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Old 06-21-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
Elefant 900 Rad OP
Hedley
 
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Joined: Dec 2003
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Ride to the Save The Trails Rally

I left Friday April 20th about 2:30pm on the mighty 950 Adventure, to head up to Lake Isabella for the night, and then attend the Save The Trails Rally in Bakersfield on Saturday the 21st.

My boy sitting with the 950 as I was about to leave.




Wanting to get to Lake Isabella before dark, I did the blast up the freeways to the 138 towards Palmdale, then up 14 to Lancaster. Rode by Willow Springs Raceway, brought back great memories of my roadracing days at Willow. Then took Willow Springs / Tehachapi Road past the Windmill Farms to 58 west and got off on the infamous Bodfish-Caliente Rd., one of the funnest twisties ever. The scenery was great, recent rains turned the usual brown grass hillsides to a lush green landscape...nice !






Stopped at the old Havila Schoolhouse for the obligatory photo shot with the historic markers....






I love this Stagecoach Story......




Bodfish Caliente Rd. goes over the mountains, thru a couple of valleys, then over the mountains again and drops right into Lake Isabella area. I got to the Isabella Motel just before dark and was ready for some cold Sierra IPA's...




As I sat in the parking lot enjoying a cold one and it was getting dark, saw 2 guys walking towards me and noticed they were checking out the 950...I knew we were going to strike up a conversation, I love that about bikes....people seem to always come over and talk with me while I'm on a trip. The 2 guys had an accent so I asked where they were from....Switzerland. We immediately had something in common, I have a swiss friend here in San Diego and another friend who lives in Switzerland. Ueli and his friend just finished some training in Seal Beach area, they work on military radar systems in Switzerland. They were both cool guys, so of course I had to share my Sierras with them...then Ueli busted out the Swiss Schnapps, which was much stronger than regular Schnapps.




We were having a great time telling stories back and forth...




Time flew by and it was getting late, I had to get on the bike and head a few miles north to Kernville to get dinner before all the places closed. The Kernville Brewery (a fairly new place) was hoppin', but their kitchen was closed. I found the only place left open, a pizza/Italian joint...and had some great lasagna...




After dinner, it was time to head back to my temporary home for the next 2 days at the motel in Isabella.

Day 2 to be continued.....
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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DAY 2...Ueli and his friend were packing up their car to head to the Sierra and Seqouia National Park. I asked them if they wanted to do breakfast...yep :)

We found a place that I saw as I rode into town the night before, looked like a good mom/pop restaurant...that there is a nice size chicken fried steak !




Again, we were havin' a great time. They ordered a side of biscuits and gravy, they asked me what it was since they never had it before.




I invited them to San Diego if they are ever in the U.S. again, and Ueli said that was a good possibility, he is planning a vacation back here with his family soon...we exchanged e-mails and will stay in touch. He invited me to Switzerland, and said I have a free ride on the boat he is the captain of, and we can do some diving in Lake Lucerne there...cool !

We were all headed west on the 178 towards Bakersfield. This road starts out as 2 lanes each way, but then gets narrower as it goes thru the gorge formed by the mighty Kern River. I stopped for some nice photo opps on the way to Bakersfield...


















It was funny, Ueli and his buddy passed me a couple times while I was stopped for photos, and then I passed them again in the twisties...they were laughin' and smilin' each time, I could tell they were havin' a good time.

Got to the Save The Trails Rally in Bakersfield before the start at 11am, at Valley Cycle & Motorsports.






My 950 out front with some other people at the Rally....



Chris Horgan from Stewards of the Seqouia and "Save The Trails" did a lot of the organizing for this rally...here he is speaking on stage.





Amy Granat, Managing Director of CORVA was there also...finally had a chance to meet her and introduce myself, we had talked a few times before on the phone and via e-mails.




A Representative from The Backcountry Horsemen (sorry, forgot some of the names, didn't write them down).




A retired Forestry Service Supervisor, a local, who had some interesting things to say about the Forest Service...basically, not the same agency it was when he started out many years ago...a lot of environmental extremist people have joined the forestry service and their mission has changed...




A Rep from a local 4 Wheel Drive Club...they brought a huge amount of people from their club, and this club has donated large amounts of money to Stewards of the Seqouia, showing that they really support what Chris Horgan and Stewards are doing to help protect our access to public lands....



And Congressman McCarthy was there, talking about his Bill trying to be passed, which would release millions of acres of public lands that have been designated as "wilderness study areas", but the lands have been deemed unsuitable for wilderness, so his Bill would release those lands back to the public, since they've been held in limbo for many years... a great bill, hopefully it passes thru the Senate.



At the Rally, I saw and talked with Chris Horgan of Stewards, Amy Granat of CORVA, as well as some other reps from the off-road groups. Also saw some people I know from the dualsport world, and Damon Powell of Team Dual Dogs, and Larry Langley of the Orange County Dualies. Had a great time at the Rally, and the local jeep club sponsored the free BBQ for all attendees of the rally.

