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Old 11-10-2020, 02:20 PM   #1
wheel_muse
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King City Ramble

Cruising to Cambria on Santa Rosa Creek Road, a delightful, mostly paved, one laner. On a dirt section I rounded a blind corner and found myself heading into the grille of a BIG TRUCK moving fast! I was able to clear it, but the dust storm trailing the truck was blinding. After a few seconds I got my vision back and my heartrate down. Then I looked around for my riding buddies, and there were NONE! Oh yeah, itís a solo tripÖ

For too long, I eyed King City in the Salinas Valley as a basecamp for local excursions. Nearby Paso Robles is nearly ideal, but the lodging and restaurant prices are sky high. Fortunately, the stars aligned with an empty calendar, unusually good November weather, mostly smoke-free skies, and a week of election purgatory.

I planned a short solo COVID-aware moto touring trip: disinfect hotel touchpoints, minimize human physical contact (bring some groceries from home, make one shopping trip), keep tuned into election results, and avoid gatherings.

Funny that Thady Wackerís thread Monterey Madness 2020 was in some of the same places a week before me.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:34 PM   #2
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Day 1 Sunday, Nov 1 Home to King City

https://goo.gl/maps/4iV9DVWw4Ntt3Pbq8

I headed south from Contra Costa via Hwy 680, then 101. San Juan Bautista, near Hollister, was the real start of my vacation. The mission is a picturesque reminder of early Spanish California life, and a key setting of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Cienaga Rd past Hollister Hills offroad area the landscape becomes more open with bigger vistas to the East, larger ranches, and a little higher elevations. On Hwy 25 approaching Pinnacles National Monument, the road curves and flows right to the eastern entrance of the Monument.

Pinnacles is a wonderland to hike and explore: jagged rock formations, caves, and evidence of earth movement are fascinating. On earlier trips, I’d enjoyed leisurely exploration. But on this short solo trip, I just had a picnic lunch and rode the paved roads. I plan to come back to share another trip with my wife.

Extending my ride, I took Peach Tree Rd to Indian Valley Rd to the small town of San Miguel. It’s home to another in the chain of Spanish missions, with a charming interior and remarkable paintings. Last time I passed this way, a wedding party celebrated in front of the church. This time, everything was subdued with pandemic stillness.

Back on 101, I slabbed north to King City and my resting spot for a few nites. I grocery shopped and then obsessively watched election returns on TV
alternating with Pawn Stars for sanity. 320 miles, 8 hours.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:34 PM   #3
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Did Santa Rosa Creek Rd and Old Creek Rd a couple of months ago on my FJR1300. That was a workout.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:38 PM   #4
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A nice ride that included a butt pucker moment.. makes it a ride for sure.
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:53 PM   #5
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Day 2 Coast Loop

https://goo.gl/maps/4kURJeBDr8SWza3aA

Monday was forecast to be warm again, so I went for my coastal loop. An option to ride thru Fort Hunter Liggett was off the table due to high security at the fort and firefighting activity. So I slabbed south on 101, intending to ride Nacimiento & Paso backroads to Hwy 46. But somewhere in that maze of beautiful backroads I got turned around; an hour later I was back to the SAME DARN INTERSECTION! Humbled, I made time slabbing to Paso Robles, then 46 toward the coast.

I turned off 46 onto Santa Rosa Creek Road to Cambria the long way. SR Crk Rd was something special with a variety of landscapes from oak-covered grasslands to shady creek lanes to steep climbs and vertiginous descents. SuddenlyÖA BIG TRUCK GRILLE filled my faceshield! Then there was the loose dog that chased meÖ

Cambria is quaint and charming, but bordering on tacky and touristy so I headed north. Itís better to view the ocean heading south, but I wanted to experience the reverse. What was also different, of course, was all the charred areas, firefighters and equipment. So much devastation this year, and Big Sur was hit hard.

