A couple of days in the desert...
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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:45 pm quote
Hey folks…

So... this is my first attempt at this whole blog thing... so here it goes...

Been doing the Scoot thing for a few years, but decided to start doing some longer trips. Wanted to combine my love of Scootering with my love of travel and photography.

I'm in San Diego, and am planning on a trip up highway 1 to San Francisco and back in the spring. I decided to do all of my Scooter modifications and get the equipment all set up and do a couple of shorter trips to shake out the set up.

Here's my first attempt... I just love the desert, and it's usually nice and warm in the winter here in SoCal... so decided to do a couple of days and head up toward Joshua Tree National Park. Love that place for pics and camping... Here's the route...

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A little bit of everything... Starbucks in Ramona... a piece of pie in Julian... great mountain roads... down into the desert... Salton Sea... Joshua Tree and back. So much varied scenery and cool places to camp and take some pictures...

Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:42 pm quote
Me again...
So... tried twice to add to this post and have failed... hopefully third time is a charm...

I'm a lurker? How am I a lurker? How do I stop being a lurker?

So... off in the morning... start up Highland Valley Road... for all you folks in SD... a great ride... lots of curves... elevation changes... takes you out to the Wild Animal Park... then up to Ramona... Starbucks... wake up a bit... then through to the Old Julian Highway... another great road... curves... Wineries... Camels... Ostriches... Llamas... and into Santa Ysabel... for apple cupcake... then through Julian... and down into the desert...

This is where the trip really starts for me... at Scissor Crossing... an intersection in the high desert that is near the route of the old Butterfield stagecoach line... guess it used to go from Phoenix to SD back in the day...

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Historical marker at Scissor Crossing...

Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:46 pm quote
Apple cupcake?
How does apple cupcake turn into apple cupcake... It's apple cupcake...
Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:51 pm quote
Pie... pie... pie...
How does cupcake keep turning into cupcake?

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Pie... pie... pie...

Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:58 pm quote
Me... again...
So I guess my files are big or something because only allowing one picture at a time... this could make for a lot of work...

So the next stop was another historical marker... this could get redundant...

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Box Canyon on the S2...

Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1778
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:11 am quote
Re: Me... again...
Lafinmansd wrote:
So I guess my files are big or something because only allowing one picture at a time... this could make for a lot of work...

So the next stop was another historical marker... this could get redundant...
Are you uploading the pics off of your phone or device? If so, I've found it (counter-intuitively) easier to mail them to myself and upload them off the 'puter.

Looking forward to the details -- I camped down in that area awhile back. ...a long while back. ...like forty years ago awhile back!
Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:49 am quote
Aha...
Thanks for the heads up Tdrake... I'm loading them from an iPad Pro... I'll have to switch devices and see what happens...

I've been going out there for about 20-25 years myself. It's changed a lot... especially Salton Sea... sad... more polluted all the time... but still a beautiful place.

As you might remember, the next stop on the S2 is a place called Vallecitos Station. It was one of the stops on the old Butterfield Stagecoach line from Phoenix to San Diego. It's a great little stop with the Adobe... a small museum set up... and a great little camp ground. Especially if you like peace and quiet... also has a very friendly Ranger who is very surprised to see a Scooter that far out...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:01 am quote
More Vallecitos...
A few more views of Vallecitos...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:03 am quote
More Vallecitos...
... and another...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:05 am quote
And another...
...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:10 am quote
Nothing...
There is another little strange place I found a few years back... it's on the S2 and is just a random marker in the middle of nowhere... would love to know the back story, but have never had any luck finding out more about it... this is one of the things I love about riding... you just run into the coolest things...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:13 am quote
Monument plaque close up...
Very to the point... and accurate... and one of the great things about the desert...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:24 am quote
Wind farm...
Staying on the S2, I headed down toward Ocotillo... a cool little town with some old buildings and a lot of nice people... also, luckily, a gas station and a few places to eat.
Then took the 98 to Calexico. Calexico is a border town with Mexico... and how this place has changed in the few years. I guess it's NAFTA and all the trade coming across the border. Used to be a sleepy little town with a few vacationers on their way to San Felipe and some really good Mexican food... now a lot of trucks... not so pleasant...
Rode straight through to the 111, and steamed north. Mostly farming communities and such, but had a destination in mind... Salvation Mountain...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:35 am quote
Salvation Mountain...
Just an amazing place... and a testament to faith and the human spirit... and fits perfectly out here in the middle of nowhere...

