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Old 08-20-2010, 10:21 PM   #16
LittleWan OP
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Location: behind BigWan, trying to keep my feet tucked in :)
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Day 2: 7/8/10 Sierra City, CA to Chester, CA 142 miles

So, we trashed our old intercoms (by Motocom) last year. They just couldn’t hold up to the wear and tear of day in, day out offroad use. Perhaps the forced disconnecting (i.e., the crashes/get offs) and yanking of the cords might have had something to do with it, but no one will ever know for sure. We decided to go wireless with the Interphone 4. The downside to these is having to charge the units every day (the Motocom used AA batteries). The 110 charger can do two units at once, but the 12volt charger can only do one at a time. Annoying.

We stayed up as long as we could, trying to get both helmets charged, but only one got a full charge. What do we do? Screw it, let’s leave the other one charging overnight.

The next morning, the bike was completely dead.

Crap (did someone mention that we’re not that bright?). The guy across from us was really nice. He had come over to talk about the bike and we turned him on to ADV rider. I’m sure he would have been more than willing to give us a jump, but that would have been too embarrassing after we had just been raving about how great the 990 is. Instead, we played it off like we’re super-considerate camping neighbors. We didn’t want to disturb our fellow campers that morning and that's why we walked the bike over to the campground entrance. I don’t know if it fooled anyone, but that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

Matt remembered that we had gone up a pretty good hill when we came into the campground. Coasting down it, he was able to get up enough speed to bump start the bike. Whew. Close one. Okay, gotta remember not to do that again...

Right away we got onto Sierra Buttes Road. Wow. What a stunner. Rocky with gorgeous views.



We were following R-dubb’s tracks, but Matt had found this trail on his own in 2008 (he rode it South but we were taking it North today).





It was such a pretty ride.






It would have been incredible (but cold) to camp up here.










Yesterday’s destination was supposed to be Gold Lake, so we were already behind schedule. No time to dilly dally, even though the roads were fantastic.



Fun, interesting, dirt and rocks...




Then we started to hit snow.


It wasn’t bad at first - we felt pretty good about being able to work around the drifts.






The non-snowy roads were great.




But they didn’t last long.

Then the snow patches got larger. There was no way to tell where the road was supposed to be and we were just winging it.



here's matt (in the middle of the frame) making his own road


Matt had to take longer and longer detours and I had to hike to catch up.

Waiting for me to get down the hill


It was brutal - hiking in the snow, ATGATT. Most of the time I even kept my helmet on (these mosquitoes were even worse than yesterday’s).

kelly: Should we turn around?
matt: Nah, I don’t want to go back through all that snow again.
kelly: (thinking about the hiking) Me neither.


This incline was steep and muddy. Fun, fun, fun.
I started off on the bike, but about halfway up we got squirrely in the mud and almost lost it. Matt saved it (yay) and I hiked the rest of the way up (boo).
As always, this is steeper than it looks (he's almost at the top in this pic)!


Almost got stuck in this snow...it took a lot of pulling the bike while Matt gunned it.




We finally got to the summit - Norman the Delorman was telling us that there was a trail up at the top.
Really, Norm? Really? There was nothing.


Matt went to scout. We could see some lakes and some campers down below - maybe there was a horse trail or something. At this point, we would have taken a hiking trail.


He looked over the edge and said it went straight down. No go. He could barely get back up to where I was waiting.


We had no choice but to turn around and go back the way we came.

Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.
Up the rocks.


Down the snow.






I was really loving this ATGATT snow hiking. It should be an Olympic sport.


We went back to a fork in the road and chose the left side this time.
Y’know, it’s a lot easier going down the drifts...but if the road doesn’t go through at the bottom...we are SO screwed.
We’ll be stuck here ‘til the snow melts.


Yep. Screwed.
Had to get over a monster drift.


It didn’t quite work.


Guess it’s not a BigWan/LittleWan report unless there’s a bike stuck in something.

Do I even need to say it? No?
(OMG, we are so F'ing stupid!)

to be continued....
(how's that for a cliffhanger?)



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Old 08-20-2010, 10:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xymotic

Did you guys get the spot part of the pn-60?
Hi xymotic!

Nope, too fancy for us. That would be the PN-60W (the regular PN-60 is red, like Norm. the PN-60W is black with a matchy-matchy black SPOT unit).
It was too pricey (with a more expensive SPOT subscription also), unavailable even if we wanted one (didn't come out until we were already on the road), and neither one of us is a texter. I don't even have a cell phone!

We do have a basic SPOT (the clunky orange version) to keep our moms happy.

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Old 08-21-2010, 12:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan
Hi xymotic!

Nope, too fancy for us. That would be the PN-60W (the regular PN-60 is red, like Norm. the PN-60W is black with a matchy-matchy black SPOT unit).
It was too pricey (with a more expensive SPOT subscription also), unavailable even if we wanted one (didn't come out until we were already on the road), and neither one of us is a texter. I don't even have a cell phone!

