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Old 02-14-2014, 07:39 AM   #16
AKMotorbiker OP
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Thursday Feb 13, 2014

Yesterday offered an opportunity to ride down to Coronado Island, across the bay from San Diego, for work. I had been there before, once for a friends wedding, and years ago for work. A ride down, day in the sun, and ride back were all great but, this gave me a chance to check out something I'd just passed by previously.

First off while waiting to begin work I spotted an unusual fellow on the beach.

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A shot of the bridge with downtown San Diego underneath.

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A US Navy ship named Bob Hope, I hope everyone remembers the namesake.

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Old 02-14-2014, 07:59 AM   #17
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After I finished working I stopped by the Hotel Del Coronado. This is the center piece of Coronado Island. This is my opinion and it's hard to argue.

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The sun was setting and I figured I would try some photos and see how they turned out. I parked and walked out in front of the hotel on the beach and around the sides to show the majority of the building.

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The Hotel Del Coronado

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The Hotel was built and completed in 1888 and was the largest resort hotel in the world at that time. It is the second largest wooden structure in the United States and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, and is a designated California Historical Landmark.

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I noticed something of a crowd around what could only be a sand castle and went to investigate. It was pretty impressive, either that or I'm easy to impress. If you look close you can see openings between the arches.

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The man in the white t-shirt "The Sand Castle Man" is the builder of this creation.

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Not to take away from the beauty of the Hotel but, as with all old things there is a ghost story to go with it. You can look it up if you like, I found it interesting. It involves a pretty mid-western girl, an unborn child, and a gambling man, with a dark stormy night thrown in to make it interesting!
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKMotorbiker View Post
Searching for Sanity is an ongoing effort to avoid, dodge, side step, and out maneuver real life in exchange for the next ride. In a world of commercial bombardment, politics, inefficiency, and bureaucratic spider webs it's important to separate yourself from all the BS and unwind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKMotorbiker View Post
One of my goals is to retrain myself to slow down, enjoy the journey, and relax. I want to strike a balance between enjoying my ride and stopping to enjoy the scenery. Basically to explore not travel. It won't happen overnight but I hope to make progress.
I just wanted to say your quoted words above reflect my very same mindset about life/riding/living in general as well. I made this switch in my life just a couple years ago and it's been very fulfilling. I enjoy my rides and life and time with my wife much more.

Life is not about the destination...its about the journey!
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:26 PM   #19
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G.R. It has already proven to be effective as after fourteen years from the first time I noticed the red roofs that I actually paused long enough to appreciate it. I don't have this problem on a trail, mountain, lake, or ocean just when I'm on the fringe between civilization (ie. riding, driving, working, living day to day) and something interesting that's been put in my path. The trick is to recognize and step into that world, if only briefly, to truly see what caught your attention and take it in.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:49 PM   #20
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Angeles Crest Scenic Byway

Saturday, 15 Feb 2014

I woke up later than planned after a 2am bedtime, post Valentines Day. That's right, I'm a party animal...on occasion. I'd planned to start around 6:30 - 7:00 but, what can you do. Instead, I left about 10:00am. I had to make it to the North side of Los Angeles before my ride actually started through the Angeles National Forest.

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A fellow rider, of a different style, warned me that it usually snows up there.

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Obviously it's not the winter wonderland that is the rest of the U.S. currently.

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This monument was placed at the foot of the National Forest sign. I can only speculate if this person loved visiting this place, donated the sign, was a benefactor, or some other affiliation. But, she loved him none the less.

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Old 02-16-2014, 05:18 PM   #21
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Bare with me for one post as I cover the droughts effects or skip to the next post.

Fortunately for me and the hundreds of other riders the cause of the drought has limited the amount of snow and rain, or any other form of precipitation for going on three years.

According to a report from California's Department of Water Resources the water content of the snowpack statewide was just 20 percent of average for early January. This ties January 2012 as the driest in historical records for this time of year. The state's mountain snowfall plays a big role in the water supply for California, particularly in the Sierra Nevada.