Kind of an obscure story, but basically a guy comes to the desert and God speaks to him. He decides to create a physical manifestation to his faith and starts building... and stacking... and constructing... and painting the most amazing place. I've been here a dozen times or so throughout the years... luckily caught it when it was still being built, and met the gentleman once... Leonard Knight... may God rest his soul... it seems he finally passed away a few years ago. Unfortunately, I had heard that it was suffering from lack of attention and is slowly falling apart... I wanted to visit again before it's too late. I hope we find a way of saving it... it deserves to be saved... go check it out... just a couple of miles east of Niland CA... near Slab City... which is another story unto itself...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:38 am quote
Salvation Mountain...
Another pic from a previous visit...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:46 am quote
Salvation Mountain... again...
I guess was his transportation and living quarters at some time... maybe his Scoot too...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:45 pm quote
The Salton Sea...
So spent the rest of the day riding up and down the east side of the Salton Sea...
Not sure how many people know the history of this most bizarre place. A lake in the middle of the desert. Back in the 50's and 60's was in the process of being developed into a desert paradise... kind of a Las Vegas on a lake... but never really panned out. The lake has become incredibly polluted due to run off from the farms in the area, and incoming water being diverted for crops. A long and complicated story, but at this point it is a huge refuge for migrating birds and is an incredibly beautiful place... if you can take the smell...
Some of the towns in the area (Bombay Beach, North Shore, Salton City...) are almost post apocalyptic looking. Abandoned buildings and undeveloped lots... accented by huge fish kills and the bizarre color of the water... and the haze that hangs over the lake constantly... makes for a great pictures...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:47 pm quote
North Beach...
Another view of North Beach...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:52 pm quote
Salton Sea...
Another shot...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:54 pm quote
Salton Sea...
Amazing sunsets...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:58 pm quote
Salton Sea...
Got to my camp site after dark and set up… great thing about Salton Sea is that it's almost never crowded... although there were a few photographers and models around taking advantage of the landscape...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:02 pm quote
A banana museum?
Not sure how I've missed this in the past... I love museums and always try to see them. Don't remember seeing this one on previous trips... might be new...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:04 pm quote
Banana museum...
They sure make it look inviting... made me curious...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:08 pm quote
Banana Museum...
I guess the way it works is that you have to call a number to get someone to come over and let you in... must be the off season... no answer... an excuse to come back...

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Ossessionato
2 X 74 Rallys, 66 Bluebadge, 76 ET3, 80 ET3, 80 P200, 65 Li225 Silver Special, 2015 HD Road Glide Special
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 2572
Location: Oceanside/ SF
Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:14 pm quote
Good report so far! Picture uploading is much easier on a computer. Keep the pics coming. Read some of the other ride reports to see what and how riders have loaded their scoots.

Thats cool you got to meet Leonard Knight. I was just there two months ago with a friend. Sadly Salvation Mountain and the Ski Inn are being trampled on by annoying Instagram selfie takers. Im still a kid and even I was annoyed by the idiots not being respectful!
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1778
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:20 am quote
Great pics! I especially like how the red V pops against the stark desert background.

Spent the hottest summer of my life in Calexico, with mumps, back when it was still hell and gone, so I always laugh when I think of it as the site of a major hipster concert.

Keep 'em coming!
Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:46 am quote
Joshua Tree...
Yeah... Calexico not so great... Most of my best memories have to do with Carne Asada and Carnitas...

... and it is sad about Salvation Mountain. I've heard there is a move afoot to have it registered as an Historic Monument so they can get some funding to keep it maintained... I hope it's not too late...

I tried to download some GoPro video of a ride through Box Canyon. It's a great little ride on the way to the south entrance to Joshua Tree... But the sight wouldn't take it... Any suggestions? Too large a file?

