The Breakfast Club: Gardnerville 2016
Friday, Aug 26 2016
The facts: Friday morning I met Alberto at the Black Bear for breakfast. After breakfast we headed to the Wolf Creek trailhead for a night of camping. We stopped in Murphys and Lake Alpine along the way. The next morning we broke camp and headed over Monitor Pass to 395 for breakfast at the Meadowcliff Resort. After breakfast we looped around Bridgeport before heading to Gardnerville. We were in Gardnerville around 2 PM.
Kind of boring, no? I’m sure Alberto’s version will be more interesting. It may even be factual in places. Pictures from both Marc and Alberto.
For all of last year I had had custody of The Boot, our motorcycle club’s Incompetency Award. Yes, I had been the recipient of incompetent-extraordinaire title having dropped my new motorcycle nine times in just one year! Now a year gone by, it is time to pass the questionable honor.
The Boot, in its original form, is this one boot size eleven rickety, worn out and smelly old boot. Bernard (Bern) Hyman, abandoned the Boot on his way to Mexico, right there in the middle of the highway, only to be found by another rider… “Isn’t that Berns boot?” And it was left there as a highway ornament. Bern, who by this time, having lost the one boot, carried the one he still had all the way back to the US and home. The next year, Dave Gallegos, returning from Baja, looking for the original boot found another rickety-rubber workman’s boot on the highway. He picks up the rubber boot and, later that year, at some dinner event… “Hey Bern, we found your lost boot!” And thus, as a joke, Bern received the first Incompetent Award. Incompetency however has no ownership, twenty five years later, annually, we recognize that year’s talented incompetent.
Bern is the first recipient of his own Incompetency Boot Award.
Ever since, 25 years ago, started this tradition of passing The Boot. The Boot has had a transformation over the years. From a rickety, worn out and smelly old boot to its current incantation: a very fine Bronzed Boot with a pedestal (compliments of Dan Bockmier as past incompetent). The whole thing is about two feet tall and weighing in excess of twenty five pounds! Good going Dan! At this stage The Boot has to be transported by car, too big to carry on a motorcycle.
A week ago, during one of our infamous SMBC breakfast we were discussing who was going, and who was not going to go to the yearly dinner in , Gardnerville, Nevada. Many going by car. I was looking for one who would ride his motorcycle, and more than that, who would ride the motorcycle a day or two earlier. You see, I wanted to have and adventure no not just a point-to-point ride.
For many a ride Markus Baur had been my go-to guy. He is always good for a ride, but a broken hand he is in no condition to ride the motorcycle for more than a mid distance. My second buddy, Bob Burns (WWWobble) said, “might ride, uncertain”. I made up my mind. Give it up! Company or not, ride. There are plenty of great roads from the San Francisco Ba Area to the Sierras.
So I started visualizing a possible ride… By myself.
Marco, who, in a way, is the SMBC keeper of the flame needed to know the status of The Boot, and how would it get to Gardnerville. I asked if anyone driving a car could take the Boot, as my motorcycle would not do… “Are you riding or driving your car?” I asked. “Well, Alberto, I am riding my bike the day before and I am going camping”. Holly smokes! How can I latch onto him was the first thought I had. “Marco can I join you?” “Sure!”. Next thing I know is he sent me an email of his itinerary, time locations, etc. Marco does not leave things to chance, to him improvising is deciding Pale Ale or Fat Tire. That’s it!
The upshot is that we arranged for me to bring The Boot to him, and he’d arrange for it getting to the venue. Done!
Fast forward to Friday. Marco and I were to meet at the Black Bear Diner in Tracy. 9:30 am. Well, you can set your watch by his arrival. I got there 10 minutes earlier and the place seemed packed! Nothing to worry. The Black Bear Diner is huge!!
Standard fare, coffee, huge plate of something and I was bursting at the seams. Too much food. But, look at the upside, I am done for food on this day.
We rode up on highway 4 to Murphy’s were topping gas, and getting dinner for tonight. Well, dinner only for me. One large bread plus honey baked ham and Swiss cheese, yummy! That s it. Marco, remember, does not improvise. He had a well planned pasta dinner with lentil soup, chicken appetizer. The guy is prepared.
Now, something to be said for highway 4 and The Ebbetts Pass. If you have not ridden here yet, well, what are you waiting for, an invitation? Rare are the places that offer that much pleasure in going left-right and again. It is not that the turns are tight, not at all! But rather that they are one-after-the-other, non ending! If yo like turns, this is your road… If you do not like turns, I suggest you take highway 101 from San Jose to Gilroy, guaranteed that you will enjoy that stretch. Enough said.
Up highway 4, all the way to Wolf Creek road (I think) where we make a, tight, right turn and head onto the wilderness. I had been warned, “Alberto, the last four miles are on a mild dirt road”. No biggie, or so I thought until the “mild” dirt road showed up and makes a turn left and immediately turns right in deep gravel. “Oh, shit! On shit, oh shit”. Three In a row, not the turns… Three Shits! (I checked my pants… no evidenced). And you know it was bad. Well, bad enough to me.
After fours miles we arrive to a forested place. Not big, secluded and remote. There are, much to my surprise other campers. How could they know about this place on a Friday? No biggie. Marco and I set ourselves to chores: set camp, and prepare dinner. You already know my menu. Marco starts on what could only be described as a gastronomic ritual. Yeah, yeah. I was salivating at his creation, but held my tongue and not debased myself into begging for some of it. Like a man! I ate my stale bread hunk of cheese and slab of miserable moldy ham. Shame on yo Marco!! But, Marco made quick amend by offering: “Alberto do you have a cup? Would you like some tea?” The temperature had dropped down to 40 degrees and no, I did not have a cup.
[Editors note: what kind of camper doesn’t have a cup? Good thing I had a spare!] Needless to say, I was very happy to hear his offer. None of this, “shame on you Marco”, you are okay and very generous. And, by the way, he added a generous amount of Brandy, Ahhh!
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