Tag Archives: Travel

Kentfield, CA

GS-R-1200

With the purchase of the GS R 1200, it became imperative to get out on the road and stretch her legs. First impressions of this bike is simply amazing. I am comparing my experience to what it felt like riding the GS F 700 I traded in. The 1200 is so smooth and refined. The Gear Assist Shift Pro gizmo that allows the rider to shift while accelerating without the clutch is a really cool feature. Also, the cruise control just works. Easy breezy on the highway at 80 mph. All of these features, the bikes size ect……all add up to a bike that is much more comfortable, and in my mind feels much safer than the GS F 700.

Olema CG

Olema Campground Site 336

So, I lite out on a Saturday afternoon after teaching my 11am yoga class. (remember my yoga website is christianallaireyoga.com) I was the Memorial Day weekend, so everything was pretty packed. I stayed the first night in Olema Campground in Olema, California which is just outside of one of my favorite places, Point Reyes Station, CA. The campground was crammed with the Memorial Day weekend crowds. The cool evening fog rolled in after sundown from the pacific ocean, which made the morning beautifully dew drop laden.

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Coloma, California (temp a balmy 102)

After a sound nights sleep I cruised into PR Station for some breakfast and hit the highway. Rolling out through Nicasio Reservoir, a stunning place to visit in its own right, I headed onto Lucas Valley Road, to 101, to Highway 37, to Route 80 and dashed off to Highway 50 in Sacramento. I could barely wipe the smile off my face. The heat was on! Sacramento is usually an oven anyway this time of year, but heading into the Sierra Foothills it was scorching. Passing through Placerville I hooked a turn north onto Highway 49 toward Colomo, California. This awesome little town along the south fork of the American River has had a significant impact on California and the nation. It is where gold was discovered in 1848, which triggered the gold rush and the whole 49’s rush. Pretty cool!

Point Reyes B&W

Point Reyes B&W

I made camp at the American River Resort sitting right on the south fork of the American River. It was the Sunday before Memorial Day and of course crammed with tons of activity. I set up shop in camp site #61 and was happy as a clam. As a side note, one of the things that made this trip so pleasant was the fact I was cut off most of the time from cell coverage and or internet usage. It decompresses the nervous system to be cut off like that.

Coloma B&W

Campsite @ American River Resort

American River B&W

American River B&W

 

 

 

The next morning, Memorial Day, the crowds started to pack up. Blessed as I am, I had the entire day to go riding! I stocked my system with coffee and heading out for Placerville. After a hardy breakfast at Mel’s Diner, turned east onto Highway 50 for Lake Tahoe.

On the way to Tahoe

On the way to Tahoe

Traffic proceeding out of the region toward Sacramento and San Francisco was sluggish even at 10am. I on the other hand had the road into South Lake Tahoe all to myself. I headed up the west shore of Lake Tahoe, passed the always stunning Emerald Bay.

From Highway 50

From Highway 50

Heading back toward my campsite required a 2 hour jaunt on Route 80 toward Auburn, which was bumper to bumper. I had to lane split most of the time. Lane splitting is a-lot of mental energy. I arrived back at my campsite and a nearly completely empty resort. Just the sounds of nature greeted me for the entire day. I slept like the dead, and headed out to Sacramento the next day to meet up with my girlfriend for a family function and then a night time ride back home.

Lake Tahoe from Tahoe City

Lake Tahoe from Tahoe City

Ahhhhhhhh…..what a trip! Please feel free to comment or get in touch with me.

 

Yogi C

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 10th, 2014

Kentfield, California

I was out for a cruise on the Big Green Machine when I decided to make a stop at the Randall House on highway 1 in Olema Valley, California just north of Stinson Beach. The place has is kind of a creepy American Horror story vibe to it. The setting is breathtaking, as is most of California. The only reason it still stands as it did in the late 1800’s is also quite California like. A rare big earred bat gathering lives in the attic of the home. This has saved it from demolition.

The home was built by Sarah Randall in 1880 after her husband was murdered. She began a prosperous dairy farmer in her own right. Of course the story is quite interesting. Read below.

Randall House, Olema Valley, California

Randall House, Olema Valley, California

Perhaps to accommodate Raymond’s growing family, Mrs. Randall had a larger house built east of the county road, across the road from the dairy buildings. The exact date of construction is unclear; the 1880 census does not reflect an outstanding improvement in the value of the buildings there. One report states that Mrs. Randall began construction in 1880 and completed the house in 1881. The two-story Victorian, with elegant trim and ample space, became a showplace in the Olema Valley and still stands today. According to the county newspaper, Sarah Randall planned to have a new barn built in 1884.

A fire in 1890 destroyed most of the pasture and fences on the ranch; the newspaper called 10-year-old Lottie Randall “the little heroine” of the disaster. Mrs. Randall apparently returned to the ranch and lived alone there in later years but was eventually persuaded by her children to leave and live with them in town. Sarah Seaver Randall died on January 24, 1907, and left the ranch to her grown children Elizabeth Tripp, William, Fanny Tullar, Raymond and Mary Clifford.

