blogging kp!

some of my travels with random musings & silliness mixed in

Mariposa, Happy Burger & Duelling Bullfrogs May 23, 2009

Since it was too late to ride up into the park without worrying about deer on the road late at nite, I asked the ladies at the KOA for some suggestions for dinner. They suggested going to Mariposa … 7 miles away. Savoury or Happy Burger were the two eateries they suggested. (No pizza delivery and I was tent camping so I had nowhere to cook my own food.)

BTW… Did you know Mariposa is Spanish for “butterfly”? In my post about riding to/in/out of Yosemite… you will see this little tidbit was an appropro item to learn.

49er Club, Mariposa, CA

49er Club, Mariposa, CA

I rode into Mariposa and parked in front of the 49er Club… The 49er is the oldest bar in California (??) or at least Mariposa! I decided to walk around before dinner. Mariposa is a cool little town. Many old buildings from the 1800s… The Mariposa Hotel Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places No. 91000560.

I started out at Yosemite Gifts. Incredible jewelry everywhere… wow. Most had the label Su’s Creations. The opals, lapis and the black pearls caught my eye. Antique books, Indian kitsch & jewelry, old sign reproductions and of course Harley chotchkies adorned the walls and shelves of the many rooms in this store. They were also selling flags for Memorial Day.

I ended up walking around town looking at/photographing the old buildings, which was much needed after riding all day. I gave some serious thought to the local pizza joint as it was packed but I decided on Happy Burger instead.

Happy Burger is a 50s diner with more choices on their menu than I could possibly ever remember to cook!! The sign and menu tout “Largest Menu in the Sierra”! 12 pages!!!! The menu had burgers, Mexican (The tacos were good but not quite what I ordered/expected.), salads, every type of fried stuff, baked potatoes and ok…

Get this… 

Fried Cheesecake Burrito Anyone????

Fried Cheesecake Burrito Anyone????

A fried cheescake burrito!!! OMG! Cheesecake wrapped in a flour tortilla, slathered in butter, deep fried, dusted in powdered sugar AND topped with your favorite sundae toppings. HOLY MOLY! I have to believe the creator of this “dessert” was stoned OUT OF HIS MIND when he concocted this gut exploding, ass growing, artery popping heart attack on a plate??????

(ok…. Upon further inspection there is a bowl of steamed broccoli buried on the menu… phew!)

Happy Burger’s interior is covered in old album covers… the Fonz and Judy Collins stare down at you from the ceiling. Guy Fieri from the Food Network would love this place for his show Diners, Drive Ins & Dives.

 The back patio has a karaoke machine with a golden fuzzy bear in a red cowboy hat who acts as your host…. $.25 and you can sing some little ditty with said bear. As there really is no amount of Cap’n Mo that can get me to sing karaoke… I refrained. The kids next to me can’t wait to finish dinner and start singing…. On that note… I am so outta here!! 

Blastin Jimbo, your karaoke host

Blastin Jimbo, your karaoke host

I rode off to the KOA, crawled into my sleeping bag and fell asleep… visions of Half Dome still dancing in my head!

Oh yeah… The campground has a few bullfrogs living at the pond. So, be prepared for being serenaded by bullfrog song… sometimes duelling bullfrog songs… which sounds nothing like Duelling Banjos!

 

Some Links:

Mariposa, CA:  www.visitmariposa.net/facts.htm

Happy Burger:  www.happyburgerdiner.com

 

KOA, A Missed Turn & Oakhurst

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.

 

Bakersfield & Fishlips May 22, 2009

For my 1st stop, I decided on Bakersfield. Four hours riding and part of it during holiday rush hour LA traffic would be about all I could handle and I couldn’t take all day off from work.

I admit ~ I know nothing about Bakersfield except for country music, Buck Owens and The Crystal Palace. Which are all good things!

I have a friend who is in the business of delivering some of the finest old school real country music. Figuring, he’s had to have played in Bakersfield, I emailed him asking for some tips. He suggested a bar called Fishlips. Fishlips… really? I thought for sure he’d send me to the Crystal Palace… Nope… Fishlips.    Ok then… I googled Fishlips to see who’s playin Friday nite and get their address.

The Beat Farmer Sandwich

The Beat Farmer Sandwich

I also checked out the menu, I knew I’d arrive late I thought I’d eat there too. Whoa!! What’s this? A sandwich named after my favorite band EVER…The Beat Farmers! Fried egg, bacon, cheese on a hoagie.  Breakfast at nite wasn’t in my plan BUT I knew I goin to Fishlips was. And go I did!

The band was pretty good. They were called Backup Johnny. They played original songs and covered some old 80s tunes. The clientele that nite leaned to the much younger than me with tattoos. (Not the shitkickers I expected from Bakersfield in a bar suggested by a country singer!!)

I cozied up to my friend Captain Morgan, enjoyed my dinner and did some people watching. The staff were super nice and attentive… the sound guy gave me his card to pass onto The Beat Farmers (now The Farmers) cuz he wants them back at the bar. 

I stepped outside for a little while and was surprised when someone mentioned to me that I rode up from San Diego… That kinda freaked me out a little. (Turns out the door guy mentioned that a “chick” rode up on the bike from San Diego… is that some sort of novel idea… a chick on a Harley? Or was it cuz I wasn’t on a Sportster? hmmm…)  Anyway, we started talking and Tom turned out to be pretty cool. He rides bikes and has a horse ranch where he rides horses as well.

Well, since I knew I had to get going early in the morning…I grabbed my copy of Fishlips’ menu and headed back to my hotel. Off to dreamland I went…visions of Half Dome dancing in my head.

PS:   To my friend… Thanks for the Fishlips tip and sorry for the drunk email.   🙂

Some links:

Fishlips:   www.fishlips.org

The Farmers:  www.thefarmersmusic.com

Backup Johnny:   www.myspace.com/backupjohnny

 

Memorial Wknd ’09 – What To Do ???? May 21, 2009

I was really struggling with what to do for Memorial Weekend. My choices were the roadster show in Santa Maria, Bryce Canyon or Yosemite. My riding partner to Bryce couldn’t make it afterall so that option was out. I checked for campgrounds in Santa Maria because rooms were going for about $150/nite… nada… unless I wanted to stay 20-30 miles away… there went that option! 

Yosemite it is!!!

I love Yosemite… This was a no brainer and since I have been there many times, packing and planning was a snap. Only this time it would have to be less stuff as I was going to ride my Harley. Camping gear, camera equipment, clothes, cables for all the electronics (come on… will we ever have one cord for ALL devices????) and warm riding gear all have to fit on the bike… the inventor of bungee cords is a genius!

I checked the weather… 70s by day… 50s by night… FABULOUS!