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Thread: Cooter and Bubbles ride to Mumzys house.

  1. #11
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    This is much easier

    https://cooterstravels.blogspot.com/...n-left-at.html




    You're welcome Aaron!!

  2. #12
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Sorry, but this story is too much fun not to post on here.

    Episode 3: Should have taken a left at Albuquerque.





    It's never a good sign when Bugs Bunny is right.

    We are riding high spirits from some bowm-chicka while the edge of the Milky Way slowly rotated across the top of our tent the night before, and it left both Bubbles and I with some serious momentum in the morning. We are both new to packing up this particular set of camping gear, but found a happy symbiosis quickly. I roll, she fills the sack, I load. It's satisfying, and we both usually finish our jobs at the same time. I still was able to successfully Jet-Boil us some drinkable coffee (with a couple of stolen 7-11 creamer pods), and be on our way pretty early. Thankfully this would be our saving grace as the sun set on us weary, cold, no where to sleep, on this very evening. But we didn't know that yet.

    A quick and curvy backtrack to James Store in Kernville for a re-supply of fuel, water, and snacks, even a few of those dreaded phone call internetting things we are trying to escape so badly, and then finally, some blessed relief from the heat once the speedo read more than zero as we followed the lazy winding river up into the Sequoia Nat'l Forest and past the Trail of 100 giants.

    Not much traffic but plenty of swimmers, campers, all just side by side with strangers, partying away, oblivious. Does denial count as oblivious? Because these people were pretty happy. I'd still venture guess it's better than going to Sturgis...

    We saw the sign. Hell, it felt like it was just out of town and it even conveniently said "395" and had a cute yellow arrow. In fact, it was so close to town, we questioned it, stopped, and had a whole discussion about it, checked one of the four paper maps we had,, then promptly continued on forward with the confidence there would be another one.

    Paper maps are great, they don't even need batteries or a cell signal. Since paper maps have been around for so long now, they must be very, very, accurate right? One of the mysteries of the universe that this insignificant little Cooter will never understand, is that they aren't. I concede that the tiny little cherry stem roads that I like so much could be missing, but inaccurate?? NO info is better than bad info. As a young man, and pre-cell phone, I have 'navigated' home before from Laughlin, NV using only the back of a cocktail napkin from The Colorado Belle (RIP)... The fact that every single paper map isn't perfectly accurate in 2020 just makes my mind wobble. I can see it now in the giant dark underground room where ****ty maps are printed:

    "Sir!, we need to write a word here over the road marking!"

    Well then, just delete the road under where you type the word.

    "But Sir! Isn't that ruining the whole point of a map?"

    LET MY LITTLE TIMMY SQUIGGLE WITH HIS SHARPIES, AND DON'T QUESTION ME JOHNSON, OR I'LL SEND YOU BACK TO THE PAYPHONE FACTORY!

    It took 3 hours. The lovely twists and bends, giant Sequoia trees, cresting past a cool 7000', cute little Ponderosa (pop 94), and finally getting to some sort of civilization enough to see a sign and now know that we were nowhere near the destination of Kennedy Meadows that we had aimed for. The roads were so twisty and bendy that in the 3 hours after leaving Kernville, we had only gone 70 miles and dropped right into quaint little Springville, CA. On the wrong side of the Inyo mountain range.

    The. Inyo. Mountain. Range. It's not too often I get lost, but they do say "go big or go home", and I am not going home so...

    Bless the Bubbles for a pretty consistent positivity. We are on an adventure after all, but this does leave us very late in the day and a very, very, long way to go, or sleep with the bears. We did end up sleeping with a bear this evening... but for now it's the ritual of topping off the tanks, topping off the waters, and heading out to an uncertain destination. Because there is absolutely no way back over the mountain range besides backtracking the entire way we came, I decide to be happy enough to carve my way back to our starting point that morning.







