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Old 11-21-2013, 08:22 PM   #1
WanderingCowboy OP
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San Fran to Portland in...December?!

So I've decided instead of sitting around awkwardly staring at family on Christmas, I'm going to do a 1-2 week ride. First thought was to go south from Monterey toward Baja. But I've already done the ride from San Diego to Monterey along the coast, and I know I don't have the time to make it all the way to Cabo. So I figure I save that one.

Instead I think I'll go north. I have a girlfriend who is doing Christmas with family in Portland so I put together a slow route up the coast. I was wanting to do the no-man's land of the NorCal coast before I move to the east coast in early spring, so this is my last shot. I expect a lot of rain, but I figure if I stay close to the coast it shouldn't be too cold (35ish-50ish degrees). I also plan for ~3-4 hours of riding a day so I have time to find a place to crash/pitch a tent, maybe hike, get some booze, etc. I also plan to build a plexiglass top-cage for my lapdog so I don't have to find a sitter. He's used to riding in a backpack, but I'm concerned about him getting cold and/or wet depending on conditions.

So the questions:
1) Anyone know of good secluded campsites along this section of the coast?
2) Any recommendations for good twisty roads (on or off...considering possible rain)?
3) Any hotels/restaurants/bars/wineries worth checking out?
4) Anything I should be on the lookout for?

I'm getting stoked.


WanderingCowboy screwed with this post 11-21-2013 at 08:28 PM
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:11 AM   #2
HotChilliColdBeer
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Nice loop

I've been down those paths a few times.
I can't help with camping as it's not my thing.
I'd warn you to be ready for cold - it's 26 out as I type this in Seattle.
Don't know why you'd take 101 to get thru SF, unless you're trying to make time? I'd use 1 to 9 to 35 to 92 to 280 instead. Less traffic and a lot more fun.
As you pass thru McMinnville, stop in and see the Spruce Goose.
Some of those hills on 5 in Southern Oregon will get over 1500 feet, cold+wet+elevation = check the forecast.
The 199 from Grants Pass to the coast is an awesome road.

Be careful and post up a RR.





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Old 11-22-2013, 07:05 AM   #3
lexluther11
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Not too sure if you'll want to camp because it's very cold riding that time of year and getting a nice warm room for the night at the end of a cold day riding is the best to warm up. Even with the best riding gear you'll still get cold. I'll be riding the opposite direction leaving Vancouver for Mexico Dec 20th and have the past few years. Days are short with only 8 hours of sunlight and if there is black ice in the morning you need to wait till it thaws before you can leave making the day even shorter. Grants Pass is a little high in elevation so maybe if the weather is bad you might want cut up at Florence to Eugene. Watch the weather channel to get updates on the weather and plan ahead. Last year it took me 5 days to get to the border because of the heavy rain that never stopped and then I had to back track because I hit snow, it usually takes me 3 days or less if I can ride the I5.

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Old 11-22-2013, 10:06 AM   #4
meatwitheyes
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The weather here in Oregon is going to be a real crap shoot.
Plan on cold and wet. The coast is most likely to be the warmest route.
As said before, there are several summits and passes between Grants Pass and Roseburg Oregon. They average around 2000 ft. and occasionally have snow and ice.

I think most of the Oregon State parks along the coast are open. (not sure) Most have very nice campgrounds. They are all secluded or somewhat secluded, but that time of year not to many people are camping anyway. I think most of the State Parks along the coast have Yurts/Cabins and I believe they are heated.
http://www.oregonstateparks.org/

Check out Old Town Florence Or. There is a small campground (run by the Port Authority) within walking distance of Old Town with its restaurants and Bars and other touristy things.

Bodega Bay Cal. I always camp at Doran Beach Campground its practically on the beach. Located on the South side of Bodega Harbor.

I see you have the Lost Coast as a route. There is a little Beach campground at Mattole Point (Punta Gorda Rec. Area) at the end of Lighthouse Rd. Pretty nice and very secluded. Lighthouse Rd turns off at Petrolia.

The Riverwalk RV park in Fortuna Cal. has a tent area and it is only a few minutes walk to the Eel River Brewery.

Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park Campground (just north of Crescent City) is beautiful gorgeous campground.

