Link to photo album. Click on any image to enlarge it, or scan through images one at a time. A few samples are below.
Link to part 1:
Link to part 2:
Heading out of Cambria that morning, I was starting out on the most scenic part of the trip, as the coastline from Cambria to Monterey is amazing. I cruised along Moonstone Beach as my final farewell to Cambria, then North past San Simeon, where Hearst Castle is located. I didn’t stop to take a tour this time, but I’ve been on all the tours 5-6 times each, and can highly recommend it as a must-do. I didn’t see them this time, but I did look along the side of the Hwy for the Zebra that are occasionally seen wandering the hillsides of the estate, part of the original zoo Hearst kept at the castle. I’ve only seen them once in all the years I’ve cruised by, but I look every time anyway. Just past San Simeon, I pulled over to take pics of the Elephant Seals. They are amazing (and amazingly smelly) creatures.
I stopped for photo op’s too many times to count on the road to Monterey. I’ve been on this road numerous times in a car, in both directions, but this was the first time on a motorcycle. You really do see so much more on a motorcycle, and it seems you’re much more willing to stop to enjoy the view or take pics. I cruised through Carmel By The Sea, then Monterey, spending most of my time in Monterey at the old Fisherman’s Wharf, not the newer touristy version. The Aquarium is a must see, but I ‘must’ have ‘seen’ it numerous times, so I passed this time.
Leaving Monterey, you head inland again for awhile, cruising through acres of artichoke and strawberry fields. I encountered a very small amount of traffic around Moss Landing, but it was smooth sailing after that. Traffic was heavy getting into Santa Cruise, and part of Hwy 1 is a surface street through town, but it picks up quickly passed that and opens up again. I encountered 3-4 places where construction was going on, and traffic was down to one lane. It was pretty efficient though, as they had traffic lights set up to allow North and South traffic to use the same lane, with the signal changing every 5 minutes. Unless you arrived just as the light changed, you only have to wait a couple of minutes before you’re on your way again.
I was going to take Hwy 1 all the way North to Pacifica, before heading towards San Francisco, but the day had remained foggy, overcast and cool, changing to cold as I got closer to Half Moon Bay. By the time I got to Half Moon Bay, I was suffering from sunlight deprivation, I needed sunshine on my shoulders and heat in the air. I decided to take Hwy 92 from Half Moon Bay to the 280 freeway along San Francisco Bay and North into the city. Hwy 92 is very scenic, with a wealth of organic farms and artists enclaves for miles as you leave the coast. The sunshine came out shortly after I headed east, but it stayed a little cool. Once in San Francisco, I dropped my stuff off at the hotel, then cruised Little Italy along Columbus Ave, then the wharf and over to Pier 39, where I had dinner. Overall, a pleasant 677 miles in three days.
Tuesday after my meetings, I crossed the Bay Bridge and headed East on Hwy 80 towards Sacramento, jumping off onto Hwy 113 and into Davis to stay with family. Davis is a wonderful college town, tree lined, very bicycle and pedestrian friendly, with a thriving downtown. There are too many great restaurants to mention, but breakfast and coffee at the Delta of Venus a couple of blocks from UCD is as bohemian as it gets, and the food is great. I spent most of my time with the family, which I always enjoy, but I did head out towards the wine country on Friday.
I took Hwy 128 through Winters towards Lake Berryessa, then on towards Rutherford and Napa. It was hot in Davis when I left (low to mid 90’s) so I dressed for warm weather in Napa, as I know it can get very hot there. I wore my textile M/C jacket, boots, gloves and such, but (and I would regret this later) I left off the inner lining. At the split where Hwy 121 splits off towards Napa, I made the turn to stay on 128 towards Rutherford. I was hoping to take pictures of the wine country and several of my favorite wineries, although I would refrain from sampling because I was riding. As I cruised along next to the lake, the fog came in, it became overcast, and the temperatures started to drop. And drop…. and drop. As it approached 50 degrees and foggy with no indication of slowing down it’s mercurial plummet, I began to rethink my plans. When I got to the Silverado Trail in Rutherford, I knew I was going to head South to Hwy 121, and take that back to Davis. I was too cold to stop and take pictures, but the views and wineries were as beautiful as I remembered, even under all that cloud cover.
Saturday night, I said my goodbyes to the family, as I would be getting up too darn early to see anyone on Sunday. I left Davis about 3:00AM, as I wanted to get through the long stretch of I-5 where there’s nothing to see and the temperatures are usually 100+ in the summer. It was a pretty uneventful trip home, 547 miles with only stops for fuel and the occasional snack. Even going through LA on a weekend, I was back on the boat by noon.