|02-21-2013, 01:31 PM||#16|
Made For Adventure
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Way cool Joe & Flora!
Touratech USA - Made For Adventure
|02-21-2013, 07:06 PM||#17|
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Gold Coast of California
Us SoCal boys had a grand time as well. Thanks to all for the warm welcome and looking forward to next year. Which is when....?
2011 KTM Adventure 990
2009 Harley Road Glide
|02-22-2013, 05:52 PM||#18|
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: In transit
Somewhere up in the Sierra Nevadas......
Seeing as the place was running amuck with all the usual suspects, we hook up with Neil and Kevin from OWD.net and take our Canadian kin for a leisurely jaunt into the Sierras for a few days.
We find a rough and tumble trail to the North East of the Lake and enjoy the empty roads this area has to offer.
Random barn bits
Nothing but open road!
There is literally NOTHING out here. We were the only people on the road 99.99% of the time
These cones are in the way
Of course we can always find ways of getting in trouble... Who says this isn’t safe?
The sign was on the OTHER side... Had to cross to see it!
After passing absolutely nothing for a few hours we come across a camp store which we’re able to buy the basics of chocolate bars, chips and beer. Luckily we have our stash of Tasty Bite (probably the best camping food one can find) and nom on that for the night at our high alpine tent resort, complete with bear boxes.
The usual suspects
We’re getting good at pillaging other camp sites for wood... Always check empty sites before you go buy wood... People usually leave a log or two in their fire pit
We finish up the ride around Bowman Lake, this trail is really cut up, but a lot of fun. Up by the Lake it is so pretty, not a soul in sight.
Whitney enjoying the road and the view
Enjoying the road along the edge of the lake
Nothing and no-one for miles
Aqueduct as we exit the forestry roads
We finish up the ride by swinging down to Nevada City for some Wifi reception where Whitney, Neil and Kevin promptly get a parking ticket for not feeding 25cents into the meter... Neil, you’re never allowed back in Nevada City! (Tickets were $35 a piece) and then we consult a map to find a place for the night. Whitney headed home, north parking ticket in hand :)
We decide to head north to the Plumas NF and find a camp spot somewhere in the mountains. Not a lot of great spots this time of year, the weather is really dry and dusty, but we do manage to find a nice spot along what I seem to remember as the Indian River where we promptly took a bath in the cold rushing water.
Rough day for Joe.. he's into the Bourbon and Coke
Set up time: 2:00 Min or less
Time for a bath
Setup time..... It’s getting dark boys.... 20... 30.. Minutes.... This is why you should always buy a freestanding tent.
It was here we said goodbye to our fellow travelers and as they headed North, we in turn, head south again to Tahoe to get some more of our shot-list out of the way.
|02-22-2013, 07:07 PM||#20|
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Ventura, California / Bucharest, Romania
i met the OWD guys in my town once, was pretty awesome just randomly running into them
|02-23-2013, 06:57 PM||#21|
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: In transit
Finally heading south.. mostly Stanislaus NF
We work are way around the Lake. So much to see, so little time! Then, stop by Stateline again to get some laundry done, and walk around downtown to find this happening:
Not my style but cool
Got to have the old pickup with the bike in the back
Oooh very nice, I’ll take one of these please!
That is shiny!
A nice turn out!
After a couple of days bouncing around the lakeshore we headed down to the desert floor and followed 395 around to 89 to climb back over the mountains to 4. We had heard this is a beautiful route full of twisties and scenery so we decided it must be done.
We reach the top of the 89 pass, beautiful up here, you can see all of Nevada! J/K
I must have been here a while taking video
Wow this is a super twisty road, this was somewhere near the summit I believe...
So pretty up at the top!
Love the little cabins off in the distance
Here's a little zoom in of those cute houses
Lake is quite low.. Steep banks too!
After a few failed attempts at finding a good place for lunch, we finally had a bite to eat (I think) It was Camp Connell before we headed up into the Stanislaus National Forest for the night.
BTW this cafe is really confusing.. the cafe is at the BACK of the Camp store.... of course we were probably tired and couldn't figure it out :)
We found a great spot in an almost empty campground along a river that use to be part of a Indian Tribes usual stops. You could almost imagine them sitting down by the river enjoying the sunset like we did.
The trees here are huge Ponderosa Pines (correct me if I’m wrong) but I’ve never seen ones this size!
