Friday, October 10, 2008

Day 7 - Seeing the giant and getting on the road

We stayed in the Three Rivers area last night not far from the south entrance of the park. We figured we'd enjoy the free continental breakfast and then head into the park to finish seeing the things we wanted to see. Well, the milk was sour, the OJ tasted funny and my boiled egg wasn't completely boiled. So things were getting off to a rocky start.

After checking out of the room we headed into the park and started taking pictures and seeing sites. We saw a big 8 point buck while telling stories of our own past hunts. The timing couldn't have been better. We stopped by the museum and learned a lot about the forest. Then we headed up to Moro Rock. The climb up to the top was tough but worth while. As I went up the steps I kept taking pictures. The views were getting better and and better. When I finally reached the summit it was incredible. I could see much of the Generals Highway, it looked so small. The pollution made it difficult to see in the distance, but you could still see a lot. I highly recommend visiting the rock, the view is great!

After this we had seen everything we wanted to see and began heading out of the park via the north entrance. It took another hour to actually get out of the park due to the speeds and the curves. Then it was only 49 miles to Fresno.

We got to BMW of Fresno by 2pm, settled up with Steve and got the bikes out and loaded things from the car. Then we took the car back to Hertz. With the car dropped off, Doug gave me a ride back to the shop to pick up my bike. We pulled out the map and figured out how we were going to leave the area and get up to Yosemite Park. The route was pretty simple, we'd head back over to 41 and go north.

By 3pm we were on 41 heading north and there was already traffic. It seems the rubbernecking was due in part to a CHP officer giving a ticket to 2 cars. I guess that's something for the locals to look at. Once we passed it though traffic started flowing better and the farther we got from Fresno the better the traffic got. We were heading to Oakhurst for the evening because it looked like the town had a number of motel choices.

Upon arrival to Oakhurst, Ca. we found the Oakhurst Lodge and got a room. After talking to the people running it, Doug discovered it had just changed ownership 5 months ago and was now being run by a family. The daughter had checked us in and the son was resolving an internet connectivity issue. While Doug was learning about the motel's operations I headed up to the park to get a map so we could more efficiently plan tomorrow's trip since we weren't staying in the area tomorrow night. It was 16 miles each way from Oakhurst. Going up was fun as traffic was light and curteous and moved out of the way if they were going slow. On the way back however, no one wanted to pull over and it was very congested. Nothing like the smell of over heating brake pads.

Today we only traveled about 60 miles on the bikes. But the important thing is that we are back on the bikes. Steve and his staff did a great job of getting me back on the road quickly. BMW of Fresno is definitely on my recommended dealer list for people needing help. No one there offered to chaufer me anywhere, give me a loaner bike or even feed me. But they did focus on doing everything they could to get me on the road quickly and that's greatly appreciated. Besides, I was travelling with Doug so they probably figured we had a way of getting around and we did. 2up riding sure beats walking any day! If I had been alone they might have helped get me around a little more.

The bike now has a newer version of the Final Drive with a drain plug which does require me to drop the FD to drain. This will be helpful when I have to change the FD oil on the way home. Steve also found 2 other issues that needed attention. First there was the brake rotor. It's worn below the minimum 4.5mm thickness by 0.1mm. He suggested the problem may be due to using the wrong kind of brake pads with the stock rotor. I'll have to check out which pads I ordered when I replaced them last. If I ordered semi-metallic pad then I was the idiot who screwed up the rear rotor. The other thing the tech found was that in my attempt to perform a canestorectomy I had left the left throttle body vacuum unplugged so there was a vacuum leak. They just capped the vacuum line. I must say the bike idles much better now. I'll be interested to see if it improves gas mileage on the way home.

Tomorrow we are heading up into Yosemite Park and then over to Long Pine for the evening. Then we should be able to ride through Death Valley on Sunday and see Zion Park on Monday. That's the current plan anyway.

No comments: