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Old 07-20-2005, 09:54 PM   #1
wilit
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1,977 Miles and these are the only photos?

Well, where to start? I learned some very important lessons on this trip. Like:

1. A throttle rocker is worth every penny ($8.99 at Cycle Gear).
2. It doesn't matter how early you start off, you'll never "beat the heat."
3. Camelbacks are an absolute necessity while traveling through the desert.
4. Never assume that you'll just get gas at the next town. Reason: Just because there's a spot on the map marking a "town" doesn't mean there is a town there.
5. Always travel with kleenex and cleaner for your visor.

Okay, on to the pictures.

Day 1: Left our house in Fremont. Our plan was to drive to Santa Barbara to spend the night. So here's the bike the morning we left. All packed up and ready to go.



A quick stop in Carmel to fill up on mochas.


A random stop along Highway 1. Just before Ragged Pt. I believe.


A shot of the bike at the Los Padres sign. Same spot north of Ragged Pt.


Last pic north of Ragged Pt.


Due to time constraints, we only stopped at Hearst Castle. I didn't realize the tour took 2 hours, and we had already spent 4 hours on the road with 2 more hours to go. So here's the closest we got.


Day 1 ended at 5pm-ish in Santa Barbara. Total Miles: 337

Day 2's itinerary was to drive to El Cajon (San Diego area) to my Dad's house where we were to spend Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday with my parents. Our only real stop was the mission at San Juan Capistrano.


Another shot of the mission.


A look down the corridor.


What's left of the mission after an earthquake just 3 years after completion.


Day 2 ended at around 4pm-ish. Total Miles: 233
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"If a man hasn't found something worth dying for, he isn't fit to live." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." - Malcom X
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin
"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." - James Madison
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:55 PM   #2
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Day 3: Sorry no photos... I forgot to bring the camera with me. Which is a shame because we went to Comic-Con. Comic-Con is a super huge comic book convention, but is not limited to just comic books. It has grown to include movie studios pimping their new movies, game manufacturers, toy companies, if it's geek related, it'll be there.

Day 4: My parents, Kim and I went to the San Diego Zoo. I have been there numerous times, but since it was Kim's first time in SD, we did the touristy thing.

Polar bear playing.


Me playing jungle explorer.


I love meercats. I wish I could have a giant meercat farm, like an ant farm, only with meercats. That'd be cool.


I don't know, so don't ask.


Panda bear doing what pandas do. Eat.
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"If a man hasn't found something worth dying for, he isn't fit to live." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." - Malcom X
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin
"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." - James Madison
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:56 PM   #3
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Day 5: Our next leg of the trip was from El Cajon to the Grand Canyon. With over 500 miles to travel, and the southwest in a record heat wave, we left at 5:00am in an attempt to beat the heat. At first we covered 200 miles in a little over 2 and a half hours. But then things heated up, and we slowed down. The longest (hottest) part of the trip was from Lake Havasu City to Kingman, Az. Even though we loaded up on water before we left LHC, I nearly passed out on the 50 miles to Kingman. It was so damn hot (118┬░) I almost passed out while driving. We stopped at a Denny's and waited out the heat for an hour or so. I then got up the courage to continue. Luckily 40 miles east of Kingman, you start to go up in elevation, so the temperature begins to drop. I never thought I'd be so happy to be driving in 98┬░ weather.

This shot was after we had driven through the Imperial Valley. I'd estimate the death toll to be in the trillions.


Vision was severely hampered by all of the bug carcasses covering my visor.


What's at Lake Havasu City you ask? Why the London Bridge of course.


You can even drive over it.


Trees in Arizona? Yep, they exist. This is in Williams. About 60 miles south of the Grand Canyon.


Working on my self photography skillz.


All the heat was worth it. Pictures may be worth 1000 words, but pictures can never capture the true beauty of the Grand Canyon. It truely is a place you HAVE to visit at least once in your life.


Another shot.
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"If a man hasn't found something worth dying for, he isn't fit to live." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." - Malcom X
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin
"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." - James Madison
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:57 PM   #4
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Park Ranger Wilit pointing out the Grand Canyon to anyone who will pay attention.


