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Northern California Coastal Hwy

Ely, NV – Back Home again – Day 7

Today we got up earlier than we normally have been getting up. I think we were all eager for home. As fun as these trips are, it is always good to come home to our families and sweethearts (And in Kent’s case, his dog).

mcdonalds After having our showers this morning, and getting packed up, we had breakfast at Mickey D’s (McDonalds). It became one of our favorite stops. Probably not a good thing.

Speaking of McDonalds, did you know that the very first McDonalds opened where I grew up in California? In 1953 Mac (I wonder what food item is named after him) and Dick McDonald opened the first franchised restaurant in Downey, California, right next to Bellflower. I can remember going to this McDonalds when I lived there.


After McDonalds, we set our GPS for “home.” We made pretty good time, reaching home base in about 4 hours.

Looking back on the last 7 days, we had several “first’s” on this trip: Adam’s bike ran out of gas; breathing toxic smoke from Yosemite’s largest forest fire on record, as well as getting up close and personal with the fire; riding on some of the ¬†twistiest roads in the US. (I seriously think we encountered about a 1,000+ curves on this trip. My front tire is proof. It is completely bald on the left side. Must have turned more lefts than rights)

So, as we conclude another journey on our iron horses, the fun of the trip isn’t necessarily in the route or the scenery, it is in the companionship of the guys. We have good times laughing and experiencing the adventure together. I personally appreciate the relationship I have had with my riding buddies. They are fun to be around, as well as safe and cautious in their riding. We’ve never had any accidents or issues due to exceeding our risk limits, except for an occasional tipped-over bike. And I do believe they enjoy having an old guy to keep them in check.

Motorcycle Riding Partners

Motorcycle Riding Buddies






I’ll now close the book on this trip to the Northern California Coast.

…until the next one.

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Posted by Brad Stone - August 28, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Categories: Lake Tahoe, Motorcycle Rides, motorcycle trip, Northern California, Northern California Coastal Hwy, redwood forest, San Francisco, Yosemite Park   Tags:

Yosemite to Ely & Motel 6 – Day 6

After breakfast this morning, we toured the Yosemite Valley (Well, we stopped for a couple of pictures), and then headed east. Exiting the Park, we went over the Tioga Pass. We came just a mountain ridge away from the largest forest fire in California history.

In speaking with a ranger about the cause of the fire, she said it more than likely was not caused by lightening, as there were no clouds in the area when it started. They think it was someone backpacking in the area.

After exiting the Park we hooked up with hwy 6 toward Tonoapah, NV and Ely. We had a few light rain showers along the way. One particular storm had some pretty sizable rain drops that hurt when they hit the body.

We had one stretch of road, from Tonoapah and Ely, that was 172 miles with no gas stations. We didn’t want to experience what the Wild Hogs experienced in running out of gas, so we topped off our gas tanks and kept our speeds around 55 to 60 mph. We all made it with gas to spare.

With thunder storms in the forecast, we decided to check in to a Motel 6 in Ely, because they left the “lights on for us.”

Here are some pictures for today, and maybe even some from other days.

Tomorrow we head for home, like a horse heading for the barn…












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Posted by Brad Stone - August 27, 2013 at 11:54 PM

Categories: motorcycle trip, Northern California, Northern California Coastal Hwy, Yosemite Park   Tags: ,

Oakdale, CA to Yosemite Park – Day 5

We left Oakdale, CA this morning at 9:00 headed for Yosemite Park. We had to take an alternate route which added an additional 100 miles to our route, due to the fire that is only 15% contained. It is now considered the biggest fire in California history, having burned over 150,000 acres.

The fire is north of Yosemite Park, and not considered a threat to the Park. At least, not at this time.

On our way to Yosemite, we passed a large outdoor Aircraft Museum, called the Castle Air Museum. It had over 56 planes on display. Anyway, as we passed it, I looked in my side mirror and saw Mike just drooling. He is a commercial airline pilot, having flown 27 years, for UPS.

So we pulled over and stopped. As we went from plane to plane, I was impressed with his knowledge of each aircraft. As we would approach another plane he was say, “Oh, that is a B23, or a C56.” Then we came to a plane called a Convair RB-36H Peacemaker, and he went ballistic. He was like a kid in a candy factory. He said, “Do you know how rare this plane is?” “This is one of four still in existence.” He spent a lot of time kicking the tires, pounding on the body and just gazing at it. We were finally able to pull him away.

All of us were impressed with the SR-71 Blackbird Jet. Just to give you an idea of how fast this plane is…one flew from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. in 64 minutes, at an altitude of 80,000 feet.

If I can load any pictures tonight, I include a picture of this plane.

We were able to find an open camp site right in Yosemite for the night. It seems there were a lot of cancelations from people concerned with the fire.

At camp we made friends with a couple of chipmonks.

Tomorrow we’ll start making our way home.





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Posted by Brad Stone - August 26, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Categories: motorcycle trip, Northern California Coastal Hwy, Yosemite Park   Tags: ,

West Coast Through San Francisco to Kent’s Mom’s Place

We left our campground in Olema, CA for San Francisco, along historic Hwy 1, across the Golden Gate Bridge socked in with fog and into San Francisco.

The America’s Cup races were taking place yesterday and today. We took some time to watch one of the races.

We then rode our bikes down the steep Lombard Street. I must say we were all a little nervous going down, trying not to tip over the bikes. It was interesting to see all the people taking pictures of these biker dudes riding their bikes down the zig zag road.

