Tag: national parks

California Love: Sequoia National Park

California Love: Sequoia National Park

As we climbed up into the mountains of Sequoia National Park, the temperature dropped sharply. We rode from Porterville and it’s scorched earth up into the park where the roads were wet and the air was cool.
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It seemed that we’d once again skirted what must have been a soaking rain. The sun dipped lower in the sky and dampness clung to the air between the trees. It made me shiver as I rode along.

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The closer we got to the Giant Forest Museum sent my mind reeling back to the moment in 2008 when I came close to hitting a black bear on the road. Some part of me was expecting to see another fuzzy buddy come traipsing across the road.

Kenny and Rachael at Sequoia National ParkI only wish that I had the power to convey what it feels like to be amongst the red bark of the giant sequoias. Majestic just seems trite. Their ancient bodies are something more. They carry some ethereal spirit that I swear you can feel when you are in their presence.

Nighttime was hot on our heels. As we headed westward on the General’s Highway, we started to catch glimpses of a pink sunset through the trees. It was like a game of cat and mouse. Whenever I was in a place to get a good view, I was unable to stop and when I was able to stop, I couldn’t get a good view. Luck must’ve been on our sides though, because we came to a pullout with a great view for the last whisper of the daylight.

It was a fitting end to a great day of riding.

Watching the sun set in Sequoia National Park - Photo by Ed

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Motorcycling Long Island: Sunday at the Fire Island Lighthouse

Motorcycling Long Island: Sunday at the Fire Island Lighthouse

The Fire Island HouseA 60 degree Sunday afternoon at the end of November is a treat here in the Northeast. Old man winter is patiently waiting to come knocking on our door. In the meantime we made the most of our limited daylight hours with a riding excursion to the Fire Island Lighthouse.

We parked our motorcycles in one of the parking fields and walked along the wooden walkway amongst the golden reeds. There are signs of deer, foxes and other small animals everywhere. Sadly we didn’t catch a glimpse of any.

The Fire Island Lighthouse is New York’s tallest lighthouse at over 160 feet above sea level. We found that out in a hurry when we trudged our gear laden behinds up the 156 steps of the narrow spiral staircase. The combination of the post-Thanksgiving food hangover and the motorcycle gear made for an um… labored climb to the observation deck. 😀

I’ll tell you, it’s always that last ladder at the very top of so many lighthouses that really gives me the willies. I’ve got a bit of the fear of heights. I have imagined myself tumbling ass over teakettle down the spiral stairs with a decidedly ungraceful thud on more than one occasion. What is it about turning around on a ladder to come down backwards that is so scary?

The ride itself to the lighthouse isn’t thrilling. But a nice walk in the sunshine, the rolling waves along the beach, the sea air – they make it worth the trip.

Ahoy! The Fire Island Lighthouse The Fire Island National Seashore Sign Bikes at Fire Island National Seasore
Crudmop at the top of the Fire Island Lighthouse View of the Island to the West - Robert Moses Causeway Fire Island Lighthouse
View to the East from the top of the Fire Island Lighthouse Fire Island Lighthouse

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