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Old 01-13-2014, 07:40 PM   #286
Desert Dave OP
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Here in California we get all excited about rain these days. In fact I haven't had a drop of rain fall on me while riding since the summer (kind of ironic huh?)

So when a small system was blowing through this weekend I wanted to get out in it. Not that I love riding in a downpour, but I'm also not scared of it, and often these days make for the most memorable rides.
So as the clouds passed over my house I was feeling kind of ripped off without any of the wet stuff. I could see on weather radar that my local Mt Hamilton was engulfed in clouds and wet, so time to suit up, grab a camera and lets go.


Man I love the smell of rain, everything fresh. The sanded roads, now wet, force you to slow down and enjoy the moment. Once again , riding through familiar territory with a unique view. Just a couple of shots this time of a peaceful ride.






Still looks more like fall than winter, but I'll take it.







I just knew if I rode west over the mountain and found the edge of the clouds I'd get a show . By now you guys know how much I try to avoid urban riding, but from a ways away it looks all right to me.


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Old 01-13-2014, 07:44 PM   #287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veefereefer View Post
Nice night shots Dave! I like your ghost image on the porch
Hmmm, I didn't see anything while I was there, it wasn't until I looked at the photo later


Quote:
Originally Posted by RideDualSport.com View Post
Thank you Desert Dave for sharing your art with us! I enjoyed every single photo! It was an awesome and inspiring way to spend the evening.
Cheers!

Well thanks for enjoying it! It's no fun sharing if someone else doesn't get it
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:33 AM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Dave View Post
Here in California we get all excited about rain these days. In fact I haven't had a drop of rain fall on me while riding since the summer (kind of ironic huh?)

So when a small system was blowing through this weekend I wanted to get out in it. Not that I love riding in a downpour, but I'm also not scared of it, and often these days make for the most memorable rides.
So as the clouds passed over my house I was feeling kind of ripped off without any of the wet stuff. I could see on weather radar that my local Mt Hamilton was engulfed in clouds and wet, so time to suit up, grab a camera and lets go.


Man I love the smell of rain, everything fresh. The sanded roads, now wet, force you to slow down and enjoy the moment. Once again , riding through familiar territory with a unique view. Just a couple of shots this time of a peaceful ride.






Still looks more like fall than winter, but I'll take it.







I just knew if I rode west over the mountain and found the edge of the clouds I'd get a show . By now you guys know how much I try to avoid urban riding, but from a ways away it looks all right to me.


The last photo of the city lights is quite beautiful... If you had the higher res I would make that my wall paper
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:28 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Desert Dave View Post


















:
UH-MAZING group of photos!
New growth after a fire is a beautiful thing. I am glad you included it in the thread!
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:57 AM   #290
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The last photo of the city lights is quite beautiful... If you had the higher res I would make that my wall paper
Thanks, it was quite a sight.

Most of my photos in this thread I re- size to avoid clogging bandwidth and forcing most people to scroll to see the whole thing. You can usually find larger versions off all of these directly at my Smugmug page http://desertdave.smugmug.com/


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New growth after a fire is a beautiful thing. I am glad you included it in the thread!
I've been looking forward to shooting that area as the seasons change, but it really hasn't yet. I was thinking by this time of year there would be burnt matchsticks with a fresh blanket of snow, but with so little precipitation I wonder how much the growth will even be in the spring.

Might require a little ride soon just to make sure
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:02 PM   #291
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I think the theme for riding this winter is going to be lack of snow.

I keep wondering if they will re-open my favorite mountain passes this winter the way they did a couple of years ago, but not yet, so I did the next best thing and crossed the Sierras and came back in from the east as far as I could. Caltrans HWY report said that 4 was closed at hwy 89, but I suspected it was open further for snowmobile access and such, as it was last year. This could be the fix I need.

