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Old 10-05-2010, 05:31 AM   #1
HBN OP
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Location: Alexandria, VA
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HBN Boondocking the Nation: 17 Days, 8300mi, 1 Motel

For 17 days in early September, I made my first trip west at age 24. I battled a plains crosswind, rode the highest paved road in the nation, slept under the Canyonland stars, beheld the end of the road at the Pacific Coast, lanesplit in CA, rode Point Reyes with the Darth Peach and accomplished 1000mi in 24hrs and 1500mi in 36hrs with no receipts...just for myself.

I invite you to accompany me through this compilation of journal entries and photographs taken during my trip of growth and exploration across the US and back.

CritterII hogging the road in Kansas


My first view of the Rocky Mountains


Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO


Black Canyon of the Gunnison, CO


Camping in La Plata Canyon, CO


Mesa Verde, CO



Near Four Corners


Sunrise over Moab


Hiking with the Three Stooges Stromin' the San Juans overlooking Montrose, CO


Drainage Tube "Hotel"


CA-1


Pacific Coast Highway


Yellowstone, WY


(More Pics to Come)
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12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:50 AM   #2
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Sept 2, 2010 (Night Pre Trip)

Sept 2, 2010 (Night Pre-Trip)

I looked at my map earlier; I was not going to pack it as space was tight. So far so good (space wise) so I threw a coat of packing tape on it as a cover from the rains of the Pacific Northwest or plains cold front. “Critter II”, my 2004 VStrom 650 is mechanically prepared but hopefully my bent/weak Happy Trails racks will hold up. That, and I don’t know the last time, if ever, the swingarm pivot was lubed – special wrench needed. New wheel bearings in October perhaps. I suppose I should be asleep already but the prospect of relaxing on my couch to Nick Drake on the stereo and an oil lamp from which to write keeps me awake. The Dogfish Head India Pale Ale is a gift from Chris for putting up Andrew as a group of us repaired his wrecked CX500. He made it home in time for college while I selfishly go on my first vacation in two years. The first of its kind for me, I will be living on my mount for three weeks or more if I play my cards right. We will cover back roads, gravel, highways corkscrewing up intoxicatingly high passes. This trip of my design, may it come to bring extraordinarily unforeseen trails, views and lessons.

My gear layout. Not nearly as much stuff as people usually pack for CrossCountry


Critter II Compactly Loaded


Locally caught Trout, Rice, Veggies and a Dogfish Head IPA
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:03 AM   #3
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DAY 1 (Sept 3, 2010)

DAY 1 (Sept 3, 2010)

I awoke this morning still sleepy from my five hours of rest. I wish I could say I was too excited to sleep but I could have stayed in bed awaiting the sunrise. I made a breakfast and packed all the remaining perishable food items in the house (I think ;) into the spare space in my cases. I geared up in my boots, stich and Arai helmet only to realize I forgot to descend into the crawlspace to turn off the main water valve to my home in case of a leak. Helmet and Gloves off then down I go. Once complete, I regear then drop off the last small plastic bag of trash in a dumpster nearby. I stopped at the gas station, fueled up, checked tire pressure, reset the trip odometer and set forth into the still darkness of pre-dawn.

On the interstate, the temps continued to fall. I left home wearing mesh gloves at 68F and I was soon cresting the gaps into WV in the 50’s. No worries, my trusty wool sweater is keeping my core warm. The sky is dark as I roll south at 5:30. Soon I see some light above the eastern ridges playing on the clouds with slivers of light blue and orange. My new day of discovery, turning on familiar I64, I slide past the sights I’ve seen before paying them little attention now…too close to home. I am soon in Beckley, WV and stop for fuel at only 180mi. My fuel receipt calculation yields a depressing 40mpg! Perhaps my gear weight or the 70+mph speeds are causing such poor mileage. I keep the speed lower and average 46 out of my next tank. I thought there may have been something wrong with Critter II. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that turning toward home crossed my mind once or twice. Fortunately, I kept on. The WV line faded after the gold capitol dome and the obese town of Huntington with its cornucopia of warm colored fast food signs poking on high poles over the grease pits below.

