I was heading into this weekend with grand plans of a riding and camping trip. That didn't pan out, but I still got in a great ride today.
Originally I planned to head to Big Sur to camp on Friday night and get a jump on the weekend, but work killed that. So I slabbed to Salinas early on Saturday instead, still with high hopes of salvaging one night.
I was stewing in my helmet about my weekend misfortune, and also hoping that one of the dog walkers I had contacted would get back in touch so I could at least camp on Saturday. That's the problem with the highway - too much time to think. The first road to get my full attention was right across from Laguna Seca: Laureles Grade. Only a few miles long, but with a nice flow. This is where the ride really started.
Next up: the PCH - hard to be disappointed in a ride with views like these:
The road isn't bad either
View of the PCH from Naciemento-Ferguson Rd
Looking north from the same location
Naciemento-Ferguson was a great road. The beginning was full of views. I must've stopped a half-dozen times climbing away from the ocean to capture the views. But as an actual road it is a little on the narrow and rough side, with tons of debris in every
corner, ranging from sand to bowling ball sized chunks of rock. It was a first gear affair for quite a while.
Another look north from a higher vantage point
Back south - gives a sense of the road type
Twisting up to my current location
Views away from the coast - always interesting to me how side-by-side hillsides alternate between tree-covered and barren
Winding back down through the forest the road is in the background after a switchback
When the road crosses from the Los Padres National Forest to Fort Hunter-Liggett the scenery gets less interesting, but the road really opens up and the pavement is drastically better.
There were "Danger live fire" signs and barricades up, but I didn't see any activity. I did see a few shells (looked like M16/.223) on the road though!
Nearing the actual fort
Spent a few minutes checking out the old mission (San Antonio) in the area. Definitely need to give it a more thorough visit at some point.
Stopped for a snack/light lunch in Lockwood. The only place I passed between 1 and Paso Robles. Wouldn't exactly classify it as a hidden gem.
In Paso Robles I had no dog walker response and decided to return north instead of continuing south as planned. I couldn't bring myself to ride 101 so I meandered for a while until I ended up in Bradley. Actually, I ended up in Bradley twice trying to avoid 101. The second time I gave up, slabbing north for a few miles to 198.
Somewhere between San Miguel and Bradley
It was warm and sunny in the valley and 198 was really enjoyable for going fast through some sweeping turns in the middle of nowhere.
25 north put me back on track for San Francisco. It was a cool road, with open straight sections punctuated by nice twisty sections. Pics are all from the straight stuff, unfortunately.
It was very desert like in most areas
But grassy in others
You hear a lot about California traffic congestion, but I don't think most people picture cowboys wrangling cattle across the road.
One last shot of the straight and narrow, in case you forgot what 25 was like
In Hollister the wind picked up and the sun started to drop behind the coast fog bank, so it was back to 101 and a combat commute back into the city. Thank goodness for legal lane splitting
Hopefully in a few weeks I'll get another shot at moto-camping.