    Take it easy Turkey! (not Coors Light)
    The same Poderosa, CA we had passed earlier gets the easy choice for a pretty awesome lunch. We end up sticking to a light breakfast/late-big-lunch schedule because having dinner available is always questionable when you bite off more than you can chew. Thats a pun, people. As we enjoy a perfect clear day eating on their expansive deck, watching some poor boy working to split what seems to be an entire Sequoia tree on the parking lot, I let any stress of a destination fade away. It is whatever its going to be, we are prepared, comfortable, and ready for anything! Let's do this!

    One of the new additions to our camping gear is a 1/2 gallon gas jug and it's a fantastic peace of mind to know theres a 25-ish mile reserve with you. If you fill it. Which I keep forgetting to do. Because it's a new addition to the camping gear. I do ultimately remember it though, just as we finally get to our turn off to the Sherman Pass towards Kennedy Meadows, because the sign says "no gas for 78 miles". It should have been around 10am when we got to this point... well it was... but I digress. Now it's 4pm, and simple mileage addition makes me sweat just a little even in this cool, thin air. Bubbles will be fine with her trusty Ninja sipping 55mpg, but with my big Buells original engine architecture dating back to 1950's means a slightly less efficient conversion of dinosaur bones-to-noise ratio. Whatever, we are currently 'going big'.

    And so well worth it. Neither one of us can believe this is basically our backyard. Never mind the 4 ridiculous days it has taken to get here this time, we could be here in about 3 hours via freeway nonsense to revisit anytime we wish. And we will.



















    Truly stunning. Silent and empty. Panoramic views. We had forgotten all about the hot desert floor and packed on layers of clothing as we rode up past 9200' of elevation and back down through chilly, shaded tree lined roads. I'll admit I was keeping an eye on the sinking sun as sunset can change drastically depending on which side of the mountain you're on and we had been on both sides of this one. Today.

    Miles ticked off as I coast-raced in neutral down the back side towards the only town before the dreaded 395. More for fun than efficiency, daring myself not to touch the brake and scrub off speed before every one of the thousand corners, scanning for bear scat and calling out potholes to Bubbles on the comm. Finally a house. Then 2, then a group, ahh a sign of people. Its been awhile, hello people! Every state campground is closed (because you get the flu from camping, I guess) and every private campground is full because all the state ones are closed, duh. And the only gas station is closed for us too. No matter, we're really going big now. I want to go see the Grumpy Bear. Always the first stop when dirt biking with good friends years ago, and I know they have some supplies, possibly some local guidance for camping, and definitely a cold beer after this long day.

    It's getting dark pretty quickly, so just a short ride down the only main street. Theres cars in the lot, so we can rest easy knowing they aren't closed like the gas station was. They must have seen us coming, unfolding off the bikes and taking off our gear to shuffle our dusty selves up the wooden steps because we meet Micheal across the fence that says "Sorry guys, we're closed. Having a private party tonight"
    Last edited by 34nineteen; 09-11-2020 at 08:01 PM.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    https://tenor.com/view/do-it-encouragement-gif-4402334
    Do it.

    Even the worst trips make the best stories! Hey Levi, I'll PM you 34:19's phone number so you can call him directly

    JK, but thanks for posting that buddy, for some reason when I do it the pics disappear and I have to load them on here one at a time and get the BuellXB.com random rotations....

  4. #14
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    I really like those brown colored wheels on Stella, great pictures, makes me want to start traveling but I'm going to work another couple of years and hope at the end I am able to still ride a bike, I was able to do 275 miles a couple of weeks ago. If not, I have my eyes on one of those new Honda scooter 125's, the off road one will be for me.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    You can ride AND work NJ

    Like my dad always said... "Don't wait for tomorrow to do it perfectly when you can half ass it today!"

  6. #16
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    https://cooterstravels.blogspot.com/...umpy-bear.html
    Thank you Aaron

    I'm aware there's a lot of those word things that take some effort to read, and I am aware that goes against the trend for 'moar pics, no talky-talk!'.
    I tried to adventure like that, stopping for more pictures, stopping to post as I went, or stopping to give witty replies... and couldn't do it.

