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Old 04-22-2014, 11:44 AM   #46
nhbubba OP
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Canceled the AAA. I'm just AMA now. Maybe I'll pimp off a friend. I think you can order those ahead of time.

Navigation is GPS +/- maps printed ahead of time. My GPS is an old cheapie auto device. But I get by. Will throw some waypoints in ahead of time. Need to figure out power though. I know better than to rely on the phone. We have that problem here in the North East too.

Also need to decide if I need to pack electrics. I'm hoping no. I'd like to fly light on this one.

What's the tourist situation like that time of year? Are things busy up that way before Memorial Day? Can you roll into town and find a room and a meal announced?

This is my first trip of this scope. Been meaning to do this sort of thing for years. Never had that marbles to follow through. Should be fun.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:49 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
To tell you the truth, though, your original route was spectacular.
Yeah, but it was way too much to tackle from a rented bike in a fly in, fly out kind of deal like this.

I'll do a trip to the Phoenix are someday and make that happen separately.

..Or move.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:15 PM   #48
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What days are you traveling? Lake Isabella (the lake) is surrounded by little towns. One of them would likely have a room just driving in. Lake Isabella, Kernville and Wofford Heights all should have rooms of varying cost. I can't imagine them being booked solid, even on a weekend.

Oakhurst MIGHT get booked out but, I doubt it. That might not hurt to get a reservation if you're picky about rooms. The worst that could happen would be you either spend an extra $20 on a nicer room than you planned, or you head back down to Fresno (unlimited lodging options).

Mammoth Lakes or Bishop? Same thing. They have so many rooms that selling out is completely unlikely. The ONLY thing that could impact Bishop is they have the Mule Days rodeo and celebration on Memorial Day weekend. If you're traveling the actual week leading up to that weekend and some of them are arriving in town early, things MIGHT get sketchy.

Crowds? They're national parks but, they're far better than the California coast (which continually blows my mind). I rode to Sequoia NP and walked the loop trail around Crescent Meadow (major destination) on a Friday. I might have seen a dozen total people, in three small groups. I was alone enough to start watching for bears or cats.

Electrics? As in gear? Not on this trip unless there is some absolutely freak weather. The coast can get cold (fog). Inland, even at upper elevations should be getting pretty warm (80s-90s mid-day). Normal riding gear, a pair of warm gloves and a sweater or sweatshirt to layer underneath should be plenty. Even then, it's just for the mornings. Maybe (MAYBE) high 40s, low 50s at dawn in Lake Isabella? It warms up fast. Same for Oakhurst and Mammoth.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:24 PM   #49
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Sounds good.

Electrics as in gear. I'm still in New England early spring mode here. Also my weather research was from months ago when I was planning for first week of May. Silly question. Duly noted. No electrics.

Day 1 => Tuesday 5/20. Should be done in the parks and such Friday 5/23.
Saturday and Sunday I will visit with my friend in Oceanside. I fly home on Monday.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:47 PM   #50
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Ping the thread the day before you're leaving and we can go through the various weather stations, at different locations and elevations to figure out what to expect. We occasionally get some strangely cold weather, right before someone turns the summer heat on for good.

Glacier Point road is open as of April 14th. No word on Tioga yet. If you look at this link, you'll see it generally opens mid-May but, there have been exceptions. Mother Nature always gets the final word.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tiogaopen.htm
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:03 AM   #51
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I owe you a whole crate of beer at this point.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:18 AM   #52
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Nah, that's what we do here...wait...cases of beer are what we do here as well!

No big deal. If I were any kind of decent human being, I'd ride with you on day two to make sure you get to Oakhurst without getting lost in the Sierras.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:18 PM   #53
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I will be in the Yosemite area may 2nd - 3rd ish. If you see two bmw GS, a white and a red one, give us a wave. Coming from Tahoe to Yosemite then D valley to toroweep G Canyon up to Mexican Hat to Bryce/Zion.

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Old 05-05-2014, 11:44 AM   #54
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Road conditions are lookin' good methinks..

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:07 PM   #55
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Wow, Tioga is open already? The countdown begins...
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:56 AM   #56
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I now have a plan for most of my trip except Friday/Day 4. I have ALL DAY to get from Mammoth Lakes CA to Oceanside CA. Google says I can do it straight shot in 6 hours. What should I see and do on the way?

Go check out Death Valley?
I've never seen LA.
Maybe a mashup of Big Bear, San Jacinto, and Palomar? I think I like this best.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:05 AM   #57
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Google is being optimistic in this case. That's driivng time. You're on a bike. You'll want to stop for something to drink, add a meal, the bike only goes 150ish miles between tanks...you're going to take longer.

Check out Death Valley: this option is the most reliable, though it is the longest mileage-wise. The problem will be heat. It's a crap-shoot right now. I'd guess high-90s to low 100s when you get here. Last year, on the summer solstice (June 21st), it was only a tick over 100 in there. It's normally hotter than that. IMO, it's the most scenic and famous of the options. It's also going to have the least traffic, which means your travel speeds are going to be reliable--albeit longer.

Check out Los Angeles: traffic will be unbearable after about 3:00 PM. It will likely be hot and you'll be with the Friday commuters and people getting out of town, right at the time when you're trying to get to Oceanside. I can't think of a single thing to do in Los Angeles at that time of day, that would just involve riding past and snapping some pictures. I dunno. Maybe you have a burning desire to get a picture of yourself with the Hollywood sign in the background, or Griffith Park or something like that. If that's the case, don't let any of us talk you out of it. FWIW: I also cannot comprehend why people like NYC so damn much. Maybe that'll help you calibrate how my brain works and how my opinion might relate to yours.