I knew this would turn into an all day gig, so I was on the road before sunrise headed east and UP. Still early I passed Silver Lake, where I was a few weeks ago (photos a few pages back in this thread) and what a difference. Glad I got those photos when I did as there wasn't even half of the little snow that was there . On the bright (but less adventurous) side the highway was clear, no ice or snow. When I see other motorcycles I don't wonder as much about what's ahead as the times when I'm the only bike there. With all the Harley bashing that goes on around here, that's most of what I saw out doing it.....of course I realize THOSE are the guys in that crowd that I'm on the same page with. I love the camaraderie of the hand wave and knowing these few guys have discovered the same spectacular riding I have this time of year. Heck without much (any?) ski resort traffic even Hwy 88 felt like a back road as I wasn't getting stuck behind slow traffic anywhere. Nice.


Once I turned off for Markleeville traffic was literally non-existent. MINE. Once through town, the next 15-20 miles are what I came here for. The Walker river was amazing, every corner had ice sculpture lit up by the winter sun. First stop of the day. With the water so low it was easy to find rocks that allowed me to walk right out into the middle of the river....I did this when I was a kid and still love to. Never grow up.





At the 89/4 Junction the gate was open, I knew it. I also knew it was a dead end, but I was coming for a look around, not a short cut. Once in the canyon the road was icy enough to stop full lean angles and force one to enjoy the view. Perfect. Why do I feel so at home here?










Not a seeing a soul out here I know I'm getting close to the end, when I run into some others doing the same thing. On adventure bikes. We spoke for a few minutes and when they said they knew the road was a dead end and came for a look anyway I had to stop, park and enjoy the moment with some kindred spirits out on an adventure.

These guys were on a trip from L.A., one of them from the U.K., and had never been in this area before. Crossing the Sierras to see Yosemite for the first time. I gave them the verbal tough guy award for camping out in the hills above Topaz the night before in 10 degree weather ( I would have been enjoying the moment in a hotel myself) They were out doin it, no excuses or even considering it's the "wrong" time of year. Love it.
Another quick memory made, a pleasure to meet these guys. If you guys do see this, chime in with your impressions of Yosemite and the rest of your ride, would love to hear it.






Those guys were trying to make Yosemite before dark, so off they went while I slowed down for a look around. Everything about it out here was magical. Beautiful, quiet and fresh air with just the perfect amount of chill in the shadows and surprisingly warm in the sun. Scenes like this at every corner.

BTW- those are not people tracks there.









Found myself a spot for lunch. I literally took this shot sitting on a rock with my sandwich and beer, waiting for the sun to move just where I wanted it. I swear it's spots like this that make me know I need to figure out a way to put my guitar on the bike as the inspiration is there. Of course then I might never leave.





Can you believe the sun is already getting low? Monitor pass is open so when I rode back to the 89 split I figured I should have a quick look at the top....not to mention get the full tilt boogie on in those perfect corners.

Things don't look good up there. If you're local you know this spot, it should be under feet of snow this time of year, instead it's a dry desert. Don't hold out much hope for any green in the spring unless things change big time. They'll probably need that fire tower on the hill. Didn't do much dirt but I did get out and play on a couple of the two tracks out there, as there was still enough mud to see how these tires work.





Love the snow and sage, like it was laid out by an artist.






From here it was hammer down and home, except the u-turn I did to try and follow a bald eagle that flew right over me...he was gone shortly, but they are still rare enough in these hills I find it special whenever I see one. I've actually got plans to photgraph one/some this year....more on that later. If you're tracking Bald eagles or hawks you're not a "bird nerd" yet.

Right after sunset I pulled into a gas station for much needed fuel and saw the two riders I met on HWY 4. I thought they would be getting into Yosemite about now. "Didn't get very far" I said. They knew they weren't making good time but you couldn't replace the excited look on thier faces and sound in their voices when they told me about stopping at Caples and Silver lake and walking out on the ice, the views, and listening to the moaning sound of air escaping the ice...just generally taking the time to enjoy the moment. I knew these guys were on the same page as me.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:53 PM   #292
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Monitor pass is one of my favorite places in the area. Have you ever climbed to the top of the tower?
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:35 AM   #293
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Great article!!!!
I'm new to the area and would like to find where the best riding is
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:51 AM   #294
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Great article!!!!
I'm new to the area and would like to find where the best riding is
What area?


