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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    Colorado? (but not really): 2015


    In 2015, for our annual 10-day group ride, we decided to go to Colorado. It was at my suggestion, since I'd never been there, but heard tons of great things about it. As luck would have it, as our trip approached, my younger daughter won the California State championships in her National History Day project (after already winning school and district). This meant that she and her two friends who competed with her, were invited to the Nationals, at the University of Maryland. We were thrilled for her, as she had competed against hundreds of students from throughout the state in order to win. Unfortunately, the history day competition landed exactly in the middle of our group Colorado ride.

    I decided to ride with my buddies as far as Alex's house in Tooele, UT. From there, they would continue on to explore Colorado, and I would fly out to DC. Following the competition, I would fly back to Utah, just in time to meet up with them there and ride the last two days home with them. We spent the first night at Route Boss's home on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. Not a bad view from your backyard...


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    This next photo was worthy of a title, so I dubbed it, "Niall Armchairstrong". One small step for man...on second thought, let's just sit here for a while...:lol3


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    To put it in perspective, so you all don't think Niall is just nuts (at least for that reason), the backstory is that they were all working on syncing their helmet comms.


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    Sadly, those first two days went by quick, and those were the only photos I got of my buddies on the Colorado ride. They had a great time, and took many phenomenal photos, which hopefully they will eventually add to this thread. This next shot is of Alex and his minions, in Tooele. Just how many people can you fit on a GSA? Ah, which reminds me...2015 was the year I finally got my dream bike, a 2015 watercooled GSA. If you look very closely, you can see that it has a Corbin seat. I am a huge fan of Corbin, and they are located very close to me. This seat for my GSA was completely free. The watercooled GSA's were a new thing, and Corbin had yet to make a template for one. I let them keep my bike for two weeks, and in exchange, they gave me the prototype seat for free, with my fabric and option choices. So if you have a GSAW with a Corbin, you can give a tiny bit of thanks to the bike in this next photo. :lol3


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    Downtown Tooele... (wait, that can't be right)


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    My flight home from DC was delayed for a day, so I missed the window to ride home with my buddies. We had already boarded the airplane in DC, and were taxiing, when lighting strikes started hitting the runway. We "drove" to and from the terminal twice. After a couple hours of sitting on the ramp, we were finally cleared for takeoff to SLC, but the pilots would have been put 1/2 hour past their allowable time on duty, so we had to pull back in to the terminal and unload. They put us up in a hotel for the night, and flew us out the next morning.

    Riding home solo from Alex's house, I decided to take the Alternate 93 from Wendover, to Ely, and back home on the 50. As I mentioned before, I love the "loneliest road in America". Whenever I'd passed the town of Eureka, NV, I had always looked longingly down Roberts Creek Rd., near Lone Mountain. It is a dirt road heading straight north that just seems to go forever into the distance. I have a bad case of wanderlust, and am constantly asking myself, "I wonder where that road goes?", or, "I wonder what's on the other side of that ridge?" So since I wasn't in a hurry I decided to ride a ways down Roberts Creek Rd. Evidently it ends up in some big open pit mines (silver, I think?).


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    The rest of the ride home was uneventful. I don't recall where I stayed that evening, but believe it was near Truckee.
    #61
  2. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Montana: 2016 (Part 1)



    Montana was the group choice for 2016. The plan was for us to spend the first three days riding from San Jose, CA, to Kalispell, MT. Then we'd spend 3 days around Kalispell/ Glacier NP, followed by a day in West Yellowstone, and then finally three days home. During one of the "down days" in Kalispell, while everyone else went river rafting, I was planning a solo jaunt up to Banff, AB. I used to live in Banff and haven't been back there in nearly 25 years. As with so many other plans, that isn't quite how it worked out...



    This is the same group that was featured in my ride report about Oregon. We all developed nicknames on that trip and I'll be referring to us by those names here.


