It’s axiomatic that nothing brings a crowd like free beer, and the Oktoberfest that Dan put together on October 24 proved it’s still true. Or it could have been the great catering, huge campground, the big fire pit with hardwood cut by Mike Huntzinger and hauled by Andy Anderson… I’m pretty sure most of the 91 (!) attendees had a good time.
After securing the Rancho Seco site 6 months ahead, I planned a tour that included a stop at Clearwater Lights, whose bright spots and Free Lunch (at their open house) seem popular with our riders. The route started up Highway 160 from the Railroad Café in Livermore with 18 riders, the redoubtable John Ellis riding sweep. Hwy 160 was single-lane at Threemile Slough, but my circumnavigation of Sherman Island paid off by putting us at the head of the line where a cooperative CHP unit and a friendly flagger (I think they all ride) put us on our way. We stayed at Clearwater until the raffle proved a Norcal bust, then took a loop through Gold Country that carefully avoided the great roads that Russ used last month, coming to camp via Shingle Springs, Plymouth and Ione. Highlight: Salmon Falls Rd.
Our next, December 5, tour will be to Plaskett Creek, on the coast between Big Sur and San Simeon, with Joyce Samson conducting while I cruise the QM2 to England (cheap in winter.) There has been a change in the January campout. The site we had planned for at Laguna Seca will be closed for the off season, and the staff decided (they didn’t mention it before) that only 2 bikes can park on a 32-foot RV pad. The Jan 30 meeting is moved to Arroyo Seco, site of the ’13 freeze out. As Arlo said, I was “runnin’ out of time.”
February 27 is Fremont Peak, March 26 (25-27) is Furnace Creek, April 23 is Orland Buttes at Black Butte Lake (named after a favorite beer, NOT in Lassen.) The June 25 Annual (election) meeting is TBA, but probably at Manchester KOA.
Enjoy the ride!
Ted Crum, Tour Captain
Here’s what webmd.com has to say about it: Initial symptoms include intense shivering and teeth chattering. As body temperature falls further, shivering stops and movements become slow and clumsy, reaction time is longer, thinking is blurred, and judgment is impaired. Not good! Here’s a handy “Chill Chart” just for us riders. Note that even at 45* and 60 MPH it will feel 32* to exposed dry skin. Being wet will make it even worse!
We honored Alan, Carol, and Chris with 50 year plaques during the Members’ Meeting. Those that didn’t get honored during the Meeting are the people that have volunteered in various positions throughout the Club’s history. Many people have served through the years in various capacities: Board of Director positions, Chairs for all types of things, Newsletter Editors, Advertising coordinators, and just helping out whenever we call for help. I apologize for not directly recognizing the efforts and contributions of all that have served the Club. The work everyone has put into the Club makes it what it is, and for that, thank you.
I’d like to particularly thank the following people for helping with Oktoberfest:
Our website has undergone a hosting change with the addition of a member management piece. Everyone in the club now has the ability to visit the club site and update your own contact information. Doing this is a step in the direction of reducing the effort needed to keep our membership directory current. Additional features will be added to the site as JV continues his project.
Tom O’Connell has taken on the task of ‘49er Chair for the 2016 Rally. The Board of Directors tasked Tom with increasing the attendance of the ‘49er. With a relatively early start and a foundation in place from the previous rallies, I believe 2016 will be a great event. We’ll have several opportunities for volunteers to assist with the planning and advertising of our Rally very shortly.
The Newsletter now has a new editor. John Ellis has taken over the position from Warren Barnes. As a reminder, we are always looking for content for the Newsletter. If you’ve been somewhere, ate something, bought a gadget, or done something fun or especially stupid, write a few lines about it and send it to our editor.
December marks the month of the Holiday Party which will be held at the Blue Pheasant.
Location: Blue Pheasant 22100 Stevens Creek Blvd Cupertino, 95104
Date: December 19th 6 PM.
White Elephant Gift exchange after dinner. $20 is the recommended cost. Cash bar before dinner.
Pasta Primavera served with fresh seasonal vegetables sauteed with garlic, fresh herbs, and white wine severed over linguine
Broiled Salmon: Fresh king salmon broiled to perfection and topped with a fresh dill sauce
Chicken Bouna Donna: sautéed boneless Brest of chicken with prawns and roasted red peppers in a sherry wine sauce.
Prime Rib of Beef: Au jus served with fresh horseradish
Dinners include mixed green garden salad, potatoes or rice, fresh vegetables, French bread, and a desert.
Most of us at one time or another join in on the club’s group rides, whether it’s to a campout destination or the tour after our second Sunday breakfast. There are also shop rides sponsored by one of our local dealers, or just going somewhere with a friend. In each of these cases, unless equipped with wireless intercoms, there is very limited communication between rides while under way.
