GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Day 7
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Distance: 555.0 miles
Duration: 9 hours, 32 minutes, and 23 seconds
Average Speed: 58.2 mph
Minimum Elevation: 328 feet
Maximum Elevation: 8843 feet

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This day was all about making miles and getting to my destination. I didn't even drag the good camera out one time. My primary mission today is to get a shower, because it's getting bad. Of course, as things go, it'll get worse before it gets better.

Second mission is to fix my bike. The head issue is pretty bad, especially under hard braking or rough roads. Thankfully, which we usually don't say on this kind of trip, today will be a lot of flat smooth slab.

I'd given thought the previous night about going to shoot the canyon at sunset, but after a party sunny afternoon, we had dark clouds move in threatening with thunder. They were so dark that I didn't even see the sun set at all. I'd also given thought to getting up early in the morning and giving sunrise another shot but the sky was still socked in with solid dark clouds worse than the previous morning. Thus I set myself to packing up camp and getting moving.

Headed out of Grand Canyon I met with some heavy early morning traffic.

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These guys were determined to eat grass and annoy me. They'd stand right in the road, and when I'd move forward the ones in the road would get startled and run to the left side of the road. That's good, except the ones on the right side of the road would also get startled and run onto the road. Eventually I worked my way into the group on a moment with the road clear and once I had my opportunity I punched it away from them.

Coming norht out of the Grand Canyon I still got some good views and nice motorcycling roads, all while the clouds started to clear to the north. I could still see solid clouds behind me though.

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Somewhere I missed coming back into Utah. Not sure if this was Arizona or Utah but I got my first glimpse of fires with this small one up on the mountain.

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This whole area was not quite done impressing me with it's desert beauty.

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Out this way there's different laws around semi trucks. Lots of crazy rolling road block trains along the highways.

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They still have longer trains actually on rails too out here.

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And now it's kind of a new state day. I've flown into Las Vegas many times but does that really count? I haven't even driven in this state, just rode around in taxis and stuff. Either way, I've never ridden to here, or ridden a motorcycle here so I consider it a new state day and can now color this one in on my map.

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And then it's "Viva Las Vegas" time. I'm just rolling through here, but this is the first big city I've gone through since leaving Dallas, so that requires a bit of a recalibration of my brain to survive this stretch of the road. I haven't been here in a while but this city always amazes me at it's ability to just throw up new huge buildings. The landscape of casinos and buildings is constantly under change and makes it almost unrecognizable after a short time.

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A short time later it's time for another sort of a new state day. I've also flown into California before, but unlike Nevada, I've actually drive here, but it still really doesn't count. I spent several summers here with the Marine Corps Reserves driving huge trucks around the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms. This usually meant flying into Ontario California and boarding a bus and then seeing nothing but the base for two weeks before boarding a bus to go fly right out again.

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On entering California there's a "California Inspection Facility. I wasn't prepared for this and there was quite a backup of traffic here. I lined up behind cars in the shorter line on the right only to eventually notice the red X above it indicating this lane is closed, but they were processing us anyway. I'm trying to think about where my ID is in case I need to dig it out and present it not knowing what's going on. Eventually I'm just waved through. Looking this up later shows "California Border Protection Stations are 16 checkpoints placed at California's land borders with neighboring states and maintained by the CDFA for the purpose of monitoring vehicle traffic entering the state for the presence of cargo infested with pests." That makes sense as they only seemed to be stopping trucks and RV's for full inspection, most cars and certainly motorcycles were waived through. I didn't video here but grabbed this off of Google, and it seems that Google had a lot less traffic than I did.

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I got my first bit of sticker shock at my first gas stop in California. Little did I know, this would be a good price over the next few days. Also, I notice that California uses the emissions pumps where you have to push a spring loaded disc around the nozzle back up the nozzle before fuel will flow. This is easy with a car as you just shove the nozzle into the filler tube and the disc pushes back up naturally. This doesn't work for a motorcycle and you have to hold the nozzle with one hand and push it back up with the other hand. We used to have these in Dallas and I was happy to see them eventually go away. I'll be happy when I don't have to do this here either.

