Ride to Fort Bragg and Down the Coast - Dec 15, 2010
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It's been a wetter than normal year in Northern California. After some dreary days, the weather forecast showed a couple of sunny days - Dec 15 & 16 - before the next series of storms was due to hit. Linda was going to be out of town for a few days to see what they do for Christmas at Hearst Castle. A perfect time for a ride to the coast on the Honda? I thought so.
I mapped out a route around the south side of Lake Berryessa, then traveled north along some minor roads to south of Clear Lake, across to Boonville then to the coast to spend the night at Fort Bragg. I ran across a couple of roads of interest. Berryessa-Knoxville Rd was an adventure. It turned into a real goat trail and at times I was afraid I had the wrong motorcycle. There were about a dozen low water crossings with a few inches of water in the first couple. Since the road was little more than a single lane of 100-year old, piss poor asphalt and these primitive stream crossings could get hairy with a little more water, I was concerned that the pavement may end and make me turn around and backtrack 50 miles. Recent rains made everything pretty muddy off the pavement. The pavement continued all the way through, however, and I didn't really have any problems. I'll be this road could get really exciting if there was a foot of water or more on these stream crossings.
Hwy 175 from Clear Lake to Hwy 1 was also interesting in a completely different way. The road climbs sharply up a nicely paved series of switchbacks to cross a small range of mountains between the lake and Hwy 1. The descent isn't bad either.
After a very pleasant night in Fort Bragg at the Harbor Lite Lodge, I headed home by taking Hwy 1 down the coast to Point Reyes Station before heading inland. I then went to Petaluma, then to Napa before picking up Hwy 12 and following it to Rio Vista. I then followed the Sacramento River north and arrived home about 30 minutes after dark. A GREAT RIDE AND A GREAT COUPLE OF DAYS.