Recreating the famous Iwo Jima scene
The Garden is an inspiring, sobering, and contemplative place.
so, after filling up with expensive Cal gas I made my way to Crescent City where the Cache Rally was being held.
And it was still daylight when I arrived at the KOA in Crescent City I checked in and quickly unloaded at my cabin.
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)
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 desired....to 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..
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!
Among the activities we enjoyed were;
Visiting the Western Sky warbird museum at the St George airport
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!
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!
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
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 ago...now it's $100
Times have certainly changed!
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.)