Following the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
Or Seattle-Tahoe-Santa Cruz-Seattle-LaPaz-Ensenada-LaPaz-Palm Springs (Aug-Dec)
Though the race has come and gone, I have finally decided that this warrants a ride report, as it not only spans a couple of days, it spans a few months of riding and exploring the west coast of the United States and the Baja Peninsula.
Be forwarned, this may contain images of 'other" vehicles, because we all know, the Baja 1000 isn't just about motorcycles, though it would be cool to have a race just for the bikes wouldn’t it?
I won't start at the beginning, because at this point we’ve been on the road a few months. I could write a ride report Palm Springs-Death Valley-Mohave-Joshua Tree-Borrego-Seattle-California-Utah-Baja 500 Ensenada-SoCal-NorCal-Oregon-Seattle (March-Aug) but that’s for another day. And at this particular time we’re headed down to the Lake Tahoe ADV summit. We leave our temporary living situation in Seattle and head out on the road, taking the long way down of finding any detour that we haven’t covered before through Washington and Oregon. I love this area, the mountain roads are always so awesome.
We found a few of our usual suspects that were willing to come film with us over the third weekend of August. With Whitney K and Bob B our Seattle posse in tow, we would arrived our separate ways down to Bend, Oregon where they were enjoying perfectly blue skies and warm temperatures.
Our first stop with just south of Portland at the REI to get some new sleeping pads. Our previous NEMO pads though nice and soft and comfortable we both found way too narrow and taking up so much room for the amount that we use them. We went back to old faithful, Exped, but managed to find some featherlight versions that pack up about the size of a water bottle. They are much wider than the nemo and come with an inflator “bag” to cut down on all the blowing.
After finding a camp not far outside Portland, beneath large fir trees,
(check out the string of lights Whitney gave us!)
Joe and I had found our way down via the 224 Clackamas Highway, a scenic byway along the curvy Clackamas river. We didn’t make much distance south, but enjoyed the roads as they curved back and fourth through the National Forest area.
With a quick stop an Detroit Lake for lunch, the locals encouraged us to take our time down McKenzie Highway 242 which has a few famous curved as well as scenic views of South Sisters through miles of lava fields.
The curves were short lived, littered with four wheel tourists, but once the highway opened up, the lava fields with the towering Sisters as a backdrop was breathtaking.
Amongst the lava fields lays the Dee Wright Observatory, a spiral of hand laid lava stone tower above the highway with windows cut out for viewing the outlying mountains in the distance. The hight gives the viewer an appreciation for miles of lava rock that inhabit the landscape.
From McKenzie Highway, we head down into Sisters to find camp food for the night before finding a camp spot tucked along the Metolius River some way down from the Headwater where it springs up from the ground. At our camp it’s a fast flowing river, and all the good spots are occupied with fifth-wheels and motorhomes all enjoying their peace and quite with their generators and gas bbqs. We were roughing it though, while I set up camp, Joe went to acquire water for cooking and I attempt to make a gourmet camp dinner of Pad-Thai and pot stickers.
Since we’d be camping it most of the way, we decided on an upgrade to our cooking set, as well as some new accessories as well (having previously lost our cooking bag), I got a two pot cooking set that is way better set up for two people. I told Joe we were going “Gourmet” and vowed that we would NEVER pick up freeze dried food ever, ever again. Why the gloves? Cuz I’m a klutz and I tend to burn my fingers all the time.... These are awesome, work on your bike, make food.. works for anything!
I glance around camp and some how feel a little out of sorts with the lack of bear boxes. I throw all garbage away, and put any smelly items into our panniers. With all the bear warnings around the area I’m surprised at the lack of facilities. Did I mention though, a camp site in Oregon is a meager $12 USD? As dusk sets, and our bellies full, we drift off into peacefully sleep with the sound of the Metolius roaring by, and perhaps some bears in the bushes.
Morning rolls around and we head to Bend. We have a bit of work to do, so we beeline it to a Starbucks for the ice coffee and free wifi. In the afternoon, we meet up with Harold from Giant Loop and get a tour of his shop. We always love visiting Harold, he’s an ambassador for Bend and a very generous person. We were lucky enough to meet up with his wife Michelle so it wasn’t all talk about motorcycles til the wee hours of the morning.
Bend to Tahoe: The smoky route 395
Armed with possible route from Harold, we depart bright and early from Bend, and headed south on Hwy 97 and take some forestry road headed towards the Paulina Lake region to ride around the crater.
The area is pretty rutted up, but beautiful scenery. With our bikes fully loaded it makes for a long morning.
Ok maybe we were the ones rutting it up
It was a little dusty
We realize time is slipping away, so we head back to the pavement and zoom passed Fort Rock and dry lake beds to try to make some distance in the day.
The skies turn from blue to a murky shade of grey as our southern route is polluted by smoke, forest fires are a reality in these parts, and with the extremely dry weather and wind it’s not a easy task to extinguish the flames.
