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Old 10-29-2012, 01:41 AM   #391
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I see you have been to New Zealand a few years ago, looks like you had fun.

This time come and ride the North Island, I promise we keep all of our rain down south.
LOL! Yes, Down Undah is on the list, but it might be a while...
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:44 AM   #392
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Update from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/41.html



Hustlers grab your guns,
Your shadow weighs a ton,
Driving down the 101.
California here we come...


While growing up in the East, we've been inundated with TV shows, movies and songs about California, and many a long, cold winter was spent dreaming of escaping to the land of Ponch and Jon, Baywatch and The O.C. One of our earliest motorcycle road trips was an 18-day trek from Toronto to San Francisco and back, and we stayed glued to the seat for the entire duration, stopping only to eat, gas or sleep.

Well, this time around we're taking the scenic route, it's taken us about 4 months to get here! We've discovered that when we're not trying to outrun Old Man Winter or a vacation-deadline, we travel quite slowly.


Avenue of the Giants, CA

Just south of the OR/CA border, the 101 crosses into Redwood National Park, and further south we get off 101 to properly ride through the giant trees on the Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile detour that follows old Highway 101. Don told us that before the current 101 was built, the wider trucks would graze the edges of the Redwood trees on the Avenue of the Giants, because the road was built so close to the trees. It was easier to build the road around some of the largest trees than cut them down!


Riding past some of the world's tallest trees!


Neda rides off into the forest


So cheesy, but we had to do it. This tree wasn't even standing on its own...

Towards the end of the Avenue of the Giants, we see a sign advertising a drive-thru a living tree! Cool! However, we're not sure it would have survived without all the baling wire to keep it from toppling over. While we were there taking our tourist shots, we notice that another motorcycle couple had the same idea, and they were ADVers as well! Jon and Natalie were on a 2-week whirlwind trip riding their SV650 and Bonneville border-to-border from Vancouver to Tijuana and back, very cool!


Jon and Natalie from Seattle - she made those panniers herself from ammo cases!

Don recommended that we take Hwy 20 to get inland, as we were heading towards Yosemite Park. What a great scenic, twisty road! However, we hit Sacremento rush hour and we debated whether to take our wide-load motorcycles filtering through stopped traffic. It seemed a bit tight, so we stewed in jam for awhile... At least it was warm! From there, we took I5 to Stockton, and then the 4 to Copperopolis to Angels Camp, however by then, we were driving in pitch dark. It gets dark at 6:30PM! We rode the very twisty Hwy 120 and we knew we were missing out on amazing scenery as the road switched back on itself as we climbed higher and higher in the cool, inky darkness of the late autumn evening. Just outside of Yosemite, we stopped for the night at a neat campsite just outside of Groveland. It still dips below freezing overnight... we just can't escape the cold...


Lots of riders taking a weekend ride through Yosemite

This is our 2nd time through Yosemite, as mentioned earlier, we did our own whirlwind trip through the National Parks of SW US a few years ago. This time, we actually got off our bikes and hiked around a bit. It's interesting reading through our ride report from the first time around, and contrast that to what interests us now that we have more time on our hands. Can't believe we stayed at such expensive places as well!


Riding through the quaint town of Groveland in the morning


In Yosemite, we ride Highway 120 right through the Tioga Pass, the highest mountain pass in California.


Hiking around Olmstead Point on the Tioga Pass


Seeking shade at Olmstead Point - not sure why, it's pretty cold up here!

Olmstead Point is a popular visitor's stop on the Tioga Pass. It offers great views of Tenyana Canyon below as well as Half-Dome, a very famous Yosemite rock formation, in the distance.


Tenyana Canyon and Half-Dome


Half-Dome


Back on the road!

Everything we've been told about hot and sunny California has turned out to be a lie. It's cold here too. We've got to find someplace warmer!
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lightcycle screwed with this post 01-29-2013 at 09:27 AM
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:08 AM   #393
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Go south, young man, go south. The mountains will definitely be chilly. So will the Bay Area. Even San Diego doesn't seem that warm in November...the average high seems to run between 65 and 70 or so. But that sounds like it would an improvement for you! Best of luck chasing the sun! Thanks for this great RR!!
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:20 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
While we were there taking our tourist shots, we notice that another motorcycle couple had the same idea, and they were ADVers as well! Jon and Natalie were on a 2-week whirlwind trip riding their SV650 and Bonneville border-to-border from Vancouver to Tijuana and back, very cool!
It was very inspiring meeting you two at the tree, and Natalie and I talked afterward about how if you and Neda were a vision of our possible future if we kept taking lots of bike trips together, that seemed like a pretty good future to us. :)

