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Friday August 24, 2018
An SMBC Annual Gathering
Harry and I met at the Bagel in Saratoga, wolfed down a couple bagels and off we went. Eager? Nah, more like desperate to hit the road.
Up Hwy 85, east on 237 toward 880 north. Before long highway 84 to Tesla Rd.
Tesla Rd… whats up with it? They have installed speed-bumps to slow you down to 25 mph. Not just one… holly smokes! A ton of speed-bumps. Pretty much every half mile, you’ve got to gear down to 25 mph. What a bother!! No matter, the back end of Tesla road is okay.
Due to a road repair to Corral Hollow Rd we had to detour onto highway 5. “Sorry Alberto”. Harry apologetic and unhappy at having to get on a freeway. Yeah, Harry, you should be sorry, just don’t do it again!
Before you know it we were near Jackson and Paterson, at the base of Highway 88, taking gently sweeping roads (Shenandoah, Pleasant Valley and E 16) on our way to Placerville to meet Paul (Harry’s childhood friend) at famous Mal’s.
Light late brunch and back on the road to Sly Park , Mormon Emigrant Trail and back to highway 88 to go over Carson Pass.
Harry and Alberto zoomed easily on good bikes, (BMW 1200 RT), Paul was riding something called Harley-Davis, or whatever the name! Hitting floor-boards at every tight turn. He’s a decent rider, but every time you tilt the bike hard it can be a bit nerve racking when you see the sparks by your feet.
Before Silver Lake, on highway 88, we stopped at Plasse’s Resort. I asked Harry, “what’s so special about it?” – oh, nothing. Just a watering hole with a bar and plenty of cold beer, was the reply.
In years gone by I guess Harry must have more than just a drink here. He still remembers! I am here to tell you, that it is a very good spot for a break.
All three of us arrived to South Lake Tahoe to meet with The Bahlman clan – Harry’s brothers. We first stopped at one of the brother’s house… but we are not staying here. After dinner we will go to the other house.
After dinner, rounding the lake near Emerald Bay we arrived at a rustic cabin. Harry’s brother, Jack, is accommodating us for the evening. It must have been a surprise for Jack, who seems is always in a happy mood to talk, to find his guests nodding off to sleep mid-sentence. This was barely at 8:30 pm!
By 6:00 am we were all awake. Jack made coffee (?). Well, that’s what it was called.
Great idea! Jack suggested catching the sun rising at the lake. By the time we arrived the Sun was 10° up on the horizon, but it was a great sight making the lake of silver. We stayed by the shore an easy hour until someone suggested we hit the road.
We stayed at Jack Bahlman’s cabin. More to our liking. Nothing fancy, but cozy for sure!!
Jack Bahlman, ready to chit-chat… guests are long sleeping!
The next beth thin g happened early ion the morning, going to the lake to catch the sunrise. It was a nice idea but we arrived after the sunrise… still beautiful. Jack had a lot of stories about the neighbors and the marina.
We left the Tahoe area and headed East toward Virginia City, time to move on…
The road to Virginia City climbs while turning left and right, yes, another motorcycle heavenly ride.
Eventually, after a late brunch at Virginia City, we headed to Gardnerville to join the rest of the group.
Dinner at the Country Club.
Tonight should be special. This year it seems everyone is in high spirits… we shall see.
21 of showed up for dinner. Smaller than previous turn outs, but just as rambunctious if not more. Yep, it was SMBC at it’s normal.
It was fun seeing everyone, but specially to see my traveling companion to Iowa. Chris, with his ready smile and good humor. It seemed to me he is ready for another adventure… soon!!
The menú, hmm… We have had this before, and it never does very well: tongue. Yes, you read correctly, beef tongue. I have eaten this all my life and have never liked it. When I was a kid, I had no choice, it was on my plate and you eat what is served! Okay, I tolerated it then. But now? Are you nuts?!
After that was the general fare of soup, salad, steak and desert. Yes, yes it was a pug out eat all you can… which I did.
The Boot. Russ Danielson in his quiet way amused everyone with a poem he’d written to this year’s recipient. Mike Geggie. Should he take pride? Maybe, if you consider that the honor of receiving the BOOT is a measure of your last year’s incompetents actions (be it said that it is also a measure of love and affection).
The evening ended with everyone riding to their Hotels as they ride at SMBC., “when you ride with us… you ride alone”
At the hotel some continued partying until the wee hours of the night, until they run out of beer, Pinot Noir and booze.
There they are… boozers!! That is the crew I run with.
After last night’s dinner it is time to get back home
Sunday morning, “which way, Alberto?” – I like Sonora Pass, or anything twisty like that.
With that suggestion we headed on highway 88 to highway 89 to Monitor Pass. Let me tell you when heading West on the western side of the pass the vista if the valley below could not be prettier. Not only you see the mountains beyond but you feel the power of the mountains pushing up, higher and higher. It was a truly overwhelming feeling.
At the bottom we connected with 395 to eventually come to highway 108… yep, Sonora Pass. While the views are not so spectacular the riding sure is! Soon enough you are at 9,000 feet. Time to dismount and take a picture.
In not long, we were on highway 120 on the way to Oakdale and Escalon (escalón in Spanish means big-step) and west.
Well, saying head-west is just an idea… you really headed onto a parking lot! Four lanes doing 20 mph as far as you can see… ain’t fun. Time to split-lane as best you can because the road is being improved. One lane has new pavement and the lane next to it does not, meaning split-level riding split-lane? I know, does not sound very clear; think of it this way: One lane has new asphalt and the lane nest to it is lower by a couple inches with old asphalt. Changing lanes can be tricky… No thanks! Very dangerous. We did it for a while opting to go two lanes over… better, but scary.
At Livermore we opted for exiting the highway and take Stanley Boulevard just to get away from the traffic. It worked well and soon we were in Milpitas and highway 880 south.
The rest of the trip was inconsequential all the way to highways 85 and 280 where Harry took 280 home and I stayed on 85 all the way home.
Another great trip cones to an end.