Sunday, July 31, 2022

Last trip for the triple Crown Part I

This year the Cache Rally is being held in Crescent City California. 
I still have some Triple Crown riding to do and as it happens some of it is in that same area. So is my good fortune to be able to go do the Cache Rally and then ride some more triple Crown check offs

Some fluffy clouds keep me company on the loneliest highway.

I overnight in Austin, Nv at the Cozy Mt Inn where....I meet Patrick from Sweden, a Geologist and a Professor (I can't remember the University name) who has come to the US looking for interesting specimens to take back to Sweden.

He showed us what he has gathered so far;

Also joining in was Drew and Christine from the Bay area who were traveling to Colorado thirsting for some outdoor adventures!
Good conversation at the Cozy Mt Inn!

I can't leave Austin without having breakfast at Grandmas....

Back on the road I came across this photo op...about 30 or 40 yards from the road, a local told me it had 'landed' there a few days ago. He also thought that everyone had walked away from the landing.

After Austin I stay in Reno...then motor over to Klamath Falls, Oregon to overnight.
This is the view out my back door at Klamath.

Leaving Klamath Falls I rode to the Lava Beds National Park, then hopped on the Volcanic Legacy Highway (US 97) to make my way to Yreka. 

Then as serendipity would have it I saw the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden, and was past it before I realized what it was about. There is only this sign to tell you it is there.
Hitting the brakes hard (I was on a fairly steep downhill by then) I turned around and rode back to pay the Garden a visit.
And was very happy that I did!
The Garden is quite large with numerous sculptures of several different wars. However, I think the majority of the sculptures were about the Vietnam war.

Depicting POW conditions

Carrying a litter

Recreating the famous Iwo Jima scene

The Garden is an inspiring, sobering, and contemplative place. 
I was thankful that I made the stop.

After the Garden visit I rode the remaining 30 miles to Yreka.

I then hopped on the excellent Ca3 from Yreka to Weaverville. When I stopped for gas in Weaverville I met this gentleman. At my prodding he told me about the vehicles he owns and how long he has owned each one. I think the average time for the various Jeeps, and pickups was over 35 years!
He seemed like an awesome guy, and invited me to eat at his bar less than a mile away - sadly I was racing the remaining daylight to get to Crescent City before dark and didn't feel like I could make the stop.
I'm still regretting the decision to go on.....

so, after filling up with expensive Cal gas I made my way to Crescent City where the Cache Rally was being held.

More in Part II


Saturday, July 30, 2022

Last trip for the Triple Crown Part II

And it was still daylight when I arrived at the KOA in Crescent City I checked in and quickly unloaded at my cabin.

And of course the ubiquitous and incredibly fetching banana slug.....

I soon saw old friends and met new ones.  

  l to r - Chad, Jim, Len (above)
l to r - Yours Truly (Ken), Don, Jim, Chad (below) 
Thanks Len for the picture

Chad had purchased some firewood so we could sit around a campfire and BS the night away. A perfect way to end a long day in the saddle.

Thems was good times!

At some point someone left a beautiful sculpture of rocks on Chad's porch. The talent at these events is simply amazing!

(Thanks Chad for the picture)

There were a few folks that I didn't get to meet...... (haha)
(thanks Len for the picture)

MotoBill has a new bike since the last time I saw him... He tells me that when someone purchases a new KTM the dealers give them a free dog... 

"Why?" I ask

'So the new owner won't have to walk home alone' sez Bill


Bill's KTM and KaTooom the wonder dog.

(haha just kidding about KaTooom..)

Amid loads of laughter and BSing the time sped past quickly. Then at some point during the rally I realized my planning was faulty. If I was to make my next reservations I would need to leave the Rally a day early.

Sooo that's what I did, departing the KOA to ride the gorgeous Gazelle-Callahan road. Then I grab a hotel, and the next day I make it to my reservation in Windsor, Cal a few hours before dark... whew! I'm back on schedule.

(and yes I agree. Schedules and reservations aren't the best way to travel on a motorcycle - But...I found it necessary to have a plan when doing something like the Triple Crown)

From Windsor I'm able to check off the remaining Missions (5) from the list. At one of those Missions, Santa Clara, I met this Father and Son duo.

John, and the Father of John (the dad's name was beyond my grasp)

The Father of John shared some great information about the missions and other things. I REALLY enjoyed talking to these two gentlemen!

The Father of John also offered to give me a blessing before we departed, of course I accepted his offer. The blessing was very nice and I felt at Peace for the rest of the day.

I then was able to check off Pinnacles NP and the Ca198 road from San Lucas to Coalinga

Departing Windsor I point the bike toward Solvang, Cal. 

It is on the way to Solvang that I completed the last check mark for the Triple Crown!!  Woohoo I'm done!


The view out of my Solvang lodging leaves a little to be be fair, I'm sure it would be a LOT greener if not for this historic  drought that is happening.

Green or not, my stay at Solvang was very relaxing!

Then I ride to Big Bear Lake for one night....which now should be called the 'big bear muddle puddle' because it is so low.

Leaving Big Bear I stop at Cafe 247 an irreverent and totally enjoyable place to eat. Its at the intersection of Ca18 and Ca247 near Lucerne. 

I got the breakfast burrito and couldn't quite finish it....  

I Highly recommend Cafe 247!

No pix from me the rest of the way as now the horse is headed for the barn.

 From Big Bear I ride across Death Valley NP in 122 degrees and arrive,  feeling very much melted, at Pahrump. An hour or so after getting into my room at Pahrump, the Heavens opened and POUNDED  the dusty ground with huge drops of rain. Soon after  those huge drops of rain gathered and started flooding stores and homes in Pahrump, as well as Vegas and other surrounding towns.