Highway One along the Central Coast snakes and slithers along the oceanside, then inland, and back again. Not the Lost Coast, but it sure keeps Caltrans occupied. Check out the pic of the "Rain Rocks Rock Shed". All that makes for a great road!

Near Andrew Molera State Park I took the Coast Road. Itís a little over 10 miles of mostly good hardpack dirt road with some loose gravel on top, but steeper and looser than I remember (on my pushbike!). It terminates at the north end of the graceful Bixby Bridge, made famous in the ďThen Came BronsonĒ TV series.

Arriving in up Carmel Valley Road to Arroyo Seco Road into Greenfield, then slabbed a little back to King City. 280 miles, 7 hours.
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:59 PM   #6
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more Day 2 pics

so much to see!
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Old 11-10-2020, 10:19 PM   #7
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I once rode Cypress Mountain west from Klau Mine Road to Santa Rosa Creek Road on my ST1100. Man, what a ride.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by wheel_muse View Post

Funny that Thady Wacker’s thread Monterey Madness 2020 was in some of the same places a week before me.

Didi you see our video from Santa Rosa Creek Rd? We went the opposite (less scenic) direction.



youtu.be/https://youtu.be/Fg62jrYgbAs
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:28 AM   #9
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I'm back in Morro Bay, I haven't been on Santa Rosa/Old creek Rd since I left for Humboldt, in July.
So, construction is still in progress, good to know. Locals will run that road like they own it.
Last time I took the mini, it maybe time for another slice o' pie, ,
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:37 AM   #10
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I've both ridden Santa Rosa Creek Road on my bike and also driven it in my Mini as well. Fun road.
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:27 AM   #11
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Day 3 Southern Loop

https://goo.gl/maps/XMfbPM8TiTHTYH6V9

Slab to San Miguel, then very quiet and remote roads: Vineyard Canyon to Parkfield, Cholame and the James Dean Memorial Then Hwy 41 all the way to Morro Bay.

Hwy 41 was a revelation to me. The conjunct part with Hwy 46 was busy, but most was smooth, quiet, and horse country rural. The map squiggles near Atascadero and Morro Bay are some new favorites: medium radius curves, great pavement, some elevation changes, light traffic, and ranch scenery.

From the rock of Morro, I headed north to Hwy 46 near Cambria, then east. I picked up the Paso Robles route I missed the previous day, but in reverse. Vineyard Rd, Adelaide, Chimney Rock, over Lake Nacimiento dam.

A tasty bonus: Peachy Canyon Rd out and back. Peachy it is: mostly single lane, few cars, and gorgeous. Like most of the Paso backroads itís lightly traveled, horses and vineyards, and eye-pleasing scenery. These roads are somehow compact. Narrow, relatively short, curvy, remote feeling yet close to town. Then Jolon Rd back to King City. 300 miles, 7 hours.
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:45 AM   #12
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Day 4 Goin' Home

https://goo.gl/maps/bkKa5TW6ZWTdn8zE8

As I loaded my bike, I noticed MORE feral cat prints on my tank & saddle. The motel grounds were rife with them! I followed G17 River Rd for a bit, then 101 to Prunedale. Awkwardly finding my way (not lost!) I made it to Corralitos, gateway to the goodness of Highland Way. Highland is very twisty, sometimes goaty, in tree-covered tunnels then out to spectacular vistas. Know it, ride it!

At this point, I was running late. I had planned to continue to Skyline Blvd, but the clock was winning. I needed to be to band practice in El Cerrito at 1pm so I cut the riding short. Back via the madness of Hwy 17 to Hwy 80. Fortunately, the express lanes were virtually empty most of the way. Cruising past traffic at 80+ mph made for quick time. When I arrived I felt like my surroundings were still moving, very strange! 250 miles, 6 hours. 1,150 miles total

I recommend this cloverleaf type of trip. Find a good base for several days of riding and do loops from a central point. King City offered a lot of riding options. Iím sure thereís a lot of offroad fun to be had. COVID and the election news on TV made me stay in my room more than usual. I would have been happy to explore towns and interact with others, but this is not the time. I hope those times return soon!
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Old 11-11-2020, 12:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel_muse View Post
https://goo.gl/maps/XMfbPM8TiTHTYH6V9

Slab to San Miguel, then very quiet and remote roads: Vineyard Canyon to Parkfield, Cholame and the James Dean Memorial Then Hwy 41 all the way to Morro Bay.

