San Diego to Banff, Alberta and back - Page 2 - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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A little about my riding gear. I've become a layers guy. Living in San Diego County means that most of the time I don't need to keep warm. In fact, if I head east during most of the year I'm really interested in trying to keep cool. Therefore, my riding jacket and pants are mesh with the appropriate armor. When it gets way down into the 60's (wink, wink) I'll put on a light weight puffy down jacket under the riding jacket and jeans under the pants. For 50's and high 40's I will probably stop and put on my rain jacket and pants as windbreakers. Much colder that that and I'm going to wait for the sun to get a little higher in the sky. Have another cup of coffee by the campfire.

One we started our ride down the Oregon coast at Lincoln City I found that I needed all my gear. It was in the upper 50's but very damp and seemed to penetrate to the bones. A glorious ride however. I've done that drive many times, but never on two wheels. And as you all know, two wheels is just so much better to see the world. After leaving Cliff's house we made a late breakfast stop in Otis. The Otis Cafe is legendary for its hearty breakfasts and great atmosphere. There is almost always a wait to get seated in the little place, and they don't take your name of give you a pager. You stand outside on the porch and ask the others who is the last in line, and then you are it until the next group comes along.

As we made our way down the coast we could see that the storm had passed but the waters were still showing the effects. A large swell had produced lots of standing foam and the air was full of mist. As an old surfer it was hard for me to keep my eye on the road. I didn't see anybody out at the usual spots, although I did see a few boards on the top of cars that we passed. Too cold for my blood these days. I'm spoiled living half the year in SD and the other half down near Cabo.

So after driving most of the coastline we settled in to a little roadside campground at Humbug Mountain. It's a beautiful spot in the giant trees near a pretty little beach. We got camp all set up and Bob decided to go the 5 miles back up to Port Orford for the cooked chicken he saw in the market there when we stopped. He soon brought it back to camp and I had the fire going. We tore into that chicken like cave men. Rotisserie chicken and whisky for dinner around the campfire, how can you beat that? We fell asleep to the sound of the babbling brook next to our camp, and woke in the middle of the night to the logging trucks whizzing buy on the road just across the creek. Oh well, sometimes you pay to play.

In the morning we packed up and headed down the Oregon coast some more until at last we crossed back into California. I've always enjoyed this drive down through the coastal redwoods on 101, and this time was even better of course on the Burgman. This is world class touring indeed. It was still pretty cold along the coast for us wimps, but we toughed it out and were rewarded with fabulous views on all sides as well as up into the tree canopy. We had hoped that it would get warmer as we turned away from the coast but it was still a bit chilly the other side of the coastal range. So when we got to Ukiah and found that the RV park would not allow tents, we were both happily disappointed and got a motel room. A good hot shower and pizza delivered to the room and all was good with the world.

to be continued.....
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Bob had been growing weary of adjusting his chain on the Ducati every 400 miles or so, so he called the dealer and they advised a new chain. That he was able to get installed at the Honda dealer two doors down from our Motel in Ukiah. That was pretty handy, and we were back on the road before noon. Our late start was no problema since we had a short day planned. We blazed on down the 101, Bob much happier now and a little lighter in the wallet.

The closer we got to the Bay Area the more the road became like home, freeway. Not nearly as much fun as the fine country roads we had been riding most of the trip. We crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge and into The City where we got separated for a while when he went left and I went right. But we got that straightened out and met at The Buena Vista for an Irish coffee to fortify us for the road ahead.

We managed to work our way out of the City right at rush hour so it was a bit of a slog to get down to another friend's house in Morgan Hill. But we made it just in time for a nice dinner our pal Craig put together for us. We only did about 160 miles this day, our shortest of the trip, but it was just as difficult as a longer ride due to traffic. Welcome back to the real world.

The next morning we suited up for what turned out to be a beautiful ride down Highway 1 through Big Sur. Again, this was not a new trip for me but first time on a bike. And we really did enjoy our day. Southbound is the way to go with the wind at your back and the views over your right-hand side. We thought we were pretty macho having gone all this way on our motos, until we met a couple our age (60's) on bicycles at Ragged Point where we stopped for lunch. They had ridden the entire coast of Washington, Oregon and northern California and were headed to San Diego. Impressive.

