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Old 07-14-2014, 07:41 PM   #1
calamarichris OP
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Northern & Central California Route Guidance

What are the roads, sites & restaurants in your neighborhood/region that should not be missed? What is/are your favorite pass(es) across the Sierras?

I've got a tentative route loosely planned so far. Embarking tomorrow after work:

Tuesday night in Tehachapi. Then breakfast at Lake Isabella, then follow the Kern River North, and eventually veer northwest toward the western slope of the Sierras.

Wednesday night in one of the little Western Sierra slope towns between Oakhurst and Angels Camp (just down the hill from Yosemite).

Thursday night in Truckee, just North of Lake Tahoe. Then cruising in the general direction of Lassen Volcanic Park, and the spectacular hwy 36 out to the Humboldt Coast.



Friday night in Fort Bragg, near the coast. Then cruise south, stopping in San Francisco for a beer at Zeitgeist, and check out the DIY place, Moto Shop. Cruise Big Sur south from there.



Saturday night in SLO or Paso Robles (wine time!)
Get home earlyish afternoon on Sunday

Might shorten that, but that's the plan so far. Can't really grab the Gmaps route on my home craptop. Will post it tomorrow from work.

Thanks in advance for any tips or guidance.

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Old 07-15-2014, 10:47 AM   #2
NorCalslowpoke
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Don't have time for a long post..but roads/places to research before you go:

Ebbetts Pass over the Sierra

Yosemite Bug Hostel (Mariposa) for dinner and place to stay. Good beer/food.

Gold Lake Highway off of 89, stop and check out the lakes.

Watch for CHP on 89, especially over blind hills/curves.

Highway 70 between Quincy & Hwy 99. Follows the Feather River, beautiful. Maybe then just bomb up 99 to Red Bluff to hit 36.

Awesome longer option:

Add Lost Coast Matole Road before hitting Hwy 1 to Fort Bragg. Tiny, narrow, rough, beautiful road, blind sharp corners, cows, but worth it. Might have small sections unpaved, IIRC. No big deal.

http://www.dangerousroads.org/north-...-road-usa.html

Great small pizza place/excellent local beer at Piacis in Fort Bragg.

look up Orr Springs Road, Stewarts Point-Kings Ridge for options coming down 1.

All I got for now.

Have fun
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:44 AM   #3
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From big sur continue south on hwy1 and cut across nacimiento fergusson rd. Take a right onto jolon rd to interlake, make a right and go all the way till it dead ends on nacimiento lake rd (you'll be less than 1 mile from my house). Make a right and follow that till it ends at lake rd/ chimney rock and make a left and that will take you right in to Paso Robles. There are a few little detours you can take in the chimney rick area that are awesome as well if you have an extra hour or 3.

-scott
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:19 PM   #4
calamarichris OP
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Thanks for the route guidance dudes. Here's the route I ended up taking (clicky)






looks like the young tree by the Big Sur Pashnit sign was growing into the power lines, so they popped a cap into its @$$. RIP tree. :(


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Old 07-24-2014, 03:20 PM   #5
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You can never be too thin in California. This awesome old Grapes-of-Wrath car was off Caliente Bodfish road.


The report in my old ~2008 Friction Zone magazine said Caliente-Bodfish road was in tough shape, but much of it had recently been resurfaced and had that new road smell. A terrific sillystring road, and a good warm up for what turned out to be a great riding day.


Highway 190 is aptly named, because there were plenty of 190-degree turns. This is probably the best candidate for my second favorite road in the world after Hwy 36 up by Red Bluff.

It's hard to stop to take pictures on this road, because it's too much flippin fun. I stopped to put my Aerostich back on, because despite the heat, I was unable to cool my afterburners on this wonderful road.


Yokohl Road on the way toward Sequoia was also in great shape. Little wonder our state's broke--our roads have all been finely manicured. This shot warrants viewing the full-size.


Swimming break at Tioga Lake. Tioga Pass Highway 120 had a lot of traffic and a lot of construction halts, but the two cancelled each other out! I'd pull up to the front of each construction halt, and have a clear road for 10-20 miles until the next one. And I met all kinds of French, German and Floridian people visiting Yosemite.


Spotted this awesome parade-float queen on Main Street, Sonora, CA while enjoying my rich manicotti at Christopher's. Neat town for barhopping.

And I spotted this Africanized honeyBeavis in a shop window while staggering between bars, heh heh.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:21 PM   #6
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Tioga Lake was another awesome swimmin hole I had to myself, but there was too much auto-traffic to leave the trunks packed.


Zed looking back at Yosemite.


That bridge is Highway 26 just North of West Point, CA. I'd ridden over it at least 5 times, but never noticed the awesome diving rock and Mountain-Dew treeswing right there on the Mokelumne River.

