F I N E   H Y D R O C A L   C A S T I N G S   B Y   C.   C.   C R O W    
  P.   O.   B O X   1 4 2 7         M U K I L T E O,     W A     9 8 2 7 5     U S A    


California coast.

The Fine Art of Motorcycle Touring


A Motorcycle Story

by C. C. Crow
photos by author


Camp site on the north coast.

Campsite on the north coast

Golden gate Bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge

Pismo Beach.

Pismo Beach


Lizzards painted on the rocks near Trona

Pismo Beach Pier.

Pismo Beach.

Sunny California.






Yosemite. Yosemite.

Nevada Falls Yosemite


One of my favorite runs starts on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas. Coming down Route 395 from Yosemite, there's a side road out of Lone Pine which goes up to the Whitney Portal. Whitney Peak, at 14,494 ft., is the highest in California. The highest in the lower 48 for that matter. No, we aren't going to climb it thought that might be fun, we are just going to hang out in the afternoon shade, high above the valley heat (100° or more) and wait until 5 or 6 p.m. Then we are off on our journey!

Down a few thousand feet into the Owens Valley, sucked dry by the Los Angeles Aqueduct, and eastward on Route 190 rising and falling back down into ever deeper valleys. Watch out in the Panamint Valley as jets from China Lake Naval Weapons Center just to the south like to fly over such targets as a lonely motorcyclist at near sonic speeds, fifty feet over your head. Rather exciting when you don't expect them.

As the sun slowly sets behind you after the Panamint summit finally you drop down into Death Valley. Enjoy the evening chill at the top as the bottom of the valley will radiate heat for many hours to come. If it's too hot you might consider stopping at Stovepipe Wells. There's a small campground there. Or you can push further down into the night and camp at Furnace Creek. The Valley is great at night. Vast. Full of stars. Ringed with distant peaks. Believe me, you wouldn't want to be here in the middle of the day especially on a motorcycle. You'd bee the ultimate poor tiny ant under the magnifying glass. Sizzle.

Even at midnight the heat stored in the ground is enough to make sleeping difficult. I'm so tired though. I finally figured out the trick- picnic table camping. It gets you up off the ground and the breezes can keep you cool. Watch out for the ketchup though.

In the morning, instantly upon first light, you are driven out. The sun begins to fry. All right, all right, I'm up. At least it is easy breaking camp. Just stuff the matterice and sleeping bag back in and we're on the way.

A stop in Badwater is a necessity. At minus 282 feet it is the lowest point in the United States.

Let's push on before it gets too hot. Route 178 takes us into Nevada through Pahrump (I love that name, the sound of driving over something) and on into Las Vegas the back way (Nevada Rt 160). We used to check into The Fronteer but I guess it like many of the old simple style hotels on the Strip have fallen to the wrecking ball. It's been a dozen or so years since I've been in Vegas and it's supposedly doubled in size. I can't imagine. We used to love going to the Fronteer for several reasons. One, it was very cheap. $35.00 we got the party room (living room half of a suite) that overlooked the pool. They also left us park our bikes in a coned-off area right by the side enterance. What could be better than that? It was the perfect end to the perfect ride. Too bad they bulldozed it.

Five dollars on red.

Death Valley.

Lowest point in the United States

Death Valley.

Picnic table camping in Death Valley

    and A FEW DAYS

    Motorcycle Stories


    Truth blended with Fiction

    T O U R   L O G S    

    P H O T O   G A L L E R Y    

    I N   T H E   G A R A G E    



    F I N E   H Y D R O C A L   C A S T I N G S   B Y   C.   C.   C R O W    
  P.   O.   B O X   1 4 2 7         M U K I L T E O,     W A     9 8 2 7 5     U S A