Kim watching the sunset.


Second attempt at self photography at sunset.


Day 5 ended at around 4pm-ish. Total Miles: 524 Total gallons of water Kim and I drank: 2
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"If a man hasn't found something worth dying for, he isn't fit to live." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." - Malcom X
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin
"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." - James Madison
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:58 PM   #5
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Day 6: We got a late start due to exhaustion. We left around 8am. Our original plan was to take Route 66 out of Seligman, Az to visit the Grand Canyon Caverns, but given the heat situation, we decided against it. Instead we drove straight through to Las Vegas. Another 118┬░ day. Anyone who tells you the heat is bareable because it's a dry heat is a complete moron. I've heard the seventh circle of hell is a dry heat too, but it doesn't mean it's suitable for human habitation. We did pass by a lot of beautiful scenery, but because it was so hot, I wasn't inclined to stop to take a picture. So, you only get one shot from the Hoover Dam, and some random strip shots. On our 2.56 minute stop at the Hoover dam, I happened to talk to some Harley riders who were cooling off. There were 2 bikes and once chase vehicle. The 5 of them were from Belgium, and were doing 7 states in 22 days. Very ambitious. They were absolutely burnt to a crisp. Gear consisted of a tank top, torn Levis, a bandana to protect the coconut, and the obligitory gold eagle pendant on a gold chain.

The Hoover dam. it's big.


Attempt #3 of self photography. This is in front of the fish tank at the Mandalay Bay.


Random strip shot.


Random Strip shot #2.


Damn M&M hitting on my chick.


Since we had such a hard day, we decided to treat ourselves to some oxygen and a water massage.


Just a small ammount of the money I lost gambling.


A shot from the Venitian. Such a lovely hotel.


I took a picture of the aftermath, but unfortunately it didn't come out. While Kim and I were walking back to our hotel, there was a group of kids (about 5 of them) on scooters goofing off. One of the "stunnas" decided to do a burnout while waiting for the light to change. Once they got the green, they took off, and stone cold stunna decided to bust some wheelies, the best of which he got about 6 inches off the ground. All 10,000 of us walking down the sidewalk got a great laugh out of it. Unfortunately for him, the cop behind him didn't find it too humorous. He and all his buddies got pulled over. I'm 98% sure they were all under the influence.

Day 6 ended around 1pm-ish. Total Miles: 278. Total gallons of water drank: 1.8
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"If a man hasn't found something worth dying for, he isn't fit to live." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." - Malcom X
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin
"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." - James Madison
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:58 PM   #6
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Day 7: Started with the best of intentions. Since we got back to the room at around 11:30 at night, we decided to sleep in, and didn't get on the road until 9am. We had about 300 miles to cover, 200 of which was through the wasteland known as Nevada. Why is this even a state? Anyway, we left Vegas with 112 miles on the odometer from the last fill up. Since I knew the reserve light came on at around 180 miles, I figured I'd fill up further down the road. We passed the first town outside of Vegas, Indian Springs, passing up several prime gas stations in an attempt to squeeze as many miles as possible between fill ups. Next town on the map was Mercury, and upon reaching it, the odometer hit 175 miles. Problem: Mercury is not a town. There is not 1 inhabitant in Mercury. It has a dot on the map for reasons unbeknownst to me. So here's my dilema. After passing Indian Springs, the sign read 50 miles to Amargosa Valley, thus putting the odometer at over 200 miles, I'm now at 175, and have at LEAST another 30 miles before the next dot on the map. I decided to press on, all the while praying that we wouldn't run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. For some reason, the sign for Amargosa Valley is 2 miles outside of the city limits, and on first impression, it looked a lot like the sign for Mercury. I thought once again, I was fucked. Only royally this time. But the road crested and I could see in the distance there was indeed a gas station. I pulled into Nevada Joe's with 205 miles on the odometer. Thank god for the VFR's excellent gas milage and tank range. I still had .8 gallons left in the tank, which theoritically could have gotten me to the next town, but I'm glad I didn't have to find out for sure. Our end destination was Mammoth Lakes, Ca.

