As per here, we spent 10 days touring around southern Oregon and California. My god secondary highway engineers in the States mop the floor with their Canadian counterparts. People who think the Duffy loop is "like totaly the BEST man" really need to get out and see other parts of the world. I guarantee they had many nights around campfires with conversations like "Dude, that mountain we climbed today was sweet." "Yah man, we should like put a road up on it so we can bomb around on it" "Yah, screw that easy pass in between."
All in we hit up just shy of 7000km. Final route differed slightly from planned. Davet10 came with until Santa Cruz. After he took his map with him, we for some reason figured a google print out with some of the road #'s scribbled down was enough. It was, almost. Route part one and part two.
Day 1: I-5 pretty much to get the distance down south. Started out on a bad note, pissing down rain. Off and on all day down the I-5. Trip almost ended before it started when we stopped at an overpass to throw more rain gear on and buddy's bike was DOA. We later traced to his ignition switch being twitchy, but at the time, pushing a bike down an onramp while it pissed down rain and a State Trooper is watching for sheenigans... well, memorable to say the least. Finally caught a bit of nicer road heading east outta of Salem before camping at Lake Detroit.
Day 2: Oooh Yah. Buddy forgets his old ass Ninja only gets ~180km/tank and we're sitting at 140 something, so first order of the day is detour from route over to Sisters OR via Hwy 20. Best thing to happen to us, as the road from Sisters back to Blue River, Mackenzie Hwy 242, was beautiful. Goes past a nice little volcanic area, tons of tight tight twisties. The rides, next to some random stone observatory thing on Mackenzie Hwy 242
Careful for tree crap and gravel though as they're doing some construction as well. Aufderheide Scenic Biway (NF-19) is amazing. Pavement is showing age in spots, and gravel/tree crap is a problem, but we didn't see another vehicle the entire length, and ripping through the trees with just a hint of sunlight poking through for ~100km is almost perfection. Continued down to Crater Lake, which is spectacular, wish we had time to do some hiking on it. Almost died of boredom from Hwy 58/97/138. Overnight just outside of Grant's Pass.
Day 3: Redwoods. As we got nearer to the coast the weather chilled considerable and the rain picked up. Hwy 199 looked great but there was too much traffic and fog to truly appreciate it. Definately a road for a car trip. Stopped to warm up and lunch at Subway in Crescent City. Must have hit the insane asylum shift, that guy was messed up... Redwoods were great. Actually I don't really know, it was too faqing cold and foggy to see them much. We booted it asap to Hwy 299 and got up the mountain. Weather cleared and allowed us to enjoy the much anticipated 299/3/36 loop. Absolutely beautiful continuous stretches of twisties. I think at one point we had probably 20km w/o the bike straight. Unbelievable. Tar snakes in spots but for the most part amazing. Was getting late so we ripped down for a hotel in Garberville.
Day 4: Coast baby. Weather sort of cooperated. Cold ride down to Leggett to finally do the drive through tree thing.
Hwy 1 from Leggett onwards is INSANE. Beautiful twisties, new asphalt in places, too many cars of course. Would have been much better if the clouds lifted more, we spent all day in/out of the fog. Still stunning scenery and roads.
Realizing we had lots of road and little time we broke from the coast onto Hwy 116, which was a bad choice. Boring road absolutely full of cars and all of a sudden ridiculously hot. Took forever to get through to Hwy 101 and the freeway to San Fran. Gratuitous shot of the bike with some bridge.
Lane splitting saved the day as Hwy 17 to Santa Cruz had an accident and we would have spent hours in traffic if it was BC. Instead we ripped up the middle in about 20mins and hit Santa Cruz before dark. Weather was crap again unfortunately so all we could do was hit a pub for beers, no swimming/beach girls/crazy kali beaches or even sea lions sadly.
Day 5: Davet10 split off for I5 home. Bet you that was fun. Hit up Laguna to escape the shiat weather and cuz its Laguna. Oh yeah!
Unfortunately there was a Porche race on so we couldn't do laps (or so they said). More gorgeous coast. Unimpressed by Big Sur and the other "big" name places do the ridiculous a)prices b)number of ppl and c) weather not so great. Coast south of Gorda or so is fantastic though. Traffic was crazy so we didn't get a change to stop, but theres one section where you're winding down the mountain, drop off to the right to the ocean, and then all of a sudden you hit a cliff to the south and you corkscrew back and forth to get down. Most beautiful piece of road I'd see whole trip. Hit San Luis for a sweet music festival but no locks on the bike gear and good weather had us push on to Hwy 58. Started out beautiful, but I think the destinations Hwy takes a left somewhere as that's where all the other bikers ditched off and pretty soon we were in ranch land and then desert. Made for some nice stunt time tho. Random stops to prevent insanity yielded some sweet pics.
Hit up Buttonwillow (oh ya...) for the night as it was crazy dark and I had probably already killed my millionth fly with my faceshield. For $44/n no towels and smelly sheets we probably could have done better at the I-5 stops just further down, but we only found those after scouting for dinner.
Day 6: Sequioa. Awesome ride up the Canyon to Lake Isabella. Tons of spots for a dip if you have time. Lack of maps hit us hard here, as the signage to turn north to the rest of Great Sequioa NM was missing so we kept on going. Google route doesn't actually show what route we took, but we ended up on some shitty ass half gravel thing that looped around forever until hitting the coolest tavern in the middle of nowhere (Fountain Springs) by which time it was over 40C. Had some awesome cheap tacos and got directions back to the real world. Must say tho that Mnt Rd 99 is fan freakin' tastic for twisties. Brand new pavement for most of the way too. Definately a ride before you die road.
Sadly the one pic I have is of the old tarmac, but we were headed west/north which turned out to be the better than the other lane?! Very disappointed we missed the northern bit as I hear its more of the same!!
Sequioa NP is cool. Don't believe that propaganda from the ranger about General Sheman being the biggest tree though. Not after I asked the little ranger at the base "so how do you know it's the biggest?" "Cuz we measured it" "Oh, uhh, so that means you measured all the other trees in the world?" "Ummm uhhh.." "Or do you mean just the biggest that you measured in the States?" "No, the whole world" "Well have you been to Vancouver Island and seen the trees there?" "Van what? Is that in Alaska? We measured them there and they's all small".... ad infinum . Sweet road though, if you can time it to not have tons of traffic. Ripped on up to Lake Bass in Oakhurst for the night.
More+ pics to follow.