Good luck...




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meatwitheyes screwed with this post 11-25-2013 at 11:54 AM
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:25 AM   #5
going south
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I did part of that route early October of this year, leaving seattle going south to Baja, I thought it was cold then...
Be prepared...
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:38 PM   #6
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A big ditto on the Spruce Goose in McMinnville. I'm a pilot so I'm a little biased, but the exhibits are very interesting. And nothing says fun quite as much as the waterslide pavilion where slides come out of a 747 perched on the roof of the building. I was there in July and they even had a space shuttle solid rocket booster casing in the parking lot. If you ever wondered about cracked booster o-rings, there ya go.

Also dittos on Doran beach in Bodega Bay. It can be windy but there's a cafe on the western side of the Bay that serves killer clam chowder to warm you up. Jedediah Smith...thumbs up there as well.

Check out Stillwater Cove campground farther up the coast. McKerricher SP is supposed to be nice, though I've never been there. Above Eureka there is Patrick's Point SP. It's near a cute little town of Trinidad.
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:42 AM   #7
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Board the dog with a good vet.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:09 AM   #8
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I second jedediah smith state park. If you take 199 make sure Hayes hill isn't icy. It's low in elevation but it does happen (I used to live at the bottom of said hill).

Interstate 5 in Oregon is pretty but still slab. I'd especially reroute to avoid it between Portland and Salem on your way home.

Where you go through grants pass stop at pong sri's if she's open. It's some of the best thai food you'll find. I currently live in San Francisco and still believe this is true.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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why not just ride up the coast and then back down?
reversing a route creates a whole new experience.
i avoid the interstate like the plague.
it really is the worst roads to be on.
the coast is the safest against snow too.
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:03 AM   #10
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Sweet, thanks for the info. I've cut the I-5 in Oregon of the route. Added Jedediah Smith SP, McMinnville and Florence to the route. I'll have to check out Bodega Bay at some point. It's close enough that I can take a long weekend up that way.
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:34 AM   #11
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As far as the Oregon coast, it can be wet, but warmer than going up I5. I would also suggest up and down the coast. There are state and county campgrounds all over on the coast an usually at most an hour apart. It will be a total hit and miss, but should be safe from ice and snow.....today it was 66 degrees here. McMinnville air museum is cool, and there are many towns that you can cut in from the coast and back out which are good rides.
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:49 AM   #12
Sfcootz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingCowboy View Post
Sweet, thanks for the info. I've cut the I-5 in Oregon of the route. Added Jedediah Smith SP, McMinnville and Florence to the route. I'll have to check out Bodega Bay at some point. It's close enough that I can take a long weekend up that way.
You'll be glad. Slab sucks. Plus, the Oregon Coast is pretty, full of cool towns to stop off and say hi to the locals.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:25 AM   #13
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Stay Off the 5!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sfcootz View Post
You'll be glad. Slab sucks. Plus, the Oregon Coast is pretty, full of cool towns to stop off and say hi to the locals.
For the time of the year you are doing the ride there is no reason to jump on the 5. There should not be too much traffic especially along the Oregon coast where it can get bogged down with Motorhomes in the summer.

In the past I have jumped on the 5 to save time and have since decided that if I have to do that it means I don't have the time for the ride I want so I either take more days or do a different ride. The 5 is filled with cagers AND truckers who evidently haven't heard that texting while driving is not such a good thing!

Good luck with your ride, use heated clothing and you should be fine!
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:29 AM   #14
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Board the dog with a good vet.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:00 PM   #15
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A handy site to check is the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) trip check page:

http://www.tripcheck.com/pages/camerasentry.ASP

click on the cameras to see what the weather looks like on the coast. Late December on the Oregon Coast is variable, but usually cold and wet in the 40s. Dress accordingly. Inland Oregon weather is unpredictable in December. Cutting over from the coast to McMinnville through the Van Duzer Corridor can be icy in the mornings.

Personally I'd take Christmas at Bahia de Concepcion but that's just me. Play it by ear. If you make it to Portland, fine. Visiting a girlfriend can be a powerful motivator.

I'd board the pooch. Just some thoughts.

Kindest regards,
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