(Thanks Len for the picture)

From Pahrump I had planned to ride home via Las Vegas, but the news reported so much flooding in Sin City I decided to take the longer way home via Tonopah.  

And so it was that after 17 days, and a trip total of 4,345 miles,  I had a 576 mile ride to get home from Pahrump...  

I arrived at home eleven hours after leaving Pahrump - hungry, thirsty and ohhhhhhhhhh soooooooooo lonely! ;)

Life is indeed, very very good.. 

Friday, July 8, 2022

St George then California Triple Crown check-offs Part 1

Our annual family vacation happens this month in southern Utah.

On the way down, I stop in Eureka, Utah and while finishing a drink Mark rode up on his Ural and after we introduced ourselves we visited for quite some time. 

That Ural is one cool machine!

A few hours later I arrived at St George, where there were a few family members already having fun, and more were scheduled to arrive that night.

Among the activities we enjoyed were;

Visiting the Western Sky warbird museum at the St George airport

Luke's knowledge of WWII is amazing!

Kimber, Luke and yours truly

Bev and the tour guide, who is also the author of "The Pilot and his Egyptian Princess"  which is about her fathers experiences as a WWII pilot and finding his Egyptian Princess.  We purchased the book and it is a great read.

A lot of board games were played and also some rousing games of pinochle.. I was dealt and passed (by partner Theron) this hand in the second game.
That hand is a "1500 family" and wins the game.

Bev and I made the "relaxing" drive (in our 4runner) up to Toquerville falls. The 4runner performed admirably! Bev only left a few fingernail prints in the dash....  haha!

Then in what seemed like only a few days (because it was) vacation time was over and we all had to split up and attend to our various obligations. 

My obligation was to ride over to California to mark off some more of my SCMA* Triple Crown items. Its a tough life....
*(Southern California Motorcycle Association)

And so on Sunday l leave St George, Utah and motor over to Tonopah, Nevada. On the way there, I ride the Extraterrestrial Highway

 and pass the world famous.....BLACK MAILBOX..... where you can post letters to the aliens...

and also pass Rachel, Nevada home of the Little ALEinn... and a actual genuine replica of a UFO!

Finally arriving at Tonopah and.....noooo....I didn't stay at the Clown Motel. But I did get a picture.  :)

I stayed in Tonopah for two days to check off;

Manzanar National Historic Site, a WWII Japanese internment camp 

Leaving the Tonopah Motel I rode to the Devils Postpile National Monument

When I arrived I found out that the last couple miles needed to be done in a shuttle bus. Which I boarded on the other side of the street of the Mammoth Lounge.

 In the AM I'm out to check off the Ca120, I leave the Mammoth Inn and ride to Benton, California and enjoyed a nice breakfast at the Benton cafe. Then rode the CA120 to Yosemite NP entrance....only to see the "reservations only" sign... I was turned away at the gate. I'm still getting used to the parks requiring reservations.. 

So I did half the ride....which is the same as not doing any of it, I'll have to start over so that road is still on my list.

Back at the Yosemite gate... after I turned around I rode down hill to a rest area and there met riders; Dennis, Chad and Duke on a couple of GS's and an ST 1100 (if I remember right) I was so irritated about not getting into the park that I didn't think to get a pic, but with their California knowledge and advice, I was able to do a quick re-plan

So forgetting about Yosemite for the moment, the new plan called for a ride south on the 395 and get a room in Tehachapi. 

A motel like this one was around $50 two years it's $100

Times have certainly changed!

St George, Triple Crown part 2

 Part 2 of the family vacation and Triple Crown check offs;

At dawns early light....about 8:30 or so I got started. The Cesar Chavez monument doesn't open until 10 so there was no use in starting earlier. I rode the 11 miles nearly to the monument, but stopped short at the Keene Cafe for a super delicious breakfast and a receipt to prove I was there.

After my leisurely breakfast I still arrived early at the monument, but soon enough a nice lady arrived and let me use the passport stamp even though they were not open yet.

I then rode the Woodford-Tehachapi road along the river, to the end where a shell gas station was at. Then used the Keene receipt again for the start of the Caliente Bodfish Road to Lake Isabella road...getting two roads and one park before the morning was over. Nice!

The next road (the next day) was the 190 from Porterville to Kernville

While on the 190 I met this guy, Larry.

In our conversation I learned that Larry doesn't just wish things were better, he works to make society a better place by helping people - who maybe have taken a wrong turn or two - get a skill and then use that skill to gain their footing and be more independent.

Well done Larry! It was a pleasure to meet you.

Then a few miles later stopped here for an excellent lunch!

Then I'm on my way to Sequoia National Park for stamp and pix. Leaving Sequoia I went around the corner to ride one of my all time favorite roads "The Generals Highway" to Kings Canyon National Park and repeated the process.

Then its time to ride to Angels Camp, California where I'll meet up with Beverly and stay for a week. I arrive late as I hadn't planned for the slow (curvy) roads to get there....but it was a super ride!

Tuesday I check off the Ca108 from Sonora to the 395. And then CA 4 back to the condo. A 200ish mile day on numerous curves and switchback...9 hours of awesome riding!

Then we relax, do some site-seeing, relax some more and enjoy the time together.

All to soon it is time for the ride home....the WINDY ride home. It was a long day, but well worth the ohhhhhh soooooooo difficult rides to and from California!

Thanks for reading! 

(Stay toont, I'll be heading back to northern California to check off more parks and roads in about a week.)