Next stop on the trip was Joshua tree... I love this place... used to do some rock climbing back in the day, but just go up there now for hiking and photos and the night sky... Awesome place...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:44 am quote
Joshua Tree cont...
Hey tdrake... I'm on my iMac at this point... Still having issues uploading the pics. I did re-size the shot on the last post. My primary camera is a Nikon D 810... The average file size for an uncropped shot is about 22-25 MB... I know it's big. I resized the last one down to about 2.5 MB and it went in fine... any other suggestions?

I'm going to try a couple more re-sized shots...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:17 pm quote
More Joshua Tree...
Lots of rocks...

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Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:45 pm quote
More Joshua Tree...
Cannot beat desert sunsets...

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Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1778
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:01 am quote
Re: Joshua Tree cont...
Lafinmansd wrote:
Hey tdrake... I'm on my iMac at this point... Still having issues uploading the pics. I did re-size the shot on the last post. My primary camera is a Nikon D 810... The average file size for an uncropped shot is about 22-25 MB... I know it's big. I resized the last one down to about 2.5 MB and it went in fine... any other suggestions?

I'm going to try a couple more re-sized shots...
Man, sorry but I can't help with the sizing issue since I am the world's laziest photographer and thus all my files have come off my phone and are much smaller (and therefore crappier). Hopefully someone more in the know will chime in.

And yer making me think I really, really need to get down to San Diego some day to see my sister...I thought it was gonna be her surfing sunsets that would do it, or the hours of Vespa Motorsport videos I've watched, but, no, it's those Joshua pics! I've been nearly everywhere in the US, especially in CA, but there!
Member
2015 Super
Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 35
Location: Denver
Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:13 pm quote
Gorgeous photographs! Thanks for sharing.
Ossessionato
2012 BMW G650GS, 2006 GTS,
Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 2082
Location: Snohomish County, WA
Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:38 am quote
Great thread!
Hooked
2015 Primavera 150
Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Posts: 136
Location: Portland, OR
Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:08 am quote
Great blogging and pics. Looking forward to more adventures.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 6354
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:51 pm quote
Nice photos! Wish I could magically transport my scooter anywhere I want. There isshipping, I know.....

Looks like some awesome riding and discovering.....one of the things I enjoy too. Somehow different than in a car....easier to spot things, easier U-turns.

On the cupcake thing earlier in the thread, it's one of the quirky things built into the website... this link can help, but also be sure to peruse the "FAQ" section of the site....

FAQ: Why are words in my post getting censored?
Hooked
GTS Super Sport
Joined: 02 Aug 2016
Posts: 173
Location: San Francisco
Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:01 pm quote
I've been wanting to travel to the Salton Sea for a while now! Looks like a great trip!
Member
Not yet
Joined: 19 Jul 2015
Posts: 15
Location: Edmonton
Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:02 pm quote
Great trip. Thanks.
Member
Vespa 300 gts
Joined: 11 Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Location: San Diego, CA
Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:36 pm quote
Hi everyone... thank you so much for the feedback... I've been away a while for the holidays...
I'm with you as far as transporting my scoot... I'm planning the trip up the coast, but you start thinking of all of the other places the scoot would make so much better...
I've been blessed to be able to travel a bit, and some of my favorite memories from the trips have been on a scooter... Rome... Vietnam... Panama... just throw a bag and a blanket on the back and go...
I've been doing some research on Iceland... have always wanted to go... would have to look at the weather real close though...
Member
2007 Aprilia Sportcity 250 & Suzuki Boulevard S50
Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Posts: 47
Location: Greer, SC
Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:21 pm quote
Your first Ride Report?!
Excellent job!!

Great photos. Appreciate the map, too. Please keep your reports coming so we can remember what it's like until spring gets here!

Member
Piaggio BV250 Tourer - Vespa Primavera 150
Joined: 04 May 2016
Posts: 25
Location: Santa Maria, California
Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:22 am quote
Re: Joshua Tree...
Wow! Some very good pictures of the Salton Sea. Thanks for including the map. I've ridden most of those roads and its fun to see it from another traveller's view point.

I would send the video to Youtube and then link to it.
Lafinmansd wrote:
I tried to download some GoPro video of a ride through Box Canyon. It's a great little ride on the way to the south entrance to Joshua Tree... But the sight wouldn't take it... Any suggestions? Too large a file?
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