To that end, our friends at MSF has put together some hand (and foot!) signals to help keep the group informed as to what the leader is saying to the rest and why. Print or tear out this handy chart for your tank bag or where ever it’s convenient. Add to this the basic hand signals you learned in Driver’s Ed. Years ago; remember? Left, right, and slow/caution? So the next ride you’re on, if the rider in front of you starts waving his arm you’ll know what he’s saying! Now let’s ride!
Steve Kesinger; Your Safety Guy
Of the fourteen or so trans-Sierra passes (*), one is not paved - the Henness Pass Road. Interestingly, the past two club meetings were at campgrounds which were roughly at either end of the Henness Pass Road. Stampede Reservoir, the location of our August meeting, is near the eastern terminus of the road in Verdi, NV. New Bullard's Bar Reservoir - September's meeting site - is about four miles from the village of Camptonville, CA - the western end of the road. Any claim of riding all the trans-Sierra passes must include the Henness Pass - in my opinion.
Originally a trail first used in 1849, the Henness Pass Road stretched over the Sierra Nevada via the 6700 foot Henness Pass, down the ridge between the North and Middle forks of the Yuba River.
The road route is believed to be designed by Patrick Henness in 1849 or 1850. In 1852, construction on the primitive road made the route over Henness Pass into a toll road passable for wagons. Records show that as early as 1850 the road was already heavily used. By 1859 the rush for gold in California was waning. By mid-year, silver was discovered near Reno, and the exodus of miners from California to the big Comstock Silver Bonanza was on.
Henness Pass Road, with its easy grades and established mining camps and stage stops along the way, became one of the more popular routes to the Comstock. Traffic along the road became so heavy that it was suggested that freight wagons travel by day, and passenger stagecoaches at night. Demands for road improvements were constant. Numerous companies were formed in the late 1850s through the early 1860s to construct new portions of the road as well as to make improvements on the existing road.
The Comstock mines in Virginia City, isolated in the high desert, were served only by supply wagons that by necessity had to cross the Sierra Nevada. While the mines flourished, so did the freighters and stages that used the road. But, as mining production dwindled, the boom turned to bust. Then, with the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1868, the need for horse drawn freighting over the Henness Pass Road became obsolete almost overnight.
During the 1950s, the federal government planned to realign and widen Highway U.S. 40 over Donner Pass to Reno. A group was formed whose proposal was to have a modern highway follow the old Henness Pass route instead of the U.S. 40 route. This proposal was not accepted, and Highway 40 eventually was replaced by Interstate 80 over Donner Summit.
Starting from the west, there is a paved alternative at the western end of the road called Ridge Road. It starts at Highway CA-49 just south of Camptonville, and reconnects to the Henness Pass Road about 18 miles to the east. Don't miss the left - then right - turn on Pliocene Ridge Road at the turnoff to Forest City. Continuing straight at this intersection will take you to the town of Alleghany. About three miles east from this intersection, the Pliocene Ridge Road reconnects with the old Henness Pass Road. Another two miles and the pavement ends. Here, the road splits in a fork. The right-hand fork is the old Henness Pass Road. Of course, the paved Ridge Road aside, the purist GS rider will want to take the entire length of dirt on the old Henness Pass Road beginning in Camptonville.
Continuing east from the end of pavement, about 15 miles of dirt road follows until arriving at Jackson Meadows Reservoir. Here, there is another paved alternative all the way to Hwy CA-89, but the original dirt section closely parallels this paved section. A short distance south on CA-89, there is a sign at the turnoff to Kyburz. The old Henness Pass Road continues east through Kyburz, which is another point of historical interest. The road is gravel and dirt the rest of the distance through Sardine Valley to the intersection of county road 270 near Stampede Reservoir. Then continues on through Truckee Meadows and Dog Valley to the eastern terminus of the road at Verdi NV.
No tour route from Tuco would be complete without a recommendation for food. In Camptonville, there's "Burgee Dave's at the Mayo" - a tavern located in the old 1850s Mayo building - a great place for lunch before the ride, or to end a ride if coming from east to west on the Henness Pass Road. Outside dining is available, and beer and wine is served.
There are numerous points of historical interest along the Henness Pass Road including the gold rush towns of Forest City and Alleghany. As a history buff, I recommend checking them out.
For more information on the Henness Pass Road, Forest City and Alleghany I recommend the US Forest Service - North Yuba Ranger Station in Camptonville at the intersection of Marysville Road and highway CA-49. Call 530-478-6253 for business hours. The station has detailed brochures which are attributed to the information I wrote here. Glenn Sundstrom - the district supervisor and resident Archaeologist - is a wealth of local historical information about the Henness Pass and the Gold Rush era.
