blogging kp!

some of my travels with random musings & silliness mixed in

Goin Home… June 28, 2009

Bummer. Time to go home. ūüė¶

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!

 

Saturday in Kernville…. June 27, 2009

 

Woke up Saturday… feelin a smidge ruff around the edges…

Apparently, we were a little loud for the rest of the campground. One of the guys walked up for the free coffee and overheard someone complaining about us. The camp-host pointed out that we were there only one more night and that they were buying earplugs for anyone who wanted them for Saturday night! Hilarious.

Went for a walk and a dunk in the river (holy crap it was cold!!).

Everyone started to get ready and walked up to Sierra South for the rafting trip. I wandered up to take some pics of everyone with their booties and life vests. One of the employees came out and said they were gonna give us a free rafting trip since we had booked so many people. A bunch of the gang started chanting for me to go… sooooo…. I went back to camp, changed my shoes and locked up my camera as it isn’t waterproof.

They loaded us up on the bus and took us a few miles up river. We had to listen to the safety speech which seemed to go on FOREVER. Then it was group photo time. We finally got on the river… so much fun!!¬†I threw myself over the back of the raft and went for a swim. Other rafters were having water fights with their oars and trying to knock (ok… drag) people into the river.

The rapids weren’t running that hard, so, everyone had a great time.¬† We arrived back at camp about an hour or so later laughing and soaking wet.

NOTE: Ask for Bronson… he was the best guide and SUPER fun!!

Some of the “youngins” went back up the river and floated again in innertubes they had tied together. Apparently, it wasn’t their greatest idea but they all came back safe and only a little beat up.

Not really much to tell for the rest of the nite, except we all ate (courtesy of the Porchmonkeys), drank and hit up the local bars.

Some Links:

Sierra South Rafting:   http://www.sierrasouth.com/rafting.htm

 

Friday in Kernville…. June 26, 2009

Got up late this morning… I have to admit I was feelin’ a bit hungover. I pretty much shuffled my way around the campsite for awhile.

The campsite.

The campsite.

People were already up and drinking! Not this girl. I wanted breakfast and a shower. After rounding up some quarters, my “niece” Lulu and I wandered up to the top of the campground and took showers. Since we were movin pretty slow… We had to head to town to catch up with everyone else for breakfast. I just wanted coffee. Coffee is life. This girl doesn’t feel human until coffee has been consumed!!

After breakfast, Lulu and I went back to camp to catch up to everyone… again! We all hung out for about thirty minutes or so and then got on our bikes and went for a ride. We decided to take the road that runs parallel to the river… If you go up far enough you will end up in Johnsondale which is where you turn to get to the Trail of 100 Giants. I also hear it’s a cool little town. Unfortunately, we never made it that far. We only rode past the dam and Riverkern a little ways and then pulled over.

Along the riverbank.

Along the riverbank.

The Kern was a deep green. The sky was blue and the sun was HOT! We were parked in the shade provided by the low hanging trees. A few of us wandered down to the river. It was fabulously cool to the touch. I wiped my face and arms down with the water and tried to cool off. The light breeze made the water evaporate right off of me… It was invigorating. I really wanted to go for a swim!

Lulu and her Dad were standing by the river… looking for gold. We were giggling and thinking that if there was gold just laying on the riverbanks the Goldrush would still be happening!!

We headed back to camp. On our way we stopped for burgers and ice cream in Riverkern. When we got back to town I gassed up the bike and told everyone I was going to continue riding and go around Lake Isabella. I always seem to arrive in the dark and when I have seen the lake In the daylight I have been on my way home.

Lake Isabella

Lake Isabella

I rode around the lake. I doubled back the way I drove in… Sierra Way out of Kernville and then instead of left on 178 toward home… I turned right. I had gone only a short ways when I noticed a place on the side of the road that looked interesting. I say “place” because I am not sure if it was a small junkyard, antique store or someone’s home. It was interesting because it was filled with old antique tractors, gas pumps and other sorts of things that I love to take pictures of. I tried to stop and look around. Unfortunately, the place was surrounded by a dirt parking lot. The dirt was too soft to put my kickstand down in without coming back out to find my bike on it’s side. I admired the place from the road and then headed toward Lake Isabella the town.

Despite it’s being at a junction for Highways 155 and 178… Lake Isabella the town doesn’t appear to be all that big. It was big enough that I decided to take some time and ride around the town for a little bit.

I love to take pictures of signs… particularly the old school signs in front of motels a la Route 66. I took some pictures, stopped at McDonalds for a drink (it was crazy hot outside) and started back toward Kernville via the 155.

Arlie's Club, Lake Isabella

Arlie's Club, Lake Isabella

About half an hour later, I arrived in Kernville. I stopped at the grocery store, picked up Captain Morgan and gave him a ride back to the campground.

(The rest of the evening I will leave out to protect the not-so-innocent. Suffice to say we had a good time around the campfire… loud, happy, muy borracho and late… but isn’t that what you are supposed to do when you camp?)

 

Some Links:

Lake Isabella: http://www.lakeisabella.net/

Sequoia National Forest: www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/

Trail of 100 Giants: www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/gsnm.html

Silver City Ghost Town: http://www.lakeisabella.net/silvercity/

 

Goin to Kernville June 25, 2009

Hooray!! It’s time for a trip to Kernville for some camping and fun.