A cruiser rider is stopped on the side of the road. I stop to help but he has a tow-truck on the way to pick him up and take care of his flat. See ya cruiser dude.


Into Kentucky now yet the hills and trees still look the same. Not much to say about KY other than I dislike horses, nothing evil, just not my bag. Louisville had some neat bridged and Muhammad Ali is their “George Washington”, his face posted on huge building side murals.

Found him!


Lunch at a gas station consisted of cold leftover trout and rice.


Onward, I crossed into Indiana and begin to feel the distance. A new state, both mentally and physically, the corn and food crops are expansive. I notice almost every farm has a small marsh or pond for hunting, water scarcity protection or a birding protection area tax write off? I saw my first Oil Derrick Pump Jacks and smiled with wide-eyed delight as I naively rolled past. Illinois was more of the same. I drive directly into a large storm but it only lasts a few minutes and I am soon dry again.


Missouri is where I rest now. I got a little turned around in St. Louis but the sight of the Gateway Arch and riding over the mighty Mississippi River, albeit on a traffic jam of a bridge, solidified my westward intention. How strange it will feel to be in California and think of the many miles left to turn and go home.


Getting turned around in downtown with tall buildings stretching around me.





Riding down the interstate I spot a food sign. Woah! A White Castle! With college memories of Harold and Kumar I exit and try my first "slider"

Unimpressed, I put on my helmet and get back on the road.


I ride on Historic Rt. 66 for a bit and turned toward Steelville and the Mark Twain N.F. for camping.


This hot homemade job rolled past. The son in the passenger seat checked out my bike as he rode past. Now that is what I call a "woody"


Not willing to pay, I spotted a powerline cut off on Rt.8 and rode the grassy easement behind some trees and parked out of sight of the road. It is here that I write this entry, hanging from the trees in my Hennessey A-Sym Hammock, beans in my belly and Kansas on my mind. Colorado tomorrow??? Perhaps ;)



Stats for the day:
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:32 AM   #4
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DAY 2 (Sept 4, 2010) MO > CO

DAY 2 (Sept 4, 2010)

Sitting in an open air live concert in downtown Boulder, I can only think of how far I have come in this one day. I awoke in a hammock in the cool Missouri woods, the dogs barking at me a mile off when I set up last night commenced at 4:30am when I unzipped my down mummy bag and cracked the Velcro barrier exiting the hammock. Riding by 4:45, I set out into the dark back roads on an unfamiliar state with no idea of going north to I-70 or south to the more scenic Kansas 400, all I knew was…WEST!!! Down dark two lanes I twisted into the pre-dawn. I had enough fuel for another 100 mi, or until the sun came up.

After continuing through the German-settled river town of Westphalia by the Osage River, I took a quick rest to view the river fogs below the horizon’s orange ribbon of dawn.






A little history about Osage County


Meandering northwest, I made the capitol, Jefferson City, by sunrise and had my picture taken by a passerby at the state capitol.


His comment from the idling pickup truck “Virginia Aye? I will be there next week on business.” This reminded me of how far I am from home, but more importantly, how much farther I have yet to go.


I succumb to a toll road, the Kansas Turnpike, which gave me a stub with no prices listed. Expecting a $5- $10 Baltimore/NY Style charge at the end, I was relieved when the smiling attendant asked $1.25 please. “Now that I can afford” I exclaimed. Some time later, I came across another toll and almost asked “How many more between here and Denver” but stopped short. I’ll take em anyway.




I must admit I was slowly becoming impatient for the long flat stretched of nothingness I have heard about in prairie country. I should have been more careful with what I wished for. Soon, the turns in the road became non-existent or only at right angles when diverting around a field.



The acres of corn gave way to grasslands and large cattle operations…then back to corn.



I had never seen this specific strain of corn with its long fluffy top giving it a much different appearance to the feed corn to which my eastern eyes were accustomed.




Suicide Catterpillars


The occasional town punctuated my 70mph drone across the grassland providing opportunities to stand on the pegs or stop for gas and a drink of water from my camelback.

A real "Fix-Me-Upper".


Magic Eight Ball for Luck


I had only apples, pear and a regrettably unhealthy McDonalds Sausage Burrito in a moment of frugal confusion brought on by a cunning billboard design team. Bastards!



