San Diego to Skaqway
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Day 1 - 3
San Diego, CA
Day 0 Ė Prep
Trip estimate is somewhere around 7000 miles. I planned the route extensively, but I know I wonít follow it exactly. I plan not because I am a detail freak (though I am), but rather so I can get my ďheadĒ into the trip. I enjoy the process. Plan, ride, report. It extends the vacation so to speak. I know once I get going Iíll glean new info and of course meeting people along the way and use some of their suggestions.
Lisa has flown ahead to Washington. Her work schedule and some family stuff didn't sync up with Reno this year. She will be missed. We'll meet up soon.
Bike at 30800 miles. Itís never run better. New spark plugs, valves checked, radiator flushed and filled, synthetic blend oil, cushion lever bearings lubed and raising links installed (Eagle Manufacturing), throttle-body-sync, new front and rear tires (Metzler Tourances), new front and rear sprockets, new drive chain and a fork brace (Superbrace). Some cosmetic and ergo stuff like new handlebars and some duplicolor bedliner on the fairings.
Oh, and I purged the bike of anything remotely contraband, not that it had anythingÖ
Hereís the biggest most threatening
knife Iíll have with me in Canada.
Day 1 Ė 3, Wednesday - Friday, May 30 - June 1, 2007
Slabbed up to Tejon Pass on I-5. Iím not a freeway or interstate guy. Not on a motorcycle at least. Motorcycles are for leaning. But I got an invite last year from DRxDR to do some riding in his neck of the woods. He and his wife will join me for a few miles along the way so I decide that Iíll jam through LA after rush hour to make good time.
First deviation from the plan: I canít wait. Iím ready first thing in the morning and take off an hour or so early. San Diego freeways are big enough to split with bags so it is really no matter. I make Gorman in good time for first fuel and find a nice little way west via Lockwood Valley Road -- a surprisingly fun little nutty twisty. A bit of sand and a few wet crossings here and there, but good for the senses.
I continue north for a bit on CA-33 and cut west again on CA-166, which rewards me with some nice sweeping descents down to US-101. I noodle along parallel to the 101 through little towns like Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Verde, Edna, and San Luis Obispo.
At DRxDRs we had a great time catching up discussing old roads and good friends (or vise versa). In the morning I got the VIP escort out of Atascadero with DRxDR on his minimalist DL650, and his better half on a F 650 GS.
Yea, it's a DL650... and it's light and nimble!!
We carve out Vineyard Drive, Peachy Canyon Road, Nacimiento Lake Drive, San Marco Road, and Indian Valley Road through to Peach Tree Road and CA-25. Somewhere along Vineyard Drive I got a nice little bump wheelie coming out of a deep dip. You take what you can get on a fully bagged 650! DRxDR did a great job of pointing out some freshly graveled sections on Indian Valley Road. Hard to spot on some of the rough backways. At King City Road we said our farewells and I promised to bring ListMakerLisa by for a visit on the way back if we kept to the coast.
Near Hollister I noticed an interesting road sign that got me pondering. It was a sign for ďBest RoadĒ. Arenít they all? I thought about my route plan, the roads DRxDR introduced me to this morning, and ones I would discover in the days ahead. Could I be on the best road right now? If not, Iíll certainly do my part to make it the best road. At least for a time!
North of Hollister I cut east on CA-152 and then northward towards the ďsouthĒ pre-gathering location for the 2007 Reno V-Strom Gathering .
Tasty delicious cows south of La Grange.
We'll see you for dinner!
In Jamestown, our host Bareman03 set us up to gorge on some fine BBQ, and several of us ventured back to downtown Jamestown for an errand. The bikes shown parked together there would make up the diehards the next day on what I dubbed as Bareman03ís Precursor to a Hair-on-Fire Ride:
The bikes: Bareman03, Compared To What,
The next morning we loaded bags and fired up the machines for CA-108.
Bareman03 scorches by the beautiful scenes
along the west side of Sonora Pass.
Compared To What and Vince coming down the east side of the Sonora Pass:
Sandiegoland and 805Greggís bikes
east of Sonora Pass along CA-108.
Compared To What, Vince and myself continued chasing Bareman03 on quite a premium tour of the Sierras. We continued north on US-395 for a bit, back west over Monitor Pass (CA-89), over Carson Pass to Kirkwood for fuel on CA-88, briefly on the Mormon Emigrant Trail, Silver Fork Road, scooted east for a tad on US-50, north on Icehouse Road, west on Wentworth Springs Road, then via CA-193 to slab east on I-80 to Verdi for the main gathering.
There aren't any photos of the Bareman03 chase because... we were chasing Bareman03!!! The only reason I could recall where we went is because I kept dropping GPS breadcrumbs to look at later. When I caught up to the group at the beginning of Wentworth Road they were chatting it up with some GS guys. One guy who was going to be heading to Alaska soon came over and remarked about my little 1 gallon gas cans and wanted to know where to get them. He had only found the bigger ones and really liked mine. For the rest of the day I could make Vince crack up just by suggesting how much "that beemer guy really liked my cans!!"
Renojohn hosted a great dinner, complete with recognition of different riders and groups that had made the trek from afar, stories from the pre-gatherings, some promotional give-aways, and a nice presentation from an Ultimate Coast to Coast V-Strom rider (Prudhoe Bay to Key West).
> Go to Day 4!