The Big Big trees of Ca… and a cup of Coffee…

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Sometimes there is so much going on, between the logistics of moving, finding a new camping place that was on the map but does not exists or vice versa… squeezing a long ride as we did today… doing the laundry… food shopping… cooking… fixing this and that of course… taking care of my buddy Spirit who will pout, rightly so, if I don’t spend enough time with him… what else? Oh! yes… some writing when all calms down including sorting out dozens of pictures… And you thought living on the road was a vacation?… I can’t remember ever having a vacation these past 6 months!… and gladly I will never take one…

We are out of Kernville, closer and closer to San Francisco, finally on the way to the Northern Regions. Near Porterville tonight, waiting for a friend, Ben, who himself has some friends near by who have put some land at our disposition for camping… We will be there seven nights, moving on to near east of Stockton after those days for a motorcycle gathering put up by the Pashnit Group… And then?… ENOUGH… this is scheduling… will go with the flow!

We left this am, fairly early, the weather had cooled off, almost cold with the vents open (that’s the jacket… no dashboard here…), we were to meet a friend of mine, which you might remember we rode with in Big Bend, Texas, in December of 06, Texas Pete everyone calls him… ? He is from Poland… long story! Just a coincidence… he finally got savvy toward a modern communication device called laptop and its free flow path called the Internet… had send me some pictures of Sequoia Park… I replied that I was only a few miles from there… small world!

Pete has his own truck and semi… he has been at idle for a few days in Fresno… smart man… always stores one of his bikes in the semi… either a BMW GS Adventure… a Road King… or any of his 5 other ones… yes, he has a serious problem called… too many bikes! I told him to write a Blog… “The riding truck driver…”. I bet he would have some serious stories to tell…

Since we left early I wanted to stop in Yetem, where I had spotted an Armenian Church! I have not spoken the language in many moons, and I thought it would be interesting to meet some of my fellows from the same Ancestry since there are only about 5 million of us left World Wide.

I found it easily, the roads here remind me of Florida where everything is in grids… big squares.

Being Wednesday most likely the gates were locked… besides the Church itself a few buildings stood near by, most likely for get togethers, maybe Bible study and… food functions! I love the food… being that I will be camping not too far, coming back on a Sunday is going to be a must…

Most likely this coming weekend. You can see the alphabet characters by the way in the picture, a complicated language with 36 letters… many sounding foreign to the English language.

And on we went to then meet up with Pete, specifically at the intersection of 245N and 180, near the Park entrance. 245?… make a note in your driving or riding must do ride… curve after curve after curve, flowers in bloom, empty of traffic… California I must say has some of the best challenging roads I have been on. Sequoia Park… that is what I call all those Parks… I am still confused by all of them… Kings Canyon, the Sequoia Park, the Sequoia Forest, the Giant Sequoia Monument Park… we have arrived.

The maps have zillions of roads, my Map and Street CD has even more, wonder if anyone really knows and have ridden all of them? Two license plates from Florida in California ready to tackle them! Yes, like me he is a Florida resident… that is why they call him Texas Pete… It told you it was a long story… maybe he will leave an explanation in the comments for us!

But the weather turned real cold suddenly and the fog, clouds, sprinkles moved in. Great theory to always carry extra gear… heated gear specially, I put on everything I had… and sorry that most of the pictures show me with my helmet on… or maybe that is better! The first plan? Lets go see the big trees near by. As I had seen them and been here about 25 years ago, my memory had them even bigger!… But they were big enough… It was a bad day for pictures… much white glare through the clouds and the trees… well, honestly, were too tall to get the full length of them in the screen… what can I say! I tried…

We waited patiently for the classes to exit our path so we could ourselves take some pictures, those are the busloads of children that had come to visit and giggle with no end seeing Spirit in the sidecar… specially when my new reply is “What’s the matter?… You have never seen a dog in a sidecar?… they are all over the place… ” with a serious face! “No there not… ” the smart ones laugh and reply… Kids… wonderful kids!

I know I will have time to come back this coming week, and we both decided to skip continuing on 180, Kings Canyon Road to the Great Sentinel look out… we would have had to come back the same way. Instead we took 198 toward Lake Kawaeh which would take us to the General Sherman tree… Moro Rock… and the Giant Forest.