Over each low rolling hill I’d climb, then down to see the frequent windmill assumably generating electricity for the pumping of water to cattle. The temperature rose quickly as the sun swung around to my face. I forgot to put on sun screen each time I stopped, remembering 20 seconds after I exited town and resumed my 70mph pace.



Never have I seen so many Sun Flowers


And more Sun Flowers




With sun-reddened nose, I would peer over the next rise, imagining the Rocky Mountains materializing in view but at 300mi, I knew it was wishful thinking. Stops for fuel broke up the trip and allowed my muscles rest from the stiff crosswinds.

As a geographer, I always get a kick out of locational oddities and imaginary lines.




For 300mi, I was forced by nature’s pressure differentials to ride at an angle skewed left of the horizon. Looking to the south before my head was jerked back, I cursed the expansive prairie winds yet reminded myself “This is what it’s all about”. It wouldn’t be a real trip without adverse conditions. I am reminded of a quote by Robert Pirsig in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

“There’s nothing up head that’s any better than what is right here”




A classic toaster tank R75 in a small "Speed Zone" town.


I was an insect slaughtering machine!


Pump Jacks


My dreams of riding west, the arid deserts and rocky mountains ahead only to be unlocked by this crucible. I stopped at the “Welcome to Colorado” sign and a passing Illinois motorist with a Harley in the truck bed stopped and offered to take my picture with the sign. I gladly accepted and spoke with him about his past injury and how distance riding is out of the question now. He is going riding out in CO and it is his first time this far west as well. I accepted his photo offer yet regret not returning the offer. Like my inattentive lacking applications of sunscreen, I kicked myself 20seconds after the fact 5 miles down the road.








After endless distant highway miles with 10mi vistas, I crested a rise in the Arapaho and witnessed, for the first time in my young life, the Rocky Mountains. I let out a loud “Yippeee!” and pumped my fist in the air like any immature easterner would after 1500 miles and a lifetime of anticipation. I finally “Feel West”. I zoom out on the Garmin Nuvi GPS to see the entire nation, my nation, with my motorcycle icon left of center approaching the mountains of my dreams. As Christian, a buddy back east said, “Once you see them, add three hours of travel time till you actually reach them” He was absolutely right.


Eventually, after crossing through hours of Colorado which could easily be confused for Kansas, I meet I-70 and jumped on the fastest legal speed limit highway I have ever driven. The posted 75mph speed limit was sure to suck down my freshly filled gas tank so I kept at 70mph and enjoyed the view of the setting sun on the Rockies. What a feeling of accomplishment. The sun, which burned into my tearing eyes for the past desolate 150mi was obscured by clouds as I rolled into Denver. The golden arcs of a Rocky Mountain sunset, bright rays burn holes through the fluffy pink condensation aloft. “Is this real?” I ask myself, rolling past the Denver International Airport.


On 270, an eight lane wide race track, I spotted a rider broken down in the left shoulder adjacent the fast lane sandwiched between the jersey wall and speeding traffic. I stopped on the safer right side emergency lane to lend a hand but she waved me off. The car reversing up the fast lane was there to help her and I honestly would not have been able to frogger my way across the massive interstate. It would have been interesting to witness just how she made her escape though. Hopefully a passing police car would stop and help her.


An oil refinery off the roadside



20 minutes later, I turned into Boulder and immediately thought I was tricking my grumbling stomach into smelling fresh foods. No, I was not imagining things. The scent of exotic spices, sweet baked goods and BBQ pork all wafted through my helmet and I opened the visor to take it in. I crept up on the downtown, letting my nose guide the way. The culprit: a sea of vendors at a free outdoor concert, thousands relaxed taking in the mild summer breezes while enjoying local ales and roasted meat. I worked through town past the walking mall and parked uptown at my cousin’s apartment. I sent an “OK” message on the SPOT tracker, stowed my gear and put on more “civilian” clothes than boots and bicycle shorts. With crocs and a pair of convertible pants on, I walked the ½ mi to the downtown bustle to explore the night life.