The weather is hot and exacerbated by the smokey air. We stop at the town of Lakeview, on the border of Oregon and California, we had enough of the char filled air and desperately searched our maps for a camp that would give us some reprise from the tainted air. Fires were to the south west and south east. The valley floor was filled with dense smoke, just as we cross the California border we spot a camp, and headed up into the hills, hoping the trees would filter out some smoke.
Six miles up we finally found a camp, Cave Lake, where a plethora of wood had been chopped but left unused due to the fire bans. Finding a suitable camp spot for the night, we popped our drinks into the cold river to enjoy later. Night fall came quickly, and so did the neighbors, who marked their territory prolifically.
Ice Box: Check
Body Guards: Check
Camp spot with a whole lot of wood we can’t use?: Check
We awoke with the sun, the buzzing of insects and the call of birds from tree to tree. Descending through the mountains, we head southwards. The smoke begins to fill the valley as we make down to the lake. We are now on Hwy 395 which eventually take us to Tahoe.
With the hot weather, and smoke we are keen to get back into the mountains.
The guy here will make you sandwiches
We find a little stop for lunch, outside Susanville, and then continue along 395, meandering between hills before we find our way across the Nevada border and into an increasing thickness of traffic. Reno is in the distance, casinos, big trucks and a thick layer of desert heat. We suck in a breath and ride through, waiting to be spit out the other side into the mountains. With highway construction it slows slightly, then, traffic thinning out we make ascend into the mountains along the Rose mountain parkway, a slivery slab of asphalt that finds its way into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and descend into the Tahoe lake basin at Incline Village.
We reach the lake, a pool of deep blue. The temperature has gone from hot to pleasant as we ride the shores of the east side of the lake, soaking up the scenery.
Another one of Bonsai Rock because it took so long to hike down to it :)
We finally reach Stateline, a small community on South Lake Tahoe and look for the Mont Blue, the host hotel of the event. We pull into the parking lot and immediately know we’re in the right place. J Brandon from the Tahoe ADV Summit is there to greet us and get us our press passes and usher us into the parking area. It looks like it’s going to be a good turnout for their first year
Ha, nice! You write good RR's, Krazygloo..
Hoping you guys are well,
You all must need a Sherpa to help carry gear, to make for lighter bikes :evil
I have yet to convince Jon B. to hire me to carry his gear....:lol3
I have GOT to find a way to make a living on my bike:wink:
Have a safe ride :ricky
Now, about my salary :deal :wink:
Yup, we need a Sherpa, we always have INTERN positions available :D
Nice to see you back Flora and thanks for sharing another awesome ride :thumb
A Lake Tahoe Motorcycle Rendezvous
As the motorcycle rally meet ups round down for the season, this year a new face appeared on the radar. When J Brandon invited the Curbsyde team down to get a taste of Tahoe, we jumped at the chance. We had never been to Tahoe. In the past we had skirted it’s borders on our way to other rides, in other states, but never found an excuse to ride the big blue lake high in the Sierra’s. Now was our chance.
A few bikes lined up at the event
Everyone excited to speak to Dick Mann
Whitney sneaking in a photo with Dick Mann and Jimmy
An iPhone photo of two photographers taking photos with their iphones... What’s this world coming too!
Here is the other side of that photo, not that exciting :D
Furry attendants at the event
The event consisted of GPS tracks ranging from easy to long all day events. We decided to hit some of the close loops because we were doing dual purpose (of course) getting some screen time for the new Ergo 360 Adventure suit from Spidi.
The riding around Tahoe is expansive, On the west you have the Sierra Nevada's with her billions of roads that lead off to high off places from sandy whoops, rocky downhills with single track and stuff that keeps you on your toes to the desert floor to the East near Carson City and beyond. Though this area is not a year round riding destination, you can sure tick all the boxes within a matter of days riding around here.
So the rides we do: Genoa Peak, Kings Canyon, a Lake loop and down to a dry lake bed near Virginia City. All in all it was a great weekend, and I hope these folks continue it along next year. We put together a short “Go somewhere” video of the Lake Tahoe area.
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Up towards Genoa Peak
Whitney looks colorful in his Spidi Suit... We nick named him “Captain America”
We ended up on this route before the group, so we tried to tidy it up a little bit
We won’t get into trouble today :)
Ok maybe a little trouble....
Whitney washing his unmentionables...
Jimmy doing a demonstration
Sunset on the beach!
Joe at some point needed a new front tire, so we went down to Carson City for a replacement.
Oh, and this really was happening.... Somewhere in this photo Heather Lewis is striking the same pose!
So glad you could join us. We've got some great riding up here in Northern Nevada. And we like sharing it with others.
Looking forward to the rest of this story.
sweetness. any story about Mexico, Baja and the 1000 excites us, well me atleast!
...and why exactly is Joe taking pics of Miss Boobies???
Why is my bike always taking a dirt nap when the cameras come out?
Nice ride report Flora, we need to explore some more trails around Tahoe this year!
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