Life: It's about the Ride, not the Destination
Since this is a new blog for me, there will be some hopping around in time.
I have a few very vivid memories from my childhood of riding on the back of my Pop's dirt bike motorcycle through the hills of my homeotown in Oregon. Ravines so steep that one time I even fell off the back. I was always a bit of a dare devil and liked the speed yelling "Do It Again, Do It Again, Daddy."
In 2007, we almost lost my Pop to a very rare liver disease. Pop received a new liver from a donor in 2008 and now he is as healthy as ever. He became the poster child for liver transplants and took this 2nd chance at life to heart (no pun intended) by buying a motorcycle and helping me buy one too. Yes, that's $250,000 of medical attention riding a Harley with his daughter. As a quick aside, if you aren't a donor, please take this plee to heart as I ask you to sign up as a donor and let your family know of your wishes. One woman had a terrible accident in 2008, but her legacy saved the lives of at least 6 other people. http://donatelife.net/ Okay, there ends my PSA for the day.
So in 2011, my Pop and I set off for week long motorcycle adventure to Yosemite National Forest; including a meet up with my good friends from Japan on their 3 month motorcycle adventure in Yosemite. This is a recap of one of the days.
Pop was on his 2011 Harley SoftTail bagger with a custom gel Rich's Seats saddle and back rest. I'm on my 2009 Custom 1200S Sportster with saddle bags. Needless to say, Pop was slightly more cushioned that I on my solid mount engine and stock saddle. But I'm not one to complain.
We started out Day 2 in Reno, NV. We had a general plan of where we wanted to spend each night based on the mileage, but outside of that and our 2 nights in Yosemite we were pretty much footloose and fancy free. Get up, shower, and then hit the road; stop when you are hungry and sleep when it gets dark.
This was the week after Memorial Day, so many of the high peak passes were still closed, including the Eastern Gate to Yosemite. So I used my handy-dandy mapping program to find another route that wasn't a freeway. (Motorcycle hate freeways, they're boring, dirty, and filled with jerks in cages.) I typically find any road that looks a bit like a snake on the map and choose that path.
Hwy 4 over the Sierra-Nevada's into Sonora was my choice this day.
We dropped down from Reno into Carson City, tried to stop at the local Harley shop, but as usual we were too early so we took off for Hwy 4, innocent and sweet.
Hwy 4 as quoted by my father is NOT a hwy and barely qualifies as more than a goat trail.
IT WAS AWESOME!
A sunny super clear day that took us above the snow line where the sky becomes cobalt as you start seeing your own breathe is a day made for riding. There is a section of Hwy 4 as you approach Ebbett's peak from the eastern side that is 1 lane without center line. Six feet of snow on either side of the road where the plows had cut in the road and the snow pack had melted back just enough to reveal tree trunks in the walls of snow. This section twists in hairpin turns with very technical riding and first and second gear shifting. My Sportster took it like a boss and I was grinning the whole way up. The Softail was dragging boards on both sides on each corner.. which typically cracks me up too.
I pulled over close to the summit at a turn out and took video as I waited for Pop to catch up. Sometimes he is just hilarious to me as you will see in the video.
The rest of this day took us to the peak and back down the other side, through some cute towns and a couple of wrong turns before we made it to our base camp for Yosemite.
I don't know why this piece of an amazing trip sticks out in my mind as much as any other. It was less than 45 minutes of ride time. All I can say is that in that moment I wasn't thinking about getting anywhere, I didn't care about Yosemite, or the fact that I was getting short on gas, or that my face was cold... all I wanted to do was go back to the bottom and do it all over again.
My Pop will recall this a little differently, I'm sure, but I got to the top and wanted to yell, "Do it again, Do it again!"