People were everywhere milling about and I walked around for an hour in awe of where I am, the different appearance of the many young folks in comparison to back east, the smells of garlic pasta, Vietnamese dishes, fresh coffee and Nag Champa incense wafting from the cafes and open store fronts.


I walked over and checked out the concert then retired to the open patio of a coffee shop/bookstore.


Sitting in the metal chair sipping a Boulder blend, I people watch and write this journal entry waiting for my cousin to get off work at 10. They have a Tesla Dealer in town


An old church door walking back to my cousin's house.


After returning and meeting up with my cousin, we head out to a downtown bar and I get a few slider burgers for $5 and we chat till about midnight. I am tired but enjoy the company and immensity of the distance just covered.


Tomorrow I will take a day off from riding and day hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park. I hope the elevation doesn’t kick my ass...
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12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:43 AM   #5
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DAY 3 (Sept 5, 2010)

And on the third day he rested. I could easily gear up and take off to explore the mountain passes but this notion would be rude to my hosts. I have decided to use the day to slow my haste, relax, go for a hike and enjoy Boulder. Up at 6:30 as usual, I am the only one awake in the apartment till 10:30. I spend the time reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and trying not to get too fidgety sitting still. I make a cup of coffee on the patio and soak in the warm morning sun, a little closer to the sky, a little higher in the atmosphere.

They wake and Matt drives us up to Rocky Mountain National Park. The route out of Boulder affords a beautiful view of the expansive grasslands as far as the eye can see. The temperature is already warmer and in the mid 80’s but the park’s higher altitude assures a more comfortable hike/climb. Descending on Estes Park, my cousin points out the Stanley Hotel, site of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”.


What an awesome Charger RT!


Estes Park Cops roll in style. Just watch out for those cliffs


After a stop at Safeway for snacks, we dive into Labor Day Traffic at the park entrance. The scenic drive up to the parking area is nothing short of spectacular for these eastern eyes.


The 13-14’000 ft peaks surrounding us grow closer as we drive higher into the park amongst the throngs of Labor Day tourists, myself included. We hike to glacial lakes; I see alluvium and moraines for my first time.



My cousin and I taking a break to eat a granola bar and enjoy the cascading stream.


The epic crags force me to bend my neck back accessing their relief and geologic composition.

Here I am stunned by the beauty of this unique terrain.


Thousand year old pine


Fly Fisherman are in every lake trying their luck.


Over Here! Over Here!





We hike a diverse eight miles through dense pines, white aspens and arid sage shrub circling one peak.




Longs Peak in the distance. Gimmeslack has summited this 14 footer.






I just thought this couple looked good in the picture. I bet they'd like a copy.


One of the lakes had an emerald green hue to it. The wind picked up here and the clouds got darker so we started back for the car.






The drive back to town is uneventful and I let my cousin take Critter II for a ride around town. He returns with a big smile on his face and is later seen picking through ads on craigslist for inexpensive motorcycles. Along with his roommates, we make the short drive into Boulder for a Thai dinner. I wind up paying for a split meal with one of his roommates but $7 is a small price to pay for their half. The generous offer to stay two nights and take me around the sights was well worth my small investment. We retire and play guitar on the patio, talking in the warm winds well into the night. I eventually explain I must rest and fall asleep around midnight to sounds entering an open window, of breezes flapping the porch awning and whooshing through the neighborhood trees. Tomorrow I explore Colorado.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:06 AM   #6
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DAY 4 (Sept 6, 2010)

__________________
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Only those that go would know. - WayneJ
12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:03 AM   #7
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Location: FeederOfMorans~Some of the best roads in the east.
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Great RR HBN.... er
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:10 AM   #8
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Day 8 (Las Vegas, NV > Marina, CA)

Day 8
Las Vegas > Pacific!

I knew I should have walked home earlier last night as my Las Vegas exploration gave me much less time to rest at the Motel. After 4 ½ hours of sleep, I repacked the bike and set off into the dawn.

Leaving Las Vegas, I made sure to take the obligatory picture of the sign but had a hell of a time with the lighting etc.


Cresting over the hill to Lake Meade, the colors of the desert offset the blues and oranges of the morning sunrise making for some wonderful photos.