198 tops it in my riding experience… just check out the map… it is actually called through that section “the Switchback Canyon”… Beware of the construction however, near the top, during the week as it was today, they are only allowing traffic to go through on the hour… It will be well worth it as the road passed had to be the best well banked and smoothst ever ridden on in Mountains… with also some nice guard rails made out of cemented rocks, put up in different patterns every miles or so…


For the first time… in a long time… having built my confidence with the rig lately, I was riding a bit spirited, not dangerously for sure as Spirit always is watching me… just a nice pace using the most of the suspension and the finesse that I have acquired riding this rig… It did feel good… everything is solid, two vehicles attached together… feeling as in ‘one”… refreshing for a change.

This would be the end of part one (there will also be some more pictures) of this ride report if that is what we should call it, but out of nowhere… with thirst and a bit of fatigue… and hunger emerging within the senses, we decided to stop at… well, this was the first establishment at the bottom of the hill approaching the town of Three Rivers. On the left, beautiful setting right before a bridge with character… river flowing and even some ducks napping on a rock… Nothing wrong with that picture…

The Menu was out of our reach… the $14 cheeseburger, even if it was with blue cheese and specs of gold maybe, definitely curved our appetite. But thirst was there… how about a cup of Coffee… And this is where the $3 Yuban CUP of Coffee made its entrance in my perfect day after a perfect ride… bitter, rancid, old… one word “yugly”. The server is making now a new pot… no improvement as finally she discloses to me, and I quote… “Its Yuban… we get complains all the time… it is lousy coffee”. This is a Restaurant were you will pay $38 for a filet… all entrees averaging between $27 and $40… I know… we are in a pricey State… and I do not expect my home roasted and daily ground home brew… just a good cup of coffee…

And then the bill comes… $3!… no problem for a good cup… but for a stomach liner drill bit… $3?

The owner happens to be standing in front of me… I present myself… and very quickly the spark sets in… he is a blank wall… his eyes are not connecting to my own… he simply does not care…

He is surrounded by Lodges… cabins… who cares… a gold mine called “tourists”.Many will replace me on that stool… too tired, too sunburned… too excited being away from the urban jungle to even come near tasting the cheap and single paper packaged (as I was told…) end result they are calling… a cup of Coffee…

I know… I am dwelling on it… I am a man of principle… I have been in “that” business for a long time… and the owner’s reaction, well… some could say that the hole of a glazed donut would have stand up to the occasion in a much better fashion.

Lets all smile now… it was a great day, you have not read the rest of the ride yet… that will be next time.

Till then… you be well…

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                                                                                                                         Ara Gureghian                                                                                             853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245

NaplesFL 34108                  Thank you

Ara & Spirit

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6 Responses to “The Big Big trees of Ca… and a cup of Coffee…”

  1. The Big Big trees of Ca… and a cup of Coffee… | blog camping campeggio jesolo cavallino e non solo Says:

    […] Original post by aragureghian […]

  2. Michael Says:

    Hello Ara and Spirit,

    I just returned from my trip. I visited Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Trail of the Ancients, Mesa Verde, Hovenweep and Monument Valley. Just a 1,600 mile loop throughout southeast Utah and Cortez Colorado. Every day was perfect in it’s own way. One not to be missed view is from Muley overlook atop Moki Dugway. Next time you’re in Utah we’ll run a few of these canyons.

    In all the confusion as we parted company, you going your way and I going mine, I felt I left things unsaid.

    Take care my friends. Enjoy your journey and celebrate your discoveries. When you are next in the Saint George Utah area drop in. I enjoyed our time together. Deep conversations and dark coffee make for memorable evenings.

    Sandra, Magpie and Bird dog send their greetings.

    AKA Ratman
    AKA Rat734 (ADV Rider)

  3. TX Pete Says:

    Just so Ara remembers I was born in Poland raised in Texas and residing in Florida for the past 8 years so friends in Florida call me TX Pete

  4. Joe Says:

    Actually Ara, I’m surprised you don’t take a cooler or thermous with you in the sidecar, as well as water and treats for Spirit. The empty look of the restraunt owner is one very good reason to RV and tow the bike. I’ve been in the customer service (newspaper) business for a while and you have got to care about service. It shouldn’t be that difficult to serve a decent cup of coffee. Since Starbucks, et al, Americans have a keener taste for coffee and Yuban just shouldn’t cut it any more.
    California is a pricey state, but a gouge is a gouge anywhere you go.

  5. armenia » Blog Archive » I Have Arrived Says:

    […] …Read More […]

  6. armenia » Blog Archive » Your Comments on BBC Says:

    […] Since we left early I wanted to stop in Yetem, where I had spotted an Armenian Church! I have not spoken the language in many moons, and I thought it would be interesting to meet some of my fellows from the same Ancestry since there are … …Read More […]

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