Camp for the night, found some more camp wood at other sites too!
Critters critters all around.... Just don’t come in my tent!
After a blissful sleep, we headed up into the Stanislaus NF. The area was amazingly baron, not a soul in slight, all day. The scenery was spectacular once we got up on the ridgeline, and it was cool to see all the old signs and very little sign of civilization.
Joe full of energy zooms ahead to check out a road
Nice gravel roads
Not far to 108, maybe....
We were extremely lucky not to have any fires up in this area. It would be such a shame to loose all this....
Lots of nice shady trees
Riding down Hell’s Half Acre Road
Couple of good hairpins!
Just ahead you can make out a Momma bear and her cubs.... This is as close as we got to them... They were outta there! Glad we didn’t see them last night at the campsite!
We make it down to Beardsley Lake/Reservoir
Water looks nice don’t it!
Almost there.. Apparently! 3600 feet!
We ended up in Sonora, for some wifi and coffee, then headed towards Yosemite where we took some backroads and found some amazing single lane roads, I think it was called Wards Ferry Road, it is VERY narrow in places.. The sun was setting and it was very very awesome!
Wards Ferry road towards Graffiti bridge
The evening was warm, but it was nice to see the sunlight through the valley
Artwork on bridge
We found our way to HWY 120 and into one of the first campgrounds in the park... There were so many people here, most of them had obviously NEVER camped before.. It was a little disappointing, for the last few days not having to share we were a little spoiled!
|02-25-2013, 10:19 AM||#23|
Norcal Moto Nut
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Modesto CA
I am so lucky to have this area in my back yard! Thanks for taking some pics and igniting the stoke! I can't wait for Winter snow to melt!
|02-25-2013, 03:22 PM||#24|
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: In transit
Visiting the Woods
We wake up EARLY to people being annoying loud in the campground despite our attempts to block the sounds we decided to get up and get on the road. Having never been to Yosemite we weren't sure what we were in for. We make it into the park, and fuel up at the 120 junction, the gas station is an absolute mess and the bank machine isn’t working, so we can’t get any cash for the road. Guhh.. The renovations are confusing for everyone and there is a heard of cars, vans motorcycles and campers all trying to fuel up before they get to the park. Finally we’re able to escape and descend into Yosemite Valley. The road was busy, jam-packed, campers creaking along swaying around the corners while sports cars viciously swerved around trying to pass any and all things in site. We decided to hang back, I didn’t feel like having a head-on today. But our decision was already made by the time we made it down to the village, we were going to continue south, there was not point stopping here.
Half the accommodation was closed, and we found out later that there was serious rodent “plague” happening. Yes, mounds a rat turds in some of the cabins were causing people to get sick, go figure, and they had to shut them down. So don’t be touching any Yosemite rodents, even if they look cute, they are probably Harbingers of Death.... So, it was probably a good thing we kept on going. To me, I love to support National Parks, but they are so bloody busy and EVERYONE is ogling at the scenery the generally don’t pay attention to the roads, we had to get out of there. We decided to take 140 out of the park, the road followed the fast flowing river, it was a breath of fresh air as we twisted the throttle passing campers and cars with the gentle twists of the road.
We found our way out of the park and into the small town of Mariposa, cute, we had a late lunch at a small cafe in town. Wifi and sandwiches sound good to me. We take a moment to figure out our next move, do we continue south or head out to the coast? We decide that maybe we’ll head south a little more, and maybe we can find some interesting roads that we can keep to ourselves. It’s getting late in the day and its HOT so we decided maybe one night in a hotel wouldn’t kill us, so we headed to Oakhurst which seemed like a good jumping off point for some good riding.
Once we arrived, we got a message from a local ADVr Michael G. (wrk2surf) Who was excited to show us around his area. Though, we told him we’re on our big piggy bikes, he was still happy to lead up front with his KTM 625 Adventure.
He took us on some awesome back roads and we ended up along the Ten-mile Grade Road before we ascended to one of the fire lookout towers. It kind of felt like something out of a Lord of the Rings novel, way up there in the mountains, seeing the tower to the south and north and the valley to the west and mountains to the east.
