Business in San Diego last week. Rather than blasting the cage down I-15, took the Versys on some twisty backroads! Fun. Cooperative weather. Took 2 days down, and then 2 days back. About 1200 miles total. The V was flawless, other than a loose mirror which required a few adjustments. The Versys is not really a touring bike, but it is very capable of eating up the miles. Never left pavement, but made a point to seek out some less travelled twisty two lane roads. CA has a lot to offer the moto rider. I've been to many of these places before, but also covered lots of new territory. Good times, plus all of my gas money counts as a business expense!
For general orientation, here's the map of So Cal.
Left St. George about noon last Tuesday. Waited for it to warm up a bit because I knew the descent down I-15 through the AZ Gorge to Overton, NV would be the coldest part of the next week.
From Overton took the back road along the edge of Lake Mead National Recreation Area to Henderson, NV.
From Henderson south to Searchlight, NV. Continued south into CA, eventually to Blythe for night one.
Second day of moto riding from Blythe via Glamis, Calexico, Jacumba, Lake Otay, and Coronado to San Diego.
Three nights in San Diego - no moto riding.
On the return, I exit San Diego quickly via Interstate 8 east. Rte 79 north to Julian. Followed by Ocotillo Wells, Salton Sea Beach, Mecca, and Joshua Tree National Park. Overnight in Twentynine Palms.
Last day is Amboy, Kelso (
), Nipton, and back to Searchlight. From Las Vegas I blasted up I-15 to be home in time for the SuperBowl. Lots of scenic country out there.
Here's some pics from my first day:
Stopped by wife's office for the good-bye kiss and photo opp in the parking lot. She had a light schedule that day and was happy to send me off.
Some cheap gas in Nevada. Easy to see $4-5 gas in CA. Keep that tank full before crossing the border!
Two awesome green machines. My kid thinks this is a funny picture. I have another pic of the bike with a green tractor in CA. He's amused. This is how Daddy entertains himself. Driving his green motorcycle around the country looking for other large green objects to park next to and take photos. Very strange in the mind of an 11-year old.
This is still only 1-2 hours from St. George, near Valley of Fire State Park in NV. I'll have to be going back here. Most of the paved road is newly surfaced and smooth as glass. Lots of nice curves and elevation changes. And scenery! Take your National Park Pass for the exit near Las Vegas.
Typical scenery. I only took a few pics since this is still my "backyard." I was motoring along saving photo time for new territory further south.
Super smooth curves with little traffic!
Roadside signs explain the geology.
Bowl of Fire. Would have been nicer to have a deep blue sky and even more sun, but I had good riding weather and it had now warmed up by mid-afternoon and with the elevation decline from St. George.
The outflow from Lake Las Vegas down to Lake Mead.
More cheap gas in Henderson, NV. Versys probably got about 50 mpg, but I never measured. Made it a point to top up the tank prior to heading out on open stretches of road. Never even came close to hitting reserve.
Far southern Nevada. Never been here before. About 45 minutes south of Las Vegas. All the basics are available, gas, food, lodging if necessary. Like all respectable Nevada towns, there is a casino.
Mining towns, even 100+ years later, show their genetic make-up. Mining and railroad towns tend to be much more interesting than agricultural towns. Unsavory characters must provide some type of enduring appeal.
The ore bucket that was hoisted from below.
I wouldn't plan a vacation around Searchlight, NV, but if you are passing through take a few moments. Continuing south on 95 is the crossing into CA just north of Needles.
Found some good curves in the Sacramento Mountains south of Needles. Finally got to put a little bit of wear on the edges of the tires. Some dips also added to the fun factor.
Amazingly, I saw no cop cars, no speeding traps, and no tickets during all the motorbike time. I did see lots of Border Patrol cars further south, but not yet.
Really enjoying this part of the ride. All new territory. Just west of Lake Havasu.
Curves!!! Versys excels here. Rides a bit different with full panniers, but still very quick and smooth.
Further south the crossroads at Vidal Junction. Gas and a convenience store.
I could bypass this Agricultural Inspection Station. They were set-up to catch bad guys inadvertently bringing in fruit from Parker, AZ.
Late afternoon. Decided that Blythe would be home for the night. I'm sure there were some fine accommodations awaiting me.
Close to Blythe you start to see the irrigation canals. We Americans seem to be doing a pretty good job using up most of the Colorado River before it crosses over to our friends in Mexico. Complex issue. Nice photo!
Living large. Lots of choices, but all looked pretty similar. One night, shower and ride. $50 will get it done.
Fine dining also. The glamorous food would come in San Diego with others picking up the tab. Simple food just seemed right.
Thanks for riding along. Blythe to San Diego coming soon.