Had the whole place to myself for nearly 3 hours. (That isn't trash, it's my trunks.)

And there were grapes (not yet ripe) growing wild there.

Spectacular swimming hole

And someone had even jackhammered/dynamited some stairs into the slick rock. (bottom right corner)


The Hotel Leger in Mokelumne Hill was an awesome old place with no TVs, no phones, no 3-prong electric outlets, no elevator, awesome creaky old wooden floors, and a bitchin' old saloon downstairs. And they used the bathtowels to make a swan-heart on the bed.

And a winery just about half a mile from the hotel. Definitely coming back here again.

My room's 3 windows were directly above Zed.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:23 PM   #7
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Big Sur had way too much traffic on it. It was a mistake to take it on Sunday in the Summer. Still, a beautiful ride.


Bistro Laurent in downtown Paso Robles wasn't as good as the last time I was here, but it was still spectacular. 5 course meal with paired wines. This sweet little teenaged watergirl giggled when I asked her where she learned to walk around at parade rest like that.


Been eating pistachios my whole life, but never saw what they looked like in the wild. There was a pistachio farm East of Hwy 33. I cracked two open: the shells had the consistency of apple peels and the nuts were still in the larva stage, like little shriveled up sprouts.


Eighth and final swimmin' hole of the trip. I promised the funny old guy playing guitar & smoking a cigar there that I wouldn't divulge the location to anyone, so I'll just say it's up the hill from Ojai and it's fed by one of the mineral springs upriver.

The Old Creek Winery, just up the hill from Ojai had a neat picnic spot, and their (quaffable) wines had a bunch of Ducatis and other motorcycles on the labels. Spent nearly two hours laughing with those two ladies at the picnic table.



When I put the toy horse on the post, the real horse tried to eat it! Must have pissed her off too, because when I tried to pet her nose she tried to chomp my hand; then when a couple of little donkeys in her pen came up to be friendly, she tried to bite both of them too.


Surly ol' nag...
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:29 AM   #8
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Looks like you had a great ride. Too bad you didn't make it into the real Northern CA. You missed some of the best roads in the State. Having grown up in Vista I know your local area well, lived off Hwy 190 in Springville for 12 years, and for 21 years just a few miles off of Hwy 36. All great riding areas but not the best in my opinion. Butt, you probably know what they say about opinions. Glad you had great ride though, that's what it's all about.

Chuck
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookalatch View Post
Looks like you had a great ride. Too bad you didn't make it into the real Northern CA. You missed some of the best roads in the State. Having grown up in Vista I know your local area well, lived off Hwy 190 in Springville for 12 years, and for 21 years just a few miles off of Hwy 36. All great riding areas but not the best in my opinion. Butt, you probably know what they say about opinions. Glad you had great ride though, that's what it's all about.

Chuck


Would sure appreciate more info on the Real NorCal...!
Thanks,
John/ Portland
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BLU HWY View Post


Would sure appreciate more info on the Real NorCal...!
Thanks,
John/ Portland
Lots of opinions on the "real NorCal". Most people up this way think of it being North of the Sack-o-tomatoes. Another option below. Or were you asking about the roads here?
Here's one definition
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:06 PM   #11
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Thumb ^^^^^ I'm so on-board with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookalatch View Post
Lots of opinions on the "real NorCal". Most people up this way think of it being North of the Sack-o-tomatoes. Another option below. Or were you asking about the roads here?
Here's one definition
State of Jefferson baby.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:22 PM   #12
calamarichris OP
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Originally Posted by BLU HWY View Post


Would sure appreciate more info on the Real NorCal...!
Thanks,
John/ Portland
Two words: Highway Thirty-Six.




Cracks me up how many unhappy Texans & Saharizonans don't like living in my beautiful blue state, but still don't have the stones to move to those terrible places.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:26 PM   #13
calamarichris OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookalatch View Post
Looks like you had a great ride. Too bad you didn't make it into the real Northern CA. You missed some of the best roads in the State. Having grown up in Vista I know your local area well, lived off Hwy 190 in Springville for 12 years, and for 21 years just a few miles off of Hwy 36. All great riding areas but not the best in my opinion. Butt, you probably know what they say about opinions. Glad you had great ride though, that's what it's all about.

Chuck
I've been over most roads up there, and it's true, it's even a little better than Colorado in many places. But I'm still in my wealth-building years and cannot afford to take retiree-vacations.
One of my original goals was to make it up to Lake Almanor, Lassen Volcanic Park, and Hwy 36 from Red Bluff to Humboltd. But I was having too much fun skinny-dipping, drinking great wine, waking up with strange local women in pre-Civil War hotels, rather than sitting on interstates to rush up there and rush back down.
Plusses and minuses to North and South; just glad we don't live in one of the red flyover states like Texas or Saharizona.
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