    "Yawny"...he recently acquired a Harley. We still let him come on the ride... :lol3



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    Niall "Double Tree" (so nicknamed because that is his idea of camping). He rides an '09? R1200GS



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    Brent "Cheeky Monkey" (or CM for short). He rides a V-Strom 650... Much to CM's chagrin, I happened to take this shot at the exact moment he stalled the bike, and what could have been a stoic profile portrait became something WAY more cool... :lol3



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    Dan "Route Boss" Rides an R1150GS. This was his "cool" expression



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    And finally, yours truly, Jedi. AKA "Nothing" (we wisely asked a waitress in Coos Bay, Oregon, to provide me a nickname, since I didn't have one yet. Her reply was, "I've got nothing", and it stuck).



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    #62
  3. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Montana: 2016 (Part 2)


    Day 1.
    San Jose to Winnemucca:


    We got a late start meeting up at Double Tree's house in San Jose, because we didn't want to fight Thursday morning rush-hour traffic through the Bay Area. It was afternoon by the time we crossed the Sierra on the 80 into Nevada. Since we had 450 miles to cover that day, we decided to stay on the superslab. If you've ever wondered what the 80 looks like in Nevada, this is it. In fact, this photo was taken at...Hahaha...just kidding, not like it matters, it all looks the same from the California state line to the Utah state line:



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    We all enjoy taking pictures, and there is a bit of friendly rivalry between myself and CM as to who is the "group photographer". On long open stretches I play leap-frog with the group. I slowly pull ahead a few miles, hop off and take some shots, and then slowly catch back up with them only to do it all over again. This time I stumbled on a rare treat, an overpass!



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    OK, are you bored yet? If not, here's another shot. You might think it's mean, but I'm trying to help you live the experience of the I-80 through Nevada :D



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    Stay tuned for more of Day 1 in the next post.
    #63
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  4. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Montana: 2016 (Part 3)


    I lied, no more photos of Day 1. When we arrived in Winnemucca we found our hotel, the Holiday Hotel Winnemucca. I'll be honest, it didn't look like much from the outside, but the rooms were clean and nice on the inside, the staff were friendly, and the price was right. Tired of a day of riding, we walked over and ate dinner at Chihuahua's Grill and Cantina, which everyone we passed had been raving about. At home in Central CA, you can't throw a stone without hitting a great taqueria or Mexican restaurant. But the recommendations didn't lie, Chihuahua's had excellent food. Heartily recommended. They also had a nice outdoor patio for eating.


    Day 2.
    Winnemucca, Nevada to Hailey, Idaho:


    Back continuing East on I-80, we saw more of the same. it was a brisk morning at about 42* F when we left Winnemucca in the rear view mirrors. Just west of Elko, you pass the California Trail Interpretive Center. I'd been on 80 many times over the years, and never stopped in. We all decided to check it out. It is a nice, clean, very modern building, with interesting exhibits. While some of us spent time walking through the museum, others walked outside on the grounds, practicing our photography basics.


    Here I'm explaining to Double Tree, who had just got a new Canon DSLR, how to make a narrow depth of field work. Not sure how his shot turned out, but mine was OK...:lol3



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    We used the curvy frontage road leading to the museum to get some fun shots of the bikes. Double Tree was a quick study, and got this shot of me on my R1200GSAW



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    Me, hamming it up for the camera



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    CM does a slow speed pass on his V-Strom


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    Yawny, drowning in a sea of motorcycles and gear



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    Yawny has been a pilot for many years, and just recently got his Multi-Engine rating. Since he couldn't bring the Cessna, he flies his Harley instead..."Yawny, you are cleared for ILS approach on runway 25 left.."



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    And Yawny touches down.



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    Yawny offered for anyone who wanted to try his new Harley. I rode it for about 100 miles or so through the central valley on Day 1. I told him I felt like I was riding a pod-racer in Star Wars. The ergonomics, noise, and vibration reminded me of the movie.