-- Tom 'Tuco' Harris
Ghoulish news from the Treasurer about the club finances? Hardly, all quiet post Range of Light. Speaking of which, we were significantly “in the black” as attendance exceeded plan with 35+ riders registering at the event. The final numbers will be available once reviewed by the BOD at the October board meeting. Work continues to add new capabilities to our website to make it easier to do business with the club and for the club to do business. If the new site is approved by the BOD, members will be able to logon, view confidential club documents (meeting minutes and financial records), update contact information and see previous payments for events, dues or items purchased in the club store. Shoot me an email if you have questions about the club finances and wherever you ride, think safe!
What a ride Russ Drake showed us on the September ride to Hornswoggle! I gave the lead to Russ so that he could show us some secret roads in his dirt-riding backyard, and he delivered. Some of his roads were already in my kit, like Pleasant Valley (below 49) but the rest are in my files now. The route, which started early due to its ambitious length, began at the Black Bear in Tracy (amazingly fast service, people who obviously enjoy the large portions.) Early on Russ showed us yet another way through the Stockton Airport (on Old Sperry) then up Jack Tone and Clay Station to riding country. Bass Lake, Green Valley, Lotus, Bayne, Spanish Flat, Darling, Wentworth Springs, Dog Bar, Rough and Ready – we hit them all while avoiding the Georgetown Fire area. I drew the GPS route and instructions from Russ’s pre-ride track The Hornswoggle group camp was large, flat, beautifully wooded and had large parking areas with a drive-through for boat trailers; worth remembering. There was no wood on site, but Mike Huntzinger and friends scavenged enough to keep the wild animals away. This was billed as a cookout, so another rider and I carried bags of charcoal for cooking dinner. There were a lot of stoves out at breakfast, I had bacon and eggs.
At the meeting Tom Harris told us about the nearby goldrush- era Henness Pass, which connects Gold Country to Verdi Nevada (read his article in the newsletter.) Next day I took a ride east on Ridge Road, a wide and swoopy road to nowhere, toward the pass. There’s a bar in Allegheny, and the Clampers who run the museum and campground in Forest City were drinking their morning beer when I rode up. Should be a good GS ride over the top.
The October 24 meeting is the Oktoberfest at Rancho Seco Park, 25 miles southeast of Sacramento. That’s also the same day as the Clearwater Lights’ open house (and free lunch!) in a Sacto suburb. So I put together a route that goes up the delta to Clearwater before proceeding through the foothills and dropping into camp.
The route took careful planning because I didn’t want to re-use and of the roads that Russ Drake picked the month before. The start in the Railroad Café, 833 E Stanley Blvd, Livermore; stands up at 9:00. The route will be on Meetup and the web page.
The November meeting, actually on Dec 5, is at Plaskett Creek, on the coast below Big Sur, with Joyce leading in my absence. January 2016 will be at Laguna Seca, Februaury is at Fremont Peak. For the March meeting in Death Valley I’ve added 2 single sites to the double site and group site that we already had. I’ve booked Black Butte Lake (near Orland, NOT Lassen) for April. May is the 49er, and the June election meeting
Speaking of the June election, I’m hoping that you will look into your hearts (and your friends’ hearts!) to see if they say “Tour Captain” on them. And the Newsletter Editor job is open NOW.
Enjoy the ride. --Ted Crum Tour Captain
Brian Goetz 5 Years
Linda Opp 20 Years
Wayne Opp 20 Years
Don Alexson 5 Years
Carmen Vailly 5 Years
Lee Damico 5 Years
Marc Dubresson 15 Years
Doug Hubbard 40 years
It was my fourth visit to the BC rally held every year mid-August in the town of Nakusp. I really enjoy the area; great riding to and from, and the roads, geography and geology of eastern BC are fabulous. Nearby towns are charming; Kaslo, along Kootenay Lake, Revelstoke, a ferry ride across the Columbia and Nakusp itself is right on the water, a quiet, quaint town. The rally is held in the Municipal Campground, a couple of blocks north of “downtown”. And I really appreciate my Canadian friends; wonderful, open people who are welcoming and fun to be around.
I decided to take the ’72 R60/5 that I acquired about a year and a half ago. After going through its systems and sorting everything out, new battery, new tires, etc., I was anxious to stretch its legs on a long roadtrip. I picked up a 22 liter tank in good shape on EBay to have a bit better range than the toaster tank it came with. Even then, running at 5,000 rpm most of the time, mileage wasn’t great. It is fun to ride, comfortable, and very nimble. Now, with 19,000 miles, it is almost broken in.