    Hope you enjoy what I'm posting! But I am writing it for me and The Bubbles
    Last edited by Cooter; 09-18-2020 at 04:39 PM.

  7. #17
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Episode 4: Sleeping with the Grumpy Bear
    How you react to any situation, ultimately sets a chain of events in motion. It's oh well, it is what it is, **** happens, make the best of it, poor me, or any number of things Garfield says, that really set the tone for what happens next. To you.

    It could be someone not 'liking' the picture you tagged them in, or maybe Apollo Creed won't stop punching you in the face. Do you plead for him to stop? Do you run away? Or do you get the Hell up and punch him back? Adventurers like myself and my lovely, ever trusty compatriot, are punchers.

    Of course, I don't mean that literally. The 'chain of events' is pretty predictable if every time we got bad news, we hauled off and started punching people in the face. What I mean to say is, keep fighting. In this case, it may very well have been just the look on our faces that did the fighting for us.

    "No worries Micheal, nice to meet you and you all have a fun night. Tell them Happy Birthday from us! Say, would you know of a place we could camp out?"

    Ya man, sure. Just go set up your camp over there behind the bar, under those pine trees wherever you like, and hey, would you like some homemade whisky?

    Cue Bubbles and I, mouths agape, wide-eyed, and in total unison: Yes um... we would like some homemade whisky!

    Want to know how to become instant best friends with both Bubbles and I? Exactly that way. It turns out our new best-est friend ever Michael doesn't own the place, hasn't asked the owner for permission, he doesn't even work there, and in this beautiful little forest town that time forgot, it doesn't even matter.

    He does introduce the owner Kendra, who is very sweet and shares my sisters name. She is happy enough to oblige us with not only confirmation thats its fine to post up anywhere we want, use their little airstream trailer, use the bathrooms and showers that are open all night, but also gives us a hook-up on some really good IPA's. Talk about a welcome wagon. Faith in humanity is being restored.

    We have enough time to find the perfect spot to set-up camp, crush a couple of those tasty IPA's, play a little dice (I won, neener, neener), before we settle in to watch the starts blink on one by one and the big bright moon pop up to illuminate our surroundings through the net top of our cozy tent. Call my a cynic, but this isn't how I pictured 'sleeping behind a bar' would be.



    Home sweet home!



    Not so sure I want to.



    I don't care what Yelp says. Only the good bars have a deer head and a snake skin on the wall.

    The blissfully cool and quiet night had us both snoring so loud, the threat of real bears investigating these new loud neighbors was down to a minimum. Even the occasional rustle of a curious field mouse at night was a calming reminder that we were doing this the right way and comforted us both right back into dreamland. Waking early with the rising sun had us craving coffee, so we obliged the invite to our new favorite bar and got big cups of the black stuff, right as they opened. Our bestie Micheal was also there. We aren't sure where he slept, but the breakfast burrito with vodka screwdriver combo is the sign of a true professional. We took the advantage to get to know him a bit better and what a neat guy he was. He has been a world traveller his whole life, and used his construction ability as barter for room and board while building houses and schools with non-profits in Argentina, Brazil, Chili, and many more I forget. Not a bad record for mid-30's and one of the happiest most content people you'd meet. He was doing the same thing there in Kennedy Meadows for the last 18 months and was lamenting it was the longest he'd really stayed anywhere. Ever. We both would have loved to pick his brain and hear his stories all afternoon, but our empty stomachs and empty gas tanks were crying for attention.
    Nine-mile road that leads down from the 6200' Kennedy Meadows to the sea level 395 is about 6 miles long (I dunno) and chopped straight into the side of the mountain. It's treeless and steep enough theres a ton of stories about trucks and cars going over the edge that were never recovered. I didn't tell Bubbles that until we left the parking lot of Grumpy Bear to head down.




    That turkeys expression is always accurate.