We ended that day's ride at San Simeon campground where Bob had stayed before. He remembered the green rolling hills overlooking the ocean. The ocean was still there and so were the hills. The green, not so much. The place was drier than a popcorn fart. Crispy might better describe that state of the flora. California's drought is very evident in this area. We stopped to camp anyway since coastal campgrounds south of here must be reserved six months in advance. It turned out to be a great evening and we met some fine camping neighbors due to Bob's quest for cocktail ice. Well done Bob!

Sometimes however, in campgrounds near urban areas such as this you get unlucky. On the other side of us was a group of jerks that would not quiet down late into the night. They were up smoking and drinking and laughing HAR HAR HAR until after 2 AM. We just put in our earplugs and tried to sleep but to no avail until at last they turned in. I learned long ago not to confront idiots like this as they are younger, stronger and stupider than me and who knows how they might react. But I did have a few parting words for them the next morning, which probably just rolled off their backs, but made me feel better.

And then it was almost over. All we had left was the commute home. Down to Santa Barbara was nice and then we were back on the freeways of southern Cal just wanting to get home. Bob took his turnoff as we got to San Clemente and I immediately hit stop and go traffic all the way home to Carlsbad. I guess the one good thing about being back is the ability to split lanes. I was totally focused, mirrors-in the last 20 miles. The best vision of the whole tip was that of my sweetheart as she greeted me at the door.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 11:18 PM
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Muy Bueno! I wonder how it is possible to enjoy the fabulous scenery without riding off a cliff. As you are watching the ocean to your right, for instance, as a left curve comes up.

Now if there was just a way to remember all the great dining spots you recommended for such time as I might be out that way ...

Muchas gracias, El Jefe, for sharing your trip.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 01:07 AM
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I will be doing this trip next summer so this is a good posting for me to read. My start point is a bit closer but I will still have 9 to 11 days to play. Thanks El Jefe!

"Never mount a passenger car tire on a motorcycle rim; the flat profile of a car tire is incompatible ....." TOTALLY HOG WASH!!!

SSG/E6 Retired US ARMY Signal Corp. 9th Signal Bn, Forward.



160,000 miles on a CAR TIRE/DARKSIDE.

On a Achilles ATR-K Economist 155/65 HR 14,
Prior GT Radial Champiro VP1 185/60 HR 14, Potenza RE92 165/65 SR 14 and 155/65 HR 14 Formosa D2

***TRAVEL STOP*** Camp, tools, Wifi,.....
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 10:56 PM
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I have done this drive through CA in fact leaving to June lake tomorrow at 1pm, I can tell you that is a great ride!

What a great read!


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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 12:01 AM
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Winter is creeping up on us up here so I will not be taking a mountain pass road anytime soon. A few of out ski resorts have gotten 2 to 3 inches of snow already.

"Never mount a passenger car tire on a motorcycle rim; the flat profile of a car tire is incompatible ....." TOTALLY HOG WASH!!!

SSG/E6 Retired US ARMY Signal Corp. 9th Signal Bn, Forward.



160,000 miles on a CAR TIRE/DARKSIDE.

On a Achilles ATR-K Economist 155/65 HR 14,
Prior GT Radial Champiro VP1 185/60 HR 14, Potenza RE92 165/65 SR 14 and 155/65 HR 14 Formosa D2

***TRAVEL STOP*** Camp, tools, Wifi,.....
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 06:29 AM
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Congrats on a great and safe trip. Do you ride the Burg to Cabo, too?
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by westnash View Post
Congrats on a great and safe trip. Do you ride the Burg to Cabo, too?
Thanks! Haven't ridden to Cabo yet, but I will. It just seems that I always have some kind of gear or supplies to haul, surfboards, tools, provisions from Trader Joe's or something. But as time goes by we are better and better set up to travel light. I'm flying down Wednesday for a quickie to "pet the house," take down storm panels and air it all out. And had I not just made a big trip I could have ridden. Maybe next time. The last 5 miles on dirt to my house would be interesting.

And thanks to everyone else for the nice comments. It was fun to write this all down and recollect on a great ride. Now I know I can go wherever I want on pavement.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 03:17 PM
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Sounds good....find me a deal on a long term room rental and I will ride mine down too! It is a "dependable" 2006 so if it goes down I will just junk it!
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by El Jefe View Post
Just returned home from an 18 day trip from San Diego county to Canada and back...All this time the Burgman is running flawlessly. I love it more every day.

Next installment, onwards to Canada!
Sounds like an incredible trip people and all!
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