The fire spotter up there was a veteran, though this was not his usual tower ... He started telling us wild stories of scaring off crack heads that come up there to get high... We couldn’t figure out WHY you would take your truck on these roads unless you had to, it would be very slow going. He said it took him an hour just to get to town. I think the isolation was starting to set in, he was on a crusade, red ants had taken over his balcony, and spiders were building webs at warp speed underneath the awnings, he was on a mission to sabotage their efforts. Joe and I exchanged glances, and sat quietly eating our snack, it was nice to just enjoy the view.
(unfortunately I can’t find the photos we took up here! Ack!)
We then headed down Wawona Road towards the park and ended up on the back way in to Beasore Road. Not before Michael took us on a lovely ATV trail with GIANT baby heads. Joe made it up no problem, but I let off my forward speed and ended up stopping 3/4 the way up. I think Michael felt bad for taking us this route and offered to take my bike all the way up, I said it was fine, I was use to this, and he might not be use to the weight of my bike.
He insisted, and took the G650 under his tutelage. It was like watching slow motion, as he gained speed, he washed out the front end, it danced left, right, left and right again and like a cartoon character landed with a poof of dust in-between some fairly large rocks. I was laughing so hard I almost dropped his bike. He ran back down, apologies and cursing. “how do you ride that thing?” he asked
“Well, for starters you have to stand up on those things, you can’t go up that kind of terrain sitting down fully loaded” He just looked at the bike and shook his head.
‘Man, I’m really sorry I took you this way” he said over and over.
“No problems! You’re not hurt, the bike looks OK, it’s not a big deal”
We got my bike up to the top, and had a chuckle with Joe about what had transpired, and with our stomachs growling, we headed towards Beasore Road to find a mystical cabin in the woods that would have food. Finally, after criss crossing around on forestry roads for a while we find the pavement, and turn left into a cluster of building just off the road.
This cabin in the woods has been here for a long time, and the owners, still use and old fashioned cash register, and of course, only take cash. We order off their short menu, and sit outside in random lawn furniture to await our meal. Of course, anything would taste good after the the ride we did this morning!
Michael invites us back to his place to rest up, and with some daylight left in the day we’re not sure which direction we’re going to go.. But finally decide that we should make way to the coast for our service and meet up with Ryan from Zero Motorcycles in a few days.
|02-26-2013, 06:36 PM||#25|
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: In transit
Electric motors and phonecalls
Getting on the road early we leave Los Banos, and head south west past the San Luis Reservoir along the busy Hwy 152. Semi Trucks and commuting traffic jockey for position as we head towards Hollister. We immediately try to get off the main road and make our way down to King City.
We round a corner and see a throng of huge lenses focusing on some large water containers on the side of the road. From the corner of my eye I see some HUGE birds waddling around the water tanks, and perched on top of them. Un-familiar to these birds, we snap off a few photos. These wouldn’t win the pretty bird contest, but they had a huge wing span when they stretch out!
Condors on water tank
On the perch
It wasn’t until a day later when we met a fellow photographer who started flipping out when I showed him the photos. He wanted to know the exact location of these birds so he could go back and get some shots of them as well.
South of King City we end up on a decommissioned military base. It seemed odd to drive through the gates and work our way down little narrow roads. We cross over a bridge and then see a cool water level bridge so we loop around to drive on it. As we come back around a couple in a very military style jeep ask us what we’re doing, they are obviously out target shooting. We say we’re just looking around, and headed towards the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.
Now early afternoon, the heat is getting unbearable. Breathing in is like sucking air from a hairdryer. The ground parched and we were originally going to camp somewhere on these slopes but decide against it and head towards the cool breezes of the Pacific Ocean.
Heading down Nacimiento-Fergusson Road towards the Cabrillo Hwy
If you don’t obey the signs, the spiders will get you!
Lunch somewhere along the Cabrillo Coast
Not having a detailed map of the area, and most of the campgrounds already full, we found a sign showing the camping, so we thought we better get on it, and find something before night fell.
We ride up the coast and find a road up Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Narrow and twisty with huge trees on either side, and little cottages that line the narrow crevasse that tumbled down the hillside. Hundreds of homes were crammed into this space, and a single lane road make it a bit nerve wracking. There better be camp at the end of this I echoed into Joe’s helmet. He agreed. Finally, we make it to the end of the winding road, and to our surprise, the road ends with a few camp spots overlooking a huge drop off. We’ll take it, $12.00 a night, didn’t matter. We paid the caretaker who had an old camper parked in his own private lot, there wasn’t much there, a toilet, that smelt terrible, but I guess it’s better to have a place to go, than no place to go!
