September Sierra Getaway....
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Thread: September Sierra Getaway....

  1. #1
    Junior Member GreyZuk's Avatar
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    September Sierra Getaway....

    I did a road trip several years ago with my brother in law spending 3 days driving around the central Sierra Mtn Range in California. I'm planning to redo that try in September (dates TBD) spending 4 days on my TW200.

    Day 1, Like last time I'm going to take Hwy 49 North and then shoot up to Twain Harte, CA.

    Day 2, sputter over the pass and head into Bodie Ghost town to explore and probably camp out near June Lake.

    Day 3 head down to Alabama Hills and explore on the TW and possibly head up and check out Devils Post pile Monument then head towards Lake Isabella to camp.

    Day 4, Haul butt home by way of side roads to stay off Highway 99.

    I'll probably budget a 5th day into my vacation planning to account for unforeseen problems (tools on fresh tuned bike, AAA paid up, and wife with truck/trailer only a call away)

    I loved doing this ride before but I think I'll love it immensely more at 55 mph.

    I just ordered up a Clarke tank for it and will pick up pannier racks and a fresh chain before I go........ If you all have any sightseeing ideas or suggestions please chime in. If you're interested in joining me, hit me up. I live in the boondocks outside Fresno, CA
    joeband and littletommy like this.

  2. #2
    Junior Member GreyZuk's Avatar
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    Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 10.40.28 PM.png

    I'm figuring about 700-750 miles total so around 250 miles a day seems doable
    littletommy likes this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member arbolmano's Avatar
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    Lots of epic riding in that area. From Lake Isabella back road it to Hwy 190. Fun road and great FS roads at top (Camp Nelson). I would try and avoid travel in the Valley , side roads near as bad as 99. Have yor SO pick u up in Springville. No points lost avoiding a boring dangerous ride. I hope it's 190, look for hwy out of Springville goes through Camp Nelson. Excellent camping n dirt roads out at the top.
    Enjoy
    Last edited by arbolmano; 07-12-2016 at 05:06 PM.
    littletommy, Mel and GreyZuk like this.
    Tonto on the "Left Coast"
    1987 TW200 (2) 2015 BMW F700GS
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    That is a lot of highway miles not leaving much time each day to explore TW rated destinations in only five days. Would be fun though, no argument there. I would tend to avoid the more touristy destinations but that is just me. For example go after Labor Day Sept 5th to avoid mandatory shuttle in to Devil's Postpile. Those columnar jointed basalts are not that rare ( ask anyone from eastern Oregon or Washington) however the ride from Mammoth over the mtn to the Postpile can be worth the $10 fee if you can ride the TW.

    Planning on using motels, campgrounds, or primitive campsites after Twain Harte?

    Have you considered fewer straight and level miles with more of a meandering mountainous route back and forth over Sierras multiple times? For example get your better half to ferry you close to Twain Harte then ride over Sonora pass, refuel @ Bridgeport, camp and/or soak just south @ Buckeye Hot Springs. Travertine Hot Springs on outskirts of Bridgerport is good for a spectacular cleansing soak if you are just traveling through.
    North to HWY89 just south of Topaz Lake then over Luther Pass to HWY4 on Carson River. Meal, gas, lodging perhaps in Marlkeeville then west over Ebbetts Pass. Awesome scenery, campgrounds, lakes to explore in the high country. Next day head west descending HWY 4 to HWY 49 @ Angel's Camp. You could easily have spent another day exploring up to this point.
    South on 49 to 120 and over Sonora again, or north on 49 to 89 and east over Carson Pass. Either way then head south to Lee Vining and final day traversing Tioga Pass and on through Yosemite Valley. Nice views and camping above Mono Lake on primitive roads outside the park.

    This does miss the southern leg of your proposal, but it is a long grind to reach Alabama Hills ( which I absolutely adore) and beyond to loop around souther end of Sierras and return home via Central Valley. That leg is still hot in September but Mt Whitney and neighboring high country like Bristlecone Monument is cool above 10,000 ft. Just not sure you will have spare time to enjoy these areas for more than just a few hours before having to pound down more highway miles. Could always visit Alabama Hills cooler time of year.
    Last edited by Fred; 07-14-2016 at 10:25 AM.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
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  6. #5
    Senior Member arbolmano's Avatar
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    Fred was much more elegant and informative than I. Voice of experience. I'd second re thinking route and timing.
    i'm partial to the concept of having my best friend who happens to be my wife drive the RV to a campground and meet her there.
    She takes the easy route n I take the TW route. Less to carry and support team always there. Eastern Sierras abound with opps for such.
    Always use the proper tool for the job at hand. IMOHO the TW is not best for speeds over 40 or long distance Tarmac travel.
    I say concept as I have yet to pull it off. I was forced to retire but my wife won't just yet. What riding I do now is short trips on the BMW as I regain my
    skills post brain surgery last year. Above all enjoy yourself!
    Mel likes this.
    Tonto on the "Left Coast"
    1987 TW200 (2) 2015 BMW F700GS
    More Wagging and less Barking
    "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think"
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    We must give GreyZuk credit for attempting a long distance adventurous ride though. He is a better adventure tourer than I, that is for sure!
    Wimpy me does trips like what GreyZuk proposes with bike in the haul/camp vehicle on the highways, then I unload at nice campsite all fresh, fueled, fed and air conditioned for a new TW back country ride each day out of a new base camp. I know, I am cheating...but it sure is darn comfortable and easy.
    However I have just about convinced myself to attempt what I proposed in post #4 as those twisty steep secondary mountain pass highways are incredibly scenic and rewarding on a bike.
    Tweaker likes this.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
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  8. #7
    Senior Member arbolmano's Avatar
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    Amen to that Fred. Ride your ride. Please post when done for those less fortunate w ho have to
    live via others.
    Tonto on the "Left Coast"
    1987 TW200 (2) 2015 BMW F700GS
    More Wagging and less Barking
    "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think"
    Make Love not War