    Here Route Boss is practicing his low-speed turns



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    This shot of Double Tree just screamed out to me that it needed some nostalgic post processing. In Adobe Lightroom I warmed up the temp, increased the clarity, and reduced both saturation and vibrance, almost, but not quite, to black and white. I like how it turned out.



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    Remember how I mentioned the friendly rivalry between CM and I, to see who was the better group photographer?... Well CM pulled out all the stops and brought this little game-changer on the trip. The photos and video he took with it were PHENOMENAL! I hope that he'll swing by here and post some of them.



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    Waiting to head off for parts unknown...



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    More Day 2 to follow...
    #64
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  5. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Montana: 2016 (Part 4)


    Day 2 Continued:


    When we reached Wells, Nevada, we turned north on the HIGHWAY of DOOM! OK, it's name is actually called Route 93, and it goes from Phoenix, Arizona, to Fort Steele, British Columbia. After this trip, however, it will always be referred to by me as the Highway of Doom. It sounds better, and is more authentic.


    Here I am just north of Wells, waiting for the group to catch up and pass for some photos. This shot is taken looking west, showing some nice Northern Nevada scenery (and I'm not even being facetious this time).


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    And a ghostly CM rides past...



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    I'm not going to lie...Southern Idaho left me really underwhelmed. The barren, ruggedness of Nevada (which, in spite of all the negative things I say about it, has a stark beauty) transforms into flat, hot, dry, farmland once you start into Idaho. Twin Falls itself sits in this topography. But I'll be the first to admit, Shoshone Falls, right outside of the town of Twin Falls, is pretty impressive.



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    From Twin Falls we continued north and hopped onto the 75 north, to reach our destination in the small town of Hailey, which is on your way to Sun Valley, the resort town. Not much to report about Hailey. It's a nice little town in a narrow valley. The valley floor is flat and forested, and the hillsides bordering it are dry and mostly barren.


    Day 3 next...


    #65
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  6. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Montana: 2016 (Part 5)


    Day 3.
    Hailey, Idaho to Missoula (?) Montana...


    When we woke up in Hailey it was brisk. Brisk changed to downright cold as we rode along the Big Wood River through Sun Valley, before the sun had crested the mountains. North of Sun Valley, Hwy 75 turns west and opens into a large valley, near the Boulder Creek, just east of Cathedral Pines. It's a long straightaway and we pulled over for some photos and to put on warmer gear. The temperature had dropped to 34*F.


    Here is a shot from Hwy 75 looking directly north, near the Boulder Creek.



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    And looking west, CM prepares his drone for flight.



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    Looking south, Double Tree and CM



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    And apologies to slow internet connection people, but I think this next shot just has to be big. Route Boss and Yawny in the chilly morning sun.



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    In Stanley, Idaho, we were still cold so we pulled off for some coffee and hot chocolate. The Salmon River ran behind the coffee shop. Looking south on the Salmon River.



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    More of Day 3 to follow...
    #66
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  7. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Montana: 2016 (Part 6)


    Day 3 Continued:


    On Hwy 75, a little northwest of Stanley, you come across the ghost town of Bayhorse, ID. Bayhorse is actually off the beaten path, and accessed via a 4 mile dirt road that is well maintained. Yawny's Harley had no issues on the 4 mile road. This is the bridge leading to Bayhorse, crossing the Salmon River.



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    We got a brief history lecture on the town of Bayhorse from the State Park employees working there. It was fascinating. Bayhorse was established in 1877 when a miner found silver in the mountains. At it's peak, the town had a population of roughly 600 (?) or close to that. The miner who made the discovery headed into Salmon, ID, to stake his claim. On the way he told some passersby that he'd found silver in the hills. He was never heard from again. When they decided to name the town, nobody could remember his name, but they did remember that he rode a Bay horse...


    The Bayhorse hotel.



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    The parking lot of Bayhorse, looking west, up the canyon. The town sits at approximately 6,200' elevation.