View for the night
Someone left us a clock, just incase we lost track of time.
We set up camp in a dusty flat spot, and made friends with the neighbors to trade bourbon for camp fire. They were a couple of photographers heading up to the Redwoods for a few days, we gave them a few pointers of where to go. We made a good dent in Joe’s bottle of Woodfords, and they were happy for the company. About 10 pm, the wind started to pick up, and we headed in for the night, there wasn’t much shelter, and the strong ocean winds rocketed over the cliff.
The wind howled all night, not leaving us with much sleep, but alas, another day shone through the green tent walls and we embarked on our final destination of Santa Cruz. The coast is chilly this morning, and my fully perforated jacket that is quiet comfortable yesterday was chilling me to the bone today. The wind was relentless, and my fingers were numb.
We make headway and find ourselves just outside Carmel before we decide to stop for some breakfast. Having never stopped here before, we just took a guess on a cafe, found parking and ordered some late breakfast and hot drinks.
Stopping in Carmel for some Tea.. Yum!
We have some time to spare, so we try to find a good camping spot for the night, scouring the maps we’re not having much luck. We check out a few sights along Monterey Bay, but they’re all full, and the only ones empty are absolute terrible. I hate that moment, where it seems that paying $25 for a piece of dry grass is a total rip off, but you’re anxious because if you don’t get that dry grass you might be left with nothing. We look harder at the maps. It looked like there was a camp just outside of Scotts Valley, that would be perfect. Should we phone ahead? We don’t care, we just go and hope there is room. We don’t care so much if we’re along the beach, it’s not like you can swim with the wind anyways.
Hwy 1 in the area can be a bit treacherous, signage comes up quickly, and you have to get OVER NOW, as the GPS queues up orders, we make it out to Scotts valley, and are pleasantly surprised at a well maintained, well canopied friendly camp that was a little more than we wanted to spend, but there were plenty of spots to choose from. We drove around looking for that perfect spot, but in the end, we just found something that was away from other people, easy to pull the bikes in and not on the main road, but not too far to get out.
We then head into Scotts Valley to look for a replacement parts, get some food for dinner and of course stop at a coffee shop for some wifi and lunch.
I need to find a case for my tripod, one downfall about strapping stuff to your bike is sometimes loosing said stuff. Looks like I lost a tensioner piece off my tripod. We went into the local ACE hardware store and for $1.49 I got a fix for the tripod. Still works!
In the morning we head off to San Jose for the day to get service done on our bike. Not being familiar with this service center, we were not impressed with the hourly rate... Wow.
We get back to Scott’s Valley, and plan to meet up with Ryan for a ride. He takes us out on some of last year’s demo bikes. Of course, he’s riding the new 2013 Zero (the green one) and doing some testing on it. That thing could fly!
We went to Ryan’s for dinner and had a lovely meal with his family. I know Ryan from way back in highschool when we were all just kids, now he has designed one of the most efficient electric motors for the ZERO motorcycles since their inception. It was cool to see his hard work paying off.
The next day we got the call from Paul at TT
“Can you come up to Seattle?”
“Um......... OK we’ll be there in 3 days, Monday, how does that work?”
“Sounds good, we’re shooting the new F800GS”
After we set up our details for the shoot, we hurried to get laundry, and the bikes organized for the trip up. We head out early the next day, fog overwhelming Santa Cruz. As we head north, the ocean fog parts and we make it to the outskirts of San Jose along Hwy 280. San Francisco traffic begins to build as does the heat as we work our way through the city on to the SF bridge. Breathing a sign of relief as we shoot through the 101 north through San Rafael, Petaluma and beyond.
Just as we reach Santa Rosa Joe cuts off the intercom for a phone call
It's Sal Fish.
“Can you be down in Ensenada for Saturday?”
“Well, we’ll be up in Seattle for a few days, but we should be able to leave on Wed to make it there on Saturday.”
“That’s great, it’s all on, we’re doing a full pre-run media tour”
Joe cracks back on the intercom and we try to find somewhere to pull over to figure out our plans. We had a few days to make it up, we could still take some interesting ways up and make it to Ellensburg, WA by Sunday night. So, with a rough plan for the evening, we continue up Hwy 101.
|02-26-2013, 06:49 PM||#26|
Joined: May 2002
Location: Colorado - Fort Collins
You 2 sure have alot of action going on up and down the coast.
