Aug 7, 2008

7-29-08 Motorcycle trip to Ca.

Every year my brother and some buddies go on a motorcycle trip. Usually I can't go. the problem of only having a dirt bike and a job got in the way.
No so much this year. The job was gone since the bank I work for was shut down.
I mentioned I was looking for an inexpensive bike to a couple of dirt bike buddies and the next thing I knew I was deciding between which bike I should take on the trip!!
I got this all sorted out the day before I was supposed to leave at 5AM!
I changed the oil in the bike and loaded it up. As soon as 5AM hit I was up and got on the road!
This was my first time riding on highway for an extended period. I had just ridden harleys, street bikes, choppers etc for a couple hours at a time before.
I hit the highway early so I could avoid as much of the heat as possible!!
Just before I left I put a couple of little stickers on for a couple of fallen riders.
The first, Clayton, is not someone I've ever met. I was reading and came across his trip report for a trip to south America. It was a great report and the way the story unfolded really touched me. Check it out in the trip report section of that site if you like. His posts are under his screen name of Ozymandias.

Nick was a friend of mine that was a dirt bike rider. A really good guy that lived life to the fullest.

I filled the tank and headed out!

I stopped in Palm Springs to check out the wind power more closely!

I had to stop at the old Dinosaurs.

I decided to take the path to Orange County that led me through Ortega highway. A nice and winding section of road!
Below is Lake Elsinore.

Once I arrived in San Juan I had some dinner with friends and headed over to my brothers house.
I didn't mind getting stuck behind the railroad. Heck, I'm on vacation!

The next day we headed out to go and meet the other guys in Long Beach.

PCH, Pacific Coast Highway, would seem to be a great ride, but during the summer its just one big parking lot.

At least we had a good view while we waited.

We met up with Steve and Travis on their new Triumph Bonnevilles and headed out.
In California splitting lanes is legal. Let me just say that doing it in Los Angeles traffic during rush hour on a bike that you're not familiar with is... well, exciting to say the least.
All went well and we made it out to Magic Mountain. Travis's bike started having some issues. We tried to trouble shoot, but decided it was best to have him turn back to see if he could get it fixed the following day and then catch up.
Would you try Sushi in the inland empire...?
We did.

It was actually good and really cheap!
We gassed up and headed up the Grape Vine at night. That was another thrill!

We got to stay at one of my brothers old friends houses in Bakersfield!

Then before it got any hotter we headed for the hills!

We jumped in the river and even found a nice rock slide!

Since it was Thursday we found an epic camp site.

Thats a lot of tree next to our campsite!

Thankfully for the BMW's huge tank I didn't have to pay this. My brothers chopper on the other hand...

We enjoyed some breakfast at the 86club just down the road.

Time to head back down the winding road!!

We made it to the entrance of the Sequoia park.
Ohh, more water. time to jump in!!

We had to check out general sherman. Its the largest tree on earth after all. Not by width, not by height, but by total volume...

We headed to the other side of the park and found a nice camping spot.
This tree was a nice and creepy one!

Enjoying a couple of cold ones!

Again, another steller campsite.

This is where we ate breakfast. Please, don't feed the bears!

We're not lost, just finding our way!

Then, out of nowhere the road goes to dirt. Doh!

I got bored so I decided to give myself a fumanchu! What do ya think!?

Just showing the bar a good time. We were the youngest folks there by about 20 years. One lady even started calling me Robert Redfords son.... HA!

Playing some shuffle board!

The next day it was time for yosemite!

Not a bad spot to stop and eat lunch!

You can see some of the folks on top of half dome.

Looking off the edge.

Back on the road.

More dirt roads in valley of Yosemite.

On hold with your bank for a half hour. No problem. Instant hands free set. It worked too.

More water, time to take another swim.

We finished riding the pass and then ended up in June Lakes. We had to stop at the Tiger Bar.

Thats a big dog!

Lots of ADV riders in this area. I wish I had a dual sport so I could go explore some of the side dirt roads!

We headed down the road to Bodie. A great old ghost town.

Pool anyone?

Back on the highway. this time taking the bumpy road to Benton Hot springs.

Relaxing and getting away from the heat in Bishop!

We made it to Lone Pine and headed to the base of Mt Whitney to camp.

Not a bad camp site!

Nice little stream view from the campsite.

We had some great burgers at the general store. This place feeds the hikers summiting Mt Whitney so the food has to be good and lots of it! Plus some great beer.

While we ate the bluejay's were trying to attack!

The final night of drinks!

The next morning I woke up for a second and saw that the sun was about to rise. I was headed towards Arizona and I was going to head through Death Valley. Time was of the essense. I packed up without waking the other horsemen and got on the way!

Death valley was nice and cool at this time of the morning!

Straight road as far as the eye can see.

No way that I was going to stop and take pics here. It was starting to get HOT.

More straight ahead roads.

I got in and out of Vegas as fast as possible. I hate that place. Too hot and too expensive.
The Hoover dam overpass is progressing along. Its amazing.

The rest of the ride was miserable. Which means it was still more fun than my best day working in an office.
I was rained on and then endured 110 degree heat to Phoenix.
My only thought was of my brother and Steve riding down into beautiful Orange County.
Why do I live in Phoenix?