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    The Parks employees told us that the dirt road continued up the canyon for another 5 miles, with some historic sites along the way and a couple lakes at the top. While everyone else walked around in the ghost town I did a solo ride up to the lake. I was glad I did, as it turned out to be the high point of my trip. If I learned one lesson on this trip, it was to take time to enjoy the moment. I had no idea that this was about to be the last of my "sightseeing" for the journey, and if I'd skipped it, I would have missed this absolute gem.


    As you climb from 6,200' up the canyon, the dirt road becomes less maintained, but still functional. The GS was the perfect bike to handle the steep road. The summit and the lakes are at close to 9,000', and the topography changes from high desert to alpine. At the lakes there are alpine meadows and lush pine forests. The road to Big Bayhorse Lake.



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    Once you crest the summit, you are greeted by Big Bayhorse Lake. There is a small campground uphill from the lake, but I only saw one site occupied. I had the lake to myself while I was there, even though I passed a number of ATV's and 4-seater quads on my way up and down the mountain.


    Big Bayhorse Lake.



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    Glamor shot...



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    After we left the ghost town, we continued north on 75 until it connected back with the Highway of Doom. And that is where the adventure began...


    More of Day 3 next...
    #67
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  8. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Montana: 2016 (Part 7)


    Days 3-8.


    Bayhorse, Idaho to Spokane, WA:


    On the Highway of Doom (AKA Route 93), about 190 miles south of Missoula, Montana, we were cruising along a portion of the road with gentle curves when my bike hit some pea gravel on the corner. I didn't even have time to react, one moment I was riding along and the next conscious thought I had was, "oh, this sucks", as I realized I was sliding on the ground. My next thought, which amazes me in hindsight, was to tell myself that I might as well relax, because I was along for the ride. It worked, and I felt my whole body go loose and relaxed. My third thought was that it was taking a VERY long time for me to come to a stop. :lol3 Of course in retrospect, that all happened during the duration of a few seconds, but it sure felt like a long time. Knowing that I was on a corner, I jumped to my feet once I stopped and tried to get out of the way of anyone who might be approaching. CM had been in front of me and saw it in his mirror, and Route Boss and Yawny were directly behind me and witnessed the crash unfold in front of them.


    I later asked Yawny and Route Boss what sort of maneuvers the bike and I performed and they described it as a black blur of me, bike, and asphalt. After inspecting the damage to the bike, my riding gear, and the debris field, it was apparent that the bike struck the left side when the tires washed out, then flipped over to the right side, and then spun and slid approximately 100' to a stop up against a concrete bridge barrier. I ended up right next to it, having performed the same feats of derring do. :D


    The crash happened at 70 mph. My BMW Rallye 3 jacket was shredded, and my Summer 2 pants had a hole in the left knee and on the left hip. My brand new Arai XD4 looked pristine aside from some gouges on the back. My total injuries sustained were a 1/4" road-rash and bruise on my left knee, 4" bruise on my left hip, and general stiffness for a couple days. The gear did it's job admirably. The bike didn't fare so well. The windshield and mounting system were demolished, along with both brush guards. The left handlebar was bent down towards the gas tank, and the clutch lever was shaved off a bit. The brake lever was about 1.5" shorter, but both levers still functioned. The GPS was damaged and the mount was broken. The engine and tank crash bars were all damaged and bent out of alignment, but they did their job. The left side bars were bent towards the back of the bike and the right side bars were bent forward. The aluminum panniers were badly damaged, but stayed on the bike and protected all their contents. One lid had to be held on with wire, but aside from that, the luggage performed well.


    Double Tree standing next to my downed bike.



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    Once we got my gear and bike sorted out, I decided I didn't like the idea of waiting for hours for a tow, when the bike still ran. Our destination for the night was Kalispell, and we were due to pass through Missoula, where there is a BMW motorcycle dealership (Big Sky Motorsports). We rode the 190 miles to Missoula, where I got a hotel room at the Holiday Inn. I told my buddies to continue on the trip, knowing that my bike was likely totaled, and seeing no point in all of them waiting in Missoula while I spent the next few days waiting to hear back from insurance. We went to dinner and then they rode on to Kalispell.



