Pacific Coast Highway and California

Collapse
X
  •  
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pacific Coast Highway and California

    I've been wanting to ride the Pacific Coast Highway for several years. I decided in early December to try it if I could see a window of opportunity for good weather.

    I left home on 12/20 and rode four days out to the old NAS Moffett Field in Mountain View, CA at the south end of San Francisco Bay. Spent a couple days riding around SF, crossed the Golden Gate and Oakland Bay Bridges, ate fresh seafood at Fisherman's Wharf.

    Rode south on the Pacific Coast Highway to Port Hueneme then on to San Diego to spend 2 1/2 days. My wife drove out in her car to join me in SD. We wandered around San Diego visiting old familiar places and enjoying seafood along the waterfront. Most days the weather was excellent with beautiful sunny days but a little cool.

    Parts of the PCH are typical boring CA freeway but perhaps 100 to 150 miles of it south of Santa Cruz run right along the coast on a high ridge overlooking the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. The cliff is probably 300' above the ocean in some locations. The ride is twisty and up and down enough to be a little challenging and the view is spectacular. I enjoyed the PCH more than I actually expected to.

    In San Diego we became aware that the weather back in west Texas was turning very bad so left early on Tuesday 12/30 to ride to Willcox, AZ with my wife following in her car. Next morning we left eastbound with a fierce wind out of the east and reports of ice and snow on the mountain passes at Cloudcroft, NM, Ruidosa, NM, and Guadalupe Peak in Texas. Rode only as far as Lordsburg, NM. Wind was about 45 mph and gusting to 55 mph. I was struggling to keep the wing on the highway. Too dangerous. I pulled into Smith Ford, a small town Ford dealer in Lordsburg and asked if I could park the Goldwing inside for a few days until weather improved and I could return to pick it up. The owner was a nice guy and gave me the okay.

    We continued east in my wife's car. I decided to travel east out of El Paso on I-10 and I-20 to Pecos, TX to spend the night then to Odessa, TX and turn north for home. That turned out to be the location of a heavy freeze and ice storm. The highway was black ice from Van Horn to Odessa and beyond and north as far as Seminole, TX. My wife's car is a Honda Pilot with computer-controlled 4wd so it's pretty surefooted on ice. We were able to keep moving at around 40 mph while the big trucks jackknifed, slid into each other, and slid off the road into the ditches and median. The highway was littered with crashed or stranded 18 wheelers and lots of cars/suvs/light trucks. We saw an overturned suv just west of Odessa with a man standing in the median weeping over a body covered by a blanket. Ambulance and fire rescue truck were on the way. TXDOT warnings urged citizens to stay off the highways but we continued on. My wife had to be back at work on Monday morning so we couldn't hang around in a motel until the ice melted. We made it home safely without mishap.

    I watched the weather closely and decided the most practical way to return to Lordsburg to get my wing home was to ride a bus. Not the most comfortable or fastest way but practical.

    On Sunday 1/4 I climbed aboard a a Greyhound in Lubbock and rode to Lordsburg arriving about 11pm NM time. I spent the night in an old dump motel next to the Ford dealer. Retrieved my Goldwing the next morning and rode it home.

    I throughly enjoyed visiting San Francisco again as well as San Diego and strongly recommend the Pacific Coast Highway to anyone who has not ridden it. It's a "bucket list" ride that everyone should take at least once.
    Harvey Barlow
    Crosby County, TX
    2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
    2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)


  • #2
    Very cool-you lived the dream. Nice writeup, and I'm glad you were smart enough to park the Wing when it got bad.

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


    • #3
      Harvey, if you ever want to ride the Northern California coastline, let me know. I would be happy to meet you someplace, and show you the beauty of Northern Calif., with the Redwoods, the trees you can ride thru, and a LOT less traffic than you experienced in So. Cal.

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • HBarlow
        HBarlow commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for the offer. I would enjoy that opportunity very much. I really wanted to start west of Portland, OR and ride all the way south but that would be a foolish goal during winter months. I had to settle for San Francisco south.

        Maybe this summer? What time of year do you consider the best time to ride northern California?

      • MMR
        MMR commented
        Editing a comment
        Harvey, I think June would be a great time to do that ride.

      • HBarlow
        HBarlow commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks. I'll keep it in mind.