    The drop in elevation also brings the desert heat of summertime in California. At the bottom, 95 degrees and 108 miles past the "No gas for 78 miles" sign, we took a northerly turn and hoped that somewhere close in the shimmering distance the heat waves would reveal little metal pumps that dispense the rendered dinosaur juice we needed so badly.
    Freeways suck, highways are tolerable and the 395 isn't that bad of a highway. Neither one of us wants to be there. We'd rather travel there, but our slight backtracking adventure of the day before had solidified that the 395 was the only reasonable way north, on this side of the Inyo mountain range (In yo mountain! sucka! Sorry, but it really is hilarious if you do the accent just right. Sucka.), because the only other way is the I-5 through Fresno and I'd rather be punched in the face by Apollo Creed. What comes with 'the only way north' is say, if there was an impending summer rain storm, no way to navigate around said summer rain storm.

    After a successful dino-juice/water stop that came just in time, memories of our previous trip Jeeping in Death Valley, deep snow, tragically lost, sleeping with the fire of scrap wood stolen from a mining camp, had reminded me we had found civilization upon our exit in the form of the Mountain Rambler Brewing Company. Easily 2 hundred miles farther north than I thought we were that day. Notice a theme? We had a paper 'map' then too A re-visit to the scene of the elated victory was in order!




    1, plus an hour=0.00BAC. Suck it.

  8. #18
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Making good time means nothing without a destination, but even so... we were making good time. Shooting for something near Lake Tahoe, but definitely, absolutely, NOT the expense and crowd of Lake Tahoe. The highway sweeps past many beautiful lakes, and it wasn't until leaving Mono Lake and Lee Vining the skies had darkened dramatically.



    See what I mean about the expression? Mono Lake! Sqwaaawk!



    You can't even leave them for a minute!

    Looking intently at the free and invaluable MyRadar app we saw the rain storm up ahead that I so eloquently alluded too in my oh so excellent foreshadowing earlier. Blue is damp, green is rain, yellow is uncomfortably wet, and red means get shelter. Lots of green, enough yellow and red to be concerned, and zero shelter ahead. We're gonna get wet. I also took this opportunity to be a complete city boy sissy and book an expensive room with the crowds in South Lake Tahoe, in case we got soaked with nowhere dry to camp.
    I've had practice using this app before during my prison time in Florida, bobbing and weaving my motorcycle through the inevitable thundershowers that come in at 3:25PM and last until 4:10 every single summer day, so using all my timing and superb skill to let one pass, we shot the gap on a wet highway only to be sprinkled upon enough to get relief from the hot ride we'd had all day. Win!

    Passing just into Nevada, we picked up the 89 to avoid Reno entirely. If you've been there, you know why. That lead us over the utterly amazing and steep Luther pass that crests at a cool 7735'. Great pavement, gliding curves, and pointing to a waiting hotel room with a hot shower!





    Clouds still hanging low, but no more threat of rain on the Luther Pass

    Once in Tahoe, HOT showered and thirsty, we decided to take advantage of the free admission tickets to the beach. Admission. To a beach? Ya well, we took some shots through the fence of the glorious sunset, avoided the throngs of tourists, donated our passes to a friendly family, and decided to concentrate on the thirsty thing.










    Obligatory sunset pics are obligatory, but still beautiful!

    Arm in arm we battled the forces of oblivious vacationers on rental scoots (only one dollar and I can full-speed slam into people and property as I wish? I'm IN!), found a good outdoor beer bar with terrible karaoke that turned out to be the band, and started feeling a little too close to civilization. It's not the bars fault... you can buy a beer, but only with food (because a virus is contagious if you drink beer without food?). Oh, and the pretzel bites that you want aren't 'food', the ****ty $4 hot dog on a dry bun that you don't want is 'food' (sigh). That OK, I just realized it's my birthday and everyone knows that not dying for an entire year deserves a celebration! I'd rather enjoy a nice cocktail anyway, but once we turned the corner, and the neon of the casinos lit up the drunken masses gallivanting aimlessly and starkly unprotected, it was an easy choice to just grab some celebration supplies (small bottle of good whisky, and lemon yogurt almonds) and courageously retire to our room, grumbling as old folks do. I'm beginning to relate to the guy from "UP!". She even let me win at dice