    I spent the next two days in Missoula, waiting to hear back from the appraiser, who never called. I got impatient, and came up with a new plan. Flights home from Missoula were roughly $390 and flights from Spokane were only $145. This, coupled with the fact that if the bike wasn't totaled, I'd have to ride it home, and Spokane is a little closer than Missoula, led me to ride another 200 miles to Spokane. I spent the next three days in Spokane, until I got the official word that the bike was totaled. I dropped it off with the great folks at Westside Motorsports, and hopped a plane home.


    My totaled bike on the driveway to Westside Motorspsorts, the final resting place of my bike. I have fond memories of that bike. I'd used it to explore California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and Washington. And even after a crash at 70 MHP, it still got me another 390 miles to where I needed to go. I was able to salvage (had them ship to me), the aluminum top case, Corbin seat, and GPS. Two of the three are pretty banged up, but they are all now on my current bike, where they've been used for the past 3 years.



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    My connecting flight from Spokane to Seattle was on a DeHaviland DHC-8 Bombardier. I like turboprops, and enjoyed the flight.


    Pulling out of Spokane.



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    #68
  9. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Central California
    Montana: 2016 (Part 8)


    And I can't end that ride report without a follow-up:


    Here are photos of my gear. As a note, I had the shoulder and elbow padding in the jacket, but not the back armor. I also didn't have the armor in the knees or hips of the pants. If I'd had the knee and hip armor in the pants I likely would have come out WAY better, since that is where the majority of my injury was. When you see the photo of the jacket, you're going to be blown away that I was uninjured. And by uninjured, I mean not a single bruise, discomfort, or mark on my back or arms or torso. My shirt I was wearing under the jacket looked brand new. It's just unreal to me that the jacket absorbed so much damage and left me pristine. I'm a believer after that.


    Arai XD4 (brand new):



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    Left knee of Summer II pants:



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    Left hip of Summer II pants:



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    Rallye III jacket:


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    My GSAW had been my daily driver, so I had to replace it as soon as possible after I got back home. Luckily, I was able to quickly get into a new GS. I debated long and hard during that time period of waiting on insurance, as to whether to get another GSA, or go with the standard. I decided on the latter. I miss the huge gas tank of the GSA, but the standard feels noticeably quicker and more responsive to me. I've now been riding it for the past 3 years, and it's my favorite motorcycle I've owned. I've made many modifications to it by now, but here she was on the first day I bought her. I pulled off the side of Hwy 101 for a photo...



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    #69
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  10. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    British Columbia: 2017 (Part 1)


    The first week of June, in 2017, we started our next annual group ride. This time we decided to go north again, primarily to Washington, but also make landfall in British Columbia. The ride was going to be four of us, Myself, Dan, Val, and Brent. Due to my oldest daughter's high school graduation, I didn't meet up with the group until their third day of the ride (and my second). Right after graduation in Monterey, I blasted up north and stopped at the Holiday Inn in Redding for the night. The crisp morning of Day 2 for me saw me cruising up the 97, towards Klamath Falls, Bend, and ultimately, The Dalles. I kept in contact via texting every so often with my buddies, who were spending the day on the wet side of the Cascades, across the range from me.


    Morning of Day 2, Just north of the town of Weed, CA, on I-97, looking south towards Mt. Shasta.

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    I crossed the state of Oregon in a flash. I stayed on 97 all the way to the state line at Biggs Junction, were I stopped for lunch at Subway on the banks of the Columbia River Gorge, looking across at the state of Washington. I found out that I was now well ahead of my group, and decided to backtrack to meet up with them near Mt. Hood. I rode west on the southern bank of the Columbia River to the town of Hood River, where I turned south on Hwy 35. This next photo is out of order chronologically, but it makes sense to put it here to show the area. This is taken from the Washington side of the river, looking south at Oregon, with Mt. Hood in the distance.