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I'm going to go ahead and get my complaining out of the way before digging back into the good stuff. One of the dumbest laws I've seen is that in California they have separate speed limits for vehicles towing a trailer. The regular speed limit on I-15 is 70mph, unless you have a trailer and then the speed limit is 55mph. I suppose there's a safety related reason for this but it sets up a situation where the right lane is jammed up with trucks doing 55mph, and a long line of angry cars in the left lane stuck behind some idiot doing 65mph, and a few jerks using any gap in the trucks to haul up the right lane and force their way into the line causing panic braking behind them. I don't have any experience lane splitting and there weren't any motorcycles going my way to follow through, nor did this situation seem like a good place to hone my splitting skills so I hung back and dealt with it until I could get off the interstate.

Free and clear of the crazy traffic on the interstate, there's lots of this kind of terrain.

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I have to say, when I got out of the Marine Corps Reserves I was quite content to know that I'd never need to experience the Mojave desert ever again in my life. Unfortunately my rerouting today to avoid the fires is running me smack through the middle of it. It's 106F today in the desert. I needed to stop for gas and to refill my my camelbak, and spotting a gas station with sub $4 gas I pulled off.

Often when doing these kinds of trips, you pass memorable vehicles and then stop for gas and then later repass the same vehicles. Back on day 1 in Texas I kept passing this dirty beat up yellow Porsche. It was pretty distinct due to a bunch of dents in the door just below the side view mirror. After filling up my camelbak with ice and fresh water I walked out of the gas station to see this parked next to me.

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Pretty crazy that six days later I'd find that vehicle parked next to me in the lot this far away. I wondered what he's been doing between Texas and now. Again, it was 106F so I didn't hang out waiting on him to come out to chat with him, but I snapped the above photo and got on my way.

Out this way, there's a few natural resources which are extremely plentiful, and California is diligent in capturing them to turn them into energy. First, there's abundant sunshine pretty much year round, so there's a lot of these solar farms out this way.

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Second is the ever present wind. Lots of wind farms out here. The farms don't appear to be as big as the ones going across western Texas, but they are sizable here. One big difference between the Texas wind farms and out here is that Texas has pretty consistently sized turbines, but California has multiple sized turbines all over the place. This made it pretty interesting to see the different approach to the same solution.

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Eventually the hot desert rocky environment gave way to this hot hilly grassy environment. There's definitely some beauty showing thorugh here.

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On arriving in Bakersfield California, I first topped off with gas so I'd be ready to go in the morning. Then I sought out auto parts stores. I found a place not too far off the highway with a Pep Boys, O'Reilly and AutoZone all right next to each other. I should be able to find what I need here so I pointed the GPS to the Pep Boys.

First, the PepBoys was undergoing a remodel, so the main store was closed and they only had their service area open. Then I went to O'Reilly and was able to find sockets for both the 17mm and the 36mm I needed to do the job on the FJR. The 36mm is of course a 1/2" socket and they did not have any adapters to use it with my 3/8" ratchet. I bought these two and went next door to AutoZone. By the way, it's now 108F here so moving around slowly is miserable and I'm continuing to sweat profusely, as if my body needed that. AutoZone doesn't have the adapter either so I just buy another ratchet handle.

Finally I find my hotel. The guy at the desk is filling me in on the hurricane that hit Louisiana as I've been disconnected from the news the last few days. On getting to my room I fire off text messages to check in on the Cajun FJR folks to see if they are doing ok, which I later find out that they are fine, just dealing with electricity issues.

After firing off those texts, it's time for that much needed shower. It's Tuesday and it's been a lot of sweaty days since my last shower on Friday. I deposit my underwear and socks directly into the trash can never to be used again. After using up almost all of a hotel bar of soap, I'm feeling better and ready to go back out into the heat and tackle that head bearing issue.

