SabMag West Kernville 2013
SabMag West Kernville – June 8-10, 2013
This event was ‘hosted’ by Halfway Harry, and although attendance was smaller than ideal we had a great time and a fantastic ride on Saturday. Good food and great company added to the event in the best possible way!
I headed down from Pioneer on Friday to hookup with Terry who had stopped off in Hanford to pickup Raquel. I made good time and arrived a little ahead of schedule. We were to meet in Visalia at the Holiday Inn.
Dave Q called a few minutes after I arrived to let me know Terry and Raquel were on their way, and sent me a pic to prove it! Sure enough, twenty minutes later they rode up and we spent a few minutes saying hello and hydrating before our ride in the 110 degree heat. Gotta love it when a plan comes together!
We had an enjoyable ride up through the hills, taking the ‘northern’ loop into the Kern River Valley and arrived at the McCambridge Lodge at about 4pm.
The view from my room at the lodge was very nice indeed, looking north up the valley.
A quaint, older place, the McCambridge was the defacto ‘home base’ for the event, being walking distance from several restaurants and a decent market. The veranda outside my room became the gathering zone for the evening festivities – which I didn’t mind a bit.
The five of us walked over and had dinner at the brewpub, which had decent fare and good air conditioning (it was still 112 degrees out at 6pm!). After some relaxing accompanied by the usual lie-telling, Terry and Raquel headed for their campsites a few miles up the road. Can’t say I envied them, sleeping out in the heat.
Fortunate to have an air conditioned room, I slept very well and awoke to a lovely sight.
And, during the night there had been arrivals. This truck carried a couple of brothers, one of them on holiday from Belgium, riding their Italian ADV bikes in a variety of locations.
Terry and Raquel arrived, ready to ride, and we waited for Eduardo and his son Doug who had ridden over from L.A. during the night.
And here they are, right on time! Both ride V65 Sabres, representing SabMag well along with Terry on his V65 Magna.
With a minimum of cat-herding to do we launched as planned, headed first south along Lake Isabella then east to the heat of the desert and the small community of Inyokern, CA, located between highways 395 and 14 along Hwy 178. Not to ‘blow my own horn’; but all of the music in the ride videos is performed and recorded by me, with the third and fourth stages also my own compositions. Hope you enjoy!
We stopped for breakfast at Bernardino’s Mexican Cafe, an excellent choice as they had not only menu choices but a very nice buffet. Harry and I, having gotten up at about 6am, had gone to the deli next to the lodge and gotten some very good breakfast burritos. All I really wanted was some fresh fruit, and Bernardino’s buffet had just what the doctor ordered in the buffet. The pineapple was some of the sweetest I’ve had recently, and the watermelon and canteloupe was good too.
After breakfast we headed north, then west to pickup the roads that would ultimately take us over the nearly 9,000′ peak of Sherman Pass. The second stage of the ride would take us to “Grumpy Bears” in Kennedy Meadows.
We took a rather long break here, some of the folks apparently getting lost inside Grumpy Bear’s while Harry, Terry, Raquel and I hung out in the shade outside to tell stories about those who had gone inside.
After the long break we launched once again, heading up from the 6,000′ stop up to the top of the mountain, enjoying some good roads, great motorcycles, and excellent riding along the way.
Stopping at the ‘Kern Plateau’ vista point, we took a short break to admire the incredible views and talk about the ride up to that point. Elevation here was more than 8,500′ MSL, so it was much cooler than it had been below.
After a short break to enjoy the cool air and spectacular views, we headed west – and down the hill back into the Kern River Valley. It was a fine ride, with a minor incident, and we all made it back into Kernville safely.
After the ride we all gathered again, first for dinner at the BBQ place, then for another session of enjoying each other’s company, a few good brews, some delicious sweets provided by Raquel, and most of us called it a night about 10pm.
The following morning we all met at Cheryl’s Cafe in Kernville for breakfast, each preparing for a ride back to our homes. Clearly Kernville is a haven for motorcyclists with a wide variety of preferences!
Raquel, Terry and I headed west on Hwy 155, a very entertaining bit of pavement (twists and turns for about 15 miles before hitting the ‘valley’ and becoming arrow-straight). We stopped in Delano for a quick farewell before heading north, with Raq and Terry heading off for Hanford, then Terry for his home in the SF Bay Area.
It was another fine SabMag event, and I’ll add links to other photo galleries when I get them!
and here are Terry Day’s pics: