Good route into San Jose from the south

Discussion in 'Regional Forums' started by Pinarretta, Sep 22, 2002.

  1. Pinarretta

    Pinarretta Wubba Lubba Dub Dub Supporter

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    This friday I'll be heading up to Napa to visit the family and I plan on stopping by Helimot in SJ to pick up some boots. I'm looking for good route suggestions for coming into SJ from south.

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. zouch

    zouch part-time wanderer Supporter

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    hi!

    by "good routes" do you mean:
    - the most direct route?
    - the most fun pavement off of the Slabs?
    - or are you looking for dirt diversions along the way?

    if you can clarify a bit exactly what you're looking for, i'm sure someone will be happy to throw some suggestions your way,...
    :evil


    cheers!
    e


    #2
  3. Pinarretta

    Pinarretta Wubba Lubba Dub Dub Supporter

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    Nope

    Mostly the first, but if there's some of the latter convenient along the way, I'm game.

    I'm looking to make "good time" in the sense of ZAMM. Emphasis of good more than time.

    -Paul
    #3
  4. zouch

    zouch part-time wanderer Supporter

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    hey!

    i'd say if you've never done it before, the coast is a must-do; not necessarily 101, but seek out old Hwy 1 where you can and follow it up to where you come over 17 out of Santa Cruz over the hills into San Jose. be prepared for it to take most of a long day, even if you do parts of it at speed (and you will want to do parts of it at speed).

    if you prefer to make it over the Grapevine before you start wandering and want to stay off of The Slab, cut west on 166 to work your way north up 33, and at Coalinga work your way west on 198 over to 25. be advised, although these routes parallel I-5, you can feel like you're a long ways from anywhere much of the time out there, and you can actually go quite a long while and not see anyone else. be sure to have fuel.

    a favorite dirt diversion would be to cut through Clear Creek; from Coalinga you could cut NW up Los Gatos Road and Coalinga Road to the 'community' of Hernandez (heads up here; it's hard to know you're there even when you're there, but the Clear Creek entrance is well marked). going straight will take you up to 25, but if you've got time, i'd recommend you do the river crossing onto the dirt and flip NE through the area out to New Idria (population ~6) where the pavement starts again, and then back out NW again through Panoche and W back to 25 and on N into (eventually) Civilization.
    25 will take you through Hollister and to 101, where you can scoot straight north ~1 Hr into SJ, or hop over to the backroads that run along through the hills and valleys on the West side of 101 into SJ.
    Clear Creek is BLM land, and although it's popular with the dirt bike crowd, it's remote enough and big enough that even when camping back there on a holiday weekend i've seen as few as 2 or less other vehicles in a day. the main road through it is a well maintained dirt road, but takes you through some uinqe territory nonetheless.
    frankly, Clear Creek feels like a wonderfully forgotten place to me. described by a rock-hound friend as "geologically all *fugged* up", it peaks out over 5000' high and is prettier than you'd imagine anything in-between 101 and I-5 could be. (don't tell anyone it's there. :wink: )

    there are lots of other cool roads that cross the space between I-5 and the coast like 166, 58, 41, and 46; you're definitely not stuck on The Slab unless you're interested in exclusively "making time". just pull out your DeLorme Gazetteer and start wandering; there's a lot of cool places out there still if you don't take the most commonly traveled path!

    have fun, and be careful!


    cheers!
    e
    #4
  5. Santa

    Santa Focused on the Future

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    Clear creek is a real gem. Just avoid breathing the dust as it is mostly asbestos fibers. Nasty stuff.
    Hold your breath if you get roosted. A mile or two west of New Idria is a small pond.About 1/2 mile east of this pond you will see a flat meadow on the left if headed west to east.
    On that site there are buried literally thousands of Chinese immigrant workers who died from exposure to the mercury that was mined from the area in the 1800's. Lots of nails on the ground in that meadow as well.
    Santa
    #5
  6. fish

    fish Banned

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    lovely area :huh
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  7. fish

    fish Banned

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    Up the coast through big sur is great, but only attempt on a weekday. how about 33 out of ojai, through taft, then 58 over to 101 to san miguel to indian valley rd to 25 through hollister and up into gilroy?
    #7
  8. zouch

    zouch part-time wanderer Supporter

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    saying the dust is "mostly asbestos fibers" is a bit of a stretch, and the rest of the story requires learning the difference between naturally occuring short-fiber asbestos and the synthesized long-fiber stuff... the way the Rangers there tell it, the short version is that if the short-fiber stuff is breathed, it easily passes through the walls of the lungs into the bloodstream where it's eventually passed out of the body, unlike the synthetic stuff that gets stuck in the lung fibers causing problems. since the original poster didn't mention travelling with anyone else, i wouldn't expect he'd be eating much of anyone's dust.

    either some government dorks decided that the general public wasn't smart enough to understand the difference between the 2 types and decided to just warn us all off of all asbestos for Our Own Good (tm)... or (more likely) they found it hard to understand themselves.

    the Rangers that work out there understand the difference, and they're not bothered by it; most (if not all) of the Rangers that work there are there by request.
    if you're concerned about it, just go when it's only been a few days since the last rain and there won't be as much dust. (but be advised that the mud out there can be downright slimy when it's still wet!)

    on second thought, don't go there; it's awful,... just stay away. there's nothing out there for you to see; it's just a big, unpaved, uncrowded, beautiful area only a couple hours drive from a major metro area where we can ride, shoot, and camp, that most people don't know about. :evil


    cheers!
    e


    #8
  9. Pinarretta

    Pinarretta Wubba Lubba Dub Dub Supporter

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    OK, so I have a basic route planned, with options for how I feel when I get there. Thanks for the tips.

    The general notion:

    Head out Little Tujunga across to Boquet canyon/ Lake Hughes, up N2 past Gorman/ Frazier park to Cerro Noroeste to 166, Then decision time

    coastal: 166 west to 101 to 1 up to 17 (basic with some possible diversions depending on mood)

    inland: 33 up to 198 (haven't done that route yet) to 25 via one of couple of possible side routes (Zouch's suggestion or Lewis Creek rd) to 101
    into SJ and Helimot to pick up some boots by mid afternoon.

    Costal vs inland is mostly weather driven (heat).

    From SJ I'm headed to Berkeley to meet up with Senor Kuhn (probably slab it, but if anyone's got a hot tip for that route, I'm interested). Then up to Napa late in the night.
    #9
  10. fish

    fish Banned

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  11. jocflier

    jocflier Dammit, that hurt... Supporter

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    33 is boring..boring..borning..If you stay on 33; might as well do I-5 north..

    Try 166 to 33 north (get gas in Taft)..33 north to 58 west to Bitterwater rd (north)..you can only turn right off 58 onto Bitterwater rd. coming from the east..

    Bitterwater rd (north) to hwy 41 east for about a mile to Cholame valley rd. (north) you can only turn left onto Cholame valley rd from the west..

    stop in Parkfield for a bite to eat..good tri-tip..from Parkfield head to San Miguel for gas..from there head back toward Parkfield and get on Slack Creek Rd. north to peach tree rd..this will take you to 198 and 25 north..

    Good luck and have fun...

    Joc
    #11
  12. Pinarretta

    Pinarretta Wubba Lubba Dub Dub Supporter

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    This fire's about 20 miles east of here. I posted a pic of it from my patio here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7415&perpage=15&pagenumber=1

    The route I'm on should be fine down here as it is west of my place. As to the rest of it after Cerro Noroeste, we'll see where I end up.

    If anyone wants to meet up with Ricky and me in Berkeley tomorrow afternoon, coordinate with him.
    #12