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Thread: NorCal Big Trees State Park - Meeting

  1. #1
    Pondering Life dick's Avatar
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    NorCal Big Trees State Park - Meeting

    This weekend the BMW Club of Northern CA had our annual election meeting and since I am the Treasurer I figured I had better show up to find out who the new Treasurer would be. Our Tour Captain had planned a great route for us from Fremont (SF Bay Area) to Arnold, CA in the Sierras.

    We gathered for breakfast under the cover of fog and then saddled up to head for Tesla road and the central valley


    After climbing up and out of the Bay Area it was a short blast down I-5 to locate J-16 for the arduous task of crossing the valley.


    We got a little turned around in Patterson and ended up taking J-17 right into downtown Turlock ÔÇô no need to do that again 3

    After clearing Turlock we passed through the hamlet of Snelling where we picked up Merced Falls road (J-16) and began the climb into the foothills. Parts of J-16 are under repair and it required the rider to be aware of loose gravel and large mounds and holes in the road ÔÇô just the kind of road where the GS shines. . 132 ends in Coulterville where we crossed that lovely ribbon of asphalt, Highway 49, and aimed for Groveland via Priest-Coulterville Rd. At the top of Priest Grade we gathered for the final ride to Groveland for lunch.

    In Groveland a group of us headed for a BBQ stand and another headed for the Mexican joint in town. Those of us that had the BBQ were done before the rest of the group and this is where I left the tour.

    After lunch I backtracked on 120 to Deer Flat Road and then to Wards Ferry Road over to Sonora. To call Wards Ferry a road is a bit of a misnomer, in many places the road is barely the width of a car with very steep drops on the side that is not a rock face. I wasnÔÇÖt going to make time but it was a lovely ride.



    A view to the road below


    Wards Ferry dumps you in to Sonora on Tuolumne rd and I made a bee line for the Golden Arches to grab a cool drink and to test the plumbing. It was running late so I fed the beast and hightailed it over Parrots Ferry Road to Highway 4 east to Big Trees State Park.

    Many state parks have become a hassle for the club, nickel and diming us per bike and at one park not even allowing us to hold our meeting. issed. I would like to say Big Trees was not only a great place to camp but the folks there were super nice. $97 for the group site and no hassles seemed like a steal to me. After a great dinner in Arnold where the club elected the new board it was back to the campground for drinking and lying around the campfire.

    The mosquitoes were biting and this chap models the latest bug couture.

    There was no pictures to protect the innocent but here is what it looked like at about 6:30 AM this morning.



    A couple of aspirin and a diet Pepsi later a couple of us headed to Murphy for breakfast. I had the Murphy Omelet which I highly recommend. It has Chili peppers, cheese, salsa, spicy sausage and is covered with sour cream and more salsa. :dg ÔÇô I ate at about 9 hours ago and I am still not hungry.

    After our morning repast Scot headed for someplace to check out a fairground for the 49er and I headed back from where I came. Heading back I once again took Parrots Ferry but this time I took Big Hill road up and over to Sonora. Big hill road is spectacular and at the top there is an old sawmill. The sawmill was strategically placed right at the top of a hill that drops straight to the valley floor below. Here are a couple of shots from Big Hill Rd.



    From Big Hill I once again rode Wards Ferry to 120 ÔÇô what a great road


    While I was taking that picture a guy on a bike was coasting his way to the bottom ÔÇô that must have been a hell of a ride back up.
    Rich - Denver
    '04 R1150 GS
    '92 K75s

  2. #2
    Pondering Life dick's Avatar
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    NorCal Ride part Deux

    I took Old Priest Grade down to Moccasin where I took a breather and mailed a whole bunch of club business at the post office while I had some water. I was going to visit the fish hatchery but I had places to go and roads to ride the next road being Moccasin Flat that connects 49 to 132. I didnÔÇÖt see a single car on the entire road. There were many cattle guards, a few road apples and loose cattle but nothing to worry about. I stopped at this switchback over a brook for some bike pr0n


    After getting to Snelling I once again missed the friggin J-16 turn off and ended up winding my way aimlessly through the land of no landmarks ÔÇô did I mention the valley sucks. I finally ended up on J-17 again where I stopped at the Buffalo ranch to find an ostrich and some funny steers (anyone know what they are?)



    Back on I-5 south to Panoche Rd past Mercy hot springs. I had just ridden this two weeks ago in the Cal24 rally but I liked it and I didnÔÇÖt feel like Pacheco Pass so I paid another visit to the metropolis of Panoche. Just after passing Mercy Hot Springs I had a run in with some local fauna. I was moving at a rather spirited pace but when I stopped the poor bloke still had its wing wedged between the beak on the pig and the oil cooler.

    It really bums me out to kill a critter ÔÇô not sure how Capt Ron lives with himself. 3

    I left the corpse in the grass by the side of the road so nature could run its course and finished blasting my way back to highway 25 and home via 101.

    Great weekend - not sure on stats but I sure had fun.
    Rich - Denver
    '04 R1150 GS
    '92 K75s

  3. #3
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that bull with the thick striaght horns is a Tuli, a breed group from Africa that does really well in the warmer parts of North America, or at least much better than the English-derived traditional breeds. For an even weirder twist, Carroll Shelby is one of the breeders trying to get Tulis established in USA (I've met his star Tuli bull, oddly enough named Cobra).
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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