California's Sierra Nevada Conservancy says that 60 percent of the state's developed water supply originates from this high mountain range that runs north to south near the Nevada border. As of Jan. 8, snowpack in the Sierra was only 19 to 29 percent of average.

In early December, about 88 percent of the Sierra was covered by snow after a cold air mass brought snow to very low elevations. A month later on Jan. 9, a paltry 21.3 percent of the Sierra Nevada was covered by snow.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor released on Jan. 7, 28 percent of California was in extreme drought. California's Central Valley, where agriculture is a big industry, is the epicenter for this second worst of the four possible drought categories.

This is the highest percentage of extreme drought in California during the winter months from December through February dating back to 2000. In addition, only one other time since 2000 has extreme drought covered a higher percentage of the state. In late summer 2007, this figure reached as high as 35 percent.

Moderate to severe drought covers 88 percent of the state as of Jan. 7. Although this is a bit lower than the 94 percent reported during summer 2013, the current percentage remains higher than any other time from 2000 to 2012.

The Department of Water Resources says that at this time it estimates it will only be able to deliver five percent of the water requested by 29 public agencies for 2014. This water provides for more than 25 million Californians and almost a million acres of irrigated farmland. The initial allocation estimate ties 2010 as the lowest on record, however it's hoped that this figure will be increased if wetter conditions develop as the winter continues.

Apparently there is a high pressure system parked on the West coast and as we all know weather flows into low pressure areas. The highway information signs advise people to conserve water in between traffic updates.

All this makes riding dry paved roads at 8,000ft possible. However, the forest service roads are closed to prevent fires according to an employee in the forest when I asked him.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:32 PM   #22
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It was in the low 80s*F before heading up to altitude in the mountains. Once I got into the tree line and the pines saturated the air I had returned to my happy place!

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I was thinking that in California the tree line was inverse to Alaska. The trees started at a certain altitude, where as back home they stopped at a certain point.

I stopped for lunch with a few other riders. I looked around, checked the menu but, just ate what I brought with me.

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I talk with a few guys. One brought his buddy over to convince him to at least test drive the water boxer before buying a multi strada. They were fun to watch banter back and forth. One of them carried a golf club and after a few minutes of listening to them I figure I know why.

The other guy saw my ADV sticker and said "you're on A dee vee" as a statement. I said "ya, isn't everyone?" And he responded "no". O.K. then.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:53 PM   #23
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My bike is in here somewhere. Another gentleman rode up on his 2014 R1200GSW and parked right next to me. I told him he would have to move since his was red too. We looked like two girls wearing the same shirt. I talk with him for awhile then headed back to the road.

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I can't get enough of the trees and peaks.

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Here's an example of false advertising! I have no idea what the sticker on the sign are. For all I know they're gang stickers.

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Trying new perspectives...

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I always found trees sprouting up out of rock interesting, natural adversity.

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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:24 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKMotorbiker View Post
G.R. It has already proven to be effective as after fourteen years from the first time I noticed the red roofs that I actually paused long enough to appreciate it. I don't have this problem on a trail, mountain, lake, or ocean just when I'm on the fringe between civilization (ie. riding, driving, working, living day to day) and something interesting that's been put in my path. The trick is to recognize and step into that world, if only briefly, to truly see what caught your attention and take it in.
I read a book on "Mindfullness" and it helped me to realize / notice the little things in life and to live in the moment. All too often the human race (especially the fast paced western lifestyle) is in a hurry and life is a blur. Most people I know are crazy busy 24/7 and they "choose" to live this way, even though they don't think that they do. I'm busy as well, married, raising 4 kids, work fulltime...blah, blah, blah.

But me & my wife "choose" not to let life control us and one way to do that is to buy out time from our schedule/responsibilities on a regular basis for ourselves. We went on a 3hr hour relaxing afternoon motorcycle ride yesterday and sat in the sunshine by a lake for 30 min. in the mtns. Just soaking in the sounds of nature and feeling the heat on our skin. It was very refreshing.