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    I continued south on 35 until I was directly south of Mt. Hood. Just a short distance west of Bennet Pass, I pulled off in a turnout and took in the magnificent view of Mt. Hood, the tallest peak in the state of Oregon. I realized it would be the perfect spot for a photo-ambush of my buddies, who were coming towards me on 35, from the west. I set up the camera, and within 10 minutes or so, they came along and I snapped some shots. Two things of note; it was sort of funny that this was the first time I'd seen them on the trip, and my first view of them was through the viewfinder of my camera. Secondly, I was pretty impressed that even though we'd had almost no communication for over an hour, the timing could not have been better. Here they are coming towards me, with Mt. Hood towering in the background.


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    They pulled into the turnout for a quick break and greetings. I took photos of all three, but the one of Val didn't turn out. Here's Dan, on his trusty R1150GS...


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    And Brent, on his V-Strom.


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    From there, we went back the way I'd come. First to Hood River, where we crossed into Washington and followed the northern bank, and then north on 97. When we reached Yakima, we headed east, on the 90, to Moses Lake, WA, where we stayed for the night. The last stretch was sort of a blur for me. I'd ridden 783 miles that day, which although it is far from the most I've done in a day, I was still pretty exhausted.

    Day "4" coming next...
    #70
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  11. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    British Columbia: 2017 (Part 2)


    The next morning we made our way back on the 90 to the 97 northbound. We stopped to check out the small touristy town of Chelan, on Lake Chelan, before continuing on up to Pateros. From there we went northwest on Hwy 153, and the Hwy 20, to Winthrop. The terrain gradually changed from the hot, arid high desert and hills, to alpine forests and snowcapped mountains, as we made out way west on the North Cascades Highway. Photo ops were mandatory as we got into the mountains. Here an unsuspecting Dan is about to be hit by a snowball (in flight...look closely), thrown by Val.


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    After riding for a few days in the heat, the crisp alpine air and snow was a welcome relief. In honor of the awesome white stuff, I made a small snow-person on my tank bag (politically correct :D)...

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    "The mountains are calling, and I must go" - John Muir


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    Further west on the 20, we came across an overlook for Ross Lake...


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    When we arrived in Burlington, we ate dinner at the Train Wreck Bar and Grill. It was a cozy place, packed with people, and good food. I'd eat there again. From there, we continued west to our home away from home for the next few days, Anacortes Island. We rented an Air B'n'B house to serve as our base of operations while in the BC/ Seattle area.


    Stay tuned for British Columbia...:clap
    #71
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  12. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    British Columbia: 2017 (Part 3)


    The next day our oversea adventure began. We loaded the bikes on the ferry bound for Sidney, BC, on Vancouver Island. It was a calm, sunny day on the Salish Sea, and we enjoyed every minute of it. Here Dan enjoys some sunshine on deck.


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    While Brent looks for photo ops...


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    And a photo of me, for posterity sake.


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    Lots of watercraft to see in every direction. Here a zodiac makes tracks towards an island...


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    And the "Blue Heaven" bombs along just outside San Juan Island.


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    The ferry made a stop at Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island, on the way to Sidney.


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    Pulling into Friday Harbor...


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    Part of the fun on rides is meeting new people, and sharing stories. Here Dan chats with a local on the way from Anacortes to San Juan.


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    More of Day 5, to follow...
    #72
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  13. Phoenix101

    Phoenix101 Long timer

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    my dad worked for what was then known then as the Department of Highways... and helped pack equipment in (by horseback and train) for the survey crews when they made the final route for the road over the Cascades.. before my time!
    #73
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  14. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    Wow! That's awesome! Sounds like grueling, tough work. My hat's off to folks like your Dad, who helped build this rugged country. That area of the Cascades is absolutely gorgeous. I could spend weeks exploring there, and one of these days I've got to make it back up there.
    #74
  15. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Central California
    British Columbia: 2017 (Part 4)


    Normally when you go to Canada these days, you don't get your passport stamped. When I rode up to the checkpoint I started chatting with the border guard, a red-headed Viking named Erikson. She must have had pity on my completely blank passport, because she gave me a stamp. I was the only one in our group who got one. :)


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    When we pulled into Sidney, we made our way over to Hwy 1, which we rode north. Our first stop was lunch in the town of Duncan, at the Lion Rampant Scottish Pub. It sat on a hillside overlooking the bay, and the food was excellent.


