Anniversary Trip – 2014 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Anniversary Trip – 2014

Every year my wife and I try to take a little trip to celebrate our anniversary. This year the way our vacation schedules worked out, we had to take our August anniversary trip in June. Fine by me! I really, really needed a getaway and was itching to get out on the road with my favorite girl (the Versys) and having the wife along makes it even more fun!
All the planning for the trips is done by me. I tend to get a bit excited about planning these little getaways, and was so excited about this year’s trip that I started planning it last year when we were in Big Sur. About two months before we leave, I start dropping clues to where we are going and try to make them easy enough that she can eventually figure out where the road will take us. Well this year, our 15 year old son had it figured out weeks before my wife did, and finally, two days before we were scheduled to leave, I had to give her a real “softball” clue so she would figure it out. We were heading to the California Gold Country, including “The Little Dragon” and then on up to Lake Tahoe. We had not been back to Tahoe since we honeymooned there 19 years ago, and the prospect of going back brought Loralee to tears.
With our oldest daughter in Santa Cruz, our other kids were set to stay with some close friends, and the dogs at the kennel, we were all set to hit the road.
Day 1 – Clovis to Sonora
“Get your motor running, head out on the highway….”


For this trip I wanted to avoid the slab as much as possible. Living in California affords us some great back country roads that are perfect for the Versys.


First stop, North Fork. North Fork’s claim to fame is it is the exact center of California. It is a small, rustic mountain community, complete with authentic, small-town restaurants. I also decided that on this trip we would try to eat where the locals eat and avoid all the big chain fast food places whenever we could. Our light lunch today would be at the Buckhorn Saloon.


Talk about rustic. We loved the atmosphere and hearing the locals chat at the bar. Food was also very good. Loralee looked at the menu and had to have a “PB&J” sandwich. Our son has severe nut allergies, so eating it without worrying about anyone dying was a real treat.

After a nice 45 minute break, we were back on the bike headed to the Triangle Road Café near Mariposa. The ride around Bass Lake was a very nice reprieve from the 100 degree weather we had been enduring in Clovis. Once we hit Oakhurst, it warmed up again, and by the time we hit Triangle Road, the wife was pretty hot – and not in a good way! Unfortunately, the Café is closed on Tuesday, which meant no sit-down and cool off snack break. Thankfully, there is a general store connected to the Café and we were able to get some cool drinks and relax a bit.

Smiling again.

We rolled on down the road and into Mariposa. No time to stop today, we were headed to CA-49, aka “The Little Dragon”. I was looking forward to this part of the trip more than you can imagine. The only part I was worried about was the screaming over the intercom coming from my wife!



Loralee was a real trooper. I tried to be somewhat good on the twisties and there were only a couple of times when I felt her legs gripping me tightly as if to say “slow this damn thing down!!”
After that, we had a nice, leisurely ride into Sonora. I had booked a room at the Gunn House hotel in the heart of town. The Gunn House was built in 1850 and was once a hospital. From what I saw on the internet, it looked like a really great place. Charming, authentic, perfect. However, a few days after I booked our stay, I learned the Gunn House is allegedly haunted! My wife loved the idea of being visited by spirits during the night. I promised that if that were to occur, I would fire up the bike and leave her butt there! I have no problem doing 100+ on my bike, but visits from the “beyond” are not my thing!!




We enjoyed some relaxing time in the pool then cleaned up and headed out to dinner. The place I picked out for dinner was the Diamondback Café and it was amazing. One of the best burgers I have ever had.

After dinner, we window-shopped a bit before heading back to our room to call it a night. For the record, we were not visited by any spirits during the night. I like to think it was because I slept with the Bible under my pillow.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Day 2 – Sonora to Lake Tahoe
The next morning we enjoyed a great breakfast before gearing up to continue on our way to Lake Tahoe!


We continued on CA-49 and saw a sign that said “Mark Twain Cabin”. We took a quick turn up an old, rough road and eventually found this.

Turns out Twain spent a fair amount of time here and this is where the “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was first penned.

We headed back down to the main road and enjoyed more great views.


We stopped for lunch as the Sierra House Restaurant in Pine Grove. For lunch, she had ice cream and I had pie and ice cream! Being on vacation is fun!!



Back on the bike, and off we headed to Lake Tahoe! More great views.




We made our way down to Kirkwood Ski Resort for a little break before the final push into Lake Tahoe. Loved seeing all the snow on the mountain.



Gratuitous selfie

We finally hit Lake Tahoe and were blown away by how much it has changed in 19 years. The area certainly has grown and seems a bit more commercial than it used to be. I guess that is evolution or “progress.”
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Day 3 – Carson City, NV
Today started with an awesome sunrise from our room on the 11th floor of Harvey’s. Didn’t take a picture, but trust me it was spectacular! The plan today was to take a nice easy ride over to Carson City, Nevada to see the State Capitol. I had seen it on “Ariel America” on the Smithsonian channel was wanted to see it in person.


Bad hair day for one of us.

We spent about an hour looking around and enjoyed seeing the history. The guards on duty were some of the nicest and friendliest people you could ever meet. Great visit.
Lunch time was calling again, and today’s plan was for Red’s in Carson City. Great beef brisket and pulled pork sandwiches.



On the road back to Tahoe.

More Tahoe.



After walking a bit, we headed back to Harvey’s to gamble a bit and get ready for dinner. As far as gambling, we spent exactly $4 dollars on slot machines. How much did we win? Exactly zero dollars! Gambling is not really our thing, probably never will be.
Getting ready.

Tonight we would dine at a place I have always wanted to go, Sammy Hagar’s “Cabo Wabo Cantina!”
Food was awesome, service was great, and I loved the tequila!

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Day 4 – Lake Tahoe to Clovis
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and the morning came too early. We geared up, loaded up, and saddled up for the long ride home.

We did a bit of sightseeing along the way. Stopped by Preston Castle in Ione. Not much to see, but worth the side trip. Enjoyed the back roads again before hitting Interstate 99 in Ripon. Had to slab it back home. Total trip was 4 days, 635 miles, and a million great memories. One of the best memories was as we were descending into Lake Tahoe and my wife said “I am so glad we did this trip on the bike!” The excitement in her voice almost made me cry!
Home Sweet Home

Until the next adventure…
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 02:03 PM
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That's awesome.

Ride To Live, Live To Ride....no, really!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 03:04 PM
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 11:00 PM
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Great write up! You look like me after tequila...
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2014, 06:56 AM
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Nice write-up. California is on my radar for next year. I am going to bookmark this thread for reference.

Does your wife ride with her hair down or does she let it loose for the photos? My wife would have her hair in knots if she left it down while riding.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2014, 07:33 AM
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Very cool!

It is wonderful to see you guys having fun and how happy you are together!





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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2014, 06:45 PM
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Looks like it was a great adventure of a trip!

Always trust your cape.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 08:45 AM
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Wow

Gosh, I'm both jealous and hungry. Got to get something to eat and go ride. Neat stuff.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 09:47 AM
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Great trip. You are just like me... It is all about the food at the end of a good ride day.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 12:06 PM
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2009 Blue Versys.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Guy! Thanks for all the great comments. This is Mrs. Madone1. As far as what I do with my hair, I keep it down and try to tuck it into the back of my jacket.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 09:48 PM
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Great write-up. You two look very happy together. You are a lucky man.

Richard
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