January 1st, I went on on a group trip, motorcycle ride with the Gold Country Dual Sport Riders on the venerable and exalted W.E.T. River Trips shuttle conveyance: the 2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 ...yes, the most popular dual-purpose (or, as we "fans" call the designation: "Multi-surface") motorcycle in the world since 1983... yes, there is passion for the pig of a bike that is heavy, under-powered, ugly, purposeful, durable, and the chosen motorcycle of the USMC (except the US Marines go a step further and convert to diesel... yes, Bio-Diesel compatible!).
Anyway, I took an awesome 230-mile ride with a great group of like-minded dual-purpose riders with a collection of bikes that ranged from a lone Harley to the lone Moto Guzzi with the in-fill populated by a batch of KTM's, BMW's, and the reliable KLR 650. We met in Sacramento after I chipped ice off of my seat and rode to Lake Berryessa (sic) with about 30 other riders where we met another 15 riders and continued on around the lake to Napa, Sonoma, and Lower Lake where we had lunch and the temperature soared to a balmy 50 degrees.
The ride back was a different route and we road at a much more brisk pace. The whole time, my white water rafting and snowboarding brain was twitching... everything was super dry: no puddles, mud, dry grasses, and a minimalist Lake Berryessa combined with a trickle called Putah Creek.
I haven't ridden anything beyond a quick couple of 50 milers since ... why?: IT'S BEEN FREAKIN' RAINING AND SNOWING!!!!!!! The lakes and rivers have been transformed and there is as much as 30-feet on snow in the Sierra waiting to come down... and it will!
February has started out with a vengeance of cold, wet storms and has added to the DWR snow survey done last week at the end of January that showed the watershed of the popular class 4+ North Fork American, Middle Fork and South Fork American River at 125% of normal...last year was 33% (and the whitewater was still awesome). The North end of the State is ridiculous with crazy watershed totals serving the Klamath, Scott, and Salmon River. We're looking at some drying weather and some excellent times for enjoying the bounty of a wet January.
So, I'm calling it, and it is ON! The whitewater rafting season will be amazing.
The W.E.T. River Trips crew plans to rally after Valentine's Day (so that Heffe and Bird can protect their domestic Bliss...shhhhhh) and we can take advantage of President's Day. We're shooting for our annual Smith River, Oregon Hole, Jedidiah Redwood State Park, Hiouchi Rendezvous. The call went out... we'll see who steps up.
Might as well, we tee-off the season in mid-March... so hit the slopes, get off the couch and let me get in some last rides on the KLR before it becomes part of the job... yeah right.
For more resources on the KLR 650 ultimate shuttle vehicle for rafting and river trips:
Post by: Big Poppa, Road Warrior and King of the River!