We do have a basic SPOT (the clunky orange version) to keep our moms happy.


AHHH Ha moment! I didn't know there was a non spotted one. If it's cheaper, That bad boy just jumped to the top of my list I think. Thanks for the info.

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Baja trip to the tip
6:10 to Yuma
trials and tribulations in the Mojave
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:59 PM   #19
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Great report

Kelly and Matt,
I was great to ride with you in Colorado and Utah. We are all still in awe of Matt's ability to pilot the 990 two-up with full load of gear. He made us faux-adventurers look like spastic rookies. And you, a big smile while taking photos from the pillion in the rough sections earns you spouse of the year, we're all jealous.

Come visit the frozen tundra sometime.
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:10 PM   #20
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Nice Pics you guys, from this side of the world its all looking wow, maybe just plant "Norm" there , either map or better gps unit, thanks for the read
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:33 PM   #21
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Larryboy, thanks for the inspiration, once again!
LittleWan, I'll be following your tracks at some point in the future, so I'm reading with interest.
BigWan:
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:42 PM   #22
ryanwilliamcantrell
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That snow looks miserable on that big beast. Glad you two are the adventurous type!!
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:58 PM   #23
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:42 PM   #24
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Alright. You got me

Signed up.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:56 PM   #25
LittleWan OP
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Hi guys!
Matt will freak if I keep up with the Romper Room business, but
thanks for the nice comments and glad you're all reading.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Yeti
Kelly and Matt,
I was great to ride with you in Colorado and Utah. We are all still in awe of Matt's ability to pilot the 990 two-up with full load of gear. He made us faux-adventurers look like spastic rookies. And you, a big smile while taking photos from the pillion in the rough sections earns you spouse of the year, we're all jealous.

Come visit the frozen tundra sometime.
Hey Victor!
"Spastic rookies," my ass - you fellas held your own just fine. Thanks so much for letting us tag along - we loved it!
Sorry you have to wait so long for the TAT section (coming up in the 3rd half of this report). I'll try and keep it interesting
kelly
p.s. are those photobucket pics working for you guys? I can increase the size if that helps with screengrabs or whatever...just let me know.

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Old 08-22-2010, 07:03 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan

kelly
p.s. are those photobucket pics working for you guys? I can increase the size if that helps with screengrabs or whatever...just let me know.


Looks fine to me. I do 800x600 sometimes, but 640x480 is okay too(especially if you have a bazillion to share).


Romper room, romper room.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:01 PM   #27
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Day 2, continued...

So where were we?
Oh yeah, we were seriously stuck. I thought the hot engine would make it easier to get the bike loose. Nope. The snow didn’t give at all. The bike was solidly encased in ice. Crap.


We took the bags off the back (the duffle and tent) and went to work. I’m not even sure how we got it out. Same as in the mud, I guess.
Lifting the bike up and working it back and forth, again and again and again. Working it free a little at a time.
All I remember is that the bike was really freaking heavy (could have removed the side bags, but I guess we’re stupid and lazy) and the snow was really freaking slippery.

Whew. Too bad we still had a long way to go



Matt was riding down this snowbank (is this a snowbank? I’m from the bay area - I don’t know snow terms) when it collapsed and he hit a stump. Or two. Or three.
Good thing he was going slow. But now the bike was stuck again.


It sure would be nice to have reverse. All schoolbuses should have reverse. Instead, we had to pull it up over the stumps. So much pulling and lifting.
We were both soaked and dripping with sweat. Mmmmm...wet helmet. The mosquitoes were in a feeding frenzy.
I got no fewer than 8 bites during our 5 minute water break. Freaking mozzies.

Had to struggle over a few more snowy spots, but the end was in sight. Matt was so exhausted, he almost had a high side here.


The bike started tipping towards the road and he didn’t think he could stop it - all he could do was gas it - luckily the bike popped back up and saved him. KTM powers, activate!

We still had to go hike back and get the bags. Can’t we just leave them there? It’s only our camping gear, tent and clothes. Sigh. This motorcycle thing is just too much work.

Woo hoo! No snow!


We blasted down these roads - they were rocky, muddy and streaming with water, but matt was ready for lunch.


After all that work to get to Gold Lake, we barely slowed down long enough to take 2 lousy photos.




Between 8:30am and 1pm today, we had gone a whopping 27 miles. Wow.

Stopped in Quincy for lunch. It seemed kinda run down. Oh! The Polka Dot! I had seen this place in a ride report.


Too bad I couldn’t remember if it was good or not...



Notice the 3 drinks (matt was a little thirsty). He didn’t want a photo of his food. Oops. guess it wasn't good

My teriyaki chicken bowl. It was extremely adequate.