On removing the MV Motorrad riser I'm able to quickly spot my issue. It seems that maybe when replacing my triple tree that maybe I didn't properly torque that big 36mm nut on top as it's spinning freely. Thank goodness for the MV riser because it looks like it kept it from spinning all the way off which would probably have been something on backorder and I'd have to find something to use to get home. For grins, since I'm this deep in I pull the upper triple off and give a little torque to the steering head bearing nut, testing to make sure it's not binding at all. All seems good so I reassemble it and take it for a few runs up and down the parking lot with hard braking and there's not any click or anything. I got lucky there and am happy that all is good for the days to come.

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After that was done, I went in and took another shower. Then I laid down and called the family. First thing my wife told me on the phone was "I hope you took two showers!" I informed her that I did in fact take two showers. After catching up with the family it was time for a cooked meal for a change. One thing my wife is good at when looking at hotels is looking at what's around it. I have a Denny's across the street and an IHOP right next door to the hotel. After a long hot day on the bike, not having to suit up and ride to dinner is certainly welcome. I choose IHOP and opt for the "Quick Two Egg Breakfast."

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After dinner I tune into the news to watch the reports on the hurricane in Louisian and eventually drift off to sleep ready for a beautiful day tomorrow as I salvage what I can from my Sequoia Forest route.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by wheatonFJR »

AWESOME report...lovin this.

EDIT: I like the picture of the hatchet on the bike...cuz if all else fails, DESTROY the thing! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

wheatonFJR wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:34 am AWESOME report...lovin this.

EDIT: I like the picture of the hatchet on the bike...cuz if all else fails, DESTROY the thing! :lol: :lol: :lol:
That's got a hammer side which I used in combination with a flat head screwdriver to sung up those castle nuts. They have more uses and pack better than adding the whole castle nut to my tool kit for "Just in case." Any tool that is multipurpose is a good one on a bike trip.

But yea, the other side does have some destruction qualities to it as well.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by wheatonFJR »

Note to self: Do NOT piss Jasen off during a MEET. He carries a damned axe with him.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Festus »

wheatonFJR wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:55 pm Note to self: Do NOT piss Jasen off during a MEET. He carries a damned axe with him.
And he might rub some stink on you.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by wheatonFJR »

Festus wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:18 pm
wheatonFJR wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:55 pm Note to self: Do NOT piss Jasen off during a MEET. He carries a damned axe with him.
And he might rub some stink on you.
Hey, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Clearly Wheaton doesn't camp. You need to kindling to start a fire and splitting one of your pieces of wood works really well for that. Again, also multipurpose in that the flat side drives in tent stakes, and you can keep it by your side in case there's trouble during the night, or in case Wheaton pisses you off.
Festus wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:18 pm And he might rub some stink on you.
I was well armed with that for quite a while, but it's all washed off now thankfully.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Deagle10 »

Great report. What an adventure!
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by escapefjrtist »

Awesome report Jasen, looking forward to the next installment!

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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Day 8
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Distance: 258.8 miles
Duration: 10 hours, 10 minutes, and 40 seconds
Average Speed: 25.4 mph
Minimum Elevation: 334 feet
Maximum Elevation: 7600 feet

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This day of the ride report is going to be a little bit picture heavy. This is the first of two days of things I rode halfway across the country to see, so I of course went a little camera crazy. I'm not apologizing, if you've seen this stuff before then hopefully it brings back good memories. If you haven't seen it before, hopefully it spurs you to make plans to go see it yourself.

About four years ago my friends Andrew, Pops and Joey (Redfish, Pops, and HPPants on FJRiders) came out to YFO and I read their ride report and knew I had to make this trip. I translated their ride report into google maps and then into Basecamp with a route titled "Redfish Sequoia" so that I could see all the amazing things they saw. Sadly, I've had to abandon that route thanks to the French fire. Today I've set my GPS destination for Three Rivers, California, in hopes of salvaging as much of that route as possible.

I started off the day headed north out of Bakersfield, but felt a little like I was back in Texas with all the oil pumps.

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That however very quickly gave way to beautiful farmland.

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And then into some beautiful countryside.

