June 23: Big Bear to Santa Rosa

 

Yesterday was incredible.  Plain and simple, incredible.  I saw more of California in one day than I have in years.  I started the day in Big Bear Lake which is in the San Bernardino Mountains, just west of Los Angeles.  It was warm, but not bad for riding and it’s always fun to ride in the mountains.  I came down into San Bernardino and rode just north of L.A. and over to the 101, north of Malibu, before turning south in Agoura Hills.  This was one of the highlights of the day as I was able to drive to the coast on Latigo Canyon Road which is something of a motorcycle rider’s Mecca.  Dropping out of the hills onto Highway 1 was amazing.  The video’s below and I sped it up to double speed to make it a little more watchable.

I turned north and drove up the coast using a mix of Highway 1 and 101.  I went through farmland, pastures, coastal towns, forests, rolling hills and enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells.  I was talking earlier today to my friend Josh, a fellow motorcycle rider, and he was mentioning how great it is to have each one of your five senses stimulated while riding a bike.  The strawberry fields were great.  The pastures…not so much.  My favorite little town was Guadalupe.  I didn’t get a chance to stop there, but it seemed like something from a different time and place.  Old buildings, wide streets with people walking down the sidewalks, cemeteries out in the open (which you don’t see much of in Southern California…we hide our cemeteries in the hills and make them look like golf courses.  Weird.)  Just a neat place with a cool vibe.  I drove up Highway 1 from San Simeon to Monterey next and got a great view of…fog.  I did get to see some of the coast in certain areas, and Big Sur was beautiful.  In some ways the fog made the drive that much more interesting.  Scariest parts of the day came from this part of the journey.  First, I almost took a bird to the face.  (I had an impressive bug collection on the visor at the end of the day, but a bird probably could have claimed me for its own collection.)  Second, while nearing a corner in the fog I saw a few signs that no one on a bike wants to see, “Pavement Ends”, and then “Loose Gravel”.  Sure enough, the pavement did end and the gravel was loose.  I held on tight and drove through it safely.  No fun.  Here are a few pictures and a video from that part of the trip. 

 

Bridge on Hwy 1 Steep SLope

By the time I got to Monterey I just wanted to be off of the bike so I headed inland and took the 101 the rest of the way to Santa Rosa.  Nothing too spectacular here but going over the Golden Gate Bridge as the wind was blowing the fog across the road was an experience.  Motorcycles aren’t much fun in the wind.

Here are a few of the GPS files from the day.  One, Two, Three.  I think that having the receiver right in front of me isn’t the best because my body blocks its view at times.  That’s why some of the maps are a little choppy in spots.  Oh, and one last thing…My girlfriend won a radio contest to go see Mat Kearney at the radio studio.  That was today, so it was my girlfriend, her sister and I in the studio with Mat.  He sang a couple of songs and then we hung out and had pizza.  Good time.  I have both of his CD’s and they’re good…you’d like him…go on, give him a try.  That’s all for now.

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