After lunch, we headed to Silver Lake. As we left, we realized that there was a whole other (nicer) section of Quincy. Oh well.
The gravel road on the way to Silver Lake was kind of scary - it was like riding on marbles. Matt was flying and I thought we were going to wreck for sure.
It was hard for me to stay loose (no yard sale, no yard sale, no yard sale)...


Seems like every county has a silver lake.


At one point we couldn’t find the trail. There was a gap in the GPS tracks and matt was just connecting the dots.
Norman the Delorman said there was a road here, we just had to find it. Uh huh. Heard that before...
It was faint, but went straight down the hill.
Okay, Norm. I guess you've redeemed yourself. This time...



Got pretty steep and loose, but did the job.


Things got even faster now we were on the dirt.


Man, there were a lot of deer out. They’re dangerous, but so adorable. Some were really cute with black ears (no pics, I’m too slow, but I think all the deer around here are mule deer ).
At one point, we saw a doe in a meadow. She was about a quarter mile away, but Matt honked anyway, in case there were more deer around. At the sound of the horn, she started running.
Matt said, “I think that deer wants to kill us!” Sure enough, he was right - she actually changed her path and turned towards the trail. We watched the doe pick up speed through the trees and then she cut across the road at a full gallop (or whatever you call it when a deer is hauling ass), right in front of us.
She timed it perfectly - if we hadn’t slowed down when we did, that deer would have T-boned us going full blast. Yikes.




The thought of that slowed us down for a bit, but our tiny brains quickly forgot about it. Soon we were back to zooming through the trees





There was lots of thunder and lightning in the distance, getting closer. I guess fear of lightning ourweighs fear of deer. Man, I hate racing the rain.



The rain always wins. We got wet.


Finally, we got to Chester. After a morning of ATGATT snow hiking/schoolbus wrestling and an afternoon of the Wiggly Gravel Cold Sweats, I was really in the mood for a shower so we looked for a nice campground.
There was one by Lake Almanor (North Shore Campground) - they wanted $35 for a tent campsite. Hoo boy, I’d never hear the end of that. no thanks.

Screw it. We headed back into the forest and found a stealth spot.



I’m totally paranoid about free camping so we went way off the road. It would have been perfect if it wasn’t so rocky and full of mosquitoes. At least this time the poison was within reach. We slathered ourselves in DEET and tried to enjoy instant mashed potatoes for dinner. As we sat there eating out of the pot (hobo-style), perched on a crooked stump and a pointy rock (camping is f’ing awesome!), we mulled over the day’s events.

Twenty-seven miles in 4.5 hours...How the hell did that happen? Well, maybe a smarter duo would have turned around at the first snow drift. Or maybe the second snow drift. Or the third one?
They definitely wouldn’t have continued on down the hill where we got stuck in the snowbanks (uh, twice) and wasted all that time and energy. Huh. Something to think about.

10.5 hours to do 139 miles. Oh, right, add 3 miles to that (forgot to zero out the GPS first thing this morning). 142 miles.


Okay. Well, the first day wasn’t that great. The second day wasn’t so hot, either. But the third day...the third day has got to be better. Right?
Riiiight...


LittleWan screwed with this post 08-22-2010 at 09:21 PM
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:20 PM   #28
LittleWan OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy
Looks fine to me. I do 800x600 sometimes, but 640x480 is okay too(especially if you have a bazillion to share).


Romper room, romper room.
I see larryboy!
So, that photobucket question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan

p.s. are those photobucket pics working for you guys? I can increase the size if that helps with screengrabs or whatever...just let me know.
was actually referring to an album I made for those minnesota guys. Sorry if that was confusing. I should have PM'd instead.

BUT, I'm really glad you chimed in about the RR pic size. I was going to ask anyway
640x480 was looking kind of small (especially for the senic ones), so I tried to bump some of the new photos up to 800x600.
Will try and use the larger ones from now on.

I do have a bazillion pics, though. Almost. I took over 5,500!

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Old 08-22-2010, 09:08 PM   #29
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I'm glad to see you two are back on the road and back to your usual antics... This looks to be a great ride and I look forward to your updates. My buddy and I are doing the TAT West starting on Sept 5th so maybe we'll run into you on the road depending on schedules...I'll keep an eye out. Be safe!
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:46 PM   #30
LittleWan OP
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sorry!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lionsroaar
Subscribed...

I'm glad to see you two are back on the road and back to your usual antics... This looks to be a great ride and I look forward to your updates. My buddy and I are doing the TAT West starting on Sept 5th so maybe we'll run into you on the road depending on schedules...I'll keep an eye out. Be safe!
Hi lionsroaar!
Thanks, but we're already home
I don't have the patience to do a RR from the road, so I wait til we get back.
I won't be getting to the TAT part of our ride report until after you're on the road - sorry!
Hope you have a great ride! I wonder if Hancock Pass will be open for you?
keep us updated.
kelly

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