Weekly Update

Greetings Riders,
Well, it is a little hard to believe that we are already in March of 2011. These first 2 months have really gone by fast. But as the calendar in Arizona turns to March, motorcycle riders in Arizona really start to get excited as the weather will soon be premium for riding around the State, more events will be happening and Arizona Bikeweek is starting a week earlier this year kicking off on Friday, March 25th with Backstage Biker Bash at Chester's featuring Gretchen Wilson. Now is the time to start planning your month to take advantage of what is usually Chamber of Commerce weather here. 

Oregon Trip 2010 - Day 8 & 9 

As part of getting you excited about planning some trips, I am finally going to wrap up our Oregon Ride from last year with some more beautiful photos and route ideas taking you through Lake Tahoe, Ebbetts Pass and Carson Pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If you missed the letter last week outlining Day 7 in Northern California riding the Feather River Scenic Byway, Click Here. There are some really spectacular photos in this group. 

We left you last week as we had settled for the night in Reno, NV. After an 11 hour day on the bike, we really weren't in the mood for taking in the Reno night life, so it was a late dinner and then off to get some rest for another long day of beautiful mountain riding. On Day 8 we left Reno and headed South on the freeway to catch Hwy. 431 West which is also called Mt. Rose Hwy. This is a gorgeous ride as it winds up the East side of Mt. Rose from 4500 feet in Reno to 8900 at the Mt. Rose summit, making it the highest year-round Sierra pass. This is only about a 13 mile ride, but it is a beauty. And the payoff is a fantastic view of Lake Tahoe and Incline Village below. Be sure and stop there to take it all in.
A few fast facts: Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Its depth is 1,645 feet, making it the USA's second-deepest (the deepest is Crater Lake in Oregon, being 300 ft deeper, at 1,945 feet deep). We saw both lakes on this trip. The lake was formed about 2 million years ago, has a surface area of 191 square miles, shoreline of 71 miles and surface elevation is 6225 feet.
After a few minutes of photo ops, we started our ride down the hill with our target of finding an old breakfast stop called the Red Hut Waffle Shop. We had eaten there about 25 years ago on a trip to Lake Tahoe and really enjoyed it. So we thought we would try it again. It is the same old building with the same great service and super waffles. After reaching Incline Village we turned East on Hwy. 28 that took us down the East side of the lake to Hwy. 50 where we found The Red Hut looking just like it did 25 years ago located in South Lake Tahoe at 2723 Lake Tahoe Blvd. See Map. This place has been around since 1959 and is a Tahoe tradition. If you are in the area, I would highly recommend it.
By the time we finally made it to the Red Hut, I was ready for a big breakfast. You will find that you don't go ANYWHERE very fast in the Lake Tahoe area during the Summer. Traffic moves slow and there is plenty of it. So don't be in a hurry when you make your 71 mile loop around Tahoe and plan plenty of time for it.
For us, after our first slow 60 miles and breakfast, it was now 11:30 am and we still had 250 miles of mountain riding ahead of us. We knew at that time it was going to be a long day. But we were happy to be riding in this absolutely beautiful area and were happy to be there, not caring when or where we stopped for the night. So we headed South out of Lake Tahoe on Hwy. 89 to Hwy. 88 which is also called Carson Pass.
I am going to explain these two roads in reverse of the way that we took them, because I personally think they are better done in these directions. I would take Ebbetts Pass going West and Carson Pass going East if at all possible. If you were to do all 4 passes and coming from Arizona, you would start with Tioga Pass through Yosemite to the West, Sonora Pass to the East, then Ebbetts West and Carson back East. It would be a memorable trip.
Carson Pass, named after famed explorer Kit Carson, traversed by California Hwy. 88 was the most significant overland route during the California Gold Rush as well as the primary route for shipping resources from California to assist in the Civil War This is a great road to start on if you plan to do all of the passes. I would call it the kindler, gentler road of the bunch. No hairpins or switchbacks, no rapid elevation changes and no real surprises. From Hwy. 89 to Jackson on Hwy. 49, is only 70 miles. However, 33 of those miles are above 7000 feet, with 5 miles above 8000 cresting Carson Pass at 8573 feet.