  9. #19
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Thursday, September 24, 2020
    Episode 5: Birthday Blues, Burned Breweries, and Stinky Sulfur.
    There is a certain fortitude that is required when roaming long distance by motorcycle. Motorcycling is uncomfortable. Worth it, but uncomfortable. The well-rehearsed dance of donning heavy gear in the morning can get you breathing heavily for the wrong reasons. Two armloads each of all the stuff that we can't leave outside at night and can't lock in the car, that inevitably needs to get to and from the last hotel room, up the stairs, and all the way to the opposite end, every time, and after packing that stuff back on in the morning, your whole heavily loaded machine needs to be balanced and backed up by human power alone.

    Just when you think the physical part of the job is done, you press your chest against 70mph wind all day long, and your brain grows weary from scanning for rocks, potholes, slick spots, and gravel around every corner. Not to mention avoiding 4000lb metal killing machines that are piloted by people who can't be bothered to literally lift a finger and let the world know what their intention is by turning on the little blinky orange light on the corner of their goddamn Prius killing machine. (Sigh)

    Thats about where my head was at waking up in South Lake Tahoe the day after my birthday. I felt we were behind a schedule (that didn't exist) and are going to be late for a destination (we didn't have) and needed to rush to make up for our previous wandering (which was the point). Thankfully, precious little Bubbles talked me off the ledge. She quoted my favorite commandment from the scriptures of open binary-wheeled mechanical conveyance travel:

    "When you feel you're in a hurry, SLOW DOWN." Take a break, spend another day... relax! See what wherever you are has to offer!

    Well, we didn't do any of that, but her positivity did make me feel much better as we rushed headlong into the worst tourist traffic either of us had seen around the lake. It looked like highway 89 was going to provide some fun curves, wonderful views, and our eventual camping spot. But first we had to get around the lake. Fuelled up and splitting lanes, we puttered (Well... I "rumbled", she "puttered") past throngs of sightseers locked in traffic, and headed around the west side of Tahoe towards Truckee, Ca. We couldn't be too mad about our clutch hands getting cramped, after all we were looky-loos too on this marvelously clear day, and the bicycle lane just might have provided enough room to squeeze past the tight spots of stopped traffic (allegedly) and keep us moving forward.



    Sticking your iPhone to video out of your Bimmer window at 40mph will never compare.



    It really is a beautiful lake.

    Traffic happily cleared about halfway around so the riding and the scenery got exponentially better, alternating between sighting the perfect curve, and viewing glimmer of fresh water through the shady trees. We decided to stay on 89 as it left the lake and took us north into the Tahoe Forest. It wasn't long before the heat of the day had us looking for late-lunch grub in quaint little Quincy, Ca.

    Since brewers are craftsmen, and craftsmen care, its an obvious choice to pick a brewery for reliably good food, and of course a perfect dry throat cure as well. Quintopia Brewing got the nod because it looked like a nice, local place, oh and it was the only one in town. Turned out it was a nice, local place and had us shedding a tear in our beer. 8 days before we arrived, fire had taken this entire small town brewery to the ground. All that was left was their little restaurant across the street.

    From their site:





    In the early afternoon of 29 July 2020, my beautiful brewery was taken away from me by flames – and also taken from my supportive local investors, from my wonderful staff, and from a very special community.

    A fire on a neighboring property spread to our building, and despite a huge effort by firefighters, the building was destroyed by nightfall. Our friends and co-tenants at the Plumas Crisis Intervention Resource Center also lost their space and belongings, and the West End community Theatre lost all of their prop and costume stores. This was a tragic combination of loss.

    Fire is as old as time, and has no mercy. When it strikes, it takes more than property. Thankfully no lives were lost in this incident. But consumed in that indifferent inferno were years of blood, sweat, tears, dreams and pride for all involved. For me, the fears and trepidation that come with starting an ambitious new brewery in a small mountain town now seem shadowed, perhaps by the billowing black smoke itself, compared to the feelings we are experiencing right now.

    Quintopia is a community owned brewery, funded by several dozen individuals, of which many additionally contributed time and skills during construction of its production facility. It was a beautiful and unique space that I put thousands of hours into creating with utmost care and detail. A combination of carefully laid out and professional brewery process infrastructure, inside of a warm and attractive room that reflected an aesthetic born of my own life experience, and of our Northern California mountain town culture and environment. Hand-milled blue stain pine and centuries-old doug fir from my backyard and neighbors’ properties adorned bar tops, trim, and cabinets. Recycled materials such as roll-up doors, lumber, and insulation weren’t just thrifty, they reduced our construction footprint, and held a history of their own. Ironically, some of the historical original Meadow Valley Fire Department building now rests in the rubble of Quintopia, those materials unfortunately short lived in their new role.

    The way forward is uncertain. But through the trauma – through the lingering smell that keeps me awake at night, the looping images of the destruction unfolding that day, the sting of personal possessions lost, the uncontrollable tears that keep taking me by surprise, and the suffocating weight of this next chapter ahead – there is a resilience that is creeping in hour by hour, day by day. We will rebuild. Quincy’s first brewery in 100 years has much more story to write yet. The support from the Community, the local brewing industry, and our friends and family is astounding. Our place in Quincy culture was rooted more firmly than I even realized, and I am powerfully aware of the heartfelt loss that Quincy is feeling.

    During a global viral pandemic, saying this is a tough hand to be dealt is an understatement. The financial repercussions of this are yet to be fully understood, despite insurance, and the emotional and practical burdens cannot be worked around. But we are so grateful to have our taproom and restaurant intact across the street, so we can continue operating. We will remain open our regular hours – and possibly additional hours – and plans are being developed to brew some of Quintopia’s flagship beers on nearby Breweries’ facilities . We will supplement our brand with other amazing local craft beer, and strive to continue to be a hub for socializing, great food, and exceptional beer in the local community.

    Your heartfelt expressions of concern and kind words give me strength… the generous offers for office space, brewing facilities, construction support and more give me hope… and the financial contributions are incredibly appreciated for its practical help in supporting my wife Hannah and I, our young family – many of you know our 6 year old identical triplet girls – and Quintopia, as we navigate these difficulties.

    Thank you. From the depths of my fire-ravaged heart. Big love Quincy, and all who are part of the Quintopia story.

    Tom Hepner
    Founder, Brewer, Manager
    Quincy, California

  10. #20
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Insurance will never cover the effort of hardworking people like that, who put their skill and care into something beautiful. Poor Bubbles had lost everything to a house fire as a young woman, so even though we didn't know these fine people personally, this hit particularly hard. After a truly spectacular lunch at their restaurant, we hit the road on a more somber note, realizing how quickly fortunes can change.

    The marvelous 89 was gaining elevation and the air was cooling for some relief past Lake Almanor. It did indeed continue to provide the curves and views as promised that culminated that day at the Lassen Volcanic National Park. It's a pretty remote park, which explains why the NFS couldn't be bothered to man the booth. We made sure to put our FIFTY dollars of admission into the envelope (allegedly) to ride the 29 short miles of highway through the park. A buck-and-a-half for every mile of "public lands", on a state-built highway. Hypocrisy smells a lot like Vaseline.

    Volcanos are stinky. Incredible! but stinky. Neither of us had the desire to explore that area of the park. Instead we forged ahead to higher ground.











    Manzanita lake looks cold but there were people swimming! We regret not stopping and dipping our feet in

    We already knew from looking at the time and the map that we were destined to be 'between places' by the time the sun went down this day and traveling through national parks means gas is hard to come by. The tanks are empty, the sun is setting, do you turn left towards that lurking, godawful freeway to get gas in 20 miles guaranteed? Or do you roll the dice and turn right towards nothing but the tiniest little blip on the untrustworthy map called Old Station?

    A quick check with the ever willing Bubbles, and she says "Roll the dice". What a rockstar.


    Last edited by 34nineteen; 09-24-2020 at 06:35 PM.

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