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So, I'd like to stop and talk a little bit about my new GPS, the Garmin Zumo XT. The screen is huge and bright, and the CPU is very snappy and responsive. One complaint I've had is having to sift through all my shaping points in the saved list to find what I'm looking for. I've been saying that I wish they'd just hide those from view. It also annoyed me to see all the little flags on the map.

However, as I'm approacing Three Rivers I see a flag nearby. I pull into a gas station and open my routes and choose the "Redfish Sequoia" route and tell it to route using the nearest entry point. Turns out, the nearest entry point is that flag in front of me. I can still use the last half of that route. At this point I'm not so annoyed by the little flags because they might have saved the day here.

Once into the park you embark on the General's Highway. This is a spectacular curvey road that winds it's way up the mountain. You do have to remind yourself that you are in a park and fines would be pretty stiff for having too much fun in here, but the road is phenomenal. I'd say the curves per mile have to be on par or close to the Dragon.

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A quick stop by blancing rock. There's nobody to take my photo so I snap a quick shot and am on my way.

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I grin at these signs. They'd be more fun on a supermoto but I'm not riding a supermoto across the country.

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Looking back on the twisties that brought me up here.

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The road gets higher and the scrub gives way to thick forests.

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At one point I saw two deer scramble down the hill in front of me to my left, then dart across the road and I saw the bushes moving as they made their way away from the road. I looked frantically to my left to see if there was a third one but couldn't see any, then turned back to my right and it turns out only one of the deer ran into the bushes. The other one was camouflaged here on the side of the road trying to decide if he should run back in front of me again.

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I pulled off into one of the parking lots and marveled at the size of these trees. At first you see a bunch of them together and think "They aren't that big" and then you notice a normal sized tree and look back again and they are huge. Trying to capture their size in a photo also doesn't work too well, even when you use someone as short as me for comparison.

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I ran into this guy at the parking lot. He's Kike Castell on advrider and is on a month long trip around the USA starting in Connecticut.

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Then I went and hiked down to see the "General Sherman" tree. Yes, I hiked down. I don't know why all my life I've hiked up first but on this trip all my hikes start with down. General Sherman isn't the tallest, nor the oldest, nor the widest tree in the world. But, by volume of wood, it is the biggest tree in the world. The top is dead so it won't get any taller but continues to grow wider each year.

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These bricks are laid out to resemble what the base of General Sherman would look like. Pretty huge.

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As I was panting and sweating my way back up the trail I came once again across Kike Castell. He was surprised to see me having already done this and heading back up. That's when he asked if I skipped the tunnel tree. Turns out it was poorly marked and I missed it and had I not run into him I'd have missed it and everything on that road. That was at least about two hours of stuff I really would have wanted to see. So I thanked him and headed back.

The roads are smooth, unmarked and a little narrow. You really have to watch out because those park busses come around corners pretty fast occupying most of the road. But most of the time it's quiet, beautiful and serene.

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And I found the tunnel tree, or rather, the tunnel log.

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Then I'm riding around and come around a corner and get my second wildlife encounter. That's a bear way up the road. I stopped and waited giving him plenty of room.

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Then I found these clusters of trees and had to stop for some photos here.

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And then it was time for one of those moments. When you are surrounded by such beauty and you turn around and there's your bike, the bike you that has brought you to this place and will get you home, your partner in this adventure. All you can do is smile, think "Damn she's good looking" and snap a few photos.

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Then I'm off riding and have a second bear encounter. I asked him if he was the same bear or a different bear but he ignored me. As I rode up I saw him scurrying off into the woods. Looks like he was as scared of me as I was of him.

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Using the bike for comparison really does give credit to the size of thhose roots.

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And then I climbed up Moro Rock Trail. It's a relatively short, but steep hike up a whole bunch of stairs at 6,700 feet elevation. I did this in full motorcycle gear, including boots, while carrying my helmet and tank bag. The trail thoroughly whipped my butt. And I have words for the lady who, when I was about 1/4 of the way up passing her going down told me "You are almost there!"

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There's the fun General's Highway I rode coming up.

