7000ft and climbing

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  • 7000ft and climbing

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    1st photo,,,3 days of panning,yes that's my hand and yes that's my find
    2nd photo,,,,The mountain road was closed minutes after I had passed
    3rd,,,The finest woman I know,Laura wife of 32yrs

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    Touch down in Vegas. 20 minutes after getting off a 10 hour flight I was in a cab making my way to the self storage to unleash the beast, also known as my GL 1800.
    It had been 8 weeks since I last saw it. I turned the key and the bike jumped into its deep groaning purr ready to eat the miles. As I set off across the amazing landscape towards Big Bear Lake I passed one of the biggest solar farms I've ever seen. As I left the plateau and started to rise into the mountains in front of me I looked back to such an incredible sight - a huge expanse of flat valley floor with the widest brightest shaft of light reflecting off the solar farm. It was like something from Star Trek. If Flash Gordon suddenly appeared out of the rocks It wouldn't of looked out of place!

    The higher I got into the mountains the quicker the temperature dropped. Within 15 minutes it had dropped 20 degrees F. America is certainly a land of extremities, from highs to lows, small to big, hot to cold. I finally rolled into Victorville, quite a pleasant place. Once refreshed I started to take the climb up to Big Bear. Once again, the high heat dropped to low heat, no heat, and then really quite chilly around the nether regions. For the first time I used my seat heat and handle grip heat, that was impressive. It made riding comfortable. As I went around the corner nearing 7000 feet above sea (the highest I had ever been)the road was suddenly snow covered and all around me was a good few inches of snow. Within a short while the road had cleared, down to the quick reactions of a snowplough. I felt okay riding the bike on this recently cleared tarmac, it felt sure footed.

    Rolling into Big Bear Lake gave me a sense of relief. If the snows fell then I would leave the bike there for the season, might even risk a phone call home delaying my return by a few more weeks. Oh dear, what a shame I don't think, lol. The sights were incredible, the lake and the snow was quite a picture. The folk there were really friendly and warm but like everywhere I noticed a big change from city folk, a slower pace of life.

    I went panning for gold with a guy who owns a gold claim for some years. He won't mind me saying so, but he did seem a little mad,and very heavily armed,but we got on OK. I dropped down from Big Bear and via Backersfield I headed north to Camp Nelson CA where I hired a cabin, . Once again from the heat of the lowlands to the snowy minus 3.Surprisingly my bike didn't miss a beat during the drastic changes of altitude. I know for a fact many other bikes would have struggled to perform as effortlessly as my trusted Honda. It seemed to be appreciative of the new tyres and fluids change in Vegas. It thanked me in return by reliably giving me a tour of some of the best countryside in the world in comfort I've only ever felt when sat in my lovely living room with the log fire ablaze and the dogs on my lap.

    It was off season so very low population but once again sights I have only ever imagined. Coming down from altitude I headed south stopping off at Palm Springs, riding past one of the biggest wind farms I've ever seen. I took a detour riding actually through the wind farms. It felt like I was among an army of giants.I have never felt so small ever I have seen many wind farms in Europe but once again America is a land of diversity. These were the biggest and certainly the most I have ever seen. I also saw an airfield with so many parked up aircrafts, just sitting out in the desert due to it's zero corrosion climate. We have heard of this and saw a documentary back in Britain many years ago, how aircraft can be left for years with very little maintenance/cocooning against the elements. To see it for real was awesome

    Sadly my final destination of San Diego loomed on the horizon far too quickly. For the first time I wished my Goldwing didn't eat the tarmac miles as fast as it did. It seems like such a short time ago I was leaving New York. Now I am walking down the beach and touching the gently lapping sea in San Diego.

    Gentlemen, your descriptions of San Diego were spot on, it certainly is a beautiful city (the night lights and skyline) and I've seen my fair share of cities. It has a calm feeling about it, the people are friendly, the homeless aren't aggressive, especially the one guy, down on his luck who I bought a meal for,turns out he was an ex war veteran
    The ships in the harbour breath taking, the bridge across the bay which I rode across twice, incredible, the warm climate so very welcome. The only thing I had when I travelled to the Mexican border was an odd confused feeling. Seeing some of these desperate people trying to get into the US but that's another topic in an ever changing world.

    Can't wait to return early next year, Texas here we come. Harvey,the coffee is on me.

    Regards to you all, ride safely.

    John and Laura
    ps,,,PHOTOS IN 7000ft PRT 2 once I work out how to re size them
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  • #2
    Thanks John. Always love reading the account of your travels here in the good ol' USA. Glad you are enjoying all that she has to offer.

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    • #3
      A great travel write up, John. I'm so glad you enjoyed San Diego after I built it up like a travel agent.

      You could start a second career in the US as a travel writer. I'll bet you could sell your stories to motorcycle magazines.

      I'm looking forward to seeing your photos.
      Harvey Barlow
      Crosby County, TX
      2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
      2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

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      • #4
        Thanks for sharing your thought about riding the "BEAST" looking forward to seeing the pics too!

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        • #5
          You covered some nice riding grounds, glad you enjoyed it as we enjoy reading about it.
          Dave - High up in Arizona - 2012/GL1800

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          • #6
            John...Nice write up...sounds like you both had a great time...Here is a free picture resizer program works great: looking forward to seeing some more pictures...


            John - Richmond 2013 GL1800, Level 3

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            • #7
              Happy to see you had a safe trip and enjoy the beauty of the U.S. Nice write up, have you thought about keeping a journal of your travels in the U.S. and then publishing in a MC magazine, either here or back home? I'm sure it would be welcomed with enthusiasm, pointing the way for others.
              "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

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              • #8
                Thanks John very nice post so glad to here you guys are having a great time here in the US. Travel safe and keep us posted.
                2018 DCT non tour, Pearl Stallion Brown, Double Darksider #856, Live To Ride, Love my Wing, IBA Member# 63744 Yellowbird Alias Coppertone

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                • #9
                  Thoroughly enjoyed reading your description of your latest US adventure. Living here my entire life I sometimes have a tendency to take all of the wonderful sights that the US has to offer for granted but it's refreshing to read an article like you posted from someone who has never experienced life in the US. It puts a whole new perspective on things. Thanks
                  Location: Vancouver WA Former name: CAWING '04 GL1800
                  When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
                  Jimi Hendrix
                  Vietnam Veteran, Patriot Guard Rider

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                  • #10
                    WOW,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,many many thanks for all the enthusiastic ,kind words

                    Gentlemen live life
                    kindest regards
                    John and Laura

                    ride and be safe

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                    • #11
                      Good photos. Thanks, John. When you get back to the UK you can honestly tell your mates you're an accomplished gold prospector.
                      Harvey Barlow
                      Crosby County, TX
                      2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
                      2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

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                      • #12
                        Harvey,,,,the guys here have never seen a real nugget but the bigger thing for me was the scenery from Horizon to Horizon.I guess my take as a British man shows iam an islander,a small one at that
                        We are looking forward to touching down onto your shores early next year.
                        All the very best to you all
                        John and Laura

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                        • HBarlow
                          HBarlow commented
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                          I'm looking forward to meeting both of you. Hope you have a nice holiday season.
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