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dave6253 08-01-2008 08:31 PM

Images and Words, Scenes From a Memorable Tour
Big Man, Little Bike, Big Miles, Little Time

***edit, The last page of this report contains a father and son adventure***

My bike is loaded and ready to roll. I have owned it for 6 years now. I purchased it new in 2002. Recently, I've been bitten by the new bike bug. This is the longest I've ever owned a bike. After this ride I have new respect and admiration for this bike. (Not to mention my body is now deformed to fit it.)

For years I've poured over paper maps looking at all the squiggly lines and scenic spots I would someday like to ride. Being a husband and father I've never ventured out more than a few days at a time. This has led me to riding some of the same roads over and over. I decided it was time to venture out to some new roads and rediscover the fun of a new, twisty, and scenic road.

I prefer to ride alone, so it's not a bad thing my wife doesn't care for riding. I completed this ride solo in only 10 days.

I can't go very far in only 10 days...:wink:

I rode through 11 states...

...and the 11th State was New Mexico for about 1 mile at four corners. (Does that count?) I was only in New Mexico for about 1 minute. They didn't post a sign welcoming me...

...and 2 Canadian Provinces

When planning this route the miles added up to about 5800. I had to leave off many places I wanted to ride to keep the mileage doable. I have ridden 500 miles a day for 4 days straight before, but wasn't sure if I could keep it up for 10 days straight. I was also aware some of the roads I planned to ride would be impossible to make good time on.

I managed to add miles and completed the 10 day ride with 6115 miles ridden. I capture 1388 photos (equal to one photo every 4.4 miles).

Here's a few more teaser shots.

The ride included the lowest point of land in the Western Hemisphere (Badwater Basin 282 feet below sea level) and the highest motorable road in North America (Mt. Evans 14,130 feet above sea level).

Let's go for a little ride...:evil

Deyleone 08-01-2008 08:48 PM

Spot on mate, fantastic pics. Makes me wish I was taking another trip this summer. The one of the road crumbling apart seemed particularly interesting. :yikes

zadok 08-01-2008 09:11 PM

Wow...what a trip.:D:clap

dave6253 08-01-2008 11:20 PM

Day 1, The Beginning
July 18, 2008
The alarm sounds at 1:30 AM. I went to bed much later than planned. After 3 hours of restless sleep I'm now WIDE AWAKE. Today is the day I have dreamed and planned for. I quickly get dressed and load the last few items into the tank bag.

At 2 AM I'm off. The early start is to get as much desert riding as possible completed before the hottest part of the day. It's forecast to be 110 in Phoenix today. I plan to get as far as possible in the first day. I have a well planned route, but have not planned where to camp or how far to travel each day. I will camp where I can and will ride as far as possible early in the trip in order to hopefully slow down and enjoy each day more later. (Or add the side trips I had to delete.)

I make it almost to Laughlin, NV before stopping to get some early daylight photos and the moon going down on the desert.

Laughlin, NV

This is me trying to outrun the sun. I was unsuccessful. Notice the high tech paper maps I used to plot the route, highlighted, and displayed on the tank bag. I could have probably done the entire route without the map considering how much thought went into it. (No GPS needed)

The following 4 photos were taken on highway 164 that runs between the 95 and I-15. It is a beautiful desolate desert highway with almost no other traffic. This was my third time to ride it and each time has been amazing.

I stop in Baker, CA for gas and a photo of "the Largest Thermometer in the World". It's reading 93 degrees already.

I notice how the bugs really love Aprilias and Scorpions. :lol3

On to Death Valley. I should have my head examined for planning a ride through Death Valley in July.

Badwater Road

I make it to Badwater Basin. The lowest point of land in the Western Hemisphere. 282 feet below sea level. It's before 10 AM and the bike instrument panel displays 121 after sitting in the parking lot only 5 minutes.

I purchased the trips most expensive gas in Furnace Creek. Beggers can't be choosy.

I stop at the Visitor Center to purchase an annual park pass.

It's 10am and 109 degrees in the shade. The Ranger told me it was forecast to be 122 today. I'd better get the hell out of hell...:evil

Day 1 will be continued...

dave6253 08-02-2008 12:09 AM

Day 1 Continues
I get a cool pamphlet from the Rangers telling me "Heat Kills". Sure, You warn me after I'm here.

Panamint Valley

I make it to the US 395. I finally start seeing other motorcyclist out. I guess no one else planned a ride into Death Valley in July. I plan to pass Kennedy Meadows/Sherman Pass RD to get gas a couple miles down the road in Pearsonville. As I pass I swear I see only a gravel road. What!? I'm sure I've seen RRs here saying it was paved. I don't mind a few miles of gravel, but not a 40 mile mountain pass road. Not on this bike. At the gas station I ask a few locals about the Sherman Pass. No one seemed to know anything about it. I start planning to go around to the south adding more miles. I decided to go back up to the beginning of the road to see if there was information about the condition of the road. I was pleasantly surprised to see the road was actually a very light-colored paved road. Let's go have some fun!

I'll call this road "Stairway to Heaven" since it led me up out of the desert hell.

The desert ends abruptly. I'm in the Sierra Nevadas!

The road is pretty rustic for a paved road. Bumps, broken asphalt, sand, and gravel all conspire to keep my speed down. The twisties are tight, the trees big, and the views spectacular!

