trapdoor. The western slope rises gradually from the San Joaquin Valley, and then at the peak it drops off near vertically to the Owens Valley on the east.


    Riding up 395 near Lone Pine, you are at around 3500' in elevation. When you glance to the west, the Sierra just tower over you. In this next photo, if you look at the three jagged spires left of center, you will see the highest point in the contiguous 48 states, Mount Whitney, which rises to a majestic 14,505'. We rode up Whitney Portal Road, and made camp for the night.



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    Continued...
    #6
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  7. Echo_OR

    Echo_OR Adventurer

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    Great job! Looking forward to following
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  8. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Central California
    Exploring the Eastern Sierra: 2010 (Part 2)


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    Given it's close proximity to Hollywood, many western movies and TV shows have been filmed in the Alabama Hills. It's a low row of hills that separate the Sierra Nevada from Hwy 395 and the town of Lone Pine. In the photo of the Alabama Hills above, Mt. Whitney is again visible, approximately 1/4 way in from the left.


    Lone Pine sits at 3,700', and our campsite at the top of Whitney Portal Road was at 8,300'. You get there in a very short distance. If you are prone to vertigo, the switchbacks on Whitney Portal Road may not be for you...


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    We spent a relaxing evening around the campfire.


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    Me on the way down the next morning...


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    Just north of Lone Pine, we came across Manzanar, a "War Relocation Center" (internment camp) from WWII, that has a lot of restored buildings and a great museum. During the war, over 11,000 Japanese Americans were detained there, with no arrest, no trial, and no conviction, under armed guard, and were housed there until the war ended. I was struck by the dichotomy of the place; The majestic beauty of the Sierra Nevada rising up 10,000' above the valley floor, and the ugliness of what men will do to each other during war.


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    As we rode further north, 395 gained elevation to over 7,000', and the scenery became greener...


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    We stopped at Tom's Place, for a burger and the best onion rings I've ever had.


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    The weather had turned brisk as we rode around June Lake Loop.


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    Continued...
    #8
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  9. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    I appreciate the kind words, guys! This is just the tip of the iceberg...many more fun rides and good scenery to be posted...
    #9
  10. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Exploring the Eastern Sierra: 2010 (Part 3)



    "Goodbye God, I'm going to Bodie" - From the journal of a young girl who's family was moving to Bodie, California.



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    When Obi-Wan Kenobi said, "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy", he could have been talking about Bodie. Reverend F.M. Warrington saw Bodie in 1881 and described it as, "A sea of sin, lashed by the tempest of lust and passion". Bodie sits in the high desert hills, east of the Sierra Nevada, and just north of Mono Lake, at an elevation of 8,400'. It became a boom town in 1876. In it's heyday, it has a population of 11,000, it had 2,000 buildings and 65 saloons, including opium dens. Gunfights and stagecoach robberies were a near-daily occurrence. It is the largest unrestored ghost town west of the Mississippi River. This main street once stretched for over a mile...


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    Bodie is a cold, barren town. I think that the only thing tougher than this country, were the people who lived here.


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    After exploring Bodie, we made our way north to Twin Lakes, outside Bridgeport, where we set up camp for the night. But before we get there, I'll share a few photos of the area that I took during later trips. My apologies that these next three photos weren't from this ride, but I wanted to give folks a better feel for this area. First is Mono Lake...


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    Looking west from 395, toward June Lake Loop...


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    And Silver Lake, off of June Lake Loop...


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    Continued...
    #10
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  11. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    Location:
    Central California
    Exploring the Eastern Sierra: 2010 (Part 4- The Finale)



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    Now if you look closely at that photo above, you'll pick up on a couple things... First is that the time the photo was taken was just after noon. Second is that the temperature was 21.2 degrees, Fahrenheit (that's -6 Celsius for our metric friends). Not exactly what you expect for sunny California, in the middle of May... unless, that is, you're riding with Dan. "Route Boss" has now earned a reputation that spans many years, as an unreliable weather forecaster. If he tells us it's expected to be lows in the mid 60's, you better plan on sub-zero temperatures. He can, and has, found snowstorms for us to ride through in Carmel Valley, along the coast. His ability to bring us the joys of extremely cold weather for motorcycle riding is almost as impressive as his skill at finding us awesome trips and routes. When we woke up at Twin Lakes that morning, it was so cold that even a bat didn't want to leave the restroom...