Last year’s trip was the first big trip I took on my new motorcycle. I loaded up my bike with my camping gear and off I went…50 miles into that trip… I turned my first 500 miles.

Soooo… this year I did the same… I loaded up my bike with my camping gear and off I went. ¬†This year though I feel better about riding this bike… More confident.

In order to not have to¬†take extra vacation days… I went to work and once again¬†rode up by myself. Everyone else left at around 10:00am. Kernville is about a 4-5 hour drive/ride.

I just wanted to get on the road! I couldn’t wait!! FINALLY! It was 3:00pm… I got to head out.¬† It took me longer to get out of the office than I wanted. ūüė¶¬† ¬†I ended up leaving later then 3:00pm.¬†Once on the highway, I checked the clock on the bike… 4:52pm… quick calculation in my head told me I could be there around 9-9:30pm… with no issues. Oh well… once again I won’t get to see Lake Isabella in the daylight!

It was a simple plan… 15 North to 395 North and then some back roads (the 14 and the 178) and I am there!

Other than traffic there is absolutely nothing to report so….

Sunset on my way to Kernville.

Sunset on my way to Kernville.

Jump ahead to Johannesburg… on the 395…. it’s now 8:00pm. Got off the bike for some water and to stretch a little. Checked my phone… Holy smokes! There is a text that my friends JUST arrived at the campgrounds… they left at 10:00am! ¬†Either they left real late or something went wrong. After a few more texts, I told them I would see them in an hour.

Turns out the chase truck broke down about an hour into their ride. Apparently, they were stuck in Temecula for a few hours before they were able to continue on with their trip. (Had I left on time, I would have caught up with them or beat them to the campground!)

9:10pm… Pulled into the Frandy Campground. Four hours and fifteen minutes only two stops… Pretty good time considering… due to the two lane roads once you are off Highway 15… Google Maps estimated five hours…¬†about 300 miles from work.

Wow… The number of people and campsites doubled this year! The majority of us camped. However, there were some people who stayed in local hotels. Kernville is about the size of a postage stamp. So, getting around is on foot unless you are going sightseeing.

After I parked the bike, I had my first Captain of the evening. Hooray!!

Last year’s camping trip involved me¬†getting pretty sick and being stuck in my tent all of Saturday. I believe it was from the pizza that we had delivered the night before. So, this year I was very wary when I heard pizza had been ordered again. I stuck to the cheese pizza and only had two pieces.

Then I put up my tent.¬† This task was WAY MORE FUN last year….when one of the guys thought I was “messin” with his tent. Seriously!

Well… The rest of the nite was spent around the campfire with the younger half of our group drinking Captain and talking about randomly goofy things. The question of the evening…. “What would Jesus doodle?”.¬† Yep… you had to be there.

I think I crawled into my tent around 1am-ish??

Some Links:

Frandy Campground:  www.frandy.net

 

KOA, A Missed Turn & Oakhurst May 23, 2009

KOA… the mere name invokes rundown creepy campgrounds. In the last ten years or so they have really changed for the better.¬†Maybe it’s been longer than ten years but it’s been at least ten since they became a part of my conscience and travel plans. The Midpines KOA is no different. The campground was very clean, the people friendly and there was a little pond for fishing. The ladies behind the counter were just great. They understood my need for a beer when I arrived and directed me to the cooler in their well stocked campstore.

Truck for sale.. I have the phone #

Truck for sale.. I have the phone #

 Ford Truck EmblemThey asked me about my ride. We got to talking about my directional error back in Oakhurst. I had missed the turn for the 49 and ended all the way up at the Yosemite kiosk. Apparently, the turn is in Oakhurst proper. The turn was not signed very well. But the error turned out to be in my favor. I was riding through town and saw a great old Ford pickup for sale. So, of course I stopped to take pics.

¬†The truck was at the bottom of a steep driveway into a cemetary with a beautiful old church. Those of you who know me know I can’t resist old cars or churches. So, up the hill I went. I walked around for a little while, took some pictures and enjoyed the quiet.

Oakhurst Church

I left Oakhill Cemetary and The Little Church On The Hill and headed back thru town to the turn off. Stopped super quick for a bathroom break.  A woman gave me the tip to take the 49 to Triangle Road. 

I am so glad I did!!!

Triangle Road is a narrow two lane road that winds around some beautiful scenery for about 15 miles. I passed a funky lookin general store, a pasture or two with horses and great big beautiful trees. The air smelled clean and fresh and there was very little traffic… I might have seen two vehicles. At the end of Triangle Road is an old abandoned building. The porch was long, the windows were boarded up. With some time and money, I think it would make for a fabulous honky tonk / cafe. Behind it was an old red barn. I parked the bike and of course had to take pictures. The weeds were tall in the pasture and littered with rusted old artifacts. The end of the road is 1.5 miles from the Midpines KOA.

Church at the end of Triangle Road

Barn on Triangle Road

KOA Midpines closes for the winter.¬† They start taking reservations in November for the next year. Reserve one of the following or all for a group… Cabins 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 tent spot 75.

 

Some links:

KOA:     http://www.koa.com/where/ca/05195/ 

HWY 49/Oakhurst :  http://www.historichwy49.com/mainmap.html

My campsite next to the pond.

My KOA campsite next to the pond.