From San Diego, I went north up coast to Santa Cruz. Got off the super slab 405 freeway in Santa Monica for the cooler climate of the 1, up coast through Malibu. I was early enough to miss any beach traffic, and smooth sailing through to Oxnard, then on the 101 through Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, & San Luis Obispo.
Outside of Paso Robles I took off from the 101 to explore some coastal foothills along Jolon Road. A very nice, deserted road that wound past a pair of reservoirs, up and down through late summer brown valleys. The occasional coastal scrub oak coolness was a welcome respite from the summer heat in the valley. I then took off from the 101 again to take on Carmel Valley Road heading west from around King City to end up at the coast just east of Monterey. That road is not for the faint of heart or the very tired (as I was by that time). The road starts off ok, but gets very narrow at spots where the hill slides have actually closed a part of a lane, and then it climbs and dives through a series of hills and valleys with sometimes very slow speed turns, blind corners, and steep elevations. About the time I was cruising through a tree lined valley I was hopeful that the GPS was correct about it being a through road (had a scare once with a big white fence dead ahead, but the road turned a corner there ... whew!). I was also hoping that my tankful of gas would last. And I was lucky that I hadn't run into anything larger than a suicidal squirrel. Thankfully the road was practically deserted, and I didn't see any on-coming traffic until I approached the town of Carmel Valley. I was glad to be back in civilization, and soon met up with Highway 1 north again. Although I had to battle some afternoon commuter traffic with some lane splitting on Hwy 1 it was soon smooth sailing up into Santa Cruz. I also had enough fuel to make it to Moss Landing.
I made it to Santa Cruz in time to have dinner with friends, and was thankful for a rest after 522 miles. I'd spent $37.50 on fuel, and I was averaging 45 mpg.
The next day was spent exploring Elkhorn Slough and lunch in Moss Landing where some playful otters were making mayhem.
Then I went north up the coast to meet some friends in Bolinas. On the way I stopped at the first sunny spot I found, which wasn't until Pacifica.
Then back under clouds in San Francisco.
After that I hit the twisties again, diving over Mt Tam on Hwy 1 from Mill Valley into Stinson Beach, then along the Bolinas Lagoon.
Spent Friday through Sunday night in Bolinas. We explored Point Reyes National Seashore and some great smooth twisty roads and some not so smooth roads too (mostly in the park). There's a great old lighthouse there.
The Park is home to lots of wildlife, I saw Turkey Vultures, Deer, and the Tule Elk at the very end of the reserve let you come close enough to get a good picture. The Elk were in rut, so the males were particularly spectacular.
Then Monday morning it was back home to San Diego. Since I had a long day I kept to Hwy 101, except for skirting the inland LA valley by skooting down the coast on Hwy 1 from Oxnard to Santa Monica. That cost me all of 10 minutes according to the GPS, which was well worth it! The 101 from Ventura through Thousand Oaks has been heavily patrolled of late, and has a reputation for being one of the deadliest stretches of freeway in LA. I ran into morning traffic in San Francisco, and evening traffic in LA, both requiring some lane splitting for the sake of my sanity. I stopped an hour in San Luis Obispo for lunch, and made it home by 8:30 pm. A long day, 677 miles.
Total I spent just under $100 for fuel, and averaged 47 mpg on my 2004 R 1150 R. Total miles for the week were about 1500 miles. The Bruce is a comfortable enough ride, although I was pretty worn out by the time I got home on Monday night. My mods include GS hand guards, an Alaska leather sheepskin seat cover, and MRA windscreen. I'd like to get some kind of riding pegs to be able to stretch out my legs a little on long rides, though.