Quick Loop

Got the AGM gel-mat battery buttoned-down and into the Gentleman’s Express. The bike lit-up and so We decided to go for a quick loop before lunch. Let me check the Odo: 40-oddd miles?
Wearing cowboy boots and kevlar jeans, I strapped-on the Sig P245 into the Comp-Tac Minotaur with a left-side re-load, and lit up the old ’98. It was comfortable so the whole shoulder-holster issue may be moot.
Wearing my old sticker-festooned (RMD! We remember Peter Patton – RIP) Arai MXC-Pro dirtbike lid, equipped with a “Quick-Strap” (enables easy on-off goggle transitions), for maximum peripheral vision, I started out goggle-less — but vroom-vroom (or blatt-blatt) quickly transitioned to eye-care prone vision.
Rode up through Diamond Springs on Pleasant Valley Road, through a bit of work-zone by Mike’s Grill where you could smell the dirt and pines, and up past the cutoff to Somerset. A guy wearing just a t-shirt and shorts on a red ‘Wing passed me and I felt so over-dressed. Casual Friday I guess and I missed the memo.
The winding road was ridiculous, and so much more fun than in the truck. The air was cool between the trees while asphalt ground-pounders walkin’ around were in the 90’degrees already.
Still my cowboy boots worked better flicking gears than my MX boots or the “Dual Sport” clodhoppers I just bought in the Winter – and now needed to (consider) unloading onto some more needy rider…or keep for inclement Winter weather.
Just past the Pleasant Valley Grange where I’ve been taking my Hunter Education Classes, I turned left on Newtown Road (really, “New-Town”), and took a fond and wistful look to the right while passing by narrow Starkes Grade Road. It’s a windy-twisty-lumpy, one-lane sometimes-two, crowned road that goes up to Pollock – and I’ll get you soon – but with time in the balance, took a quick downhill right onto Snows Road and began the short drop down to Dogtown and climb-out up over Weber Creek to Camino.
“Weber Creek” used-to be Weaver Creek – from Old Man Weaver, and so was Weaverville – but somehow along the way accents and language (and most probably broken toothless miners) corrupted it to become “Weber.” On the way up past the creek there’s three gnarly, climbing, bumpy, off-camber-by-a-mile Alpine switchbacks – that rolled right under, sweet! Cruised down to Hangtown and went through the Hwy. 49 backside by-passes and got home in fine shape and happy. More please.
UPDATE: Edited for brevity

Von Ryan Express?

Von Ryan's ExpressWent out for a spin to get some seat-time and familiarity – like falling off a log, things are clicking!

Took Meder Road out to Ponderosa where I took a left, went down past the HS through the woodsy section, jogging past Cielo winery (our local dive-Winery), and came out at N. Shingle. Right on that back into town to Mother Lode Drive, and left towards El Dorado.  After a half-mile or less I cut right onto French Creek Road and rode southwest into a loop of more hilly-woodsy stuff broken up by pastureland, to the junction with Old Frenchtown Road.  Another left and back towards Mother Lode Drive and thence the fork onto Pleasent Valley Road to El Dorado.  A quick 15-mile or so loop of narrow crowned roads, leafy and cool with sandy corners, hot in places on the ridgebacks, busy with traffic on Mother Lode…

If you stay on Pleasant Vally Road you wind up in Pleasant Valley, a place where the early Mormon soldiers returned-to from fighting the Mexicans in San Diego, and then hunted for gold before forming into party’s and heading back to Salt Lake City as ordered by His Eminence or what/whoever. Wagon-trains came down from crossing the Sierras (on the easier trail) and also camped there – and for a while the population was the largest in the County.  When gold was discovered all hell broke loose.

In El Dorado I went right on Highway 49 and quickly forked left onto Union Mine Road, and headed out the Rod and Gun Club site, out at the ass-end of the quarry before Rattler Ridge Road (trust me, it’s true).   I drove past the entrance to the Club a ways, and then after about two miles turned around.  Union Mine Road re-joins Hwy 49 further south.  Hell, half the little dead-end roads around here are named Mine-This of Mine-That.  Facilities were open but all ranges were closed, so I just tootled-in and rode a circuit of the place, then headed back to my new best friends at Buckhorn Bighorn Guns.  Whoa!  They have 30-40 Krag!  Had to get me a box.

We talked a bit and my question was, “Moto Carry – how do you avoid sweeping your passenger?”  A gentleman was there picking up his Big Black Super-Duper Rugerhawk (or whatever, I don’t know those guns) that the gunsmith had just finished tuning, and he said that on horseback he carried crossdraw.  Ok then…bikes are like horses…

Tootled on home in the 3:00 “rush-hour” traffic and felt rather smug since it wasn’t 100-degrees (yet).  The bike works a treat and I’m remembering how to ride AND use the switchgear – but the turn-signals are still abominable.  Still not sure about The Name.  I don’t tend to name my stuff.  Could be “Oswald” for Oswald Von Wolkenstein, a one-eyed medieval Bavarian minnesangerWe visited his own stomping grounds at the Trostburg in Waidbruck on our Edelweiss trip, and the aforementioned surname “stein” – literally in German Wolkenstein means “Cloud-rock” – and there it is.  A hugely massive chunk of freestanding Dolomite sandstone (that hikers can hike around up top – and fall off, ask my 10th grade German Teacher, Frau Cate!) which in the twilight when the alpenglow hits, lights up in awesome freaky  colors and looks like some kind of surreal Kingdom Under the Mountain.Wolkenstein  No wonder the people up there are called gnomes…wonder what it was like for the Roman Legion stationed up there?  With the collapse of Rome, why return when you had those mountains all to yourself?