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    A view across Twin Lakes the previous evening...


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    We stopped into this historic building that is now a coffee shop in Bridgeport, to thaw out. This is where we parted company with Phil and Dave, before they headed back to Southern California.


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    Large open meadows crisscrossed by brooks, just outside Bridgeport...


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    We rode Highway 89, in Alpine County, over Monitor Pass (where the above temperature photo was taken). Now here's a fun bit of trivia for you; If you recall my first post in this thread, I showed photos of Jedediah Smith Redwoods, over on the coast, just south of Oregon. Monitor Pass, where we crossed on this trip, has the distinction of being the route Jedediah Smith took in 1827, when he became the first non-native person in history to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    Here's me, treading in the footsteps of Jedediah Smith... The photo is actually just to show the ice caked on my boots and pants, thanks to riding for a couple hours in a snowstorm, over the pass. Dan suggested stopping and eating in a town halfway down the western slope of the Sierra. I told him I wasn't going to stop until we were at a low enough elevation that I could feel my toes. :lol3:vardy


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    Motorcycles aren't supposed to look like this...


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    Even though it was dark out (at noon), I still had to wear my sunglasses, because my helmet visor kept getting covered in snow, and the sub-freezing wind was too cold on my eyes.



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    The rest of our ride was fairly uneventful. At one turnout, Dan's bike decided that it didn't want to stay upright, due to the icy road. No major harm done. We made it back to the Central Coast in one piece.


    That's it for the Eastern Sierra ride. Stay tuned for more adventures to come...
    #11
  12. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Back to Utah in May: 2011



    Between 2010 and 2012, I went through motorcycles pretty quick, I'm embarrassed to say. It was a case of Goldilocks, and none of them were "just right". The F800 GS was by far the most off-road capable bike I'd owned, but that just didn't account for much of my riding. The vast majority of what I did on a bike was hour long commutes to work and back every day, and long distance solo or group rides. I found that I really missed the Boxer engine of the 1200's. It held the perfect balance for me of not being an overly huge engine, but large enough to feel that long highway rides weren't a strain. I'd always loved the looks of the R1200R, so I decided to get one. Ultimately, I ended up missing the ride ergos of the GS's, so I sold off the "R" and replaced it with yet another R1200GS. But the next couple trips I'll cover were with the R. Without further adieu...


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    I got a fairly late start in the afternoon, but I was in no hurry, so I stopped and took some photos of the golden rolling hills beneath the San Luis Reservoir. Here is my new R1200R, all bridled and saddled for the trip.


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    When I left on the trip to visit my brother, I really didn't have any set plans or reservations at any hotels. I figured I'd just ride until I got tired. My stop for the night was a stealth camp at a parking lot in the thriving metropolis of Lovelock, Nevada. If you look closely in the next photo, you can just make out my green MSR "Hubba Hubba" tent. All things considered, it was fairly stealthy...


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    As I rode off that morning, I had to pull off on the side of I-80 and snap a photo of a cowboy working a herd of cattle. If you spend time in the West, it doesn't take long for you to find something that will draw you back in time.


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    One of the things you do when you go to Utah is relax by banging off some rounds. The entire state is like one big outdoor shooting range. This next photo is of me trying out Alex's pistol. I can't recall whether it was an FN or a Smith and Wesson M&P. I'm sure one of our more gun savvy members will be able to identify it. Alex was living in Tooele at the time, and this was on an island just a short distance from his house.


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    Looking out over the Great Salt Lake...