I rode over Hoover Dam, took some photos of the engineering marvel considering the many workers who died in its construction.






A boat was sitting here near the entrance.




Backtracking through Las Vegas, I chose to forego the two hour detour to Death Valley in favor of a more direct route to the Pacific through the Mojave Desert, the Golden Hills and fruit country.







The temps warmed but remained mild in the 80’s the entire trip across California.

This large solar array out in the desert near Edwards AFB


Wind Turbines spinning high heading into the Golden Hills


Hello ME



And into the Golden Hills


Absoloutely stunning environment!


I saw my first Dust Devil! They are hard to photograph without a background...




The smells of the hills and grass changed as I rode into the heavily irrigated fruit growing lands around Bakersfield. Almonds, apples, peaches and Strawberries lined the roadside as far as the eye could see. Migrant workers labored under umbrellas, their vans and pick up trucks lining the roadside.




Flower Plantations




Large trucks loaded with produce crates or filled with heaping loads of raw almonds scattered to and fro slowly down the highway.


They were only slightly faster than the flatbed trailers hauling port-johns to the worksites. Miles of farms and irrigation canals blended into the wine-growing lands of rustic wineries and rolling hills.



The multitude of romantic sounding cellars and silver streamers glimmering in the warm breeze made me wish for a convertible and a penchant for wine tasting, neither of which I possessed.




This hill appears to be shaded by a cloud but is actually recieving full sun. The various darker planted crops provide the illusion.


Moving on, I turn on Hwy 46, excited that this road will take me to the big sea, my goal, The Pacific Ocean. I will forever remember the time I first laid eyes on the Pacific Ocean. Its fogs rolling on to the coast while the temperature dropped 20 degrees from the inland warmth.


With a slight chill, I descend to the sea and point north on California 1 for Big Sur and points unknown. The sea to my left, I have finally made it.


At the first opportunity, I turn in to a beach access, park the bike, and walk to the waters edge.


I MADE IT!!!


Stepping on the wet sand and letting the crashing waves wash over my boots, I soak in the rich sea smells and touch the salty water.


Ahhh…the sea.




Returning to the bike, I add a wool layer and put on heavier gloves then take of north. I thick fogs make enjoying the view difficult but its density comes and goes, rolling like the rises and falls of the coastal road.



Passing Hearst Castle, I stop to view the Elephant Seals on the beach and chat with another V-Strom owner. He gives me advice on places to see up North of San Francisco and reports of a beautiful campsite in a Redwood grove up the Russian River. He asks where I am going. To this, I reply fondly “I don’t know”.






The views are breathtaking and I stop often for pictures.




Kites along the beach.




I meet an Israeli couple who take my picture with a beautiful concrete bridge poking through the fog bathed in warm sunlight.
\

I take theirs in turn and then, as a gesture of international kindness, give away two of my prized Fruita, UT peaches. What goes around comes around.

New Wallpaper




Passing through Big Sur, I see my first Redwood trees riding through the enveloping lush forests. The campgrounds at every state park have “FULL” written in bold letters on their entrance signboards. This guy doesn't hassle me but sure makes me nervous...





The sinking sun at Bixby Canyon Bridge makes for some great photos. I am a big fan of Jack Kerouac’s writings and his novel Big Sur is one of my favorites. I made a point to ascend the dusty gravel ridge up behind the bridge but the lack of time and daylight kept me from exploring down to the private property at its base.


I notice a surfer on the beach below playing catch with his dog on the sandy shore and wonder what it would be like to relax and live here.


As I continue north toward Monterey, the road twists along the rocky cliffs then becomes more urban and eventually a freeway after passing Carmel.

Now this signs a first!


I grow weary of finding a cheap place to camp. Soon, on my right, I spy the concrete depot and loading dock remnants of an Army base through gaps in the rusted chain fence. Exiting at Imgin Rd, I ride through the soft sandy roads of a construction site and begin looking for a place to camp. I park under some trees and scope out the area. There are large construction drainage tubes, 9 feet in diameter lying side by side. The bike rolls in with ease and I stop the engine and put down the kick stand. What a neat little spot!


Little did I know it was actually a time-warp portal!