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Here's a few shots of what the climb up looks like. Not for those scared of heights. My wife appreciates the photos I took because she's never going up there.

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Some places are a tight squeeze.

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Some places have railings, some places don't.

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Some stairs are steeper than others.

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Then I made my way back to the gift shop to get the required magnet for our refrigerator and it was time for lunch. Thankfully I brought one of my muffins from the grab and go breakfast at the hotel this morning because there's not much around and all that hiking has worked up my appetite. I paired it with a mini Cliff Bar and water from the camelbak and was good to go.

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Then I was off to see "General Grant" which has an absolutely huge base of the trunk.

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After that, I realized I had enough time to do the out and back on the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway. It starts out high in the canyon with some very unforgiving turns. No sissy guardrails here! But lots of fun turns, just don't overdo it.

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Eventually the road works it's way down the canyon and along the river below.

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I rode it as far as you could ride it. These guys had the road closed. I think there was a detour but it was time to turn around anyway.

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On the way down, a sign on the side of the road caught my eye. It said "CAUTION, ICE cream ahead!" LOL. I passed by and the guy was open in his trailer. Suddenly the Joey (HPPants on FJRiders) was speaking to me. Joey has a sweet tooth that kicks in about mid afternoon and he usually has to have ice cream. Now I need ice cream. I decide to swing by on my way back up. A mint chocolate chip cone really hit the spot.

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Headed out of the forest is a nice high road with a view.

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I caught this guy in the curves and I think that got him angry because he started punching it on the straight portions. I'm cool, I don't have to be the fastest guy on the road so I let him go on up ahead and flush out any police that might be around. There weren't any and I guess he won the race, but I didn't care.

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After that, I'd somehow routed myself down some goat paths. These would have been a lot of fun on a small bike like a supermoto. They were kind of frustrating though because you'd get like three curves linked up and get your flow going and the fourth curve would be a blind downhill decreasing radius turn that resembled a kink. Eventually I made it to the Island Park campground at Pine Flat Lake.

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/233521

Only there's a little bit of a problem. There's noone camping here, the place looks empty. The check in station is shuttered and there's a sign saying it's closed till April. I'm a little worried, did I miss yet ANOTHER cancelllation? I have no service here to check my email and determine to find someplace higher. The center of the campground is higher so I head that way thinking if I can't get service there then I'll head back out to the main road. I rounded the corner and hit the top of the hill and there's three occupied camping spots. Two campers and a tent. I've got a little service and can't find any cancellations so I start trying to figure things out. My reservation is on upper loop road. This is the upperest loop in the campgrounds. I have spot number 9 and the spot number 9 up here is currently unoccupied. What the heck, I'm setting up my campsite.

And what a campsite it is!

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Eventually a white pickup truck came rolling through the campground and I recognized the logo on the side designating it to the park ranger. I pulled out my paperwork hoping I'm not being kicked out for some reason as it's getting late. The lady hops out and asks "Do you have a reservation?" I tell her yes and give her my name. She smiles and says "Oh yes, got you right here, you are all set!" We have a little chat about the campground being empty and she tells me that it's officially closed for the season but they are still honoring any reservations already made. Unlike my Super 8 on day 1, I'm really glad I made reservations in advance.

She goes on her way and I set about dinner. This is the best Mountain House meal of the trip. Perfect amount of water, good flavor and a little spice. It's the Yellow Curry with Chicken and Rice.

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I set up and start reading a new book for a while. Tonight I'm not putting the rain fly on as it'll be really nice tonight and I can lay down and watch the stars in the sky and the boats on the lake. Perfect end to a perfect day.

Speaking of perfect days, tomorrow I'll get to see Tyler (Tyler on FJRiders, I know, so original on her name, right?) and Yosemite!
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by bigjohnsd »

If you could just do forks like you do ride reports......JSNS!
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by wheatonFJR »

bigjohnsd wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:23 pm If you could just do forks like you do ride reports......JSNS!
Fuckin A!

Wow, Jasen!
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Bugnatr »

Just found this report. IN!


