blogging kp!

some of my travels with random musings & silliness mixed in

Desert Christ Park, Yucca Valley, CA October 27, 2010

While out researching another ride to Pioneertown, CA, I came across the website for the Desert Christ Park in Yucca Valley.

This is a hillside park adjacent to a church with 35+ statues of Biblical figures… some of which recreate events from the Bible. The statuary also shows various apostles and/or others in what appears to be discussions or taking time out to contemplate. There are even 1 or 2 statues in a lying down position… maybe resting or maybe just enjoying the sun on their alabaster skin.

Back in the 50s, this park was created by sculptor Antone Martin as a his statement of peace. From what I could tell, his cement sculptures appear to be placed facing away from the sun… with the exception of Jesus who always seems to face Yucca Valley.

Unfortunately, a 7.3 earthquake back in 1992, did some damage to a number of the sculptures… removing heads and hands. This left rebar sticking out bare almost as if someone took the sculptures’ skin off.

Martin also built a large wall with the Last Supper in bas relief. (You can go behind the wall and place your head in the window next to Jesus… it’s ok… the wall was built for this!)

More of my photos: http://wp.me/pyPkl-9I

Advertisements
 

Big and Lone Pine, CA September 11, 2010

In order to celebrate my birthday with the people I love, I decided to hurry up and get home from Mammoth.

Normally, this is an eight (8) hour ride via the 395 and the 15, however, I had to stop in Independence, Big Pine and Lone Pine.

If you follow any of my blogs or know me well enough, I have a “thing” for neon signs… particularly the old motel signs. Since these towns are peppered with old signage, I had to stop and grab my camera. I wandered around a bit, took quite a few photos and had lunch.

I left around 2pm and pulled into my local watering hole for some birthday celebratin’ with my favorite friends around 9pm… yep I hauled ass. After a while, I tumbled into my own bed. Have to say there’s nothing like falling asleep in your own bed after being gone for awhile.

More of my photos: http://wp.me/pyPkl-9m

 

Yosemite National Park September 9, 2010

For someone who is not a fan of big cities (me), I had a pretty awesome trip to San Francisco. Hanging out and reconnecting with Cindy and her family after 15+ years as well as meeting her husband and son was great. But it was time for me to head home.

I decided to ride over to Yosemite, cross Tioga Pass and head down the 395 back to home. This time, however, I was going to spend less time in the Village and around Glacier Point. My goal was to camp in Curry Village, get up and spend my day going through Tioga Pass.

Last time I was in YNP, it was late afternoon and SUPER cold, so, my goal was to get over the pass quickly not sight see!!

Half Dome at Sunset

So, I set off around 12:00ish and headed east on the 580 and followed the signs to Manteca. I stopped and grabbed a coffee… because… coffee is the nectar of the gods (behind Captian Morgan, of course)!  I then hopped on the 120 East to Yosemite and cruised for a few hours. I must admit, I didn’t find anything particularly stand out as far as scenery or roadside stops along the way. The whole trip from San Francisco took about three and a half hours.

Yosemite. It is one of my most favorite places in the US. Funny. I have been there at least a dozen times… winter, spring, summer, fall… and I am always mesmerized by it’s beauty! I must admit that since I purchased this bike, I have been back many times in three years after a five or six year hiatus. It never gets old and to be on the bike in YNP is pretty amazing. I have been trying to get my friends to join me but … no takers. Talk about missing out!

Housekeeping Camp #156

Before I pulled into Curry Village, I stopped at Housekeeping Camp. I went into the office and was lucky to get a spot for the night. If you are not familiar with Housekeeping Camp it is an “H” shaped concrete structure with a heavy canvas roof and doors. Each half of the “H” has a double bed, a set of bunks, some shelves and electricity. All you have to do is walk in and make the beds. No tent pitching. Each half also has a picnic table, fire ring and a metal shelf outdoors for cooking, eating and storing your food. YOU MUST USE THE BEAR BOX!

Quick note: Housekeeping Camp rents bed linens and camp stoves. The cost is minimal and might be a great option instead of packing a lot of gear. HC also has a small camp store and laundry room… and of course showers!

As most of you know… I love camping. So, why Housekeeping Camp instead of Upper or Lower Pines? I have never been able to stay there and I wanted to experience the “tent cabins”. As I mentioned earlier, I have been trying to get my friends to ride to Yosemite with me as well… I want to experience the different lodging options.

Diggin the reflection on my saddlebag!

Once settled in, I went to Curry Village for dinner. They have a pizza joint (long lines), a dining room, a coffee bar, a grill and a taco stand. I ordered a burger and fries and sat down in the BAR! Woohoo! I stayed for a few hours & talked to many nice people.

LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES:

If you are going to Curry Village from Housekeeping Camp… walk or hop on the bus! Yosemite Valley is surrounded by one way roads. You can only drive into the Valley on one side and out of the Valley on the other side.

Your options from Curry Village back to Housekeeping Camp are: You drive the wrong way on a one way street (not recommended) or drive through the Village, part way down the Valley, make a u-turn and head back up the Valley to get back… which is a little gnarly on a motorcycle in the PITCH BLACK with the chance of critters or animals crossing your path.

 

SR37, North San Francisco September 8, 2010

So, today I decided to take off on my own and ride my bike around the outskirts of San Francisco. I would start in Dublin, head up the freeways to SR37, then down to Sausalito via Hwy 101. Afterwards, I would go up to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area lookout and take in the view… ride over to the Sutro Baths and the Cliff House. From there I would head down the coast to Half Moon Bay and then go back to my friend’s house in Dublin.

Ambitious? Yes. Complete my planned route? Almost. See everything I wanted? Not quite… Can you say fog?

I started out by taking all the “80s”… 580, 680, 780, 80 to the 37. Not much to report as they are all just freeway. While on the 780, I did cross the Benicia-Martinez Bridge (paid my toll) it was cool but I am not a fan of bridges and heights, so, I just crossed and got on the 80 North. At Vallejo, I got off and hopped on the 37.

SR37 is also referred to as Sears Point Road. After crossing a bridge, (If you ask me, it was more of a “hump” shape instead of being flat.) I am on a two lane road with a cement barrier down the middle. The story is that SR37 was once nicknamed “Blood Alley” due to all the fatal accidents… many of which were “crossover” accidents. Once the barrier was put in place, the number of accidents dropped dramatically.

SR37 meanders through San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. What’s nice about this ride is that despite the traffic, I still felt a sense of solitude. The refuge includes open bay/tidal marsh, mud flats, and managed wetland habitats. This refuge is also home to a number of endangered species. Endangered due to humans; hydraulic mining and salt production; as well as changes for agricultural and industrial purposes such as diking and diversions of water.

I followed the 37 around San Pablo Bay to the 101 South. I stopped a few times to take some photos. And I just generally took my time. I was enjoying the solitude. I was enjoying the colors… yellow-green marsh against the blue sky… white sand “beaches” … it was just nice to be out riding and not be on a major freeway boxed in.

NOTE: If you are going to do this ride… check the Infineon Raceway website for their schedule. If it is raceday, I am guessing the traffic would be a nightmare.

I got on the 101 South and proceeded to Sausalito.

More Photos: http://photographingkp.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/sr-37-san-pablo-national-wildlife-refuge/

 

Sunrise Highway & Lake Cuyamaca, CA October 18, 2009

Yesterday, I had a great time at Viejas.

Today, I decided to take the longer more scenic way home. We had rented a room in El Cajon. My friend had to leave to go to work, so, I was on my own today.

I got on my bike and rode out to Pine Valley. From there I headed up over the Sunrise Highway to Mt. Laguna. It was a beautiful clear day and just a little chilly. I had my iPod going… listening to whatever came up in the shuffle and just took my time riding up the road.

The elevation was high enough that there were signs on the side of the road with various warnings about snow. Houses were sprinkled along the road and there seemed to be quite a few campgrounds. The little town of Mt. Laguna looked quaint but as I didn’t stop, I don’t have much to report.

The trees were changing color… yellows and reds and oranges. I noticed a turnout with a viewing deck coming up. I pulled into the lot, parked the bike and grabbed my camera. Nice view!! There was a couple on their bikes that I passed whole walking to the viewpoint. They had leathers on… pretty easy to spot and she rode a very red Street Glide. We exchanged the various necessities…. Where are you from? What year is your bike? Are you alone? They left and I had the viewpoint to myself. I took some photos and rode onto Lake Cuyamaca. 

I parked the bike in the Lake Cuyamaca parking lot behind the restaurant and went walking on the dock… sat there for awhile and watched the boats. The lake was very peaceful. There was a family nearby fishing… they caught a fish and the little boy lost his mind he was so excited.

After an hour of hanging out and relaxing, I headed home.

 

Goin Home… June 28, 2009

Bummer. Time to go home. 😦

I woke up around 7am… Maybe earlier? Picked my clothes out and then packed my tent up. Got dressed and grabbed a coffee. I started repacking everything into my bike. Some of us headed off to town for breakfast.

The rest of the campers found us at the restaurant just as we were finishing our breakfast. So, at about 9:30 we left.

178 to 14 to 395 to 15… Given the fact that we had some older bikes with us we rode slower and we had a few breakdowns.

NOTE: At this time the bathrooms in the Johannesburg Texaco were out of service. The port a potties were ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. If you can… hold it to the next stop. Hell, goin on the side of the road would be cleaner and less revolting.

We got down the 395… with a few mechanical issues… and pulled into the Pilot at the 395/15 junction… had a quick break and off we went again. I am not a fan of the 215, however, everyone else wanted to go that way. Shortly after the grade, we got on the 215 and one or two of the bikes broke down. Unfortunately, after an hour in the heat below an underpass on the 215… one of the bikes had to be put in the back of the pick up.

It took us a total of about ten hours to get home. I kinda had to giggle… Four hours by myself … Ten with a group…. But that is what happens with that many people and that many different types of bikes.

But… I would do it again anytime!!

BTW… Last year I turned 500 miles… This year I turned 10,000 miles!!

There's a bike in there!

There's a bike in there!

Chargin it up!

Chargin it up!

Note the duct tape!

Note the duct tape!