I've never been so happy to pay for fuel in my entire life. Thank God for Nevada Joe's. Oh, and there was a brothel in the back. Go figure.


We were planning on stopping at a town called Lida. The word town was a gross overstatement. 3 shacks built in the early 19th century does not constitute a town. So we stopped about halfway between Lida and Big Pine, Ca to stretch.


This is Ca Highway 168. There are NO gas stations between Beatty, Nv and Big Pine, Ca. About 168 miles. However at Scotty's Junction, about halfway is the Cottontail Ranch. Guess sex is more important than fuel.


Day 7 ended around 3pm-ish. Total Miles: 301
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"If a man hasn't found something worth dying for, he isn't fit to live." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." - Malcom X
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin
"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." - James Madison
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:59 PM   #7
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Day 8: Our final leg of the trip. From Mammoth Lakes back home via Yosemite. If you've never been to Yosemite, then shame on you. It's an amazing place. It's so beautiful. It's another place you have to visit.

Kim checking out a pond in Yosemite.


Some random scenery.


The bike with Mammoth Peak in the background. We traveled from Sea Level to a height of 9,948 feet. This is the high point. Thank God for fuel injection.


Random Yosemite scenery.


Some guys rock climbing.


The Yosemite valley.


Day 8 ended around 3pm-ish. Total Miles: 238

All in all, it was a fun trip. Only a few close calls with some gravel, the heat, 2 jack rabbits, and 1 road runner (the real kind, not the one by Plymouth). I think next year's trip will be to Vancouver, British Columbia. I've done riding through the desert. I can stratch that adventure off my list of things to do.
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"If a man hasn't found something worth dying for, he isn't fit to live." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." - Malcom X
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin
"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." - James Madison
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Old 07-20-2005, 10:05 PM   #8
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riding to hoover dam , were you guys wearing a full face helemet and a textile jacket? planning on riding there when i go to las vegas this aug,\. is it really that hot in las vegas?
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Old 07-20-2005, 10:14 PM   #9
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Very cool! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-20-2005, 10:17 PM   #10
wilit
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Yes. It was that hot, if not hotter. I'm SOOOOOOO glad I didn't wear my leather jacket. The textile is so much cooler than the leather thanks to zip open vents. Our gear consisted of full face helmets, textile jackets, leather gloves, Levi's and Vans (yes, half squidly I know, but I'm willing to sacrifice some skin in the event of a crash for comfort while riding). August is the HOTEST month. If you go, make sure you drink LOTS of water. The Camelbacks we bought were only $25 from REI and I'm certain saved our lives. Arizona has already lost 13 people to heat related deaths. They almost got 2 more a few days ago.
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"If a man hasn't found something worth dying for, he isn't fit to live." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." - Malcom X
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin
"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." - James Madison
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Old 07-20-2005, 10:36 PM   #11
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Great pics, thanks for sharing! Reminds me of my trip in April, just without the pictures (DOH!, new I forgot something, fricken camera!)

RE Vans for footgear:


Aside from the jeans that ill-protected my knee, allowing it to be torn open top to bottom, the only other injury I sustained in my one serious m/c crash was to my ankle; crushed it good.
I was wearing tennis shoes. Any boots with any ankle padding might have prevented many smashed little bones, lost employment, physical therapy, and ruined credit.
I was going all of 25mph, got t-boned by a car. Shit happes. Now I always wear appropriate footgear (among other gear)
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Old 07-20-2005, 11:25 PM   #12
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Very nice pictures. I am jealous
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Old 07-20-2005, 11:48 PM   #13
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Originally posted by wilit

Since we had such a hard day, we decided to treat ourselves to some oxygen and a water massage.

Are you sure that wasn't ether?

That dude behind you is looking mighty creepy...

Looks like a fun trip!
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Old 07-20-2005, 11:54 PM   #14
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Cool photo essay! I can totally relate to the Nevada gas shortage, only I was on a superhawk when I had that same, sinking feeling. Need I say more?
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Old 07-21-2005, 02:14 AM   #15
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thanks for sharing....your pix is a motivation for me to visit yosemite and the grand canyon!!
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