    • #4
      Beautiful ride,I've ridden it 3 times over the years. From the Washington, Oregon area to Big Sur south of San Francisco. The last trip we took the boat over to Alcatraz. It was a great tour. Twice we were able to see the entire Golden Gate Bridge. No fog. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry

      IBA #57814
      SaddleSore 1075 Miles in 24 hours (certified)
      BunBurner 1632 Miles in 36 hours (certified)
      Prowler #81
      Double Darksider # 792
      Alaska 2012 / 2014

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • #5
        Originally posted by CaptLen View Post
        Very cool-you lived the dream. Nice writeup, and I'm glad you were smart enough to park the Wing when it got bad.
        On my bucket list.
        2013 Black F6B

        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


        • #6
          PCH is one of those roads that changes and delights every time. I've probably ridden it between LA and SF a dozen times and travelled South to LA from Port Angeles, WA after ferrying over from Victory BC. Glad you were able to experience and share with us. Makes me want to head over to the coast.

          Comment: (For off-topic replies)


          • #7
            The PCH is on my bucket list too. Coming from FL , I'll have to accrue some real time off for that one, since I'm not retired yet.
            "only governments can take a useful commodity like paper, and make it totally worthless by printing on it"

            [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

            Comment: (For off-topic replies)


            • #8
              Thanks for the write-up. I'm heading out that way in July and the information on the more scenic sections of the PCH is very useful.

              Comment: (For off-topic replies)


              • #9
                This link http://www.pacific-coast-highway-travel.com/ has a lot more information than I could ever offer if you have time to browse it. The volume of information is overwhelming but it's a very useful site.
                Harvey Barlow
                Crosby County, TX
                2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
                2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

                Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                • #10
                  Glad everything worked out for you. A beautiful and interesting ride.

                  For the people coming from the east to northern California, if you can ride CA-36 from Redding west to Fortuna, you won't be disappointed.

                  Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by djoyner View Post
                    Thanks for the write-up. I'm heading out that way in July and the information on the more scenic sections of the PCH is very useful.
                    We did the ride up in late June. It was chilly with a lot of light rain. Plan for all seasons and enjoy the ride!
                    2008 Red GW1800 -- NRA Life Member - American Legion PUFL, American Legion Riders
                    USMC 21 YRS/9 MO and when dead, a dead Marine.
                    US Four Corner Ride https://clayusmcret.blogspot.com/
                    2014 Mid-States Ride https://mid-states.blogspot.com/
                    2015 NC to UT/NV Ride https://2015nvride.blogspot.com/

                    50th State ridden on 19 Aug, 2016 DS #1584

                    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Z-Man View Post
                      Glad everything worked out for you. A beautiful and interesting ride.

                      For the people coming from the east to northern California, if you can ride CA-36 from Redding west to Fortuna, you won't be disappointed.
                      I will traveling north to south, so I plan to ride a bit of CA-36 from Fortuna...don't know if I'll make it all the way to Redding (time constraints), but thanks for the tip.



                      Originally posted by clayusmcret
                      We did the ride up in late June. It was chilly with a lot of light rain. Plan for all seasons and enjoy the ride!
                      Thanks for the information. I understand the bay area can get pretty cool with the fog.

                      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by djoyner View Post

                        Thanks for the information. I understand the bay area can get pretty cool with the fog.
                        I think it was Mark Twain who said (paraphrasing most likely) "The coldest Winter I've seen was a Summer in San Francisco".

                        All of Hwy 1 from the Oregon border to Lompoc can be quite foggy from June during August as the Pacific Ocean is in the 50s and low 60s and the Central Valley will be in the low 100s

                        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                        • #14
                          There are a couple of roads - the locals will point them out - or you can research that forum of California riding pashnit.com that let you get images like these:




                          Naciomento-Fergusson Rd. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nacimiento-Fergusson_Road


                          Big Creek Bridge

                          Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                          • #15
                            KWTHOM, thanks for the beautiful pictures. Like I said in post #4 I've ridden the PCH 3 times and looking forward to riding it again in the future. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry

                            IBA #57814
                            SaddleSore 1075 Miles in 24 hours (certified)
                            BunBurner 1632 Miles in 36 hours (certified)
                            Prowler #81
                            Double Darksider # 792
                            Alaska 2012 / 2014

                            Comment: (For off-topic replies)

                            Sorry, you are not authorized to view this page

                            Related Topics

                            Collapse

                            Working...
                            X