Ready to ride? This coming weekend marks the close of running these tours for the last 6 years as we head out to the ocean on Friday to wrap up the last tour of the season. Then to begin setting up the 7th year already. Lot of miles traveled, lot of twisty road.
So, ready? Pashnit Motorcycle Tours heads into the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
(these are just the foothills before the mountains.)
See the dual GoPro's? Yes Virginia, running off a 1" RAM ball bolted into the mirror mount. Works very well.
This lil road you're looking at is Hwy 49 - commonly referred to locally as 'The Little Dragon'. Super twisty, long way down. Perfect pavement.
Teaser pics. Really is a fun road!
Onward to Yosemite National Park
...on into Ahwahnee for lunch
Price of a room starts at $400 on up to $1000 a night.
The dining experience. What's often great about this place, is we've ridden with so many riders through the years that live within hours of this place - and have never been here. 8th Wonder of the World when the waterfalls are at their height!
The Ahwahnee Hotel was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who also designed the Zion Lodge, Bryce Canyon Lodge, and Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge, with interior design directed by Dr. Phyllis Ackerman and Professor Arthur Upham Pope.
The site for the hotel is below the Royal Arches rock formation in a meadow area that had served in the past as a village for the native Miwoks, who formerly lived in the valley, and a stables complex known as Kenneyville. The site was chosen for its views of many of the iconic sights in Yosemite, including Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point, and its exposure to the sun allowing for natural heating.
The hotel was constructed from 5,000 tons of rough-cut granite, 1,000 tons of steel, and 30,000 feetof timber. The 'wood siding' and 'structural timber' on the exterior of the hotel is actually formed of stained concrete poured into molds to simulate a wood pattern. Concrete was chosen as the material for the outside 'wood' elements to add fire resistance to the hotel. The construction lasted 11 months and had a cost of US$1,225,000 upon completion in July 1927.
Just before opening, the director noticed that the porte-cochere planned for the west side of the building, where the Indian room now sits, would cause exhaust fumes from automobiles to invade the premises. A hastily designed Douglas Fir pole porte-cochere entry and parking area was erected on the east side of the hotel to correct this. The logs were replaced in the 1990s.
Almost immediately after opening, the next of many alterations were made to the hotel. In 1928, a roof garden and dance hall were converted into a private apartment after the dance hall failed to draw an audience. It was found that the load-bearing trusses in the dining room were barely adequate to support the snow load on the roof and potential earthquake stresses. This led to the trusses being reinforced in 1931-32.
When Prohibition was rescinded in 1933, a private dining room was converted into the El Dorado Diggins bar, themed to the California Gold Rush period.
1943 saw the United States Navy take over the hotel for use as a convalescent hospital for war veterans. Some of the changes made to the hotel by the Navy were repainting of the interior, conversion of chauffeur and maid rooms into guest rooms and enclosure of the original porte-cochere.
On up to Olmsted Point to see the view of Half Dome
What's interesting about this pic, is if you have decent enough binoculars or telescope, you can see people sitting atop Half Dome looking back at you.
The relief that provides a better understanding of the layout of the land.
Over Tioga Pass
Into Tuolumne Meadows
And still a wee bit of snow in the mountains - week later it did actually snow and all this is covered again in white!
Descending out of the mountains to the high desert
Some rockin' curves, but long way down!
Mono Lake calls next. Really a beautiful place. We hit it just right with a lone rain cloud on the far side of the lake combined with the setting sun.
Wondering about that arm & GoPro Hero setup?
Get to that in a bit.
1 mile of gravel to get down to the lake.
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