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2014-05-29 GOTC_SonoraCA

Gathering of the Clans 2014-05-29, Sonora, California

With many thanks to Fairlaner, aka Richard, GOTC was to happen again this year. With the passing of my Pops, just last 4/21/14, and having been incredibly busy with administering the trust, I almost decided to not go. Then, a moment of clarity and with a quick pack of bare essentials said yes before I could say no again. Still, Pops was on my mind. Then again, better to celebrate with the living than mourn the dead so off me n' KrZy8 go.

KrZy8 was rarin' to run. New tires, fresh oil, chain lubed.. well maybe not the chain thing..

In very accurate CBA fashion, I decided to NOT make a run to California City to inspect the rental house. IT would have made for an 11 hour day in the saddle and I just didn't feel like it.This is on 41 East, heading towards Shandon.

To the left, Paso Robles - to the right, Shandon.

Shandon is mostly a Hispanic town, with a nice park, a chuch, post office, and general store, run by a Korean. Unlike many inner city areas, no conflicts exist between the Korean store keep and the Latino community his store serves.

The post office.

It pains me to see what was once a wonderful house deteriorate to this. 

Every CBA ride starts with a nice breakfast. And EVERY time I stop, I see my bud Randy, a local rancher, having breakfast.

Next stop, Coarsegold, CA, to Roberts, for a burger and ice cream cone!

I think KrZy8 still looks great, almost 150k later..
I see newer bikes, but this one is set up perfect for me and she still runs very strong, so why not dance with the gurl yah brung?

Leaving Coarsegold, found this truck n' Pup..

Always looking for a new back road, CBA style, I stumbled on Old Toll Road. 
Coolio sez I, until it turns into the worst bit of pavement I've ever been on.
It was like clumps of cold asphalt thrown down everywhere by a bunch o' drunks.

This dirt was better than the asphalt...

Yep, there, right there.

Lucky for me, not taking Old Toll allowed me to ride the 'Little Dragon' 49.
This is where it gets strange. KrZy8 is ready to rAgE and the rider AiNt.
Not feeling the love today.. Missing my lines, running wide, exceeding my margin of stay within the desired line by 6 inches.
So I went into Tourist mode.

For my Bud TurboDave and theClampers.

The Hetch Hetchy resevoir and power plant.

What surprised me was the number of company vehicles in the lot. It was like EVERY single employee had company ride. I was cruising around in a private area, and a rental cop was heading my way, so I did not stay long. The sign said this plant was put in place by the city of San Francisco. Given the number of company trucks I wonder if all the employees commute from SF to here daily.

Another one of those moments. I've been by Chinese Camp a dozen or more times. This time I stopped.



Some see a run-down house. I see a thing of simple elegance. I can't help it. Let's restore it!

See the ghost of grandma on the front porch? She's just past the window, sipping some iced tea.

Since every RR should have a motobike or two, here's KrZy8 posing by another old house.

I'm thinking this was the post office, first built in 1854, but I'm not sure.

Leaving Chinese camp, I backtracked to Sonora to get unpacked and into the hotel room.

Two of my good buds were in town. Terry, below, owns T&A motorsports in Sonora. We decided to head west about 20 miles to meet another bud, Greg. We all three raced MX in the day. Oh, Terry still does. Here's Terry on his FXSR running hard. He runs that Harley faster than most Feejer peeps.

The restaurant was called the RoadHouse, 1950's decor, and the food was good. There were approx 50 firefighters waiting to be served.. the waitress was ON it. She got our order first!

The next day, Jer and I took off for a day ride.

After having breakfast, and at our bikes, this 1190R arrives and says 'Hi, my name is Dave, I used to have an FJR. Can I ride with you guys today?'. and the day was set. IIRC, Dave's forum handle is HappyRider or something like that.

Dave to the left and Jer, trying to be smarter than the fuel pump. The fuel pump won.

Finally, Jer gets the FJR filled up...

Dave, being local, took initial point. This Parrot Road or something like that..

I'm convinced the entire state of California is going to run out of water.

The route today was 4 to 89 to 395 to 108. Here, Jer takes a pix near the top o' the mount.

Dave was nice enought to let the old folks take a pee break..

Look how far to the right, off-center, the RHS bag is.

Me thinks this is Mosquito lake.

Clean air, easy breathing.. Life is good. My thoughts wander off to Dad.

4 is truly a wonderful road. This year it was in good shape, no tar snakes, little traffic, and we were having fun.

This is 89, a connector. It actually felt good to go in a straight line for a bit..Eat your heart out Ignacio, hiway 50 ain't much on this!
Well, ok, yes it does..

I remember thinking how crisp the air felt to breath, and how beautiful the scenry was. It's not often I'm fully engaged in the moment,but right then, I was in the zone.

I mean, it beats being at work, yes?

Dave suggested Walker Burgers for lunch. Here, Dave discovers he forgot to drop papers off earlier for this daughter to attend a camp of some sort. He's feeling pretty dorky right about now, talking to the Missus. We convince him to take off, go, leave us, abandon the troops, get back to Sonora in time to get the paper deliverd and NOT dissapoint his daughter. He took the old guyz advice. Truly, he is smarter than he looks!

I liked this little place..

Walker. The Walker river. I remember my brother loved fishing it here. He had this old man friend that was 100% blind but could out fish damn near anyone. Of course, he had to be led to the stream, but once there... he was the best. He also played pool, horseshoes too. He was a genuine character, and somehow, this walk way in Walker reminded me of him. Funny how it all works.

Leaving Walker, Jer and I ride south on 395, slowly, as Dave had mentioned heavy LEO presence. He was right. At Sonora pass, 108, we head west.

..and prompty get behind this.. Sigh. I wasn't sure how Jer felt about passing on a 2x yellow, but I could not take it anymore.
Jer did great. Say bye-bye.
By the way, Jer, at 72,sets a mean pace. That old man can ride a motobike at a clip slower than Petey but faster than most!

Whoa. Breathtaking.

I felt bad about pulling off at this spot for the photo shoot. I'm pretty dirt proficient and don't think twice about diving into dirt that's off camber,slippery and prone to falls. I looked back and saw Jer kind of, well, not struggling, but he sure wasn't having fun either. He did NOT whine or whimper, and did just fine.. although I did spot the back hand rails just in case.

Have I said how much I love this bike, KrZy8? After all the miles n' smiles... she still delivers..
(Thank you Fairlaner and FjRay for helping with the engine swap, I will ALWAYS remember!)

Amazing motobikes.. 9,000 feet and 'carbureting' perfectly..

I"m getting OK at the one handed photo shoot while riding techinquie..

We stopped at Dardanelle to pee, get an ice cream cone, and hydrate. This entire facilty is powered by one noisy-ass generator.

I recalled being here in 2006, when KrZy8 was new, I was fresh to the forum. BikeEffects, Jeff, rode with us that day and I recalled how fast he rode..Now, Jeff doesn't ride, hip problems. That's another reason to ride all you can while you can. It won't last forever..

Gas is 20 miles down the road. I chuckled when a gal driving a Prius was freaked out that she was out of battery and low on fuel..

Does this pump remind you of simpler times? If so, you're really OLD.

We made it back, just in time for the people pix and the party to start..
The road goes on forever,and the party never ends.. Joe Ely.

The next morning... the day that Bluestreek rear-ends Bugnatr..I decided to ride alone. While I enjoyed the ride with Jer, I really wanted some alone time, to try and settle some final thoughts about Dad and other issues going with administering the trust. Besides, riding alone, I can stop anytime I want to. And I did.

Todays route was farther north, west to east of 88, then back on 4, Ebbets pass. I thought that riding 4 backwards would be fun too.


Pano shot from near the top..

This is the problem with not doing RR's immediately. I don't recall exactly where this is..

Fortunately, I do remember where I left KrZy8...