Just kidding

This will be my home for the night and the price is right. Using the last of my propane fuel, I make rice and tuna while researching the area on my phone. I am camped in a tube at the former site of U.S. Army Fort Ord, an active training base during WW-II and home to a military beach resort for R&R. Comparing old aerial images of the base with the google satellite photography, I can make out the outlines of former barracks and industrial buildings at my current camping spot. I finish my modest meal, roll out my sleeping bag covered with a poncho and fall fast asleep to the sounds of crickets, shore birds and the ticking cooling of my motorcycle engine behind my head.
__________________
Lost with Mike
Only those that go would know. - WayneJ
12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:34 AM   #9
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Day 9 (Marina, CA > Russian River Rt.116, CA)

Day 9
Marina, CA > Russian River (Rt. 116)

After spending a tent-free evening in my drainage tube, I awoke to a thick 6AM Pacific fog. The foot of my sleeping bag was partially wet with dew, though the poncho did a swell job of keeping it mostly dry. I hastily packed my gear and set off into the foggy morning air heading north up CA1. Visibility fell dramatically to 30ft by the time I got a few miles onto the 70mph freeway. I continued at 50mph calmly reserved that a multi-car pileup or any accident would come much sooner than I could react. Deadly consequences could ensue but that’s life. I would eventually get passed by a semi and follow his tail lights at a distance, red orbs fading in and out of the grey fog. Fortunately, the fog lifted near the strawberry and artichoke fields of Salina. Pickers were out already earning their family’s wages in the green flat fields.



The temperature hovers in the mid 40’s but the high humidity and constant shore winds make it feel much cooler. Brrrr.


CritterII Lurking in the weeds


I choose to stop and warm up with a cup of coffee in Half Moon Bay. I pass on the Starbucks and McDonalds and turn off CA1 toward the historic downtown. I immediately see a coffee sign and turn into a little shopping center to “Raman’s Chai and Coffee – Best Chai in the World”. Raman, a Hari Krishna, is slow to rise and take my order, a different welcomed pace, a kind warm smile. His vast menu of drinks takes me a while and I only order a medium coffee yet later regret not trying his Chai Tea. I tell him of my trip and he enthusiastically follows my story then provides further advice of sights to see in San Francisco.


His son Raj, a school teacher, shows up and we talk about my trip and his travels for the better part of an hour. Before my departure, he introduces me to his loyal morning customer base huddled around a table discussing philosophy, lifestyle and local news items.


Once more, I tell my story and hand out my blog card. They are a wise and generous group, wishing me a safe journey on my way north.

Back on the road, the air is warmer and temps continually rise as I pull closer to San Francisco.


Traffic thickens and I try out some lane splitting. With my wide cases, it only works sometimes but mostly I sit in traffic watching svelte naked sport bikes split past and to the front of the lights.


Alcatraz in the distance


I roll down to the piers on the bay then up for a ride on Lombard St, passing a marooned tour bus grounded at the front bumper and rear exhaust digging into the asphalt, its Asian passengers milling about the sidewalk.



Lombard St. is a hoot and I ride it mostly one handed, heavy on the rear brake, taking photos as the traffic inches its way down. Yeehaw!






Quite steep!


View looking up after I made my way down safely.


I check out Haight Ashbury and while riding, receive an email response from Miss Rivka. She will be at her booth in the Point Reyes Farmer’s Market until 1PM. I key it in to the GPS and have almost exactly that amount of time to make my way there.


Move it!!!


Steep Hills



This Aston Martin followed me over the bridge. Cool car.




I was behind a KTM and some other adventure bike.


I cut to the Golden Gate Bridge and park for a picture...

San Francisco in the distance across the bay.






then head for Point Reyes up the twisty CA1 behind a line of the slowest cars on earth. Gahhh!


A frequented beach for the Los Angelinos


Eventually I pass the cue and arrive at the market just in time to meet the famous Darth Peach of ADVRider.com.


More beautiful in person than photographs, I introduce myself and taste some of her complex and unique varieties of jam. I select some interesting flavors such as Peppered Pomegranate and Jalapeno Garlic for fellow inmates back in the Shenandoah Valley.