If anyone wants proof that Gene got his BMW through the tree, here you go:

I heard rumors that they had to carve out some extra wood to clear those wide BMW cylinder heads...
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:04 PM   #395
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Muy buen fotos! Keep them coming.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:09 AM   #396
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you should try and hook up with joe and flor lloyd.
they're Canadians who live full time on their bikes and work for Touratech and BMW producing videos and photo. i think they're in baja now.
http://curbsyde.com/
http://www.facebook.com/CurbsydeProductionsInc

...once you hit mexico and points south, expect to travel at 1/2 the speed you currently move at.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:32 PM   #397
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I heard rumors that they had to carve out some extra wood to clear those wide BMW cylinder heads...
hehe, good thing, otherwise I'd have ended up jamming them through and come out the other side with a MotoGuzzi...

Quote:
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...once you hit mexico and points south, expect to travel at 1/2 the speed you currently move at.
Nothing could be slower than traveling through India...
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:33 PM   #398
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/42.html



We're sick of the cold. So we're headed to the hottest place on Earth, which is conveniently located around the corner from where we are. Our ride to Death Valley ironically passes through a couple of ski resort towns, notably Mammoth. We notice a lot of dirt bikes gathering around the town of Bishop, perhaps there's an enduro happening in the area? I envied all those light bikes with their knobby tires...


Endless desert road in Death Valley

As we descend into the valley, the temperature soars to a blistering 38°C! This is *exactly* what we were looking for and we set up camp at Stovepipe Wells for a couple of evenings, basking in the heat like lizards. Overnights only dipped to a sweltering 28°C, and it felt good not to be swaddled in winter gear and wrapped in mummy bags! Just down the road, we hiked around the Mesquite sand dunes, they are marvelous:


Mesquite Sand Dunes


Popular spot for visitors - had to hike a distance from the road to find untouched sand!

Footprints stay in the sand for quite some time until the next rainfall. I've heard that in some deserts that receive no precipitation, marks in the dunes stay etched in the sand forever. They say that you can still see the treads in the sands of the Sahara desert from when Rommel's Panzers roamed the dunes during WWII.


Lots of sand in Death Valley, but the dunes are areas between the mountains that trap the sand


Begrudgingly hiking the dunes - it was worth it!


Yoga half-moon pose - almost...


Riding around Death Valley

We rode over to Furnace Creek and spent a couple of days there - about 200 feet below sea level. Death Valley is so hot because of the natural basin created by the high valley walls that trap the heated desert air, allowing no outside circulation. You know it's pretty desolate when they charge you $6 a gallon for gas - that's more expensive than Prudhoe Bay in Alaska!!!


Scotty's Castle - fabulous building in the north end of the park built by a multi-millionaire in the 1930s


Ubehebe Crater - an inactive volcano



Cracked floor deep within the Ubehebe volcano


Our neighbours at Furnace Creek campsite - Simon is not a morning person

We met Christina and Simon from Bern, Switzerland at Furnace Creek. Although not on motorcycles, we found them to be kindred traveling spirits, they took a year off, selling all their possessions to travel around the world. Unfortunately for them, their trip is over in November, but we spent a night at the Furnace Creek bar, getting to know them and exchanging travel stories over beer. Awesome couple!


Aborted off-road mission, Neda is coming to help pick my bike up in deep gravel. Slightly sprained ankle for me :(

We left Death Valley feeling recharged, we wished we could have stayed longer in the desert, but we had an appointment to keep.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:47 PM   #399
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I am in .....
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:15 PM   #400
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In!

Deby and I are In - looking forward to following your journeys. We'll be in Mexico and points south in January.... maybe we'll see you? Glad you found Death Valley, one of my favorite places.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:47 PM   #401
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I quit (news) in 2008. Life certainly get far less complicated. Keep going, and keep reporting, that is enough news for me.
i watch the news, i just dont listen to it.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:29 PM   #402
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Hey Gene and Neda, Love the RR and pics so far! Stay safe!
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:11 PM   #403
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/42.html


Aborted off-road mission, Neda is coming to help pick my bike up in deep gravel. Slightly sprained ankle for me :(
I have so much fun reading your posts. Neda is turning into an GS-pick-up-expert. She looks very determined in this last pic. Girl power rescue squads, unite.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #404
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Doh! Death Valley! Of course! Best place to bask like a lizard! That last shot of Neda walking back to help pick up the bike is classic. Her body language....well....I can't read her, but if that was my g/f she'd be striding toward me thinking "so, he dropped it......AGAIN?" Opps, honey.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:21 AM   #405
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Subscribed! Now to go back and pick it up from Page 2.
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