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Discussion in 'Americas' started by jlevers, Nov 29, 2016.
Check Tomales.. population 204!!
Ah, there we go! @TooBadBrad, on our current route we'd barely have been on the coast at all by that point. Here's the plan as it stands right now: https://trips.furkot.com/ts/Ht23fE
OP- You've already gotten tons of advice on your route, gear, etc., so I will leave that alone. You're young (still in high school), fit (wrestler), and a good planner. As long as the bikes hold up you are in for a great experience wherever you go and whatever you wear. In 1973, before ATGATT, GPS, internet worries, etc., I rode from LA to Banff and back at age 18 on a Honda 350, wearing sneakers, jeans and a tee-shirt; believe it or not, I survived and had an amazing time. If you miss anything on your trip West, so what, you have the rest of your life to go there and see it. I live very near you and ride by your home all the time. If you want to do some riding in the Spring, PM me and we can cruise out Rt. 116 and up into VT etc. and I promise not to give you too much advice, lol! I hope you have a great trip next Summer and many Summers to come.
Thank you for your kind words -- it's cool to hear the perspective of someone who's done something similar, and with a slightly more laid-back attitude to adventure (I'm not at all implying that one way or the other is better, since I can appreciate the upsides and downsides of both approaches). I'd love to meet up to go for a ride sometime, since I literally don't know a single person that rides within a 100mi radius of me.
I have a feeling that is about to change
I grinned a little wider at that than I'd like to admit...it'll be really cool to know locals who ride.
One more bit of advice on gear. Sorry if it's already been mentioned but I haven't seen it. Get a camelback of similar water bladder. It is the best way to stay hydrated. When you stop at gas stations or restaurants you can normally refill it with ice.
As for meeting local riders, check out the regional forum for your area. I'm sure there are other inmates in your area.
Not gear related...sorry
some place along the middle of your route find a good shop/inmate/mechanic to look over both bikes.
You very well may need new tires, or a chain or just a overall good going over. An oil change would not be out of the question on your older bikes.
Spending a morning in a bike shop or inmates garage doing that can save BIG time and money later if things go sideways.
The coast from Bodega to Jenner is heavily traveled and slow, but if your into the ocean it might be worth it. If your cold or tired of looking at the back of RV's stay on 1 to Valley Ford, cut across to Freestone, and up to Occidental(great taco shop). From there stay on Bohemian hwy to Monte Rio, where you can go west and rejoin the coast at Jenner. You can use Myers grade and sea view rds N of Jenner to get above the fog for a bit also. When you get to the avenue of the giants take it instead of 101. Stunning if you've never seen it. Another don't miss if you have time is the Lost Coast. From the north end of the Avenue of Giants, go west on Mattole rd and follow it to the coast. It will take you by a mostly deserted stretch of beautiful coast and onto Ferndale where you can rejoin 101.
@klaviator, I'm planning on doing that. No one likes being dehydrated, and carrying tons of water bottles is kind of a pain. I just took a look at the regional forums...You're definitely right, there's lots of people in my area!
@DaMonk45, don't apologize! That's probably a good idea. I prefer to do all the work on my bike myself, but I'm ok with having someone else do the work if it keeps the trip from getting delayed.
@TooBadBrad, all those changes look awesome. I've been on the Avenue of the Giants before, but it was a long time ago and I'd love to do it again. Mattole Road also looks great. Thanks!
One more thing to think about. National Parks and Monuments have entry fees. It varies from park to park but can be pretty expensive. Here's an example:
Depending on how many parks you will be going to you may want to buy an annual pass. I'm pretty sure you can put two people on one pass so you and your cousin could split the cost.