  9. #8
    Junior Member GreyZuk's Avatar
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    Sorry I didn't respond sooner guys, I forgot to turn on reporting to this thread....

    I'm limited to 4-5 days max so that I don't have to burn any vacation time at work. I went over the Sonora pass last time and stayed at Pinecrest Lake campground as well as the June lake Campground and Panamint Springs Resort campground and really enjoyed it however I was planning to just find some no-tell-motels for this trip so I could have the luxury of a shower each night. The map is a rough draft at this point to give me general guidelines however within that I still have the time limits so while I will look for dirt routes running parallel to my route, I may have to factor in keeping on schedule.

    I've never been over the pass that goes through Yosemite... I live an hour from Yosemite so I'm not going to bother spending much time there, just cruising through. My understanding is you don't have to pay if you are just passing through.... I also spent a few years living in Sonora so I've been over the 104 and 108 passes several times.

    I'm hoping to find some dirt roads that parallel 395 running south to be my "dirt section" and hoping to explore Alabama Hills as much as I can on my TW without getting the Sheriff's/ Park Rangers all grumpy. Those guys have a hard enough time these days without some schmuck on a bike being a tool.... LOL.
    littletommy likes this.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Without the camp gear you can travel lean and more efficiently and thus make better time.
    Tioga Pass from Mono Lake to Yosemite Valley is absolutely spectacular and vastly superior in scenery to any other option. More traffic than other options though. I did the ride last fall when the motorcycle entrance fee was $15, it has been since raised to $20 for motorcycles ( $30 for a car with up to 4 occupants). Go now before budget crisis raises it to $30 per motorcycle.
    I fear the "I promise to just drive through and not look at the scenery; give me a free pass" is just urban legend...the current requirement is for an Entrance Pass. Worth it though. If you do it I think the views from the saddle and the building drama are better heading west than east.
    I've never seen Law Enforcement patrolling the Alabama Hills which is BLM land by and large, nor any posted regulations or restrictions of any kind other than "No Vehicles" on just a few paths there. Rangers may be encountered up Mt.Whitney way within the monument boundaries as well as in forest service land up Cottonwood Canyon as well as the Bristlecone National Monument. You will not be an outlaw on your TW.
    If you have seen Sonora Pass why not sample something new? Carson Pass and HWY 89 are too close to Lake Tahoe for affordable No-tell-motels unless you proceed further over Luther Pass to Topaz Lake.
    I'ld suggest HWY4 instead as being both very scenic, TW twisty like 120 over Sonora Pass, under-traveled and thus with more affordable motels along the way...nothing commercial higher than Bear Valley however.
    Keep your plan if you want to cruise through a lot of interesting miles and glimpse great destinations. Condense the wish list if you want to slow down and explore the places you traverse as long as you are in the neighborhood.
    All depends on your preferred style. Personally some of my favorite discoveries were poking my nose up every side canyon with TW access between mountain passes, most all lead to prettier lakes than the tourist over-run June Lake and end in hikes up the valley bottoms into the numerous wilderness areas. This does eat the days though. Google Virgia Lakes, Green Lake, Rock Creek, Twin Lakes, Convict Lake, etc. for examples of places you would have to drive past unless you knew they hid but a few miles west of 395.
    littletommy likes this.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
    Hidden Content All Things Considered I’ld Rather Be Motorcycling

  11. #10
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    I'm a broken record but I can't recommend TW-ing over Tioga Pass and through Yosemite enough. Bucket List material.
    It is easy to stop and explore , and crtainly no view from a car can compare with the immersion in the environment you feel when riding a motorcycle.
    Here is a sample of a trip I took last fall:



    By starting early in the morning from above Mono Lake I managed to beat most of the crowds and thus had a more relaxed, safer ride.
    admiral and Mel like this.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
    Hidden Content All Things Considered I’ld Rather Be Motorcycling

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