Off the beaten path to the coast and back

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Spurlock, May 17, 2017.

  1. Spurlock

    Spurlock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Vacaville, N. California
    Overdue for a two day loop to the Mendocino coast and back, I mapped out a scenic dual-sport friendly ride on twisty back roads and headed out last Sunday morning from home in Solano County. Some roads I had not been on in years and some I had never ridden but have long lusted after. All turned out to be fantastic and memorable rides! I kind of went crazy taking pictures so I'll break the report into 5 segments.

    The whole route-

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    The anticipation had me up early Sunday morning, anxious to set off. The little '89 Honda NX250 was aired up, shined up, lubed up and ready to rev up and hit the road.

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    I headed up Hwy 128 around Lake Berryessa, through Napa Valley and on into the Alexander Valley, passing one after another palatial estate and winery.

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    My first new-to-me road was Geysers Rd between 128 and Cloverdale, part nice two lane, part goaty one lane. And after last winter's record rains it's condition was bad enough that it is officially "closed." It turned out to be a wonderful ride!

    Geysers Road link to map

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    A couple of miles before Geyserville I spotted the "Geysers Road" turnoff and broke out in a big grin as I headed uphill for my first taste of this amazing road. Climbing steadily higher I kept pulling over to catch the views as Alexander Valley receded farther and farther below.

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    Finally cresting a summit the road winds downhill. This area has lots of volcanic activity, and pipelines snake across miles of hills to tap geothermal steam to generate power.

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    Near the bottom, Geysers turns to single lane funky pavement and I get that tingling feeling of adventure riding past the county's "road closed" signs.

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    Finally rolling down into Cloverdale, I'm grinning ear to ear knowing I've added a new road to my favorite's list. I grab a sandwich to go and head out to the next gem, Fish Rock Road between CA 128 and the Pacific Coast Hwy, coming up next post . . .

    -Bill
    #1
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  2. Spurlock

    Spurlock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Vacaville, N. California
    Continued . . .

    Still buzzing from the excitement of Geysers Rd. I head west on CA128 out of Cloverdale. That is one of my favorite stretches as it twists and climbs from the inland oak woodlands into the coast redwoods. The vegetation changes, the landscape becomes more mountainous, and the air transitions from dry inland valley to cool, moist coastal breezes.

    Heading west on 128 I see fewer oaks and more redwood trees . . .

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    . . . and after 20 miles I see the turnoff to Fish Rock Road, 28 miles of crazy fun road that will take me to the coast and an overnight stay with my brother. Right away I'm on a deserted road winding through tall redwood forest.

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    I'll just let the pictures tell the story . . .

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    Fish Rock is paved at each end but mostly gravel in between. I find a perfect ridge top spot to pull over and enjoy my sandwich amid the beauty and silence. At 15 miles in I've not seen another soul.

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    Moving on, the sun filters through the forest making for a magical ride. Constant blind corners and steep gravel hairpin turns demand a slow pace and that suits me just fine.

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    After a steep descent I get my first glimpse of the ocean through the trees and reach Hwy 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, and am greeted by a beautiful sunny coast and white caps on the ocean.

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    After a few bends in the road I turn up a steep driveway and arrive at my brother's house around "wine-thirty" for a great visit and fantastic dinner, thanks bro!

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    I sleep like a log, dreaming of tomorrow's adventures, next post.

    -Bill
    #2
  3. Spurlock

    Spurlock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Vacaville, N. California
    Continued . . .

    Next morning I’m greeted by sunshine and a stiff ocean breeze as I head north on Hwy 1.

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    Past the little seaside town of Pt. Arena I turn off to grab a shot of the Pt. Arena Lighthouse. Originally built in 1870, demolished in the 1906 earthquake, and rebuilt in 1908, this handsome structure stands 115 ft. tall and remains in use today.

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    The first of today’s amazing roads is Mountain View Rd., 25 miles of fun twisties between Hwy 1 and Boonville in the Anderson Valley.

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    Mountain View wastes no time climbing up into the redwoods. I stop to look back and say goodby to the ocean till next time, the lighthouse visible in the distance.

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    Five miles from the coast I’m at 2,500 ft. elevation and the road lives up to its name.

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    But most of the way Mountain View alternates between steep winding drops into forested canyons and equally steep climbs to the next crest. Lots of exciting single lane on this road, and plenty of magical roadside scenery.

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    Finally rolling into the quirky little town of Boonville I gas up and head out on CA 253, Boonville-Ukiah Rd., up next.

    -Bill
    #3
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  4. Spurlock

    Spurlock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Vacaville, N. California
    Continued . . .

    Leaving Boonville I headed out toward Ukiah on Hwy 253, a fast paced two laner starting with a climb, then mostly ridge top twisties with great views, then a swoopy descent to CA 101.

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    Just multiply these pictures times 17 miles and that’s 253!

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    If scenes like this don’t get your heart pumping, better check your pulse.

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    I jumped on 101 and zipped 10 miles south to Hopland and lunch at the Bluebird Café, always great food with a real homey feeling.

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    Next post, Hwy 175 from Hopland to Middletown.

    -Bill
    #4
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  5. Spurlock

    Spurlock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Vacaville, N. California
    Continued . . .

    CA Hwy175 from Hopland to Bottle Rock Road
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    Leaving Hopland on Hwy 175 I’m once again treated to a steep and twisty climb out of a vineyard covered valley. Unlike 253, 175 is full of tight hairpin turns that demand full focus on the road and reward with flat out fun.

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    Finally cresting a summit I get a stunning view of Clear Lake, the largest natural fresh water lake in California, and 4,300' Mt. Konocti.

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    Looking down I see the road far below and know this is going to be a tight twisty drop down to lake level.

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    And here we go!

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    Once at the bottom I continue on 175 south toward Middletown, but take a less traveled short cut, Bottle Rock Road, which rejoins 175 further south.

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    Bottle Rock Rd. features - you guessed it - great scenery and nice roller coaster curves.

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    Back on 175 I near Middletown and my usual everyday roads. I look back and think of all the wonderful sights and sensations of the last two days and think simply, “Wow!”

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    Good old Pope Valley Rd. takes me home again.

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    Life is good,

    -Bill
    #5
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  6. grcamna1

    grcamna1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    33
    That is a Very nice ride report w/ great photos Bill.Did you keep this all on your smart phone as you traveled ?
    I'd like to take a ride w/ you soon.
    #6
  7. Spurlock

    Spurlock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Vacaville, N. California
    Thanks, I use a little Sony RX100 camera. Takes great shots for a pocket camera.

    -Bill
    #7
  8. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,198
    Location:
    Southwestern Ontario Canada
    Another fine tour you've taken us on Bill. Thanks so much.
    #8
  9. RonSJC

    RonSJC Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    SoCal
    Awesome!!!!

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
    #9
  10. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    695
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    Beautiful ride. Thanks.
    #10
  11. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,101
    Location:
    norcal
    More brilliant photos capturing the best of our region. Great job Bill.... :thumb
    #11
  12. eaglescan

    eaglescan Borrego rocks

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Langley,B C
    Great report, probably your best one yet! thx
    #12
  13. Gonefishen

    Gonefishen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    norcal
    Another great ride report thank you.I ride the same roads and look forward to your reports they really capture the feel of our area.Stuck up in Alaska working can't wait to get home and hit the Norcal roads
    #13
  14. dondesmo

    dondesmo Senior Squid

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Fed Way PNW
    I'm saving this one for a future ride. Thanks
    #14
  15. Spurlock

    Spurlock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Vacaville, N. California
    Thanks all for the comments, I'm humbled. It feels good to share the joy of the ride, and hopefully inspire others to search out their own "off the beaten track" moto routes.

    -Bill
    #15
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,879
    Location:
    Rocket City
    Great pics as always:thumb
    #16
  17. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,891
    Location:
    seal beach, ca.
    :dirtdog

    Good golly Bill, we've got enough people in this state, knock this crap off.:jack




    ...thank you posting, amazing for sure.:clap
    #17
  18. mjs3800

    mjs3800 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    CA
    From another local CA resident. Very nice report and I will have to do something similar. Nice stable of bikes the OP has.
    #18