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    I've only been to Vancouver Island a couple times, but I love it there. For anyone that hasn't been, it's HUGE, and I've only seen a small part of it. You could easily believe you were on the mainland by the sheer size of the island. I frequently forgot we were not on the continent. From Duncan, we continued north to the small town of Chemainus, which is famous for it's murals. Here Val does his impression of a totem pole...


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    Now I have a confession to make; one of the things I'm sort of famous for on our group rides is blasting off on my own for a period of time, and then meeting back up with the group. I certainly enjoy their company, but I like having a bit of freedom to go and see things I've wanted to see, or places I'd like to explore. So when Dan, Val, and Brent got ready to leave Vancouver Island to head back to Anacortes Island, I decided to make the BC portion of our ride into two days, instead of one. When we headed south from Chemainus, they split off just north of Victoria to head back to the ferry terminal. I continued on into Victoria, since I wanted to see the city, and had never been there before. I found Victoria to be a very pretty city, and clean, by American standards. Here is a photo of the Fairmount "Empress" hotel.


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    And the British Columbia Parliament building...evidently the guy across the street was more interested in me taking photos than in the historic building behind him. Haha


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    After exploring Victoria a bit, I went back up the peninsula to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, where I caught one of the last boats to the mainland. Leaving Swartz Bay and heading to Tsawwassen.


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    Ships passing in the night.


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    The ferry had a large galley, and I ordered a burger and fries. Much to my excitement, the fries came with gravy, as is customary in Canada. I remembered that from when I used to live in Alberta, decades ago.


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    When I got to Tsawwassen, I made my way to a Holiday Inn, where I spent the night. The next day would be my fun exploring in Vancouver City...
    #75
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  16. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    826
    Location:
    Central California
    British Columbia: 2017 (Part 5)


    Battlestar Galactica


    OK, for this next section, apologies in advance to anyone who is not a nerd, like me. I'm a huge fan of Canadian TV shows in general, and Battlestar Galactica, in specific (the 2004-2009 remake). One of the primary reasons for me wanting to go to Vancouver, was to see some of the filming locations of my all-time favorite TV show. I had done some research beforehand, and knew specific places that I wanted to see. So bright and early, I headed into the city, and made my way to the University of British Columbia. My first stop was the Chan Center for the Performing Arts, better known to BSG fans as the spaceship, "Cloud 9", where Tom Zarek was beaten out for the Vice Presidency by Gaius Baltar. Here is a glamour shot of my bike (named "Freyja"), on the Cloud 9 spaceship... :D


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    This entrance to the building will be familiar to fans of the show.


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    The gardens on the spaceship where Starbuck and Apollo hung out (the bay and mountains in the background were of course not visible in the show)...


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    Once I left the "Cloud 9", I headed across town to my next stop, Simon Frazer University. It's a beautiful private school that dominates a hilltop with impressive views of the city, bay, and mountains. I was worried that I'd look odd, walking around a university campus with a big DSLR, taking pictures of buildings. My worrying was for naught, because it just so happened that I found myself in the middle of graduation day...I would have looked downright odd had I not had a camera...:lol3


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    OK, back to the show. BSG fans will recall the episodes where Kara Thrace (Starbuck) found herself back on the planet of Caprica, after it had been nuked. She ended up escaping the planet by stealing a Cylon "Raider" fighter ship, from in front of a bombed-out museum. The Cylon Raider was "crashed" on the street right in front of where my bike is parked in this next shot. The "museum" is actually the university cafeteria.