The Randall House is the lone survivor of the legacy of William and Sarah Randall. The couple are among the earliest American settlers in the Olema Valley; the story of Mrs. Randall’s operation of the ranch and raising a large family after becoming widowed contributes significance in the area of women and the development of the west. The ranch may be regionally significant for its contribution to the 19th century dairy industry in the Olema Valley, an industry that provided food products to a growing San Francisco during the later years of the Gold Rush.

The superintendent of Point Reyes National Seashore had the remaining barns and outbuildings removed soon after the purchase and intended to demolish the unoccupied Randall House. The keeper of the National Register of Historic Places declared the house eligible for the National Register in 1979, spurring the park to attempt historic leasing on the old house. This effort failed through the lack of acceptable proposals, and again the house faced demolition. Discovery in the 1980s of a rare big-eared bat colony in the attic has given the place at least a temporary reprieve.

I also pulled this little gem off the internet from an e-book on the region.

The five Randall children grew up in a sort of idyll at the ranch, the 
death of their father notwithstanding, riding to the nearby Olema School at 
Five Brooks on horseback, gathering huckleberries in the surrounding woods 
and then drying and preserving them by the bushel. The children were no 
doubt a large factor in their mother’s prosperity in the dairy business. Oldest 
son William, known as Willie and later W. J., was born at Murphy’s Camp, 
California on April 1, 1852. He attended boarding school in Petaluma and was 
eight years old when his father was killed; he then attended local schools and 
graduated from Heald’s Business College in San Francisco in 1873. He 
apparently ran his uncle Daniel Seaver’s ranch up the road for many years, and 
married Abbie Perham in 1879. William left the ranch around 1881 to run his 
own dairy businesses on Point Reyes, including the famous Pierce Ranch and O. 
L. Shafter’s L Ranch. Raymond Randall, born at Angel’s Camp in the Oregon 
gold country while his father was mining there, took over the Randall business 
in the 1870s after his marriage to Harriet “Hattie” Weeks, a neighbor to the 
south. The couple had six daughters while living on the ranch, Lottie, Myra, 
Elizabeth, Helen, Sadie, Fanny and Aileen. The family referred to the place as 
the Bell Ranch, because the cows wore bells. Raymond’s sister Mary became a 
schoolteacher, beginning at the Garcia School in Olema in 1879 and then 
teaching at the nearby Olema School at Five Brooks in 1883. Mary was 
married to M. H. Clifford of San Francisco in her mother’s house in 1885. 
Oldest sister Elizabeth married P. Tripp of San Francisco in 1886. 61

If you live in the area or are passing through do check it out!

Kindly,

Christian Allaire

PS: Please click on the thumbnails below to view the large images.

BMW Motorcycles

 

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on their BMW's

Ewan Macgreggor and Charley Boorman on their BMW’s

In the past 6 months I’ve had thoughts of buying a motorcycle in my head thick. It started with a book written by Neal Peart the drummer for the band Rush. Pert lost his daughter and wife within a very short period of time in the late 90’s devastating his life. He hopped aboard is BMW R1100GS and hit the road for 14 months and 55,000 miles to gain clarity or as he describes finding a reason to live. What resulted was the terrific book called Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. 

I traveled extensively after joining the U.S. Coast Guard in 1988. I continued to travel nearly non-stop even after blasting past my retirement at 40 culminating in my 3 year sailing journey. The 24 year span of  travel left me weary. At some point I plumb burned out craving geographic stability. I wanted to stop moving and did exactly that in 2010 settling in Marin County California.

72 Sportster taken in 1992

72 Sportster taken in 1992

Now fast forward to 2014. That latent wander bug is asserting again. Nothing as grandiose as trying to sail around the world percolates, and in fact the ocean does not call to me….yet. I thought about backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail after reading Cheryl Strayed excellent book Wild or hiking the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park. These activities are still in the hopper. Bucket list stuff.

But the motorcycle thing. I owned a 1972 Harley Davidson and an old Honda that I bought when I first joined the Coast Guard. Pictured below is me and my old shipmate Christian Blanko in the Olympic State Park in Washington State in 1989. At some point I couldn’t maintain the machines and I vaguely recall I thought I might die in a wreck, so I sold the bikes.

Christian Blanko and ME

Christian Blanko and ME

Now I’m midlife right in the pocket where the typical midlife crisis presses and a man is either left to purchase a Corvette or typically a Harley. As recently as 2010 I rode some Harley’s down the open road in Arizona with my Uncle Joe. Man was it awesome!

While reading the Peart’s book I started to skulk around on the internet and came across the Ewan Mcgregor book and documentary documenting their epic journey in 2004 The Long Way Round. So this has lead me to start looking at Craigslist for BMW’s for sale. This is what happens with me. I don’t make immediate leaps when I get bit by some kind of bug thankfully. I usually need to marinate in things  and let my intuition take over and see where it all shakes out. I’m not really sure when or if I will buy a motorcycle. It certainly is a temping proposition.

Living out west in California affords numerous directions to travel…save westerly. But taking a trip to Tahoe, Bend, Oregon or cruising down Highway 1 along Big Sur on a Big Bike gets me super jazzed.

Kindly,

CA

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