I remember Pinhead from 2010 Toas with his wife. Good peeps.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Day 9
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Distance: 248.6 miles
Duration: 10 hours, 50 minutes, and 44 seconds
Average Speed: 22.9 mph
Minimum Elevation: 964 feet
Maximum Elevation: 9978 feet

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I think today is the first time I've had a relaxing morning on the trip. I have a nice 2 hour back roads trip to the Starbucks in Oakhurst California where I'm meeting friends for today's ride. We don't meet till 11ish so I have time to leisurely enjoy my coffee and shoot photos of the sunrise over the mountains by my campsite today.

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No rush packing up, I get everything done and the ole girl is ready to go early, so we depart to find out what goat paths I have in store for us this morning.

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Then I encountered a strange section of dead forest. The trees are black like there's been a fire, but if there was, it was some time ago because there's green vegetation on the ground. Many of the trees still have dead leaves or pine needles on them that reach all the way to the ground that I would have thought should have burned. It reminds me of seeing the devestation of the pine beetle in Colorado several years ago, but this is a small by comparison and lots of live trees surrounding the area.

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Then back to the regular goat paths. You have to be careful because these cattle guards are signs of open ranging and more than once I've come around the corner to find cows in the road. Not riding in speedy mode today for sure.

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I arrive in Oakhurst around 10am, and find out that the others will be getting there a little before 11am. I find the Starbucks and am determined to have a coffee at one of the outside tables relaxing and enjoying the weather. Only thing, the doors are locked. I try to do an online order so I can have it brought out to me but the app says the location is closed. There's chairs stacked across the drive through. Very strange, and I wasn't the only one caught by surprise because many folks were pulling in and circling around to head back out, even one guy walked up all perplexed with his dog and had to leave.

I see that true to Starbucks form, there's another one 1/4 mile up the road and head there. That one is in a grocery store, that's not happening. I make an executive decision for us to eat at Denny's just down the road from the original Starbucks and send a text message to the group. As I am getting off the bike, Craig (CraigRegs on FJRiders) pulls up next to me, so we head inside and get a table to wait on Tyler.

It's always great to see Tyler, she's amazing and always has hugs and smiles for everyone.

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Tyler and I each order breakfast (no photos for some reason) and Craig orders an Ice Cream Sundae. Then we are off....to Yosemite!

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Tyler leads as she's local and been here a zillion times, followed by Craig and myself. The roads wind this way and that and the weather is amazing all contributing to a great motorcycle ride. Craig can't contain himself and tries taking a photo backwards of me, but only gets a very nice shot of the side of his helmet.

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Because I know the GoPro's wide angle lens always makes it look like I'm so far away from the rider in front of me, I move up and close some of the distance between me and Craig to get better footage for later, and also a better photo. I still look pretty far behind him but in reality I'm probably riding way too close, but I'm being careful and use sections of the road where I can see ahead for a bit.

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The I move up and do the same for Tyler.

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Tyler, not knowing what I was doing, hit the first pull off and turned on her "Mom Voice" and let me know that all the reasons she's not speeding and if I want to go faster I'm free to go around. I explained I was filming and the GoPro lens and that I was quite content with our pace. We had a chuckle and things went better after that.

I'm the only one who hasn't been here before, so Tyler pulls over for a moment here to let me be hit by the first glimpse of the amazing scenery offered by Yosemite. It hits me about as hard as that first glimpse into the Grand Canyon.

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Then we head over to Glacier Point to get a better view.

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Proof I was actually there was provided by Tyler.

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Looking down to where we'll be headed later. Craig and I wonder how many phones have been accidentally dropped over this edge.

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Heading down, the view isn't bad from here.

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Going through a long tunnel.

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If you've never been here before, this next image will make you go "Wow, such amazing views he's seeing" but if you've been here before your eyes will be drawn elsewhwere as you proclaim "Wow, those parking lots are EMPTY!"

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Seriously, we lucked out today. The weather was phenomenal with zero clouds to be seen anywhere in the sky, perfect temperatures, no smoke haze, and the park practically empty that we could get around and park with ease. I'm informed that such perfect days almost don't exist here so I feel blessed.