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    We took a ride up to Huntsville, which is a small town on a peninsula in the Pineview Reservoir, east of Ogden. From Hwy 84, we took Trappers Loop Rd., up to Old Snowbasin Road, for a bit of twisty riding in the beautiful alpine scenery. My brother was on his CBR 600, and we took turns trying out each others bikes.


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    In Huntsville, we met up with Alex's best friend, Brent, for some lunch at the Huntsville BBQ Company. The Tri-tip was outstanding, and they prided themselves on all the different sauces. Brent died several years after this photo was taken. :( I only got to know Brent on a few occasions, but my memory of him was his incredible sense of humor, the politeness of a true gentleman, and an all-around good person. I regret that I didn't get to spend more time getting to know him.


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    An artsy shot of the Great Salt Lake...


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    On the ride home, instead of taking the 80 the entire way, which was my usual route, I opted for the 50, nicknamed, "the Loneliest Road in America". I loved it! The I-50, between Ely and Fallon, Nevada, is one of my favorite roads. Just outside of Fallon I stopped at the sand dunes for a photo.


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    This time I hit good weather coming through the Sierra, and the trip home was uneventful. Here's a self-portrait in Donner Pass...


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    Next up... A group ride from Reno to Fortuna
    #12
  13. Phoenix101

    Phoenix101 Long timer

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    are you now retired LEO?
    #13
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  14. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    Still active...at least for a few more years... ;)
    #14
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  15. Snapper33

    Snapper33 Globetrotter Supporter

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    Excellent report so far, I’m in! This is my old stomping grounds, and I’ve missed a lot that you are letting me know that I need to get out to see. Thanks for sharing.
    #15
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  16. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    Thanks Snapper! I'm glad you're enjoying it so far. There hasn't been a ton of variety yet (what with three trips to Utah), but plenty more is coming. I am in love with the western US (and Canada), and have quite a bit of it to showcase. ;)
    #16
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  17. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    The Reno-Fortuna Triangle: 2011 (Part 1)


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    In September of 2011, three of us decided to do a quick ride in the shape of a triangle; Up to Reno, across to the coast at Fortuna, and then back home to the central coast. In the above photo, right to left; Dan "Route Boss" on his R1150GS, Niall "Double Tree" (...funny story on that later, as to how he got his nickname) on an R1200GS, and me (later nicknamed, "Nothing") on my R1200R. This photo was taken on Hwy 36, just east of Red Bluff, looking out over the northern San Joaquin Valley.


    Our first stop was at a diner just outside Stockton, and next we stopped in Pine Grove, at an ice cream parlor named, "Munnerlyn's". Hot weather was going to be the theme of the trip, and ice cream was a nice way to cool off after a hot ride across the central valley. Niall had a "cucumber sorbet"... I am proud to say I have no idea whether it was good or not. You'd have to ask Niall.

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    As we gained in elevation, we pulled over in a turnout on Hwy 88, for a photo op. We were climbing into the western slope of the Sierra Nevada (looking east, behind us).


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    Caples Lake, near Kirkwood ski resort. I was thirsty enough to try drinking the cool lake water without any attempts at purification. I was in luck...no giardia! :)


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    Another common theme for this ride was construction zones. On Hwy 88 we had to stop for blasting ahead, as they were clearing a slide.


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    We rode up 88 to the intersection of 89, where we took a left and went north. When we reached Lake Tahoe, we continued north on the west shore, up 89. This next photo is looking out over Emerald Bay, and across Tahoe. Nevada is on the far side...


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    We arrived in Reno that night and parked our beasts in the lot for the Silver Legacy, where we stayed. Unbeknownst to us, our ride coincided with "Street Vibrations", so we were a tiny island of BMW's, lost in a sea of Harleys.


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    The next morning we rode north on 395, to Susanville. It was my first time on the 395 north of Reno, previously I'd only been south.


