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Old 10-18-2013, 07:31 AM   #1
wiley.coyote OP
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Joined: Oct 2013
Location: Eugene, OR
Oddometer: 49
In Search of the Holy Grail (of Northern California) or How to (un)Plan a Trip

Let me start by saying that this trip was worth the wait. I've been trying to take a trip to Northern California to ride some of their roads for 3 years now. Something always happens & the trip falls through. Typically it's a lack of planning. What made the trip happen this time was...a lack of planning. Ok, so that's not ENTIRELY true. This year was different.

Spincycle & I had started to plan for this trip back in January when WSBK tickets went on sale for Laguna Seca. Fortunately we didn't get the tickets as early as we had hoped because we both decided that tickets plus hotel plus fuel plus food would be too expensive for both of us. Instead we decided to turn it into the trip I had always hoped for. We were going to ride down to Northern California & check out some of their more popular motorcycling roads. As we got closer to summer, a few factors got in the way & Spincycle wouldn't be able to make the trip. At that point, I thought another year was going to go by without the NorCal trip I had been hoping to take for so long. While camped out at Rally in the Gorge, I was talking about how I was going to miss the trip another year due to unforeseen circumstances & not wanting to take the trip by myself. That's when Rick piped up, "Hey...I'll go. That sounds like fun." So we set out to (un)plan the 2013 Northern California Tour (aka the 2013 Ride Hard 'Till You Hit Construction Ride -- or the 2013 Too Cold on the Coast and Too Hot Inland Ride).

What do I mean by (un)plan? We set a date and then started talking about the ride itself. We both agreed that it would be more fun if we didn't have any set plans, but rather stop & camp wherever we are at the end of the day. Mostly we were really happy with this method, even though it does have a few problems. Our problems with the method mostly involved finding campgrounds that had tent sites with power. With all of the gadgets we were carrying with us (phones, intercoms, etc) & the weakish battery on Grace (one of my mistresses), we decided it would be best to have power at the site. I actually think that the next time I go, I'll make sure I have a better battery so we aren't so dependent on power. For this trip however, we had to stay at KOA two nights & a hotel one night so we'd have power. Ok, we didn't HAVE to stay at the hotel. More on that later.

About 2 weeks before we left, we got another surprise, this time from nvoelsch. He had apparently talked his wife into letting him join us for the first few days of the trip and I'm sure glad he did. He set about trying to figure out some loose routes that would maximize his 3 days with us.

Over the next few posts, I'll do my best to tell you the story of my greatest, most fun trip to date. Stay tuned.

Next: Day 1 - Only 100 Miles of Riding, but 111 Stairs of Misery
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