Check out this video of Alex's California Escape. It shows a nice tour of Southern and Northern California with don't miss places like Death Valley and laid-back Sonoma County. And the Pacific Coast Highway, of course, too. Nicely done!
Farther FlungSometimes we start riding and we just can't stop! Beyond the Sierras, beyond Monterey, and beyond Mendocino there is a seemingly endless territory to be explored. There's Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, Death Valley, Canada, Mexico. We go there. You can, too. Stay tuned!
Go get a cup of tea, sit back, and watch this video by adventure motorcyclist, photographer and multimedia developer John Beck. Experience the American West from Utah through Nevada to the Sierras and Lake Tahoe, on and off-road. Guaranteed to create a new dream or two.
Adventure riding can be done around the block or around the world. Around the block for me is the Lost Coast in the westernmost part of California, between Fort Bragg and Eureka. It’s called the Lost Coast because so many people left the area during the Great Depression. It was further lost because the steep mountains of the King Range forced the builders of Routes 1 and 101 to turn inland. But there are roads in there, and it’s a serene and empty place to ride, as it’s one of the least populated parts of California. On my last ride there I saw more motorcycles than cars. Here’s how to take your adventure ride to the Lost Coast.
Here's a nice story about an often overlooked area of far-Northern California. In Part 1 of Friction Zone's travel story on Redding, Amy Holland reports, "In the 1850s during the heyday of the California gold rush, the settlement of Poverty Flats on the Sacramento River was nothing more than a shantytown inhabited by those not pale-skinned enough to pass muster in the whites-only town of Shasta. Back then, Shasta, located six miles to the west, was known as the 'Queen City' of California's north and this town of 3,500 residents served as the commercial hub of area mining operations. Every day, its broad streets bustled with activity as mule teams and trains, sometimes up to a hundred a day, loaded up with men and supplies headed for the gold fields in the nearby Trinity and Siskiyou mountains, as well as in the Cascades further to the north…"
Where are MotoSFO contributors riding this summer? Here's a report from Sandy Borden, whose family vacation is maybe just little different than the average. Follow them!
Great Divide or Bust! We headed out from Davis yesterday, June 15th to one of the most famous trails in the states, so during this "farther flung" journey, I won't be posting from our favorite MotoSFO roads for a while.
As if Hearst Castle wasn't attraction enough, summer brings adult male elephant seals home to mate, loudly and with commitment. Ride a little more than an hour south of Big Sur for this larger-than-life nature channel show, live and loud. Hearst Castle's not a bad stop, either. For that matter, Cambria's nice, too... oh heck. You know the feeling. Just keep riding and exploring.
For visitors to this pristine piece of the Central Coast, San Simeon and Hearst Ranch - without the famous castle - offer a vision of early California that any Golden State lover will find irresistible. Coastal trails wend through egret, pelican, fox, deer, coyote and turtle habitats; cattle graze on sun-bleached hillsides; oak groves give way to evergreen forests and cypress stands; and beaches teem with galumphing elephant seals... In June and July, thousands of male elephant seals return to San Simeon's beaches to molt. Come early in the season and you'll beat both the castle throngs and the worst of the summer fog. Read more about Hearst Castle and the San Simeon area in SF Gate.
It's tough to tear yourself away from a destination like Lake Tahoe and, after tooling around Monitor Pass, Topaz Lake, and the shores of Emerald Bay, I wasn't about to join the traffic jam on 50 and 80 back to the Bay Area. My friend Joanne agreed, and looking for a new way home I spotted some reservoirs and farm country in the Sierra-Nevada foothills in gold country around a place called Valley Springs. On Highway 49 at Jackson, we gassed up at the Shell station and a local in a pickup truck confirmed that the scenic road past Pardee Reservoir was right there, but it was awfully twisty, he said, shaking his head.
Heading out from the Bay Area to the Sierras or beyond? Highway 4 gives you a taste of rural California farmland and the Sacramento Delta, and is a great alternative to the more heavily traveled and much less scenic freeway system.
As I rode through Leggett, the redwoods seemed to multiply and a turnoff for “Drive-Thru Tree Road” got my attention, leading me slightly off course. Was there really a tree that you could drive through? Of course, I had to find out.
Read about this Southern California resident's experience riding north all the way to Crescent City in KawaNow Rally in the Redwoods from Kawasaki Accelerate ROK magazine by Editor Teri Conrad.
Imagine our surprise when for the zillionth time on our way north from San Francisco to Oregon we stop to take a walk in 110 degree heat (sometimes ya just gotta get off the bike) on the back streets of abandoned Williams and find a line of people outside La Fortuna Bakery waiting for their burritos, chili rellenos, and tacos. If you're hungry when you go by, it's definitely worth a stop and a lot better than the fast food places. Here's the 411 and reviews of other Highway 5 eateries.