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    This next shot is of the "marketplace" where Gaius Baltar first meets the Cylon, "Six" in the first couple episodes. It's also the same pool that President Laura Roslin wades into after she found out she had cancer. In real life it's just an open quad on campus. The elevated buildings are classrooms.


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    And lastly for the Battlestar Galactica series of shots; I had some fun with this one...This was a scene, also on Caprica, where Karl "Helo" Agathon is pointing his pistol at Starbuck, who is injured. I pulled up a screenshot of the TV show on my cell phone, to show it in relation to the real setting.


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    Continued...
    #76
  17. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    826
    Location:
    Central California
    British Columbia: 2017 (Part 6)


    When I was done finding all my hidden gems of BSG filming locations, I made my way back to Seattle, where I met up with the guys. I met them at Pike Place Market (of course!), and snapped a shot of "Freyja" parked in one of my favorite two motorcycle parking spaces, which you'll recall from my previous rides...


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    Seattle was downright hot, and we stayed there until late evening, and then headed back to Anacortes. The following morning we rode south to Whidbey Island. We stopped on the bridge at Deception Pass, which connects Whidbey Island and Anacortes Island, for a group photo.


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    Brent is always willing to snap a photo for strangers in need of a photographer...


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    We are all aviation buffs, especially Val, who is a pilot with many ratings under his belt, so we absolutely had to stop for a photo op in front of the entrance to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Our bikes parked in front of an EA-6B Prowler (front), and A-6 Intruder (rear).


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    We took the ferry from Keystone Landing, on Whidbey Island, to Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula. In this next photo, Val demonstrates the proper level of fear necessary to open the "emergency escape hatch" on the parking deck of the ferry. Now let's think about this for a minute. This deck is open air, with nothing but a chain railing about 20' in front of Val, separating it from the ocean. But in the event of an emergency, you're supposed to open this hatch and go...where...??? Is it a slide taking you to underneath the ship? I'm just so confused...


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    Our bikes on the parking deck of the ferry, in the front, as always.


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    I've titled this next photo, "Ship of fools". I asked Brent, Val, and Dan to "point to something interesting", for a candid looking photo. I should have been much more clear in my instructions...


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    Pulling in to Port Townsend.


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    Lots of container ships passed us in Puget Sound.


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    Continued...
    #77
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  18. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    826
    Location:
    Central California
    British Columbia: 2017 (Part 7)


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    In Port Townsend, we went to Fort Worden, and the Kinzie Battery, that I'd showed in a previous ride report. The building above is the Point Wilson Lighthouse.


    While Brent sets up a shot, Val and Dan start thinking so hard it hurts...


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    Looking west along the Puget Sound, towards Port Angeles and the town of Forks, where sparkly vampires live.


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    Freyja and Brent's V-Strom.


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    A trip to Port Angeles just can't happen without a ride up Hurricane Ridge, so naturally we did so. At the top we were greeted by the excellent views, and some very bold deer.


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    "So there I was..." Val and Dan doing their take on the famous WWII fighter pilot expression...


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    On the way back, we parted ways at Discovery Bay. The guys headed back to Anacortes for a final night, and I decided to bomb back home over the next couple days. Rain was in the forcast for the next few days, and I didn't feel like riding forever in downpours. I made it as far as Portland that night, and got a hotel. The following day the skies cleared up for a very cool shot of Mt. Shasta (at least in my opinion).


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    All in all, it was an outstanding ride. Good company, good scenery, and (mostly) good weather. A couple bonus shots...


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    Up next...the 2018 ride...one of the most epic adventures I've ever been on. I'll try to get it posted in the next week or two.

    PS- Brent has graciously allowed me to share some of his photos, so that will be coming as well.
    #78
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  19. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,853
    Location:
    jaw ja


    now how did u pick up on that?
    #79
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  20. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,853
    Location:
    jaw ja


    never mind I went back to the shooting pic & saw the badge

    also caught the starwars reference in his screen name:lol3
    #80
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