Saturday, 18 June 2016

Planning for the Summer Ride

Photo from

Due to an interesting development, I have a little time on my hands this summer.....

My father-in-law is taking my wife on a cruise this summer - very nice for her - and that has freed up a bunch of time for me to tour in the summer! Of course, there's visits with the kids and a fishing trip but there is also time to take a longer scooter trip than I usually take. 

The total trip will take about 11 days and I am REALLY looking forward to it. I hopefully haven't planned too many really long days or bitten off more than I can chew.... I would LOVE to read any comments you have on my route as I have never done this before. Anyway, here's the plan:

Day 1 - Maple Ridge to Seaside, Oregon. 525km
I have taken minor highways all the way to Longview before, on my Vespa 250, and that's almost at the Washington/Oregon border. The plan on this day is to blast down the I-5 until Olympia and then cut over to the coastal highway until Seaside. It's not a particularly pretty ride but it will get me there rather quickly. That way I can check into my fancy hotel (with a number '6' in it) and then have a beverage and look at the ocean. I plan to leave around 7am so hopefully that will give me plenty of time to get there.

Day 2 - Seaside to Crescent City, California 642km
This may be a REALLY long day, but I hope that I will be fresh and energetic (as it is the beginning of the trip) and able to handle the time. There's a ton to see so I will have my GoPro camera on for part of the way and have the tunes cranked on my helmet SRC. There's espresso places, cheese factories, lots of viewpoints, kites, more cheese and more viewpoints! I don't intend to stop at every place - that would take forever - but certainly at some to see what I can see. Again, I will start early and I don't know if there's a lot to see at Crescent City (maybe a big crescent wrench?) so I will probably just crash at my hotel when I get there and rest up for the next day.

Day 3 - Crescent City to Mendocino, California 367km
Finally, a shorter day! I actually was originally going to go from Crescent City to San Francisco in one day but realized that I was doing days that were too long and I needed a break so I broke up the day in two. Again, a ton to see including more cheese, viewpoints, redwoods, and a giant totem pole. If I start early on this day - and I don't see why I wouldn't - it will give me some time to explore Mendocino - as well as stop at the occasional place on the way down. 

Day 4 - Mendocino to El Granada, California 281 km
Maybe this will be a lie in day! Not a long trip at all, although going through San Francisco is bound to be nerve-wracking! Happily, there are still lots of things to see on the way (although no cheese factories) and I can actually take it easy. The reason that I'm going to El Granada is that I will be staying with my friend, Mike, who I met in Japan over 30 years ago, and his partner, Shirley. We stayed with them and visited San Fran a few years ago and had a fantastic time. We also stayed with them on St. Martin, in the Caribbean, when they invited us to a time share - and that was also another absolute great time! I had originally planned to stay a bit longer with them but, as I looked at the giant distances I was attempting, I realized I had to add a couple more travel days. Looking forward to seeing them!

Day 5 - El Granada - Visiting!

Day 6 - El Granada to San Luis Obispo, California 363km
This is the only day that I have a bit of a time crunch. On the way down the coast, I have a reservation to stop at Hearst Castle for 3pm. I'm sort of guessing on the time so I will need to leave early enough that I don't miss my reservation but late enough so I won't be sitting outside the castle for 3 hours. Some nice scenery including Carmel and the whole road down through Big Sur sounds wonderful! After visiting the castle, I hope to spend a little time in San Luis Obispo before turning in.

Day 7 San Luis Obispo to Lodi, California 412 km
The route I'm taking takes me away from the soul-sucking Interstate and onto hopefully quieter highways. Again, I originally was going to go all the way to Reno but realized that I was trying to do too much in a day so I split it in two. Cheese, nuts, and a Swedish town await my possible inspection on the way to Lodi, where I can sing, CCR-like, how I am stuck in Lodi again (even though it will be my first time).

Day 8 Lodi to Reno, Nevada 277km
Ok, maybe the real reason I decided to split up the trip was to give myself time to play blackjack at the tables. I am staying in the Eldorado - the same hotel I stayed in when I took a trip while going to UBC back in 1980. Wonder if it looks any different? There's a gold rush town as well as Virginia City to see on the way so there are a couple spots to see. 

Day 9 Reno to Klamath Falls, Oregon 409km
I'm not sure if there's anything to see here. Trees? Lakes? Mountains? I guess I'll find out. Hopefully some good craft beer in Klamath Falls.....

Day 10 Klamath Falls to Yakima, Washington 581km
I used to have an excellent bike rack for my bicycles that fit my old VW Golf. It was called a Yakima - not sure if that was the model or if that was the company that made it. Anyway, it will be interesting to make my way to Yakima. Again, I'm not sure if there is a lot to see as I had a hard time finding any information on the internet. There is some sort of Stonehenge recreation in Biggs so I am thrilled to be seeing that! If anyone can assist me with anymore information for the Day 9, 10 or 11, it would be greatly appreciated!

Day 11 Yakima - Kelowna, BC 512km
The last blast of the trip will take me through the American Okanogon (I think that's how you spell it in the US) which is a bit of an overlap from last summer. Other than than, I guess I'll see some trees, some desert-y land, and some lakes and mountains.

Why Kelowna? Because my eldest lives there, of course! Eventually I will work my way back to Maple Ridge. 

It might be a bit of an ambitious trip but I think I will be ok. I've got hotels/motels booked the whole way and they are all cancellable if things go pear shaped. I'm working on my packing list and my exercise program for when I arrive at each destination right now. I will go into that in another blog entry.

Any suggestions, blogosphere?


SonjaM said...

Dave, I find that day trips between 350 and 600km are doable. It very much depends on your desire for sightseeing. Day1 might be a bit of a stretch though, depending on how long the border wait will be. I take it you got Nexus? That might speed things up. I also found that the Aldergrove border was easier to pass through. Day2 won't leave much room for recreational activities, plus if you take Highway 1 it will likely be packed with vacationers. Joy of riding might be limited. Day10: You might want to ride along Columbia river and the Yakima Canyon. It's a lovely scenic detour. Other than I very much hope that you'll enjoy your road trip. Please post pics from the ride.

Kim said...

Sounds like a great trip, thanks for the post!

Thomas Dixon said...

In an alternate universe Norman Reedus and I are riding with you Bro!

Dave Dixon said...

Sonja, I don't have Nexus! (Head lowered in shame). I think I will be OK for day one - and I will definitely look at the border line-ups before I cross. Day 2 - yes, it will be a bit of a challenge but I hope I am fresh enough. I can always veer off to the freeway if I get fed up with the traffic. Finally, thanks for the tip for Day 10! I will be sure to post when I can!

Kim - thank you!

Brother Tom, ah, that would be fine!