Keep doing what your doing. It looks like your having a great time on 2 wheels!
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:04 PM   #25
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Hwy 2 was an amazing road! Turn after turn after turn!

I stopped more often for photos on this ride. I brought four cameras, a tripod, and an ipad. One of those cameras was my phone so, it doesn't really count. One was a helmet cam, an Olympus 10mp point and shoot that's done me good for six years, and a canon rebel t3 12.2 mp. My ipad I brought because of map data, that I didn't need. I also saw 30-40 bicyclist on the road riding both ways.

Here's a shot of the road with my bike for size reference. The orange posts, for those unfamiliar, are marking the sides of the road for snow plows. It is suppose to snow here.

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Facing South

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Someone decided to dump their crap just beneath where I took the last photo. Unbelievable! Fortunately, besides a few coffee cups, the forest was very clean.

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I love a good tunnel and this one happened to have a twin! Back to back with a burst of sunlight in between.

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Here you can see the different composition of the mountains. You have rock, then rocks ground down until they appear as sand from a distance and then areas of dirt. Pine trees jutting out contrasting with the bright color of the rocks.

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Old 02-18-2014, 07:28 AM   #26
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Here are some shots from the Western section, beginning as you come up from La Canada.

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Coming into the trees...

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I wasn't even cold enough to make man made snow for these places.

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But, dry hiking for these people.

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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:27 PM   #27
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You have to stay on your toes up here. I've seen a lot of slopes like this but, this is the first time I've seen so much debris in the road. This is just one picture. There was plenty to go around.

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I finally found some snow! I know most people right now are sick and tired of it. If I was home right now I would be begging for break up and dry roads. But, I'm not, I'm in California, and this is what I have.

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I pulled in to Grassy Hollow Visitor Center to look around.

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It was a nice quiet campground and picnic area with a relatively new visitor center.

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Established in 1996.

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Bob's Rock out in front.

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They had a very nice classroom inside and an outdoor classroom. The offer a wide range of classes in the summer. They also had a sign for full moon snowshoeing, if there was enough snow.

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They had this little guy wandering around in the lobby.

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And some maps of trails in the area.

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Old 02-19-2014, 09:08 PM   #28
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The road ahead...

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And the road behind. It seemed to curve and twist the entire length.

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This is the highest elevation posted on the road.

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I saw several signs for wildlife but, with the exception of the "bear" at the visitor center and some very quick squirrels I didn't see any. I miss seeing bears fishing next to you and popping out of bushes while hiking, moose walking across the road.

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I saw this structure at a forest office that didn't seem to be open. I found it interesting, medieval. On the other side of the road was a ski slope, bare and dry.

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Old 02-20-2014, 08:52 PM   #29
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A few more miles down the road I pulled into Wrightwood. I needed to find a restroom and this shop might be dual purpose.

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Here is an interesting read...

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And a book everyone could use. $30.00 for this gem.

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No restroom though. I'll try the convienence store.

Out of the mountains and into the hills.

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One last surprise before the interstate...
I crossed out of Angeles National Forest and into San Bernardino National Forest.

Mormon rocks. I didn't stop but, it has a short loop trail around these formations.

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Then back to the slab.

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These signs have been notifying everyone of severe drought conditions and to conserve water. Currently it's letting us know traffic is delayed due to an accident over 20 miles ahead.

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A few miles later...

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And a few more...

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If I hadn't missed my exit I would have finished up on a forest road and only caught 1/3 of this. That's it for this ride! Another 8 hrs and 250 miles of pure enjoyment!
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:02 AM   #30
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Awesome read AKM, thank you. I was in SD for business last year and did some rental car exploring on Coronado and the Gas Light District downtown, pretty cool. I also have relatives that I visit in LA but, I have to be honest, I can only surround myself with 45 million people for a few days, then it's time for me to go. You have great patience. I do like your
weather but, we have plenty of water. If you want I'll start saving some for you, you'll have to meet me halfway, Corning. I'll trade you water for olives. I enjoy reading your adventures while we are in hibernation, thanks again.
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