The road won't test your riding skills, but the raw beauty of the terrain that it goes through, the riding enjoyment and the views that it offers from all around, will have your eyes bugging out in every direction. If you were to enter from Hwy. 49 on the West side as we did in 2008, you would ride up the hill through the Eldorado Forest and would soon breakout to the granite outcroppings with giant cedar pines magically growing out of the rock. It still amazes how there can be a seemingly solid granite rock with a tree growing out of it. You will then pass, Silver Lake, the beautiful Kirkwood Meadow and stop for a photo op of Caples Lake with the snow capped mountains in the background before topping Carson Pass to start a couple thousand foot decent to Hwy. 89, your turn to Lake Tahoe. If you are ever in the area, be sure and go out of your way to ride Carson Pass, it is truly a beautiful stretch of highway that will leave you wanting more.
As all of us know, the first day of a 9 day road trip is the excitement of hitting the road, knocking off some miles and getting to your first destination. You still have some thoughts of things you should have gotten done before you left and maybe even a couple of things you will have to finalize on the road. Day 2 you start to leave the real world behind and embrace the journey that you are on. Days 3 through 7 you are completely enveloped in life on the road, the scenery and the experiences that you have encountered. Day 8 of a 9 day trip you realize that you are on the downhill side of your time away from your usual routine but slip into denial to try and stretch it out a little longer.
That is where I was on this day. I knew we were almost done with this fun fest, but I refused to be sucked back into the real world prematurely. Putting those thoughts out of my mind, I turned my attention to what would be the next 70 miles of great riding over Ebbetts Pass and another crossing of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. As you intersect California Hwy. 4 from 89 that you took South out of Tahoe, you will soon realize that this is not the type of road that Carson Pass was. Ebbetts Pass, a national Scenic Byway, is much more intimate with more twists, turns, inclines and narrow unmarked roads for much of the way. As soon as you see the sign "Narrow Road Ahead" and the center line is removed, you know it is about to get exciting. The asphalt is in great shape, just more narrow than you would be used to. But that is what makes it extremely enjoyable.
Of the 4 passes, Ebbetts Pass, which is also a National Scenic Byway, was my favorite of them all. It was beautiful, quiet and less traveled than the rest. You will pass through a couple of small communities, a couple of beautiful lakes, cross over Ebbetts Pass at 8730 feet and be treated to many vistas and granite outcroppings along the way. And of course, that perfect spot for a photo op that puts you there. Just take your time and enjoy this gorgeous 76 mile stretch of highway through some of the most picturesque beauty that California has to offer on Hwy. 4 known as Ebbetts Pass between Hwy's. 89 & 49. As you reach Hwy. 49 you will come to a small town called Angels Camp. You can then turn South on 49 for a stop at the Jamestown HD dealership before calling it a day in Sonora or move on to the next pass if time allows. Your best opportunity for lodging is definitely on the East side of the passes. One Highlight that I can recommend is a stop at the Ironstone Winery which is a beautiful property. You can tour the Ironstone Heritage Museum which features the largest Crystalline Gold Leaf specimen in the world weighing in at 44 pounds. I would also recommend a ride through Murphys, CA which is right near the winery. This is located are the far West end of Ebbetts Pass.
In our case, we headed on to the little old town of Bridgeport, CA where we were lucky enough to find a motel to close out Day 8. Day 9 was our long day to just knock it out and get back home. A very good way to make some time going up or back to Arizona is this. From Hwy. 395 which is right near the East entrance to Yosemite National Park, take Hwy. 120 East to Hwy. 6 East to Hwy. 95 in Tonopah, NV. From here you will take Hwy. 95 all the way to Las Vegas where you will pick up Hwy. 93 that will take you all the way back to Phoenix with a small stint on Hwy. 40 in the middle.
For us, it was a long 688 mile day to get home. But this particular leg of the trip is not much but long straight stretches of road that you can really make up some time on. We rolled back into Phoenix at around 9pm that night after having spent about 12 hours in the saddle. But it gave us plenty of time to reflect on what a great 3000 mile ride we had just accomplished. It was so good that we both said that we would easily turn around and go do it again. As always, Google all of the roads and passes that I mentioned. You will be surprised what you will learn that you can use along the way.
Thanks for riding along and letting me share our adventure with you. I will list below the links to the newsletters that I had for each day. They all include maps and photos. I will soon have this on the Day Rides and All Ride Photos pages.
Click Here for Google Map of the day.
Click Here for Google
Map of 688 Mile Ride Home on Day 9
Click Here for
Photos of the Day.
The complete Oregon Trip 2010 Newsletter links below:
Day 1 - Mt. Hood
Day 2 - West Cascades Scenic Byway
Day 3 - Cascade Lakes Byway and Bend, OR
Day 4 - Crater Lake
Day 5 - Ferndale
Day 6 - Lost Coast Hwy
Day 7 - Feather River Byway
Day 8 and 9 - Carson Pass and Ebbetts Pass to home.

