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Old 02-23-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
MissMoxy
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: nearer the water
Motorcycles: Vstrom650, stuff of stories: F800st, Vstrom650, sv650s, Dr350
Name: Nibor
19th-22nd February 1,105 mile solo trip (past) Hells Kitchen thru Carizzo Plains

and everything in between....the first trip for my WeeStrom and me

I was getting itchy feet to get out and explore on the motorcycle once again. I was hatching a plan all week on my escape route away from work. I decided I would leave work an hour early on Thursday (Friday being my day off)and hit the road down to Avila Hot Springs RV resort. I ended up leaving at 3:30 - an hour later than I hoped - and wound my way from 580 thru Oakland to 101 South. I picked up a California Road Atlas at a gas station on the way down and had my SPOT Tracker at hand.

The Route today :
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...ikFRrNGAIdbTzO.

Traffic was light and flowing and the weather good for traveling. Pretty uneventful driving down to Avila Springs which was right off of 101 ( though I was told its sister springs resort was a few miles down toward the beach, was a little more ritzy and charged one sitting in the springs by the hour....). I arrived at 8pm- just in time for the spring and pool to close. I was told that the camping area backed up to the freeway....argh!! I pitched my tent in the treeless area and settled in for the night with the audible grinding of truck engines winding down the freeway. The night was a C-cold 39 degrees with heavy frost. Total mileage for that evening was 243 miles.

FRIDAY: I hardly slept a wink and woke up with a wet sleeping bag (couldn't find the hole in my tent). I zipped open my tent at 8 am only to find that my camping area was completely viewable from the upper road as truckers and cars exited the offramp !!
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I was downright cold and had to warm up. I packed the motorcycle and traveled the short distance to the pool/hotsprings area and sleepily warmed up and chatted with a local. I melted in the 98 degree hot springs then invigorated myself in the spring-fed pool by doing some laps. Nothing like feeling relaxed while settling in for another day of riding.
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. The view of the palm trees while lounging was relaxing
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I would not choose to camp here again due to the layout of the facility= cramped but I would come back for the dip in the hot springs. There were trailers stuffed in the small 'park' enclosure to accomodate contractors that were working at a nearby nuclear plant and rented on a month to month basis and the place was a little trashy....some resort . I did get a discount for camping the night there ($30) and only paid $6 for hot spring use.

http://www.avilahotsprings.com/ (though the picture is misleading....)

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Off I went on the motorcycle at 10:15 down to my next spot in L.A.

Last edited by MissMoxy; 03-01-2009 at 08:11 PM..
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:24 PM   #2
MissMoxy
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: nearer the water
Motorcycles: Vstrom650, stuff of stories: F800st, Vstrom650, sv650s, Dr350
Name: Nibor
Todays Map Route:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...e=UTF8&t=h&z=8

My route out of Avila continued down 101 thru Santa Barbara, pass Ventura...oh wait, what is that ? A humongous motorcycle store !!
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(Cal Coast Motorsports in Ventura just before the 101/1 split)

http://www.calcoastmotorsports.com/

-----Sccrrreeeech----
I spent about an hour at the store and talked to the salesman who tried to catch my fancy on an 1100 cc touring motorcycle....there were scads of used cruisers, sport, sport touring and dirt bikes galor outside as well as a plethra of new models inside. Quite the site to see !

Seeing as my chain was dry ,I asked the mechanic if he could oil my chain real quick- THANKS JOSH !! Off I split onto Highway 1 headed towards Malibu and passed the roads I had taken on my last trip on my SV.

different bike....same spot as last Novembers trip.
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I planned my route to stay on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway aka Highway 1) thru to Newport Beach where I would camp again. However, I was not prepared to be dredged thru stop and go traffic from Santa Monica straight thru Long Beach. I ended up stopping short and spending the night in Long Beach at a hotel where I got some much needed sleep. While proceeding thru the stop and go traffic on PCH I had a driver on my tail that was yaking on the cell phone and smoking at the same time. He was thoroughly indulged in conversation and made me nervous as to how close he was coming to bumping in to me. I dare not lane split due to my panniers being 2" wider than my handlebars. How much I wanted to take my gloved hand and put it to my helmet in mock mimickry of his cell phone use. AH, PMS spurred thoughts that I readily laid to rest. This is not the territory to start a confrontation in unchartered waters. I was amazed at the amount of drivers with cell phones glued to their ears!! L.A. must be exempt from the 'hands free' driving law.

(let's say AVOID this PCH because no views of water, just city city city)

I had a scrumptious dinner at The Yard which had a myriad of beers on tap and great atmosphere. Nothing eventful for the day aside from stopping off at a rest area and a person eagerly coming up to me and wanting to give me turn by turn instructions on how to get to my destination (yikes),
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Last edited by MissMoxy; 02-26-2009 at 09:47 PM..
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:52 PM   #3
MissMoxy
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: nearer the water
Motorcycles: Vstrom650, stuff of stories: F800st, Vstrom650, sv650s, Dr350
Name: Nibor
Todays map route:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...e=UTF8&t=h&z=9

Saturday I was out by 10 and headed from Long Beach to Highway one. My California Road Atlas has a green line from Seal Beach all the way down to Oceanside...I was ready to see scenery............aaaaaaaah, make that a NO ???!!! Now Huntington Beach was a long stretch of beach that was viewable....but then houses soon obscured the view while traveling down and I turned my thoughts introspectively once again.

I passed a car rental agency and saw a green car that matched the color of my jacket! Only $1700 a day for rent...and it had just gotten back from a trip and wiped clean. The mechanic was there and proded me to touch the car...even let me sit in it...I did have my bikini in my trunk and could have let my hair down....though my bikini would clash with the car so I passed on the idea. hehe:
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http://www.bhrentacar.com/vehicle_info/240/0

can I lick the italian upholstry ? I stopped for a photo shoot....wow....actually something exciting happened today ???!!! I carried on my way through the clustered, ritzy villages with no glimpses of the sea except MAYBE for a mile out of a 20 mile stretch.

I hit highway 5 with the fast moving traffic and saw what I thought was a scene out of the Naked Gun movie where Frank Drebin says "everything I see reminds me of her " and he's staring at two large....um......well, I'll find the picture somewhere....**EDIT** Confirmed: Onofre Nuclear Power Plant which I passed:
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at Highway 76 I headed East. Summed up for about 10 miles as being a shopping mecca with scads of houses and shopping....then more houses and shopping. DAMN.....then the road turned into one lane and the views of what I think were the San Bernadino Mountains in the distance. FINALLY...scenery.
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I headed West on highway 15 -uneventful aside from a large chunk of carpet between the fast and medium lane - disaster averted .phew... I turned South onto 74 where I gained a little altitude and was able to stop and take a picture of the mountains in the distance (one set belonging to Lake Isabella). I snaked through 74 which was pleasing in a way but too much traffic for my taste....ZZOOOMM...and I passed Hells Kitchen: http://www.hellskitchen-ca.com/
I didn't feel the need to turn around and check it out.....lots of chrome parked there ! At the bottom of 5 and 74 I ate some yogurt (didn't you want to know that ?) all the while looking at my bike
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There I took 5 West thru L.A. to hook up with 10 West to end up at the 10 and PCH/hwy 1 split (that in itself was exactly 100 miles of pure L.A. freeway experience) yuck, ptooeee...

My evening ended at 6. I decided to spend the night on Historic route 66 and in the morning was able to hop onto the 405. Total mileage for the day was 220.
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Last edited by MissMoxy; 02-26-2009 at 09:45 PM..
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:13 PM   #4
MissMoxy
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: nearer the water
Motorcycles: Vstrom650, stuff of stories: F800st, Vstrom650, sv650s, Dr350
Name: Nibor
Todays route encompased 432 miles.... whoops, I underbudgeted by not realizing just how many miles I had to cover to get back home....in time for W O R K on Monday. Still, I was in no rush and I continued leisurely down my off-beat path with me buckling down and saying I'll hit highway 5 at 41. The tip-overs were not due to mile-crunching....just needing to pay closer attention to possible off-road hazards.

I'm sure my boss would have understood if I called in to miss Monday due to being on the road---I did It on my Lost Coast Trip (he's good at work/life balance and understands --I think--my motorcycle enthusiasm )

Sunday was a day to make up for all the un-scenic last couple days (ie: me and bike and very few cars and fantastic scenery). Today was packed with miles....

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...1,7.932129&z=7


I got a late start to the day, hit 405 to the 5 and experienced some chillingly strong winds through the pass ( I wasn't using any heated grips or jacket). I took the turnoff at Frazier Mountain Pass and gassed up at the Flying J. The weather was cloudy but not menacing and I asked the cashier about the pass...she said it was doable without chains...good for me. I continued on thru Cuddy Valley Road and enjoyed the crisp, cold mountain air filled with woodsmoke and the strong scent of pine needles. The traffic was light and there were areas to pull of where families were tubing. I passed Mount Pinos where I stopped and asked a Park Ranger about the "Chains Required Sign" and if the way was clear....he said it was doable: " wet, blind turns, maybe some ice and crazy drivers but go slow and you'll be ok" he said.
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I wanted to stop and take a picture of the east side of the valley ...whoops
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luckily a vehicle passed within 10 minutes and helped me up. LESSON LEARNED:, Take note of depth of tire track tread left by previous vehicle when pulling off to the side. Bike was unhurt. It was a graceful fall. I continued on, everyone else apparently sledding and off the road and me enjoying few vehicles on the roadway.
I averaged 30mph through red gravel strewn roads that felt like a slolum course.I believe once I crested Mount Pinos was where I glimpsed a beautiful sight of sights to come....a snow-capped mountain range
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I enjoyingly proceeded through the windy road which ended when I crossed 33/166.

I took a little jog down 33/166 and turned left to enter Soda Lake Road. A couple miles further down and the road gave way to packed dirt...for about 25 miles (?)
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__________________
I do NOT have Attention Deficit....
HEY ! Let's go ride our BIKES !!!!

Last edited by MissMoxy; 02-27-2009 at 11:09 PM..
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:41 PM   #5
MissMoxy
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: nearer the water
Motorcycles: Vstrom650, stuff of stories: F800st, Vstrom650, sv650s, Dr350
Name: Nibor
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Washboard and Weestrom shock-testing in action !!
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I rounded a corner about halfway down the road only to see haze in the north....THAT was rain....crap....my heart skipped a beat and my throttle twisted a tad more...drops were already beginning to fall.....I came across a fire plug... in the middle of nowhere ??? and had to stop for a quick picture...just imagine all the coyotes that must have peed on this thing no trees around for miles !
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on I went, passed a Game Warden- Jim with his dog Jack (I never got a picture of you two !), and found I was only a few miles from pavement for the rest of the way to 58. I decided to take another picture and pull the bike off the road up to the Carrizo Plain sign (raining steadily but lightly now) and looked off the road to think "hey, ground doesn't look bad...." Wrong again...another graceful mudslide with the only damage being a nick off my ability to keep myself out of danger.
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The bike fell on the right side pannier again. no damage done, just gooped with mud. So there I was with the bike on it's side (this time didn't take a picture...felt too sheepish)....I had only passed four vehicles going the other direction.....and here it was 3 oclock and it was slightly drizzling- but here I was in a quiet and flat area and for a short time, enjoyed having to stay still for a bit.

Lights in the distance broke the greyness of the afternoon and there was Jim again only to stop and stand in the slick mud as we walked my bike back to the pavement....we chatted for a good 15 minutes- 3 (F650gs ?) passed as we talked - they looked well set up for wet weather. Jim suggested I take Bitterwater Road back to highway 5. I followed his truck as we turned onto 158 and landed me at the mouth of Bitterwater. Off he went to complete his daily duties. By this time the rain had eased and I zoomed up the road which was 30 miles or so from 41 intersection.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:44 PM   #6
MissMoxy
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: nearer the water
Motorcycles: Vstrom650, stuff of stories: F800st, Vstrom650, sv650s, Dr350
Name: Nibor
Bitterwater was an excellent scenic road complete with :
cows, .
(note my flourescent sticky in the picture that ebbs away more as my trip progresses. It got soggy, then with the mph and wind a little section would rip away and I would see a flicker of neon whizz past my face while traveling. Made me start to guess how much would actually be left by the time I got home.)
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barren grassy landscape
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to craggy trees in the river bottom
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I stopped to take a picture and just as I put my stand down I realized the road was a little off-cant. I decided to not get off the bike and tried to put the kickstand up and keep the bike from toppling over. No such luck. Over it went for the THIRD time on it's right side that afternoon...luckily I cushioned it's landing with my leg (ow)....so now I knew I had very little chance of someone passing, there were no houses that I had passed and cell service was nonexistant. I tried to right the bike, it wouldn't budge. The rain was sprinkling lightly. Luckily the roadside was marble-size sticky gravel and not mud...I mulled it over and took the panniers off and tried again. To my amazement, up the bike came....with a half tank of gas it must have weighed around 500lbs- and I couldn't right my SV ?? hmm...
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I still had a half hour of daylight left and zipped down the bottom and arrived at 46 intersection- thoroughly the icing of the trip....thanks Jim.

I took Highway 46 East to 5 North all the way to 580 West where I was greeted at Altamont pass with a deluge of rain and what appeared to be some sleet too ?? I took 680 North when it started to downpour. I 55mphoured all the way home to 24 and made it home by 9:30. I thoroughly wish I had my crampbuster, which I failed to steal off my SV. My throttle hand has been bugging me for the last couple days so I've given my bike and me a rest for a few days.

I definately will be back in sunnier weather to Carrizo Plain and enjoy the floral colors and to see Bitterwater and explore at a more leisurely pace.

My Weestrom and I are well acquainted now...I know it'll throw me side glances when stopping off to the side of the road for the next few thousand miles. Great bike...just the beginning of great memories.
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__________________
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HEY ! Let's go ride our BIKES !!!!

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Old 02-23-2009, 11:13 PM   #7
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Thanks, Robin. Reads like a good trip.
Great pics...
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:17 PM   #8
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:13 AM   #9
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Looks like fun despite of the cold rainy conditions and the tippings over.

would you do it again??
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:03 AM   #10
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:20 PM   #11
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Bravo!

Yet another great adventure from SVBEESGAL!



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Old 02-24-2009, 12:28 PM   #12
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:37 PM   #13
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:48 PM   #14
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Congrats on the trip and surviving all your muddy tippings-over--you are an inspiration to be sure. Cool that you got a VStrom, too--what brand are your panniers?
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:21 PM   #15
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you've been having sex with her gear?!?!
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