Hwy 41 was a revelation to me. The conjunct part with Hwy 46 was busy, but most was smooth, quiet, and horse country rural. The map squiggles near Atascadero and Morro Bay are some new favorites: medium radius curves, great pavement, some elevation changes, light traffic, and ranch scenery.

From the rock of Morro, I headed north to Hwy 46 near Cambria, then east. I picked up the Paso Robles route I missed the previous day, but in reverse. Vineyard Rd, Adelaide, Chimney Rock, over Lake Nacimiento dam.

A tasty bonus: Peachy Canyon Rd out and back. Peachy it is: mostly single lane, few cars, and gorgeous. Like most of the Paso backroads itís lightly traveled, horses and vineyards, and eye-pleasing scenery. These roads are somehow compact. Narrow, relatively short, curvy, remote feeling yet close to town. Then Jolon Rd back to King City. 300 miles, 7 hours.
I visited Parkfield last year! As a structural engineer, the bridge, ground displacement and seismic activity in the area are all pretty interesting to me. The phenomenon is caused by something called Reid's Elastic Rebound Theory if you're curious. Delicious cheeseburgers at the Cafe too!
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:59 PM   #14
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Thumbs up Been there too, wanna go again

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Originally Posted by dravnx View Post
Did Santa Rosa Creek Rd and Old Creek Rd a couple of months ago on my FJR1300. That was a workout.
Yes, Jeff. I was eyeing Old Creek Rd but it was closed at the time. Even more of a challenge on your big SpeedSportster.

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Originally Posted by budman View Post
A nice ride that included a butt pucker moment.. makes it a ride for sure.
A ride to remember. But, hey, aren't they all?

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Originally Posted by ST Guy View Post
I once rode Cypress Mountain west from Klau Mine Road to Santa Rosa Creek Road on my ST1100. Man, what a ride.
The map of that road looks like small intestine after Thanksgiving dinner.
Awesome that you rode it on the ST!

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Originally Posted by Tally Whacker View Post
Didi you see our video from Santa Rosa Creek Rd? We went the opposite (less scenic) direction.
Missed the video. But you had cool stills in your post. How'd he shoot it? You guys sure cover ground.

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Originally Posted by CDONA View Post
I'm back in Morro Bay, I haven't been on Santa Rosa/Old creek Rd since I left for Humboldt, in July.
So, construction is still in progress, good to know. Locals will run that road like they own it.
Last time I took the mini, it maybe time for another slice o' pie, ,
OOoooh, pie? Wherezat? Cambria? Mini car, maxi fun?

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Originally Posted by RWMaverick View Post
I visited Parkfield last year! As a structural engineer, the bridge, ground displacement and seismic activity in the area are all pretty interesting to me. The phenomenon is caused by something called Reid's Elastic Rebound Theory if you're curious. Delicious cheeseburgers at the Cafe too!
Rebound and cheeseburgers are on my list now. Does all the oil activity in the area relate to the seismic activity?

Last edited by wheel_muse; 11-11-2020 at 09:05 PM.. Reason: another one
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by wheel_muse View Post
The map of that road looks like small intestine after Thanksgiving dinner.
Awesome that you rode it on the ST!
Yea, I was sure I was going to dump the bike. It's all dirt, steep, and very badly rutted from the rain with steep switchbacks. Not something one really wants to ride with something as big as an ST. Made it non-stop, though.
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Last edited by ST Guy; 11-11-2020 at 10:39 PM..
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