Tidbits and Updates: 

** Westgate Bike Night Starts Thursday, March 31st!

Plans are being made now to begin the 14 week run of the Bike Night March 31st. Westgate wanted to begin the bike night as soon as we could in March, but due to Coyote game conflicts with the arena on Thursday nights, the first night that we could start it is on March 31st. The good news is that we are going to be able to run 14 consecutive Thursday nights without interruption through June 30th. Bike Night will be kicked off by welcoming Ernie Lizarraga back from rehab as well as honoring all of the victims from that devastating motorcycle accident that took place almost one year ago. We are now in the planning stages for programming for each of these nights and look forward to seeing you again this season. If you would like to be a sponsor of this event, email me at . 

Bike Nights

Every Thursday Night
Itís Biker Bull Night at Western Trails Ranch!  Come on out to the Ranch and watch the bikers ride the bulls. This is a live bull show and Thursdayís are amateur night, starts at 7:00pm every Thursday.  Bull riding is billed as the most exciting sport on the planet and that ainít no lie.  We have audience games during the intermission with prizes, Happy Hour all night!  Or ride the Mechanical Bull $2.00 a ride. Buzzardís Saloon and the Ice House will be open, so come early and have dinner in our steakhouse.  Check out our website at $5.00 admission at the gate; pays for the bull stock production company, which is K4 Bucking Bulls Luke & Gina Kraut.  Itís just a good time Ė donít miss the excitement. Western Trails Ranch is located at 37823 NW Grand Avenue Mile Marker 123.5 FROM SURPRISE Morristown AZ 85342.

This Week 

Friday, March 4th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Motorcycles On Main. Join Chesterís Harley-Davidson at Motorcycles on Main in Downtown Mesa on Friday, March 4th!  Always on the first Friday of every month, this outdoor event lets you park and show off your bike STURGIS STYLE with parking on two blocks.  Free auto parking for your car-riding friends, four beer gardens, four live bands and great restaurants to enjoy.  6-10 PM, and no cost to enjoy the festivities.  Please visit for details! Chester's HD is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa. 480-894-0404.
Saturday and Sunday
March 5th and 6th
Chandler Harley-Davidson Demo Rides. This is your chance to ride the brand new 2011 Harley-Davidson of your choice. The Harley-Davidson factory demo truck will be at Chandler Harley-Davidson from 9am - 4pm on March 5th and 6th to let you experience the ride you have been dreaming about. It is always fun to see how the bike that you don't have would ride. There will be Food, Music, Vendors and Prizes! Must have a valid motorcycle license and be at least 21 years of age. Don't have a motorcycle license yet? Ask our sales associates about the Jump Start Rider Experience going on March 5th and 6th only. Chandler HD is located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler, AZ. 480-496-6800.
Saturday, March 5th
American Legion Post 35 4th Annual Car and Bike Show. All proceeds benefit Madison Street Veterans Association. Registration from 9am - 11am. Judging from 11am - 2pm. Food, Beer Garden and Music. Free admission. Vendor Fee - $25. Car or Bike entry fee - $20. For more information contact Ron Gadberry at 480-322-0269 or email .

