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Old February 18th, 2013   #1
horst
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Default Trip to California (2012)

For a few years now, wifey has decided one long trip every summer is a good idea - this year it was time to visit that greatest state of mind - California. Not a full account of the trip, more like snippets from a very nice trip indeed.

The basic outline was I-5 south, a few days in Napa and San Francisco, then back via Hwy 1 and Hwy 101 along the coast.

I-5 - the big interstate gets a bum rap because its such a pain through the big cities, but from southern OR to Redding CA this has to be one of the best highways around - superb wide sweepers and very good scenery, along with good pavement and - yes - light law enforcement, whats not to like !

ST1300 - what a machine this is ... you see a few of them on the road, a few FJR's and C14's but not that many ... the world is made of Wings, Harleys and BMW`s and a few sport bikes ... so few know what we know, that sport touring is the best of all worlds ... and a fine way to see the country !

Z8 - well, 4,000 kms and they are wearing in well ... the best thing I can say is - they are completely neutral ! and that ain`t bad ... wet grip, yes sad to say we tested this and they are good ... pavement grooves what grooves these things dont even notice them ... very solid tires.

Cali - when I was young, the Beach Boys, Eagles and Linda Ronstadt fueled my musical memories and little did I know they were all from California ... now having been there several times, I wish my parents had emigrated to CA instead of BC ... however it is close enough to visit now and then, and enjoy the many things California is ... I feel like a california raisin, basking in the warm california sun !

Hwy 101 - the I-5 alternative is indeed a great road, but watch out for traffic and a few 15 and 20 mph tight ones that deserve your attention - take your eyes off the road and you will go off it too ... luckily the scenery is there much of the time so you wont miss much.

Hwy 29 into Calistoga, and Hwy 9 into Santa Cruz are not for the faint of heart ... very tricky corners but hey we can handle them .... fully loaded, two up, no problem !

Hwy 1 - now this road is a gem, but sometimes the ocean fog rolls in even in summer and ruins or at least changes the experience ... many 15 and 20 mph tight turns, so watch out and if you don`t have the patience then stick to 101 as per above

Fog - oh yeah there is fog ... lots of it ... sometimes too much, but just when you thought you were done, along comes the little town of Garberville to the rescue ... 32c at 5pm wow ... several motels, gas, and restaurants ... but whats this cash only, no credit cards ? .... well, and dreadlocks and hemp too .... almost like BC !

July 4th - we spent America's big holiday at San Francisco's Fishermen's Wharf, along with thousands of others, enjoying fireworks with some canned music ... 'everything you want you get it right here in the USA' no doubt, and maybe a few things you don't want .... but Born in the USA was carefully edited ... ha

... a most enjoyable trip, unbelievably cheap gas - under $4/gal if you can believe that ... always liked that about travelling south, great meals and good deals, unless it's the 4th of july

sorry no pics but here are a few linkys -

www.napavalley.com/

www.sonomavalley.com/
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Old February 19th, 2013   #2
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Default Re: Trip to California (2012)

Thanks for the information and story. Ive never to CA but hope to ride there someday...
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Old February 19th, 2013   #3
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Default Re: Trip to California (2012)

Great report! It's always nice to hear someone who appreciates California. Seems like most like to bash us.

Doesn't sound like you reached my neighborhood in Santa Barbara / Ventura area. If you should ever make your way here again, I'll show you some of my favorite roads and hang outs.
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Old February 19th, 2013   #4
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Default Re: Trip to California (2012)

Jeff,

I only bash southern California riding.

Northern Cali is great!





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Old February 20th, 2013   #5
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Default Re: Trip to California (2012)

why thank you

no, I love the warm California sun, the dry weather, the vineyards and the whole bit.

of course, great riding roads only add to the fun .... in BC we do have some great roads and WA and OR are no slouches either, but those darned winters

have fun eh ?

ps: went as far south as Santa Cruz this time, been to LA area by car.
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Old February 22nd, 2013   #6
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Default Re: Trip to California (2012)

You were in California last summer.... I was in Victoria!!!

Next time, I-5 to Red Bluff, then off on Hwy.99 down thru Chico to Sacramento. Follow 99 all the way into SoCal... a much more interesting ride! You could even jump over Donner Summit on I-80 to Reno, and then down 395 along the eastern edge of the Sierras...

I recommend you avoid I-5 south of Red Bluff at all cost.....Boooring!! But FAST!
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Old February 24th, 2013   #7
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Default Re: Trip to California (2012)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Bayou View Post
You were in California last summer.... I was in Victoria!!!

Next time, I-5 to Red Bluff, then off on Hwy.99 down thru Chico to Sacramento. Follow 99 all the way into SoCal... a much more interesting ride! You could even jump over Donner Summit on I-80 to Reno, and then down 395 along the eastern edge of the Sierras...

I recommend you avoid I-5 south of Red Bluff at all cost.....Boooring!! But FAST!
Boring is one of the reasons that I don't like to super slab (that and old fartism), I don't like to ride long distances alone, either.

The trailer is my expensive friend, on occasion.
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Old March 14th, 2013   #8
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Default Re: Trip to California (2012)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ligito View Post
Boring is one of the reasons that I don't like to super slab ...
The I-5 strech from mid-OR to say Redding is pretty good !

I'm sure you are familiar with it ... big wide sweepers .... nice brown grass and some green trees .... some hills, and best of all - light !

whats not to like

ps: yeah Victoria is nice in the summer - NO RAIN !!

Last edited by horst; March 14th, 2013 at 10:30 AM.
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Old March 14th, 2013   #9
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Default Re: Trip to California (2012)

Once upon-a-time 395 south from Reno was one of the deadliest roads due to head-on collisions... not my recommendation. 99 is OLD pavement... too many years and too many trucks has rendered it nothing short of a jarring experience. They were fixing some of it last time I went thru there... but still nasty on the buttucks.

Instead of I-5 north to Oregon, 139 to 97 is much much better: no traffic, beautiful forests, great pavement, then catch 58 over to I-5 if that's where you are headed - avoids Redmond/Bend traffic and Hwy 26 down from Hood which can get ugly. Or stay on 97 or 26/35 to the Gorge and ride in to PDX on I-84. Do the 84 part in the AM... twilight bewitching hour is awesome gorgeous (sun behind you). 97 drops you farther east so you get to see more variety from dry desert browns to wet forest greens.

Last edited by TimM; March 14th, 2013 at 11:30 AM.
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Old March 14th, 2013   #10
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Default Re: Trip to California (2012)

I think I'm going 26 to Lapine, to 395 and on, to Las vegas.
I'll take the scenic route this time, rather than I-5 to Bakersfield and over I-15.
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