Palomar, Big Bear, San Jac: great local roads. Lots of people live throughout those areas. Artificially low speed limits in many areas (50 MPH when the road is straight for miles). Commuters, delivery trucks, trash trucks, will all conspire to blow your average speeds through there. If you lived here, or were going to be here for a month, I'd say there are awesome roads to check out...go do it. If you specifically want to see the Palomar Observatory or something else particular like that, go for it (not sure if they're open during the week, though). Otherwise, Big Bear is just a man-made lake in the mountains, surrounded by a town on one side, and a short, picturesque ride along the other (north) side. Palomar is just some twisty roads and the possibility of law enforcement waiting to ticket you. In between will be frustrating miles of no-passing zones and slow moving clumps of cars.

It all depends how early you get up too. If you're one of those "out the door by 5:00 AM guys", you'll have plenty of time to do whatever you want. I wake up when the sun gets annoying.

If I wanted maximum bang for my miles, and the least traffic, I'd go for Death Valley. There's still enough to see just on the Badwater Road route (Jubilee Pass) to make that worth it.

And if you're just looking to squeeze every last bit out of the Death Valley option, you could also opt to go to Dante's View. This would add about two hours to your day. If you do this, you still need to go back down into the valley, past Badwater and out Jubilee Pass. No point in coming all that way and missing it (you'll be tempted to opt out to DV Junction and head home if you just look at the map).

Dante's View is impossible to capture in a picture. It's on one side of the valley, at 5,500 feet. The mountain falls away steeply at your feet, all the way to Badwater below (-282). The stark, white expanse of the salt beds of the valley dominate your periphery. Across the valley, you're looking at a 10K foot wall of mountains that rise up abruptly, including Telescope Peak, at over 11K feet. See link below. The only way to get a sense for this view is to make this picture as big as your screen, then put your nose up to it and look around. I didn't recommend it earlier because it sounded like you needed to get to Oceanside and it's just too much to do and still get there by 5:00-6:00 PM. If you're getting greedy and want to do all you can, this is your pot of gold. The view is looking west so light is everything. The earlier you get there, the better the light will be at your back, illuminating those mountains on the other side.

http://web.media.mit.edu/~geek/pan/d...ano_shrunk.jpg

Above all else, do what the heck you want to do. I ain't going to be heartbroken if you take none of this advice, ride through Los Angeles, get a trinket on Hollywood Blvd and eat at In-n-Out Burger.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:54 AM   #58
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I didn't have access to Google Maps earlier. I've now looked at your routes.

Highway 33 (along the LA route) is a nice road. Not worth traveling across the country to see but, it's a nice road. PCH below that will be steady moving until you get to Santa Monica. After that, the entire route will suck out loud. It will just grind on you. If you don't have a specific destination in mind that drives that route, don't do it. From Santa Monica to Oceanside on that route, would take you most of a day by itself. You'd be best off just getting on the 405 south and bailing to Oceanside after that. A day used up to briefly see the pacific ocean.

The Big Bear route completely misses the actual lake (which also isn't worthy of a cross-country trip). Those desert miles from Apple Valley and up 18 are also going to drag. Getting through Yucaipa will be slow going. After that, everything I posted earlier still holds. They have many small communities all along that route. It's sparsely populated but, those people are all out commuting, picking up kids, etc.

The Death Valley route captured Dante's View but, misses Badwater (-282 feet elevation), Artist's Drive, Harmony Borax Works, the park visitor center, Furnace Creek Ranch (food, gift store, another museum), etc. That's all south of 190, on Badwater road. This route:

http://goo.gl/maps/bpOyU
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:33 PM   #59
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I'm a get out of bed and get on the road early kind of guy. Although I just made a reservation for a swanky (swanky-er on my scale anyway) hotel in Mammoth that includes a hot breakfast. This will be the 'nice' stay of the trip. This means I am probably not going to be on the road out of Mammoth until at least 8-9 AM. So late..

A co-worker sold me on hitting up Death Valley at lunch. Your photo sealed the deal on hitting up Dante's View.

In and Out... forgot about that place. Ya'll have chick fil a out there? (We don't.) Should round out my healthy eating requirements for the week.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:53 PM   #60
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For Death Valley, everything will depend on weather. It CAN be hot enough to kill you (not a joke). Good news is it shouldn't be that hot for another month or two. I'd make sure I had a couple of bottles of water or Gatorade. Even if you just get a flat and have to wait by the bike for an hour or two, the heat and lack of humidity can do nasty things to you.

The only halfway accurate weather station for the valley floor is at Stovepipe Wells. Their forecasting is all screwed up so don't trust it. All you can count on is current conditions. They forecast snow a week ago. They're forecasting a high of 56 and partly cloudy today, even though current conditions are 86 and clear.

http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/...:92328.9.99999

The best you can do is look at the mid-afternoon temp the day before and figure that's what it will be the next day. All the other Death Valley weather predictions are from places not actually in the valley (worthless). The hottest time will be maybe 2-5 PM. Badwater road is at the bottom so, that's where it will be worst of all. Plan accordingly.
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