This is 4, heading westbound towards Sonora..

I know, too many pix...

Then again, I don't see this every day.. where I live it's brown.. dead weed brown..

Our lakes our empty... some down to no water at all.. and summer looms.

Caples Lake. The sign says so.

It's fun to be grooving on Elvis on a day like today.

Heading to Markleeville, CA. Every time riding these passes I think how lucky I am to be able to ride, to see, smell the air, and absolutely nail the perfect corner.

Big grassy meadows, a fringe of snow. Where are the cows?

In Markleeville, had a very good sandwich at the deli, next door to the general store. The feller in red leathers is Dale Walker. For some reason, KrZy8 drew the attention of alot of different riders, and even the local sheriff. Yes, the Law. Fortunately, all the sheriff wanted was to talk about FJR's as he's looking to buy a red one in a couple of weeks.!

Out of Markleevile, it's hiway 4, this time being ridden east to west.

Getting into the too much beauty in the scenery moment here..

..and now you know the rest of the story.. of Kirkwood ski resort.

I'm thinking this guy doesn't have much of a garden..

Aspen trees are the windows to heaven.

When a narrow road traverses a mountain pass, and you travel it, does that make you a pioneer? A mountain man? Perhaps Henry David Thoreau?

There is simply something about high mountain lakes that bring peace to the mind and soul.

Met this Indian and rider. Nice guy. New bike. It looked better in person. Lots of leather. Lots of fringe.


I think Indian did a great job on the styling. Love old school push rod tubes, the curved head. When the rider took off, it sounded very good too. Different than a Harley. Throatier.

KrZy8 strikes a pose.


I must like this cabin, this is the 2nd pix of it!

Paul Harvey moment..


Look at this.. Who owns it? How often do they use it? I assume no power. Or Water. Or much of anything. Right by the road too. Why would anyone put a cabin right by the freaking road?

This is Mosquito lake, really. I know I said it was the lake before. I lied. Sue me.

8,061 and climbing. For some reason I love to watch the altimeter rise..

..and the MPG too. This is kRZy! 43? I never get above 37 mpg..

.and then 54 mpg? WTFO?

..and 54.9? Has the CPU crashed and leaned her out to destruction?

Back at the Rodeway / Sonora Inn, the party had started without me. The Bastids! How dare they? :)
Tiffany, Brad, Cindy, , Joseph, and Roger.

Quickly I learned that Steve had taken an unscheduled trip over the bars after clipping Doug. Later, it was rumored that his boyz hurt a bit.. LOL.

Mike, Joseph, and Valerie..

Valerie and Steve, two very wonderful peeps.

This is Neil from Sand Diego. Nice guy. Would like to ride with him and Janet soon! Plus, as an EnJinEeeer, we have lots in common. Whiskey, for example. And he and Janet do the cowboy things with guns and dress up for the time period. Pretty coolio by my book.

Mark, Mr. Borker de la Forker!

Sorry, don't remember her name. For some reason, she likes Old Michael? Really? She LOOKS smarter than that!

Ahhh, hey wait, are you brother and sister?

Sam, Nightshine in red. Son Aaron in blue shirt.

Gayle, Mrs. Bugnatr, and Terri, Hcycle's  better half.. on left.

The couple to the left of frame.. Nice peeps. Wish I could recall their names.. Karen does her best impression of Johnny Cash, the man in black.. :)

Karen, Fairlaners better half, gettng ready to smack Richard with her purse..

The next day... the ride home.

...and the little Dragon, 49 calls. I'd not ridden it up hill before, and up hill is the better ride!

NO cars, NO Leos, NO Worries.
Once again, the church of the open road delivers..!

Unlike the road to GOTC, today I am keeping my 6" line and railing the corners. It felt soo good. From the state of mind at trip start to ride end.. What a difference. At peace with Dad being gone. At peace with me, the Donald. I really think all is good. In the words of the Grateful Dead, 'We will survive!"

The last stretch. 41 west. Back to dry, hot, and boring. And Home.

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