The Kern River

Day 1 will be continued... Much more to ride and see!

dave6253 08-02-2008 08:08 AM

Day 1 Continued
Highway 190 through the Sequoia National Monument was probably the most perfect motorcycle road of the entire trip. The sharp curves were almost non-stop with very little straights between. I forgot I had ridden over 700 miles today already. I began riding aggressively driving hard out of each corner and braking hard just before the turn. I was really hard on the front tire. This would come back to haunt me. There was some light traffic, but each car would immediately use a turnout to let me pass.

I kicked back here for a few minutes to rest with a cold drink.

Once I put the camera away, I never saw the Mini again.

I reach the golden hills of California in the valley west of the mountains.

I saw several campgrounds near this lake. They looked pretty full, but maybe I should've tried to stay there. It's getting late when I arrive at the Sequoia National Park. I camped here with the family about 3 years ago. I figured I would enter the park and find a camping spot. When I got to the gate I saw a sign indicating all the campgrounds were full except for 2 on the far north side of the park.

The sun starts to go down while in the park. It starts getting dark earlier in the tall trees. I put the camera away and try to get out of the park. I figure if I have to drive to the far side of the park for a camp site I might as well run down the mountain to Fresno.

I really wanted better photos of the Giant Sequoias, but it's getting dark.

The ride through the park was much longer than I remembered it would be from my last visit. It was difficult to make time behind long lines of slow moving cars. It became completely dark when I was about halfway done. The ride down into Fresno was also much longer than I remembered. I make it into Fresno at about 10:30 pm. I'm really tired now. I don't plan to stay in motels so must make it to the KOA north of town. After several frustrating navigation errors I make it to the KOA just before midnight. Deep sand in the KOA roads made finding a camp site an adventure. I managed to keep the bike upright.

944 miles and 22 hours from home to first camp

This was my longest day ever on a bike. I would have been happy to stop after 700-800 miles, but misjudged the distance and time it would take to the KOA. I really don't care about trying to ride alot of miles just to say I did. If I really wanted to ride this many miles there are much easier roads to make time on.

Day 2 is next.

dave6253 08-02-2008 09:05 AM

Day 2, Yosemite and Lake Tahoe

I get up early and get a poor shot of the crappy KOA camp site. At least the hot shower felt good last night.

On the road again this Arizonan enjoys the green forests.


Yosemite was very beautiful. Although there was considerable traffic. It's Sunday, so I guess to be expected. Next time I will plan to be here on a week day.

Tioga Pass Road was excellent. I expected traffic to be less than in the canyon, but I was very wrong.

Day 2 will be continued...

dave6253 08-02-2008 09:22 AM

Day 2 Continues
Yosemite National Park, Tioga Pass Road

I saw lots of motorcycles today.

Mono Lake

I was happy to see this long straight roadway devoid of traffic. I'm really tired after it took over 5 hours to complete the first 120 miles today.

Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay Overlook

There was lot's of traffic again around the lake. The parking areas were full and cars were often crowded onto the shoulder of the road. Pedestrians were running into the road everywhere.

dave6253 08-02-2008 09:29 AM


Originally Posted by Deyleone
Spot on mate, fantastic pics. Makes me wish I was taking another trip this summer. The one of the road crumbling apart seemed particularly interesting. :yikes

Deyleone, That particular crumbling road will be ridden on day 9. Stay tuned, there may be other roads as cool.

dave6253 08-02-2008 09:32 AM


Originally Posted by zadok
Wow...what a trip.:D:clap

Thanks zadok. WOW! This word was the most overused word within my helmet during this trip. Everywhere I looked, "WOW"!

dave6253 08-02-2008 12:09 PM

Day 2, Smoke and Loud Drunks!

I ride north on the 89 from Lake Tahoe. I stop at this little country store in Sierraville for gas and camp snacks. I start seeing lots of smoke from the forest fires.

Wanna race a train?

I make it to this self-pay National Forest campground near Greenville. I arrive to set up camp before dark. It was looking like a great night to camp. Unfortunately I wanted to sleep, the neighbors wanted to party all night.

I tried to sleep with the MP3 player playing softly in my ears. At 4:30 am the drunks were still at it. Loud Music and shouting! I should've tried earplugs, but was afraid I wouldn't hear my alarm clock. I really wanted to punch the most obnoxious drunk in the face, but I was outnumbered by 20.

dave6253 08-02-2008 12:29 PM

Day 3, Neosporin and a Nectarine

Day 3 565 miles, 14:45 hours from camp to camp

Sunrise at Lake Almanor

Lassen was awesome. I was there early on Monday morning. Almost no other people there at all.

Looks and smells like Yellowstone!

The roads were awesome!

The scenery... WOW!

Lassen to be continued. Anyone want to see gravel roads?

KillerPriller 08-02-2008 12:29 PM

what a great bike. That futura really is fantastic. a perfect blend of sport and touring. awsome motor, great ergos, and italian soul. ahead of its time.

Too bad it was never as popular as it could have or should have been.

dave6253 08-02-2008 12:35 PM

Is everyone out riding today? I need some replies to get to page 2. Too many photos on page 1...:rayof

dave6253 08-02-2008 12:41 PM


Originally Posted by KillerPriller
what a great bike. That futura really is fantastic. a perfect blend of sport and touring. awsome motor, great ergos, and italian soul. ahead of its time.

Too bad it was never as popular as it could have or should have been.

+1 KillerPriller, After 6 years it still does not look dated to me. I really don't think there is a better sport touring machine made. Too bad they quit making these. I have over 40,000 miles on this one with no problems.

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