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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oddly enough I will be going right back where I started from...

Litterally.

I was born in the Oakland Naval Hospital, and the turning point of my vacation will be the Golden Gate Bridge.

People have asked me why San Francisco.

The Answer is because on the Coldest day of the year I saw a documentary about painting the Golden Gate Bridge and decided that was where i was going. There is nothing more to it.

I will hopefully be leaving Iowa on the 7th, the first stop is Estes Park, Colorado. Alicia and I will ride RMNP, stop at the visior center, play Yahtzee (long story) make cocao with my homemade presurized alcahol stove, then head for the Eisenhower Tunnel.

From there we are headed for the Great Salt Lake, she wants to swim in it.

From there we are on our way to the redwood forest where we will begin our ride down the coast to San Francisco.

From there we are headed to Death Valley and Las Vegas. Then on to Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.

Sadly then we have to head back home. :(

We're going to get it all done in 10 days. I'm estimating that we will put an average of 450 miles on a day, but with the first day's 700 miles, that becomes more managible as we go on.

If that does not clear out my mind and soul, then I'm hopelessly lost.
 

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Did you know that the Oakland Naval Hospital is no more. They tore it down within the past 6 months. So sad as that is where my son was born.

Enjoy your trip and be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I heard, but it really wasn't on the sight seeing tour anyway.

I'm kinda upset htat I have to miss the donner pass to accomidate Alicia's desire to see the redwood forest. I was hoping to stop there for lunch.
 

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I was born at Stanford hospital in SF. Its gone too. Id pass on the Death Valley thing this time of year. It was 123F yesterday. Donner Summit would feel much nicer and you can putt around North Tahoe. You could head home through Yosemite and cut across the Owens River Valley by Mono Lake. Absolutely breathtaking.
 

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She really doesn't want to swim in the GSL, take my word for it!! BTW, if you take I-70 west from the tunnel, you will hit 2 hour construction delays in Glenwood Canyon
 

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She really doesn't want to swim in the GSL, take my word for it!! BTW, if you take I-70 west from the tunnel, you will hit 2 hour construction delays in Glenwood Canyon

Somebody needs to tell em, the lake is full of billions of brine flies. And the oder can a leave bad taste in your mouth. Hywy 50 across nevada is a good run. Lots to see! and California 49 is good to through the gold country. How much of the state have you seen ?
 

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<...>The Answer is because on the Coldest day of the year I saw a documentary about painting the Golden Gate Bridge and decided that was where i was going. There is nothing more to it.
Did some touring in the area in 2008...CA-1 south of the Bay Area should be open, but it's a s l o w ride along there...you'll have a tough time averaging 450/day in California, as you'll be riding by a LOT of neat stuff to look at.

Have to agree with the Death Valley assessment, unless you like broiling yourself while riding at 60 MPH.

Will also agree with US-50 across Nevada, vut consider a bit further north - a return trip through southern Idaho & Montana might be nice.

have fun!
 

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Did you know that the Oakland Naval Hospital is no more. They tore it down within the past 6 months. So sad as that is where my son was born.

Enjoy your trip and be safe.
I had the pleasure (NOT) of spending 8 months at the Oakland Naval Hospital in 1967 due to an injury while serving in the Navy overseas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had the pleasure (NOT) of spending 8 months at the Oakland Naval Hospital in 1967 due to an injury while serving in the Navy overseas.
You may have met my father, he was the head of radiology there at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Death Valley and The Great salt lake were NOT on my personal list of places to go. I wanted to hit Donner Pass and The Star Trek Rock (aka Vasquez rock) but Alicia wanted to do death valley and the redwood forest.

She also wanted to go to Tampa instead, so we compromised.

I plan on buying myself a nice little pullover, loading the pouch down with ice, and soaking the fabric with ice water from the cooler on a regular basis. I'll live in death valley briefly as I stop to take a picture of her wilting infront of a thermometer, but I don't expect to go back.
 

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Paddy you have a PM.
 

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I was born at Stanford hospital in SF. Its gone too. Id pass on the Death Valley thing this time of year. It was 123F yesterday. Donner Summit would feel much nicer and you can putt around North Tahoe. You could head home through Yosemite and cut across the Owens River Valley by Mono Lake. Absolutely breathtaking.
Yep. Be ready for some heat. We've got a heat wave hitting now. Unless you're used to riding in that type of heat I would suggest waiting for another time, or renting a car so you can do it with more safety(at least for the DV section). Have a wonderful trip, and show us pictures when you get back. Las Vegas will be hot as well, but probably a solid 10+ degrees cooler than Death Valley.
 

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Desert Riding

I highly suggest an extra 40 ounces of water in the back. I just crossed the US from FL. to So. CA. two weeks ago. From western Texas to CA. I was drinking 20 oz. of water every 60 to 80 miles. It was 100 to 115 degrees between Needles and Ludlow. It was miserable. By the way, my Joe Rocket jacket fell off between these cities. Netting finally broke after 3000 miles (D.C. to CA. via Titusville, FL.) If anyone finds the jacket, please call me. You can keep the quarters in the front right pocket I used for tolls in the midwest.

All I can say is WATER, WATER, WATER... if you get thirsty, you're not drinking enough. Have fun. :popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
reporting in from the second and final day in San Francisco....

**** IT'S COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Other than that, except for losing my oilskin coat in lovelock nevada, it's been an awsome ride.

Nebraska was nebraska.

Colorado was incredible especially the ride to Estes park from loveland. Trailridge road was open all the way up this time, so we were able to ride all the way to the visitor's center. The view was increible, the ride was challanging, and all had a good time.

