Literally saving up pennies for the trip. No real plans in mind except heading east towards the central mountain ranges.
Southern California is a motorcyclist's playground. Endless mountain roads with optimal riding weather. We're taking advantage of the infamous Angeles Crest Highway which takes you through Los Angeles and out through the San Bernardino mountains.
Mr. Pham refuses to join modern society and insist on keeping it ol' school with no cell phone and no GPS. This is what happens when you're trying to use paper and a map in modern times. He's too proud to admit that we're lost.
Adventuring in the dead of winter was not the brightest of ideas. Lucky for us, we stumbled across this "Dinersaur" park which treated us to a warm chair and country style eating.
Home life for the next 7 days.
This was the maiden voyage for our newest addition to the garage - BMW F800 GS Adventure. We broke her in right with an on the dot 800 mile oil change in the parking lot of a Denny's. Yeah, we carried a complete oil changing kit including an oil pan and couple quarts of oil for 800 miles.
The desert is a beautiful place. Such a stark contrast to what we usually see up here in the Pacific Northwest. Things just feel so much more vast and expansive. There is a clarity and simplicity in the landscape. We walked and road across places that was below sea level.
So much to see. So much to do. So little time. For a moment though, things stood still and we just soaked it all in.
This is what adventuring is all about. Meeting awesome and friendly people. We ended up running into a guy named Dylan. Dylan was on a 5 month solo ride touring the states. He started in the dead of winter in Connecticut and was heading south west to warmer climates. In a desert camp site filled with RV's and us as the only riders, we stumbled across Dylan. A lone rider looking for a place to stay. We joined forces and shared a site. Dylan with no agenda decides to join us. One night became a week. Dylan eventually made it back to Los Angeles with us where we showed him life in the big city. He even made a solo trip back up the coast of California to Seattle. Dylan is a badass. We are making plans for something even bigger.
This picnic table actually made a wonderful bed with a perfect view of the stars. Note - only Dylan and I were rad enough to sleep outside. An did not appreciate the comforts of the stars and regulated to his tent. You know who the badasses are in this group.
A story of a BMW and a Ducati who traveled together deep into the desert and met another lone BMW and the rest is history.
The Ducati Multistrada did surprisingly well in desert sand conditions. Smooth throttle control and keeping your finger off the front brake was all that was needed.
Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley was like Mars. Completely from another planet. A planet without water and devoid of life. It is massive. We ended up meeting a NASA research scientist who has spent a better part of her life studying this place and getting a personal science lesson on the creation and its relevance in the natural world.
Somewhere in the Sierra mountain ranges. Ice sludge is what we call it. Don't step in it as it's like glue.
This was by far the scariest part of the trip. We were headed to San Francisco through the Sierras when we were caught in a massive snow storm. We rode up and down the east side of the Sierra's looking for road across to the west. Every single road looked like this. It was ice. We took our chances but eventually hit a point where not even DOT vehicles dare to go through. They told us we were crazy and that there's at least 70 miles of these conditions before hitting the west. So we turned around. Great thing we did because we ended up staying at a local motel where we became personal friends with the owner. We stayed up all night listening to him tell stories about the local folklore of the Sierra's in front of a massive fire.
Change of scenery. Living it up in Reno California and taking advantage of the week night specials. Hot shower, room service, slot machines and breakfast buffets all for $79.99.
The great city of San Francisco.
Along the coast. It's still one of the most beautiful roads on the west coast.
Destination Los Angeles.
Collection of panoramic photos taken with an iPhone 5.