Tuesday, February 16, 2010

California Dreamin / On The Road

I'm flying to San Luis Obispo, California Sunday and riding a motorcycle back home to Everett, Washington. The motorcycle I'm picking up is a 2001 Kawasaki Concours similar to the stock photo on the right.

From San Luis Obispo I plan to take the Pacific Coast Highway 1 north. My first day will be a pretty short ride since my flight arrives at 1:10 pm and I'm not sure how long it will be before I'm on the road. I plan to spend Sunday night in the Big Sur area.

Monday I'll stop and see Colleen and family in Pacifica. Tuesday ride up 101 and stay in Klamath in Northern California. Wednesday continue on 101 through Oregon to stay in Seaside Oregon. Thursday I'll head East, then North on I-5 and home to Everett.

View San Luis Obispo To Everett in a larger map

It's about a 1180 mile trip -

Sunday - San Luis Obispo to Deetjens Inn at Big Sur - 101 miles
Monday - Big Sur to Pacifica - 138 miles
Tuesday - Pacifica to Ravenwood Motel Klamath CA. - 348 miles
Wednesday - Klamath to Sandy Cove Inn at Seaside OR. - 368 miles
Thursday - Seaside to Tacoma WA. - 168 miles
Friday - Tacoma to Everett - 66 miles

It's been 30 years since I rode my motorcycle on California's Pacific Coast highway, and I've never ridden a motorcycle up the Oregon coast so this will be like a whole new trip for me. I'm really looking forward to this trip as a bit of adventure.


- this article is about the place I plan to stay at in Big Sur. I like hippy stuff and this place sounds cool. It was built by a Norwegian immigrant named Helmut Deetjen and his wife Helen in the 1930's. It was one of the first road houses on Highway 1. The inn is run as a non-profit now and is on the National Register of Historic Places.


I bumped this blog post back to the top because I'm using it as a trip planner.

I'm really wondering what this trip is going to be like this time of year. Could be pretty chilly riding along the coast but I've been practicing riding locally in rainy/chilly weather and I think I have the clothing pretty well figured out at least for short trips in the local area. I'll find out if that experience translates into longer distances next week.

I have a warm riding suit, leather jacket and pants, neck warmer/buff, waterproof gloves, waterproofed leather boots, waterproof boot covers, rain coat, thick denim jeans, rain pants and a full face helmet. As long as the weather stays mid 40's or above I'm good. Once it gets below that I can still ride - just have to stop every so often for a cup of coffee and to warm up.

I did a 230 mile trip Around Hood Canal last November, which may be comparable to the California/Oregon coast trip weather this time of year - fairly cool, high humidity, probably some rain and wind. I was starting to shiver at the end of that ride as the temperature dropped below 50 so I'm bringing some warmer clothing this time around. I was riding my Sportster with no windshield or fairing last November. The Connie I'm riding this time has a taller (25.5 inch) after-market windshield and fairings, so that should help.

I'm really excited to see how my theories of how this trip will go turn out in practice. I'm trying to balance planning/preparation/expectations to ensure I'm not taking any unacceptable risks with the idea that enjoying a trip requires a bit of the attitude that whatever happens will be perfect in some spiritual sense or if you aren't into that sort of thing - at least an educational opportunity.