I'd say that campsite for only $12 along Big Sur is a steal for that coastal area & yeah that south bay area (San Jose etc.) has some of the wealthiest people in the country. That whole are is ground zero for tech (Apple, Google, Facebook, HP and so on) and so much more, that i'd venture to say has some of the highest shop rates in the country. As you know it's also an incredible area for motorcycle roads too and the weather is great.
|02-27-2013, 12:13 PM||#27|
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: In transit
|03-02-2013, 02:02 PM||#28|
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: In transit
State of Change
Hwy 101 is a much reprieved course compared to I5. The curves, the elevation changes, and if you time it right, you can miss a lot of traffic. We seemed fortunate this time around and continued north without much trouble. We knew we had to cut across somewhere, and decided to take Hwy 199 towards Grants Pass. This is one of my favorite highways in NorCal/ Oregon and the time of day was magic as the sun lit up the valleys and gorges lighting the tips of the river current as they hurried along hundreds of feet below us.
We needed to find camp soon, so we pulled into Cave Junction to get a map of the camps in the area, but the office was already closed. So I took a photo of the sign out front, and we gassed up, grabbed some food for the night and decided that west was going to be our preferred direction for camp tonight. We settled on a route along the Rouge River, the road was lovely as it followed the tightly wound corners of the river. We come across the camps, not ideal, walk down sites where you have to park your bike along the road... Ugg, keep going, another walk down site.. The sun starts to descend into the hills beyond, we keep going, it looks like there is one more option according to the map. 3 times a charm, we head down to the camp, there are only a few spots, and one very rowdy family occupying a very awkward spot. We decide on our spot, but as we start to set up, we get a good whiff of the long drop and decide to move down wind, to a much larger spot. The spot was great, but there was broken glass, and we were in direct noise carrying radius of the family of car campers. Ugg, another night of not sleeping. We set up camp, eat and head off to bed, ear plugs in place. Though it didn’t drown out the heaving in the middle of the night from all the happy juice from across the parking lot. Call me crazy, but I don’t understand this type of camping, go out into the middle of no-where, act like a total jackass, get totally shit faced drunk in front of your kids, throw-up all you inhaled last night, then wake up at 5:30 in the morning and recount your actions to everyone in camp, with boisterous laughter for about the next hour. 7:00 AM, we were out of there, I think that was the fastest time to pack-up we’ve ever had!
Back on the road headed north we go, and of course, make sure we stop at our usual stop in Grants Pass, Circle J Cafe.. But it was closed, and we were forced to have breakfast at a place down the road that only served pancakes. Welcome to Oregon.
We get a few txt filtering in from the KTM rally happening in Bend, my brother in-law Michael says we can crash at his hotel room if we need a place to stay for the night. Free place to stay, though on the floor sounds fine to me! We route our way to Bend, which means headed towards Medford before branching off on 234 to 62 then just north of Crater Lake on 230. The weather is pleasant and the road not too busy with tourist traffic and we make good time to Bend. We scope out a Starbucks and get some wifi time in before hitting up the hotel for some laundry and a shower. After a quick clean up, we are lucky to find some food not far away. It’s the first time we’re able to get a bit of work done as we camp out at the Starbucks for a few hours and plug away at some emails and editing.
We meet up with Mike that night, after he had a long day of riding. Tomorrow we only had a run to Ellensburg, so it shouldn’t take us all day, we have time for a quick breakfast before departure.
Post KTM Rally, I don’t understand, but who am I to Judge
If you haven’t stopped here yet, make sure you do! The giant crack in the ground on 97 North of Bend
Will give you a bit of vertigo...
Heading north to Ellensburg, not much excitement, we’ve ridden this area quite a few times over the years. We spent a good day filming Paul riding the new 2013 F800GS, weather was awesome!
2013 F800GS Touratech Video: Shot on sections of the WABDR, Ellensburg and some picturesque mountain areas, also in the TT shop in Seattle!
While we were there, we picked up some new TT gear, of course, and Joe got on installing some new Aux lights on his bike, we would be needing these for sure in Baja. Black cows = black night. Luckily Whitney K. was kind enough to loan us his garage space for the afternoon, and make a mess, as usual... Whitney what would we do without you? Tomorrow we depart south again......
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