Friday, 17 July 2009

Our itinerary Days 9-15

Day 9 - Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes (350 miles)
From Las Vegas we head west and our ride takes us across Death Valley, the hottest place on Earth! It's almost entirely devoid of shade and its sculpted rock layers form deeply shadowed, eroded crevices at the foot of sharply silhouetted hills, their exotic mineral content turning ancient mudflats into rainbows of sunlit iridescence. After an early lunch at Furnace Creek Ranch we ride a series of mountain curves, descending hundreds of feet below sea level and find ourselves in the basin of Death Valley. At 86m below sea level Badwater is the lowest geographical point in the US. We continue west and ride along Sequoia National Park up to Mammoth lakes.

Day 10 - Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite (150 miles)
Leaving Mammoth Lakes we continue our trip a little further north and then take the infamous Tioga Pass to cross Yosemite National Park. Riding through winding granite canyons and muscle flexing turns, the road demands all our attention as we enter the mother of all National Parks. Home to nearly 2,000 varieties of plants and animals, including giant sequoias, Yosemite conjures up thousands of images and raises expectations to dizzying heights and when you are there it is just as beautiful, wild, tame, rich as you'd expect. We ride over to El Portal where we overnight at the Cedar Lodge.

Days 11 & 12 - Yosemite to San Francisco (200 miles)
Today we ride along Yosemite National Park for a while and then head west towards San Francisco. We cross the San Rafael Bridge which takes us into Marin County, an unabashed introduction to Californian self-indulgence; a pleasure zone of conspicuous luxury and abundant natural beauty, with sunshine, sandy beaches, high mountains and thick redwood forests, often ranked the wealthiest county in the US. We ride south to Sausalito where we stop for lunch. Sausalito today is a very refined place that makes you feel as if you might be in the Cote d'Azure, but many years ago it was a hotspot for drunken sailors and bawdy saloons. After lunch we ride over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco, our stop for the next two nights.

Day 13 - San Francisco to Monterey (118 miles)
Today we ride along the rugged coast and get our first taste of one of the best motorcycle rides in the world as we head south on legendary Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) along the Pacific Ocean. Breathtaking views of the coves and inlets of the Pacific offer lots of photo opportunities. Monterey is home to the world famous Laguna Seca Automobile and Motorcycle Reactrack and the spectacular Aquarium of the Sea. We overnight at the Sand Dollar Inn in Monterey.

Day 14 - Monterey to Pismo Beach (152 miles)
We continue our ride on scenic Hwy 1 along the edge of the cliffs of the Big Sur Coast - 90 wild and undeveloped miles of rocky cliffs form a sublime landscape where redwood groves line river canyons and the Santa Lucia Mountains rise out of the blue-green Pacific. Roughly midway along the Big Sur Coast we come to Esalen, which is named for the long gone native tribes who once enjoyed its natural hot spring, situated on a cliff top high above the raging Pacific surf. We cruise past San Simeon (Hearst Castle), Cambria and Morro Bay until we reach the beautiful ocean resort of Pismo Beach where we overnight at the Sand castle Inn.

Day 15 - Pismo Beach to Los Angeles (225 miles)
Today we take Hwy 101 and head towards Los Angeles. At Santa Maria we cut inland to enjoy the great back roads and scenery there. In Santa Barbara we get back on Hwy 101 and cruise straight into Malibu, the infamous beach colony. Twenty miles from here we come to Santa Monica and Venice. Venice Beach is probably the reason most people come to Venice - nowhere else does LA parade itself quite so openly as along the wide pathway of Venice Boardwalk. From here we ride over to Hawthorne, where EagleRider's headquarters are located. Now it's time to return our bikes and transfer back to our hotel for our "Good-bye Dinner".

1 comment:

  1. All the best with the trip Terry from John (your brothers nephew :). Rubber side up!