After it was all over, I asked the locals in the shop if I could take dirt back to Kernville. After asking a few people, finally found out I could take Rancheria Road (dirt) all the way back to Kernville...and if the gate at the top was closed due to recent snow, I could take Sawmill Dirt Road down to the 155 and back to Isabella. So, I was happy to be on the 950 so I would get an afternoon of dirt riding in. Left on the 178, and a few miles out of Bakersfield I saw this sign much to my delight....




Saw the dirt road went up this way...



Stay tuned, more to come......
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:37 PM   #3
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I was happy as the dirt road started climbing in elevation and the views were good.




I passed a dirt road off to the right going up a hill and realized it went up to an old fire lookout tower, so I had to turn around and check it out. Got to the locked gate...thought about hiking up, but I was in my riding gear and it was a little warm, so I skipped it...








Oh yeah, I was havin' a blast !










I like to stop and check out old ranches and buildings...






The guys at the shop warned me that I might hit some snow and mud, but I wasn't worried about it...I wanted to get all the way to the end if I could, even if it meant having to turn around and head back for a ways...


No, not time to turn around yet......




NOPE, not yet....




I guess it's time.....




After turning around, I headed back towards the Sawmill Turnoff, but had to stop to enjoy the mountain air, smell of pines and cool, crisp breezes.








Saw a hawk, flying and squawking above me...he was cruisin' the thermals.




Ummm, guess who...




Had a few more muddy spots to contend with...was actually fun !




Luckily the gate on Sawmill was open, and I was able to ride back down the mountainsides towards Lake Isabella...










On the way south on 155, I saw some dirt along the lakeshore, so had to go get a little more dirt riding in...












OK, yeah...so I like to take a bunch of photos from different angles... :lol:












Got back to the Isabella Motel again, with time for another cold one, before heading out to dinner with Chris Horgan, and Ralph Johnston (who is actually an SDAR member, Mr. Orange, but he lives in Lake Isabella now).

Me on the left, Ralph middle, Chris on the right...we went out for Chinese Food...was great, but too much food to eat.




After talking a lot with Chris and Ralph, and learning some good stuff from Chris about fighting the land closure battles, etc., Chris headed home, but Ralph and I headed to the Kern River Brewing Company for some local brewskis...






This is pretty awesome...there is a great trail up there, with a Manzanita Tunnel and fun singletrack, which is called "Just Outstanding". Well, the owner of the brewery named one of the brews after that trail rinks:



It was getting late, so Ralph and I parted ways and I headed back to my little room at the motel.



a little bit more to come from the last day on the way home....
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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Sunday heading home would be a day of Twisty Road Nirvana...first Bodfish Caliente Rd. again, then along route 58 there is the old highway, route 202...a severely fun, twisty road. It passes the infamous "Tehachapi Loop", one of the 10 Engineering Wonders of the Railroad World. The tracks make a big loop around a little mountaintop, which helps the trains gain elevation without having to go up a steep vertical rise...read the plaque below....you can see the loop in the photos below...












On the way thru Tehachapi, I called my old friend Damon Powell from Team Dual Dogs, we were going to try to get together for lunch...but he had to work and was with his client, so I decided to keep going and have lunch later on. Went thru Tehachapi and then down Tehachapi-Willow Springs Rd. again, this time stopping for some photos of the Windmill Farms...my friend Alfred in Vegas actually sold and installed many of the windmills in this area....the bigger ones are some of the largest ones in the world...










The rest of the way I stayed off the freeways and did all back roads thru Lancaster/Palmdale, then only a few miles of Hwy 14 to the exit for some more great twisties on the way up into the mountains above Los Angeles...




Oh My...The Angeles Crest...haven't been on that in awhile...and then a lunch stop at Newcomb's Ranch...






A big biker hangout...Harleys, Sportbikes, you name it...it's there...






More excellent views from the Angeles Crest...






I was movin' along at a really fun pace...still some snow left on the sides of the road and on the mountains.






The further east you go on the Crest, the steeper the cliffs are on the sides of the road...






I started seeing rocks and debris in many of the corners, that had fallen down the sides of the cliffs...




This is how it looked in many corners, I had to back off the pace a bit...always fun dodging rocks :lol:






Now, the road started dropping down towards Wrightwood.






Time for another usual stop at the Yodeler in Wrightwood, and of course I had to call my friends in San Diego to rub it in, since we always stopped here on the way back from trips to World Superbike and GP Races at Laguna Seca.




Ahhh, refreshing...




After Wrightwood and Lone Pine Canyon Rd, then the old Route 66 along the I-15, it was time to head home on the I-215. I remembered it was Ride For Kids Dualsport weekend at Glen Helen, so I decided to stop in to see who was left at the ride...I ran into Julie Angell and another Rider Rep from District 37 AMA Dualsport at the start/finish at Glen Helen, it was good to see them...



Most people were already gone, and the parking lot was pretty empty...




Julie and I posing for the last shot of the trip....




Got home about 8pm that evening...was colder and overcast on the way into San Diego, than it was all weekend for me up north !

Another great trip, this one being short....only about 1,000 miles for the weekend. I'm ready for the next one !

Later,
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