Not one to let minor mechanical issues get in my way, I motored on with the reverberation of unmuffled exhaust. From time to time the bike would backfire but I chalked it up to the lack of exhaust backpressure.
The plan was to slowly work closer to LA but not 45 miles from the Carrizo Plain, I came across a sign for Apache Cyn and a campground 10 miles in. The sandy road was sinnuous and climbing from the harsh dryness of the lower valley into a forest of ponderosa and pinyon mixed with valley oaks. Coyote tracks dimpled up each sandy wash and the smell of warm pine needles carried on the wind. The fun and fast sand road terminated at a small dispersed camping area nestled in a dry river bed. A spring near the entrance of camp further entrenched this as a future campsite down the line.
Over the next day, Matt showed up and we got some fun offroad riding in the washes. The Ruckus with it's bald and leaking rear tire and no exhaust was less than fun to force offroad but new parts await in LA.
There are a handful of places I've stumbled across on my journeys which continue to attract me back. It is fascinating to watch the scenery change dependent on season and the popularity ebb and flow during holidays. The Carrizo Plain National Monument gives me a calming feeling each time I return to the vistas and arid landscape. Nestled between the busy coast and 101 and the fertile San Joaquin, it is a respite from the stresses of modernity and development.
5 miles off Soda Lake Rd is the Selby Ranch CG where the views make up for the overly chlorinated water. Hey, at least there is water out here! Remnants of the once prosperous grain ranches speckle the expansive valley.
The old barn at Selby Ranch used to be accessible but the BLM has since closed up the entrances. The Barn Owl living inside must appreciate the fewer intrusions.
Heading to the Carrizo Plain my rear tire had been plagued with flats...so numerous I quit keeping track. The plugs either would not hold in the tire or would start leaking within a few miles of install. Worried my air pump wasn't up to the repeated task had me constantly stopping for air at gas stations. Fortunately in CA, if you buy gas, they are required to provide free use of the air. While riding around the eastern half of the park, my exhaust mounting bolt rattled loose allowing my already welded header to weaken. The following day leaving camp I had.a flat tire and snapped off the entire muffler before reaching the main road. Typical shenanigans
Stopping to admire the subduction zone where the Pacific and Continental plate collide. From here I'm off to hwy 33 and the Santa Barbara Mountains.
In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 69'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.