For paved roads, pashnit's site is a good resource:
http://www.pashnit.com/motoroads.htm
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:58 AM   #295
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Monitor pass is one of my favorite places in the area. Have you ever climbed to the top of the tower?
I climbed up there a few months ago with my wife. Awesome views but less interesting as a structure than some fire towers. We had been to the Sierra Buttes lookout last summer. Now that one is amazing!

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Old 01-22-2014, 06:04 PM   #296
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Monitor pass is one of my favorite places in the area. Have you ever climbed to the top of the tower?
Ridden up to it but never climbed up...is the view much different?
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #297
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Haha not really but there's a certain sense of freedom about it. I live up in south lake and get out around central California alot so all your pictures are great to jog my memory.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:14 PM   #298
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Sometimes the adventure is what you do when you get off of the bike, as I've been doing more of lately, as you've seen in this thread.

The story of the Sierras lately is one word: "Dry". So I thought I'd try to take advantage of that. Yosemite is usually about big waterfalls, but at the moment the main falls look like a garden hose is coming over the top with a wet spot on the side of the granite. Bridalveil falls has minimal flow which could work into my plan to get some closer photos, I've taken many views of Bridalveil (some in this thread) from far away, unfortunately trying to get close usually results in mist on my lens. Figured I could at least get some clear shots from the observation area, and maybe even climb up the rocks some with a clear shot.


Nothing like a Monday morning in the middle of winter , I arrive at the parking area for Bridalveil at 8:30 AM and only ONE car is there. In spring and summer these lots are full by mid morning. A quick walk up the trail to the observation area proves me correct, no mist even close, we'll get a good shot. This is good but why not climb a few rocks and get closer? So pass the signs that warn about slipping and dying, there is no trail but a scramble over boulders, sometimes wedging myself up between to to get up. I actually had some thought about the dude that got his arm stuck in some boulders and had to cut it off to get out.


About half way up I think I have the view I'm looking for, besides my out-of-shape legs were already feeling this.




I can't help but wonder what is right at the base. I kept telling myself I don't need to go ALL the way up, I mean these are spectacular views right here. Then the adventure gene kicked in and I realized there is no better time than the present and I NEEDED to see what was up there. I'm going to blame a backpack full of camera gear and tripod, but it took me at least an hour to crest the platue at the base of the fall....and man am I glad I did. This pool is hidden from below, I had no idea how spectacular it was .





Can't get to much closer than this. For reference, those boulders in the pool under the snow are as tall as I am. On a normal run off I'd be getting pounded with water where I'm standing .





Looking back out at the valley you can't see down, only the edge. As many times as I've been to the valley, I get excited when I can see it in a way I never have before. This stuff is simply unreal.





Of course if you're like me, you can't say you've been there unless you go right to the edge and look down. The photos don't do the size of these boulders justice. If you look closely there is a stick figure in the clearing of trees on the left side, that is the observation area where I started.





Now it was chill time. Had this pool ALL to myself hidden on top. I don't care how long I sit there I can't take it all in. I hope I NEVER get used to this sort of thing. Friends ask me why I go back to Yosemite so often......just look around here, I swear it's like a drug experiencing this stuff.





At some point I need to come down, but I was in no hurry. Over the edge I noticed some college kids starting the trek up. I thought they have no idea what they are in for... but somehow what took me over an hour took them about 20 minutes. I'm blaming my backpack/gear again. Really though these kids were just running and jumping from rock to rock, I had to laugh. Hung out with them for few minutes and told them they could have my spot now, I'm done. Sure puts perspective on how small one feels up there.





What a unique day, that was a 4+ hour stop.


A quick loop of the valley shows how low the water is, I've never seen it like this before. Can't decide between Yosemite and the beach? Well ya got both right now.



If you're following this thread, you're doomed to see many more photos like this. This day just inspired me to get to some more spots around Yosemite that I haven't already...when the time is right
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:32 PM   #299
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Yes both are cool....

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Originally Posted by dman View Post
I climbed up there a few months ago with my wife. Awesome views but less interesting as a structure than some fire towers. We had been to the Sierra Buttes lookout last summer. Now that one is amazing!

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Old 02-04-2014, 03:00 PM   #300
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Very Nice.
Thx
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