Stopped at the temple of speed in Utah, It was wet from rains. Couldn't ride it :( Met some guy from england who wound up hitting on a bondage model doing a shoot out there. I figure he probably got somewhere with her, but we had to get going.

Nevada was awsome. Well, Lake Tahoe was awsome. Nevada was mostly a desert. Lake Tahoe is worth he ride if you are within a day or so. The scenery is incredible. The ride is fun, don't take a nervous girlfriend though, she will panic at some point.

In California we got off the beaten track. On a shortcut to the pacific, Alicia and I found Lucerne, CA. It's the kind of idealic place I'd want to o on a honeymoon.

To tell the truth, I have never riden the dragon, Someday I will, possibly later this year. So for now, this is an unqualified opinion. If you think that the dragon is tough, try riding California 20 east of Fort Bragg. Holy ****! What looked like about 20 miles was easily 40, altitude changes, sweepers, hairpin turns. It was awsome. Heck, for pure chalange and scenery, try California 1 north of there but not if you are pressed for time. I was managing about an average of 20 mph. It follows the coast line, maybe a little too closely.

The Golden gate bridge was socked in with Fog the first day, and we could barely see the towers from the bridge.

Went to chinatown, bought a few presents, had supper.

Yestrday we set out to walk the bridge. Got lost. Toured the bay fortifications. Truly awsome.

Finally walked the bridge at about 6-8 pm last night. We bot had som mild hypothermia after finishing, and I was low on blood sugar. I'd never been so happy that someone was playng a kid's movie. It kept the hot tub open late at the KOA.

Headed out for Death Valley and Las Vegas today.

Pics when I get back.
 

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...If you think that the dragon is tough, try riding California 20 east of Fort Bragg. Holy ****! What looked like about 20 miles was easily 40, altitude changes, sweepers, hairpin turns. It was awsome. Heck, for pure chalange and scenery...
> Next time check out nearby Hwy-36, from Redbluff to Fortuna... Highest Rated Pashnit road ever!

> Though, if you really like the curves, check out the San Francisco Area... Too many to list, but some notibles are: Skyline Drive, Jamison Creek Rd, and Empire Grade
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When last we met, I was headed out for Death Valley.

First of all, there is a road running from Exeter, CA to Death Valley. 190 if I remember correctly. It would seem to cut about 200 miles off of the trip to Death Valley off of the GPS recommended trip.

To make a long story short, We stopped to check the map, and a couple people asked if we needed help. We told them our destination and planned route and were promptly asked if we were out of our minds.

They were ok with the destination, but apparently 190 through the mountains is kinda like highway 20 going to Fort Bragg what looks like a short cut definitely isn't.

We spent the night in bakersfield and set out for Death Valley. Along the way we kinda figured the heck with it, it was hot enough where we were and continued on to Las Vegas.

Interestingly enough, We stopped in Baker where we found the World's tallest Thermometer. That was the picture I was actually going to death valley for anyway. We stopped at the bigboy. The special sauce sux. The Thermometer is broken. No pins are to be had for either one.

On to Fabulous Las Vegas.

We were riding through a cold snap, which likely kept us alive. Alicia loves the heat, and she was wearing a soaked down pull over from Baker all the way home.

In vegas we grabbed a hotel room at the Circus Circus Casino. For those that think that would be expensive, it's actually cheaper than most places and more comfortable than sleeping in a tent. The Circus Circus has a KOA, but it has only two tent spots, and they were taken. It would have been $20 less to camp. Trust me, take the motel room.

We walked the strip, it had been a while since I'd been there, and I don't think I ever actually walked the strip before. Everyone should do it once. Start early in the evening, wear comfortable walking shoes. There are a lot of shows going on visable from the street, and they are staggared in time to allow you to see them all.

Blew $20 at the MGM grand casino and another $20 at Circus Circus.

Set out for The Hoover Dam the next morning.

Take a lot of water for the trip. We did it in under an hour, but it was 105 with a cold snap, the hottest temperatures we dealt with the entire trip.

The Dam tour has changed a lot since I last took it in '83. You're not allowed on the powerplant floor, you are not allowed to look up at the dam from the bottom, and the guards have cold hands.

Just kidding, they did not frisk me, but I was required to open my trailer for inspection, and I had to walk through a metal detactor. Apparently they saw me comming through the door and brough out the big basket. Screwdrivers, multitools, wrenches, belt, boots, wallet, etc went into the basket, and I still managed to set off the metal detector. We never figured out what exactly set it off, but eventually they just accepted that I was too dumb to be a terrorist.

Do the cheap tour, the expensive one is no longer worth it due to the additional security concerns.

Headed out for the grand canyon.

There are two ways to get to the grand canyon. The first is to go to the privately owned observation deck. This is the privately owned glass horseshoe that hangs out over the canyon. Apparently this costs $75 per person to access, but is pretty close to the hoover dam. We took the long cheap route.

Hwy 93 in Arizona has a resturant called Rosie's Den. The burger's are excellent, and it has a fairly unique pin. Bikers are very welcome, encouraged even, and the deck has a cooling mist setup. This is worth a stop.

We made it as far as Seligman, AZ that night. We stayed at the historic Route 66 hotel where the night clerk came across as condesending and obnoxious. However the room was very clean and the shower was the best of any we had anywhere on the trip.

We stayed in the Bobby Troup room. It should be noted that...

We both Got Sick
On Route
66

I think it was something in the motel room. We both had bad headaches and were feeling better by the afternoon. Eitherway I couldn't talk Alicia into going to the Roadkill Cafe. Neither my heart nor stomach was in it a that point.

TBC
 
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