I usually ride up the 395 corridor and stop the second night at my brother-in-law’s in Joseph, Oregon, about 850 miles along. Besides the opportunity to hang out with him, the Wallowa valley, mountains and lake are incredibly beautiful. He was on a horse packing trip during my trip up so I stopped at Crater Lake NP the first night, then up 97 to Redmond and east on 26 to Mt. Vernon. I had a bit of rain starting there, gassed up and headed up 395 to camp at Ukiah-Dale State Park.
The next morning I planned to get just south of the Canadian border near one of the smaller crossings. I’ve got to say that the section of US395 from Mt. Vernon to Pendleton is just spectacular. I went up through Walla Walla and hit 195 at Colfax, WA. Then an awful section of traffic and stoplights through Spokane. I rejoined 395; the countryside and road now being much more enjoyable and camped at Lake Roosevelt on WA Hwy 25.
I crossed at Patterson, went through Rossland, Trail, over to Salmo and up the west shore of Kootenay Lake from Nelson to Kaslo. North of Kaslo, the lakeshore drive gets pretty rustic and eventually turns to dirt. I stayed at a Provincial Park on the lake’s shore beneath tall, steep mountains. I went for an invigorating swim in the lake to rinse the road sweat off..
I headed back toward Kaslo and onto BC 31A over to New Denver one of the most beautiful stretches of road you’d ever ride, then north up Hwy 6 to Nakusp and the rally.
It was a great rally. The Bee Cee Beemers rent the entire campground for their event so there is lots of good shady camping with showers. Catering by local Deb Guest provided really good meals each of three nights. The Canadian dollar is around 75 cents so the rally fee was a bargain by US comparisons. There were some GS rides, guided tours, a trip to the Hotsprings, bike events, Reinhart’s famous “Kicking Horse” coffee always on tap, and of course my own rides of discovery in the area (watch for deer and bears which are abundant!).
I left for home early on Sunday through Nelway. Getting through Spokane was much easier on Sunday morning, then down to Lewiston, ID. The road from Lewiston to Enterprise, OR is one of my all-time favorites. Going south through Asotin it is WA 129, turning to OR Hay 3 after crossing the Grande Ronde river. From Asotin, you wind up onto a plateau, twist down the river gorge and back up the other side onto the plateau again before descending to Enterprise, which is just north of Joseph, my destination. This road is known a “Rattlesnake Grade” and is one of the best set of twisties in the west.
It was nice to have a place to stay and a shower in Joseph. The next day, I rode into the Hells Canyon Recreation Area on good FS roads, to Imnaha then up to the Hat Point Overlook. It is hot, desolate wilderness, with evidence of past fires and spectacular views back to the Imnaha River valley and Hells Canyon itself to the Snake River far below. It is the deepest river gorge in the US, I came back to Joseph via the FS road south from Imnaha towards Halfway, OR, then up the paved road into town. A good days ride; only 101 miles.
I couldn’t come south of John Day on 395 because of a huge fire in Canyon City, so retraced my route back to SF via 26 and 97. They were fighting a fire that had broken out at the NW corner of Crater Lake; smoke was in the air almost the entire way home.
I would recommend the BC Nakusp rally to everyone. It is one of the best rallies in the west!
No matter how many times I encounter good will and the instant sense of community that motorcycling creates, I’m amazed. My experience on the 2015 Range of Light (RoL) has so far been the highlight of this year.
It generally doesn’t matter what you ride, motorcyclists respond to each other. We wave to one another and exchange friendly nods. Our club goes further. I’ve come to know and enjoy riding with many of our members. It feels great to know that I can share my passion of riding with other people. The community we have is physical and extends beyond the keyboards many of us sit behind for much of the day. I like that and I’m always excited about seeing my fellow club members. I met many new people on this year’s RoL, and each were instantly part of our community. It’s a great feeling to belong and share something in common with others.
Our turn out this year was great. I’ll leave it to Joyce or JV to elaborate on the final numbers once the expenses are fully tallied. Profit, loss, and participation counts are important. To me, our success is measured by the number of volunteers engaged and the sense of community the RoL created among the participants. Each evening was paired with grassy camping, good food, and great company. Everyone I talked to enjoyed the routes and felt spoiled by the grassy fairgrounds.
I’ve gained much from being in NorCal. Friendships have been made with people in the club that I might not have ever met. Seeing the number of volunteers contributing to the massive effort that was the 2015 RoL makes me proud to be a part of this club. A enormous Thank You goes out to all of those that made the event possible and the participants.
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BMW Club of Northern California is a 501(c) non-profit organization. PO Box PO Box 2472, Santa Clara, CA 95055