Riding a nice loop they have of two lane, one way only roads through the trees with nice views every now and then.

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And then we are brought to this little viewpoint. I take this photo, but I'm not happy with it, it could be better.

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With a little bit of movement down to the right and toward the river, I'm able to eliminate a lot of that foreground clutter and get the shot I'm happiest with from this trip.

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That's El Capitan on the left, there's climbers but you can't see them. There is supposed to be a waterfall on the right but all the falls are dry from the drought. Still, what an amazing view.

Later we head out toward Tioga Pass to get to our destination for the night. On the way I notice there's a beautiful lake through the trees to our right. I'm thinking "Wow, I hope there's a good place to stop" as I try to see the lake through the trees. It's at that exact moment I get my wish as I realize that Tyler and Craig are hard on the brakes right in front of me. No accident but there's a permanent crease in my undies from that one. We stop and get some photos of the beautiful lake. I bet that water is cold.

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Then the beauty continues as we head over Tioga Pass.

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A quick stop in the town of Lee Vining for folks to grab some adult beverages for the weekend.

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Then we are off to Virginia Creek Settlement to settle in for the weekend as this is the site of the YFO meet. This is a cool little place with lots of options on how you want to stay including a small hotel and individual cabins.

https://virginiacreeksettlement.net/

They have an onsite restaurant serving fantastic food so I order up the 10" cheese pizza. I'm super hungry after today's activities and almost eat the whole thing.

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One of the options they have for you to stay in is one of two covered wagons. There's a bubbling creek running there in front of the chairs and it's a fun way to spend the weekend.

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Looking inside you've got more room than you'd think. The bed is a nice bunk with a comfy mattress and about an inch and a half of blankets and covers. In addition, in the bin to the right is another blanket and an electric blanket. I'll need all of that as the temperatures will get into the mid to low 30's overnight. I sleep comfortably and warm in there, but late night trips to the bathhouse are chilly for sure.

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I settle into bed extremely happy with today's sights and riding, and eager to see what tomorrow has in store.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Festus »

So incredible!
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by wheatonFJR »

Damn. This is better than most of Jasen's trips!
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Terrible news in the headlines today. This is where I was at on Day 8. The big trees will likely survive, they all have fire scars from previous fires, but still.

https://www.kxan.com/news/worlds-largest-tree-wrapped-in-aluminum-blanket-as-wildfire-races-toward-historic-giant-forest/
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Redfish »

My dear friend, you are doing Great with this report. I am feeling some of the magic I used to feel reading a Gixxerjasen Ride Report. Yours were always some of my favorites.

On the road with the Tunnel Log and the Parker Group I had taken some pics that were in our YFO Ride Report. I still remember you asking about that pavement and commenting on how smooth it looked. I am overjoyed that you were able to experience all of this for yourself.

I am bitterly jealous that Pop and I were not there to experience this with you.

Keep going, I am so happy to be following along.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Redfish wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:27 pm On the road with the Tunnel Log and the Parker Group I had taken some pics that were in our YFO Ride Report. I still remember you asking about that pavement and commenting on how smooth it looked. I am overjoyed that you were able to experience all of this for yourself.
That road was exactly as you described it. Delicious.

I've got some easy days to cover, but having a father/son weekend so we are busy with other things. I'll have some updates coming.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Redfish »

I am sure you know this already, you are incredibly fortunate...you rode through Yosemite NP, arguably the most beautiful national park in the U.S. with Craig and Tyler. Tyler knows every place you need to stop, every place you need to take a pic, she knows how fast or slow you need to go, she is the Perfect Tour Guide. And we all know what a great guy Craig is, simply a superb gentleman.

Good Things are supposed to happen to Good People. The three of you certainly are Good People.

I was also fortunate, we had a much bigger crew but all excellent FJR folks. The ride is often defined by who we share it with and Pop, Joey and myself were blessed with our day in Yosemite. I am happy you were too.
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