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    Continued...
    #17
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  18. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    818
    Location:
    Central California
    The Reno-Fortuna Triangle: 2011 (Part 2- Finale)


    Hwy 36 is a great road, from start to finish, there are no two ways about it. From Susanville to Red Bluff, you pass Lake Almanor and Lassen Peak, and watch as forests give way to desert, and finally to farmland. Once you get west of Red Bluff, between there and the coast, it is, simply put, a "motorcycle mecca". There is a "curves ahead" sign that reads, "Next 140 miles". It has claimed many a biker over the years, and although we made it just fine, some folks who we met at our hotel in Fortuna had not been so fortunate... another totaled motorcycle as an offering to the Hwy 36 Gods.


    In this blurry shot of Niall, you can see a glimpse of Lake Almanor on the left, and Lassen Peak on the right. Lassen Peak is the furthest south volcano in the Cascade Range. If you're like me, when you hear, "The Cascades", you picture Oregon and Washington. Even as a Californian, I am often guilty of forgetting that Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak are part of the Cascades.


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    In Red Bluff it was a balmy 103 Fahrenheit, so we stopped for shakes and I ordered "small" plate of chili cheese fries. They were good, and I could practically hear my arteries hardening...


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    This next photo is what Hwy 36 is all about. Unfortunately I missed the focus on Dan, but you get the idea... ;)


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    Dan and Niall take a rest to breath in the beauty of the place. The Trinity Alps are in the background.


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    We made it to Fortuna that evening without incident, and were greeted by fog at the coast. It was refreshing after the heat we'd experienced the whole trip up to that point. A quick bit of Star Wars trivia (is there even such a thing as "too much"...hahaha); The north coast of California made an impact on George Lucas when he was filming Return of the Jedi. If you remember Jabba the Hutt's sidekick with the long tails coming from his head...his name was "Bib Fortuna". Lucas liked the name of the town and named one of his characters in its' honor.

    The next morning we rode south on the 101, to the "Avenue of the Giants", where we wound through towering coastal redwoods. We stopped for an ineffective photo op...


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    And in order to be a proper tourist on the north coast, you have to take a photo in the "drive through tree", in Leggett, California. Dan and Niall were yelling at me to hurry and get on my bike because we had a car in line behind us, but there was no way I was missing a chance for that great shot...(sorry SUV driver).


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    And the last shot of the ride was my bike overlooking the Eel River. For those who are brave enough to stick with this thread, don't worry...my photography skills will start to improve over the years. Hahaha


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    #18
    mb300, Roqon, RedDogAlberta and 2 others like this.
  19. BigDogRaven

    BigDogRaven Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    NorCal
    Really enjoying this. I am quite familiar with many of these CA areas. I too have many pics (and vids) I have saved. This makes me glad I did. Looking forward to more sir!
    #19
    Jedi5150 likes this.
  20. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    818
    Location:
    Central California
    Thanks BDR! I agree with you about saving photos and videos. At the time I take them, I often would rather be riding, instead of snapping photos, but as the months and years go by I end up being very glad I took the time to stop. Dan, Brent, and I have an ongoing joke regarding this. Dan always scolds us (in a friendly way, of course), that Brent and I take too long on our photo stops. So we simply remind him how much he's going to enjoy the pictures after the ride has ended, and he agrees. ;)

    But that brings up a good point about group vs solo ride dynamics. In my opinion, there are few things in life more relaxing than a long-distance solo motorcycle ride. Having the freedom to go the speed you want, take breaks when you want, camp vs hotel on a whim, etc. I find this to be the most care-free way to travel. On the other hand, on a group ride you always have people to socialize with at stops, which is great. it's way more fun to share a meal with friends than to sit by yourself in a restaurant. And at those State and National Park lookouts, having people there to enjoy it with is 1000 times better. So in a nutshell, I enjoy both solo riding and group riding, for different reasons. If I only did one style, I'd definitely miss the other.
    #20
    SebRex13, misterk, kojack06 and 2 others like this.