Next Week 

Saturday and Sunday,
March 12th and 13th
Tucson Harley-Davidson Demo Rides. This is your chance to ride the brand new 2011 Harley-Davidson of your choice. The Harley-Davidson factory demo truck will be at Tucson Harley-Davidson from 9am - 4pm on March 12th and 13th to let you experience the ride you have been dreaming about. It is always fun to see how the bike that you don't have would ride. There will be Food, Music, Vendors and Prizes! Must have a valid motorcycle license and be at least 21 years of age. Don't have a motorcycle license yet? Ask our sales associates about the Jump Start Rider Experience going on March 5th and 6th only. Tucson HD is located at 7335 N. I-10 EB., Frontage Rd. in Tucson, AZ. 520-751-3380. 

Saturday, March 12th
2nd Annual Colon Cancer Ride. This ride benefits the Colon Cancer Alliance Central Arizona Chapter. "Take a Ride, Save a Butt". Ride begins at Chester's Harley-Davidson located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. Registration from 9am - 11am. KSU at 11am sharp. $25 Single/$15 Passenger. All riders get entry into the Angels Appreciation Party at the Buffalo Chip in Cave Creek. Also a Poker Game, All you can eat BBQ, Live Music, Libations, Dancing, Raffles and More. Ride pins for all registered.

Saturday, March 12th
Chandler Harley-Davidson BIKE NIGHT at Dos Gringos in Tempe. It is that time of year to start getting in some Arizona style evening riding. Chandler Harley-Davidson is hosting 2 upcoming bike nights at Dos Gringos located at 8000 S. Priest Dr. in Tempe, AZ. Meet at Chandler HD at 6pm located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler for the ride over to Dos Gringos. Win prizes from Chandler Harley-Davidson and Dos Gringos. $1 Happy Shots, $2.50 Coronas, $3 Gringoritas and Well Drinks. $2 Tacos. Ride by and enjoy a Saturday night with your riding pals. Bike night is from 6pm - 9pm. If you miss this one, there is another one on March 26th. 

Special Ongoing Event 

February 1st - April 30th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra Giveaway.
Looking for a new bike, have a little extra time on your hands and know a lot of people? Chester's HD is giving you the opportunity to win a 2011 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra for a little effort on your part.
Giveaway program starts February 1, 2011, and ends April 30, 2011. Just bring someone you know into Chester's Harley-Davidson to buy a new bike. You must accompany buyer to the dealership and have proof of purchase signed off by the General Manager. Buyer must agree to Chester's Harley-Davidson's terms of sale and cannot already have a deal pending at Chester's.  Validity of referral is at the sole discretion of the General Manager and could be denied. The person who brings in the most new bike sales wins a 2011 Harley-Davidson Road Glide® Ultra. Referrals must be contracted and take delivery of a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle at Chester's Harley-Davidson by April 30, 2011. Winner must refer a minimum of three sales to qualify.  There will be no ties.  In the event that 2 or more persons bring in the highest amount of qualifying buyers, the winner will be the person that reaches the minimum of three sales first. Winner is responsible for all applicable sales tax, license and doc fees. Click Here for details. 

Upcoming Events 

March 30th - April 3rd.
Arizona Bike Week 2011. Arizona Bike Week is a little over 2 months away. The dates this year are March 30th - April 3rd for Cyclefest at Westworld in Scottsdale. Musical acts this year include Skid Row, Warrant, Heart and Buckcherry. Pre-Rally Days start Friday March 25th with the Chester's Harley-Davidson Backstage Biker Bash featuring Gretchen Wilson and the Herndon Brothers in concert. There are lots of RV and tent camping options available. Go to for tickets and more information. 


Mid Week Updates will be made on the Facebook. New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Facebook. Over 2800 FANS! Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the page, but you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!

The 50's truly was the age of invention. See what this guy did to make parking easier. Click Here to View.

Here are 3 very lucky people. See the first guy pick up his step a bitClick Here to View.

Video of the Week: Here is an example of when electricity can ruin an otherwise good day. Ooops, that will ruin the mood. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.

If you would like to sign up for the Weekly Update Click Here.

Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,
Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"

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