I help her pack up the stand and enjoy her genuine personality and wit. She offers to show me around some of the area this afternoon and I graciously accept. While she returns home to get her Tiger, I stroll around Point Reyes for an hour then suit up when she returns.



I follow her to the Point Reyes Seashore and the views through my helmet look like snapshots from her Ride Report as she negotiates the sometimes rough road through ranch land and down toward the ocean. She frequently points out the view of Tamales Bay to the right and the foggy Pacific to the left.





Our valley tag mascot, RatFink, sneaks a ride on DP's Tiger


The one and only


She waves me by and I take photos descending the grass lined ridge seeming to drop precariously into the sea.




The fog lifts for a bit allowing a glimpse of the blue waves shimmering in the sun.










We park and take a walk up to a subterranean structure on a point, resting to watch the Tule Elk across the ridge.

They emit high pitched mating calls I recognize from National Geographic TV but have never heard in person.


Tomales Bay


I always wondered how she got some of those shots. Bend it like beckham...nope bend it like DP




After a while of enjoying the peaceful scenery, discussing various motorcycle topics and watching the migrating Elk, we gear up and make our way back out to CA1 headed north.






She breaks for the Post Office in Tomales Bay while I wave goodbye and continue north.


My intended camp at Jackson State Forest is too far to travel this late in the day so I continue with no particular place in mind.


Each alcove and parking area has obvious signs declaring stiff fines for camping. Soon I come across a sign for the Russian River and recall what the V-Strom rider said yesterday while stopped at the Elephant Seals. I continue upstream and enjoy the warmth of the protected inland climate. I encounter a line of stopped traffic and sit and wait for a concert to empty. The traffic does not budge for 5 minutes so I turn around and begin looking for a place to stealth camp just off the highway.

On the left is a path for the power lines with enough tree cover to hide my bike and tent from passing traffic. I set up a temporary shelter of my poncho strung to the rear rack and lay out the sleeping bag. Alongside my shelter are rows of local Pacific Blackberry bushes so I walk around picking handfuls and enjoying their sweet taste and hairy base different from our eastern variety.


Soon the sun sets and I crawl into my makeshift shelter on the ground and quickly fall asleep.

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Old 10-06-2010, 01:02 PM   #10
twohawks
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Thumb Darth Peach!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HBN







Eventually I pass the cue and arrive at the market just in time to meet the famous Darth Peach of ADVRider.com.


More beautiful in person than photographs, I introduce myself and taste some of her complex and unique varieties of jam. I select some interesting flavors such as Peppered Pomegranate and Jalapeno Garlic for fellow inmates back in the Shenandoah Valley.


I help her pack up the stand and enjoy her genuine personality and wit. She offers to show me around some of the area this afternoon and I graciously accept. While she returns home to get her Tiger, I stroll around Point Reyes for an hour then suit up when she returns.



I follow her to the Point Reyes Seashore and the views through my helmet look like snapshots from her Ride Report as she negotiates the sometimes rough road through ranch land and down toward the ocean. She frequently points out the view of Tamales Bay to the right and the foggy Pacific to the left.




Our valley tag mascot, RatFink, sneaks a ride on DP's Tiger


The one and only


She waves me by and I take photos descending the grass lined ridge seeming to drop precariously into the sea.




Wow.
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:04 PM   #11
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Thumb Epic Report

Great fotos...outstanding narrative. Bravo.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:43 PM   #12
Kawikazi
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Great Ride Report

Enjoyed taking the virtual trip with you tonight. The pictures are amazing and poetic writing style always entertaining.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:11 PM   #13
Elkhound
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great ride, great report. really liking this one.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:16 PM   #14
PinIt2WadIt
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Thumb I'm Friggin'...

SPEECHLESS! Like iDave said....EPIC

The pics, the prose, the fortitude/opportunity/ability to do something like this...yeah, I'm jealous!

(B-Rad aka 'Mo' from the Three Stooges here) Thoroughly enjoyed meeting and riding with ya, man...hit me up if you are going SW next time!



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Old 10-08-2010, 03:39 PM   #15
meltonbmm
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Photos

Wow... nice photos!
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