We had beautiful weather with a variety of clouds, fog, rain, snow and of course sunshine.
We left Shari’s early Friday morning under clear cool skies with 18 bikes and 22 riders. We trekked across highway 12 through Lodi to start our back roads through Copperopolis and onto CA-108 with a stop for lunch at the Strawberry Inn. The back deck swayed to the sound of the rushing creek as we fueled our bodies and listened to the roar of the fans watching the World Cup soccer match. Afterwards we traveled over Sonora pass with stunning snowy views, twisted roads and chilly temperatures. We made a quick stop at Shingle Mill Flat Picnic area on Hwy 395 near Coleville then over Monitor pass on our way to Markleeville which was calmly scenic as it meandered through the hills. No ride would be complete without an ice cream stop in the town of Genoa before arriving in Minden at the Carson Valley Inn where we picked up two more riders on one bike. After settling in we headed over to the Casino for dinner were the Redwood Riders seemed to be rowdy (Rosalie), noisy and very happy.
Saturday, we headed north, up and over Spooner summit and around Lake Tahoe then past Truckee and over Little Truckee Summit to Sierraville on CA-89 where the gas lines were long at the 2-pump station so we pushed on. From there we headed west on CA-49 arriving in Downieville to fuel but the pumps were closed!! A slight panic set in but a local told us there was fuel in Camptonville about 23 miles away and on our intended route. George did an excellent impression of a filling station attendant (but he did not do windshields) at the little 2-pump station. We continued down CA-49 to Marysville Rd around New Bullards Bar Reservoir past Dobbins and turned onto Willow Glenn Rd heading towards La Porte. We stopped at One Eyed Jacks for lunch in Clipper Mills (I got my food last) then continued through La Porte to Quincy (the other ultimate twisties road). Our last push of the day we traveled around the west bank of Lake Almanor to Chester with an ice cream break at Canyon Dam General Store. Once we arrived an impromptu gathering in the parking ensued (these are some of my favorite times) with wine, beer, soft drinks and lots of laughter. We slowly dispersed and wandered to few different restaurants for dinner.
Sunday, we departed the Antlers Motel and stopped at the St. Bernard Inn to pick up George and Lynn (this is a nice option for another ride. They can accommodate 20 people with 10 rooms). We traveled southwest to Chico on CA-32 and continued across Hwy 99 and Hwy 5 heading towards Stonyford and Elk Creek a new area for me with rolling hills, some good roads and a large spattering of potholes, very open and quite warm. Back to Hwy 5 and to Granzella’s in Williams for lunch. Afterwards we headed home on CA-20, then through Lake County with a final ice cream stop at Home Plate in Calistoga.
I want to thank all who came on the ride, I enjoy planning and participating in these types of rides and especially with a group of riders who appreciate the journey even when a last minute change or U turn comes our way (road closed, no fuel…..etc.). The ride was exciting and challenging but it truly is the people that make these adventures so much fun.