The Inter-agency annual pass is good for a vehicle, each bike needing their own. Last year the Southern California Norton Owners Club went through Yosemite and they hit every one of the 20+ riders. I was glad to get the Senior pass once I turned 62. For a bike you should ask for the sticker that goes free with buying the pass, you have to ask for it, and many of the small Ranger stations don't have them, you commonly have to go to a District office. The sticker prevents you from getting a ticket as you really don't want to hang your pass card on your bike while you are away from it. The stickers are annual only, I have to get a new sticker every year, but they are free with my Senior pass.
cousin could sign the back and both should be admitted with one pass.
Wow, I didn't realize the entrance fees were that high...with that in mind, we're definitely going to get an annual pass. According to this page on usgs.gov, you can use a single pass for two motorcycles, as long as they arrive together.
GHOST TOWNS ALONG YOUR ROUTE
I had previously mentioned that you could visit the old Gold Point ghost town if you took Highway 266 and 168 from Nevada I-95 over to Big Pine in California. Most of us enjoy a ghost town, and stopping by Gold Point is on your current route. I think you'll really enjoy stopping by there!
I also wanted to mention that there are a couple of other ghost towns you'll be going right by on this route. First, while heading north on I-95 to the east of Death Valley you'll go through the town of Beatty, NV. If you turn off the highway in Beatty and head west for about 4 miles you'll be at the ghost town of Rhyolite, which had a population of over 10,000 people around the year 1900. Many cool old buildings and equipment remain, including an old train depot, so this is a great place to stop by. Lots of information online about this place.
A few miles past Gold Point along your route you'll also go by the old site of Palmetto near Lida, NV, which only has a few remaining structures, but there is an old abandoned mill that you can check out. These aren't that impressive, but you'll be going right past them, so a great place to take a break.
The ultimate ghost town in the West is Bodie, which is a state historic park being maintained in a state of "arrested decay". It's about 30 miles north of Lee Vining where you will be turning off highway 395 and heading west toward Yosemite. If you enjoy ghost towns and have a few hours, this one is by far the most amazing one. In the 1870s, Bodie had 70 saloons and zero churches!
The only problem is that you may want to spend many hours exploring Bodie! There are places around the area for camping such as Mono Lake or in Lee Vining. I have visited Bodie several times, and look forward to another visit this year. There's a lot of information online about Bodie, but here's a short video that will give you a sneak peek. Even better, check out this CBS Sunday Morning video.
Wow, those sound super cool. I love abandoned places, but they're easy to miss if you don't know where they are. I'll be sure to check all of those out, and I undoubtedly will be stopping to explore other abandoned structures along the way.
Quick road-specific question for anyone from the TN/NC area who might see this: has anyone ridden the Parsons Branch Road from Cades Cove to the Dragon? It looks like a fun way to connect Route 321 and the Dragon (going through Cades Cove and then taking Parsons Branch). Is that a doable road on my bike (a '79 CX500)?
don't do it. crazy slow stop and go traffic through cades cove. not woth it. find another route.
peel of at pigean forge for 321 to maryville or 441 through the resz over to bryson. i'd probably run it from n to s then head west from the south end over cherohoala skyway.
If you aren't going to ride the south section of Hwy 1 near Big Sur, you will want to at least ride some of it north of Tomales Bay. Once you get north of the oyster farms, it becomes cliffs again.
Also in that area is Lagunitas Brewery/Taproom. Nice little country road over to Petaluma. I like to stay at the Motel just a few hundred feet down the road, and walk over for dinner and beer. Their Fusion series of beers are my all time favorite.
@pranajermi is correct about cade's cove being crowded.
Parsons Branch is closed indefinitely, I believe for some tree disease which Big Brother deems to be life threatening for anyone using the road.
I think you indicated riding the Blue Ridge Parkway. Be better to go all the way to Cherokee, I think, than to enter the zoo that is Smokey Mtn Natl Park. If you want a little gravel, you can take Heintooga Rd, only accessible from the BRP. At the end of the pavement there is a one way, 17 mile stretch of gravel going to Cherokee.
From Cherokee there are options to get to Cherohala/Deal's Gap area.