We then headed east across the Bay Bridge toward’s Kent’s Mom’s place in Oakdale, CA, as our resting place for the night.

We pulled into Oakdale around 8:00 pm tonight.

Kent’s mom was not home, but left this note on the door. See the note below. It said “Welcome M H A’s” The M H A stood for Mormon Hells Angels. We got a good laugh from that.













Posted by Brad Stone -  at 12:14 AM

Categories: Northern California Coastal Hwy, San Francisco   Tags: , ,

Humboldt Redwoods to Coastal Hwy 1 – Day 3

Today was another long day. Going between hwy 101 to hwy 1, the coastal hwy, we traversed through some more twisty roads. And then once on hwy 1, it was slow, going through a lot of small coastal towns, construction zones and a not-so-straight road, following the contour of the coast.

We did see some beautiful vistas, and filled our lungs with good, clean ocean air.

Going through a giant redwood tree this morning, we met Matt, a young boy from England. He offered to take our picture.


He was very interested in our motorcycles, telling his Mom that when he grows up, he wants a motorcycle.


The giant redwoods were amazing, some trees are over 2,000 years old.


Since I was not able to load any pictures from last night, here are some pics of our camp in Humboldt Redwood Forest. We stayed at the Albee Creek Campground, and woke up this morning to a bear and her cubs.

Here are the pics from last night, as well as the pics from today.













Tomorrow we’ll head into San Francisco. I’m tired, so I will say good night.

Posted by Brad Stone - August 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Categories: Northern California, Northern California Coastal Hwy, redwood forest   Tags: , ,

Lake Tahoe to Humbroldt Redwood Forest – Day 2

We only traveled 363 miles today, but it took us 12 hours to do it. Leaving Lake Tahoe at 9:00 this morning, we arrived at our camp destination at 9:00 tonight. The reason for the long, slow day was due to our route. We traveled through several mountain ranges in Northern California, with roads that were very twisty and narrow. So our average speed was around 35 mph. But we traveled through some absolutely beautiful countryside. We are now camped in amongst the Giant Redwoods of California. We don’t have very good reception here to upload any pictures, so I’ll upload them tomorrow. It is late, so I’ll sign off tonight and see you tomorrow.

Posted by Brad Stone -  at 12:07 AM

Categories: Lake Tahoe, Northern California, Northern California Coastal Hwy, redwood forest   Tags: ,

Lake Tahoe – Day One


We left this morning at 6:30 and hooked up with I-80 heading west towards California. We hit a little bit of rain as we passed Tooele. Temps were pleasant until crossing the center of Nevada, then it warmed up. As we approached Reno, the skies were filled with smoke coming from a couple of fires around Yosemite. We heard that over 60,000 acres have been burned so far.

Adam’s bike ran out of gas just outside of Lake Tahoe. We were able to siphon some gas from one of the other bikes, and made it to a gas station.

We arrived at the Tahoe State Park Campground at Lake Tahoe around 7:00 pm, having traveled about 600 miles today.









Posted by Brad Stone - August 22, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Categories: Lake Tahoe, Motorcycle Rides, Northern California Coastal Hwy   Tags: ,

Northern California – Redwoods, Coastal Hwy, Yosemite

It’s that time of year again. This year our group is small, but experienced and aged. We will be traveling to Lake Tahoe, the Giant Redwoods of Northern California, Coastal Hwy 1, San Francisco, Yosemite Park and Carson City.

Our route

Our route

Day 1 – Well travel to Lake Tahoe and spend the night, lakeside, at the Tahoe State Park (Reserved). (They have showers, or just dip in the lake) I stayed at this place a few years ago with Barry. The beer is really Barry’s. It is really nice with beauty scenery.

111 008

Brad and Barry – Barry just got out of the State Mental Hospital

Day 2 – We’ll spend the night in the Humboldt Redwood State Park (Reserved), in the midst of the big, giant redwoods. They have showers.


Humboldt Redwood State Park

Day 3 – We’ll hit hwy 1 and follow it down, taking our time stopping and seeing all the sights. That night we’ll stay at the Olema Campground on Hwy 1 (Reserved). This is an RV park with showers. (About 37 miles north of San Francisco. I couldn’t find anything available any closer. I even considered a motel 6, but they are all booked)


Hwy 1 – Coastal Hwy

Day 4 – We’ll go into San Francisco, and do whatever we want to there. We’ll need to stay with our bikes and gear, so can’t stray too far from them. We can discuss this, and how we want to see the sights there. That afternoon/evening we’ll travel over towards Yosemite Park. There is a place called Indian Flat RV Campground, that is close to the Park’s south entrance (I haven’t reserved it yet, flexible). All the camp sites in Yosemite Park are booked. We can decide if we want to spend a day or two days there. I haven’t reserved anything from Day 4 on, thinking we may want some flexibility.


Yosemite National Park

Days 5 – 8 – Flexible on the itinerary. Stay longer in Yosemite; head over to Carson City: Split up our ride home over two nights.

Let me know if you have any questions. Since we are all experienced riders/campers, I didn’t send a packing list. However, if you would like one, I can send it.

Once I have a final on the camp fees, I’ll let you know. Right now I have spent $138 for three reserved nights, so that is averaging about $16 a night a piece.

I will probably do a blog post each night for our families, pending wifi connections. The blog will be located at:

Looking forward to a fun trip!

Posted by Brad Stone - August 18, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Categories: Motorcycle Rides, Northern California, Northern California Coastal Hwy, redwood forest, San Francisco, Yosemite Park   Tags: