Trip Planning: Northern California – Can You Help?

Kenny decided he wanted to go back to northern California to do some motorcycle riding. As a good girlfriend, I obliged him and agreed to go along. My arm was killing me from all of the twisting but whattayagonnado? 😉

Though we are pretty loose when it comes to planning a route, I do like to leave with some semblance of ideas cobbled together. One of my biggest fears is always that I’ll “miss something” – who knows if I will ever pass that way again?

If I don’t know about it – how can I miss it?

Stop trying to be logical. In my deluded mind, I often operate with the idea that one day I will find out about what I missed and spiral into a fit of madness. Hey, it could happen!

What do I know so far?

  • Fly to San Francisco
  • Hang out in town for a day
  • Hop on rented Triumph 1050 Tiger and hit the road for a week

So that leads me to where I am this week: Figuring out what I’m going to do.

Things I Need: Road ideas, maps, to pack more efficiently.

In a new planning tactic, I thought I might let my dog choose the spots we should visit. Between you and me – she isn’t very helpful.

My dog - the intrepid explorer

I don't see the road of bones on this map.

Travel Book: Moon Travel Guides –  Northern California

Over the weekend, I stopped in to Borders to see if they had any travel books or maps left in their going out of business sale. As luck would have it, I got what as far as I could tell was the ONLY Northern California book in the store. I prefer Lonely Planet books, but this one by Moon isn’t so bad. At 40% off, it’s even better.

I have already gleaned a little tip out of it. There is an inn on the Lost Coast that I would like to stay at. If we do find ourselves sitting on the balcony of our room watching the sun go down on over the Pacific, this book will have paid for itself in spades.

Help a Girl Out

So, darlings – If you have any northern California roads, parks, roadside weirdness, lunch spots, vistas, off the beaten path places, amazing experiences you’d like to share – I’m all ears!

Hell, even if you want to share a link to your photos or blog about California, whatever...  go for it in the comments.

From the Archives: Our Trip to California – 2008

· California Dreamin: Hello, San Francisco
· California Dreaming: San Francisco to San Luis Obispo
· California Dreaming: San Luis Obispo to Bakersfield
· California Dreaming: Bakersfield to North Fork
· California Dreaming: North Fork to Lee Vining
· California Dreaming: Lee Vining to Klamath Falls, Oregon
· California Dreaming: Klamath Falls, Or. to Crescent City, Ca.
· California Dreaming: Crescent City to Mount Shasta City
· California Dreaming: Mount Shasta City to Willits
· California Dreaming: Willits to San Francisco
· California: Caution – Bear Crossing
· Remembering California: The Sundial Bridge
· Memory Lane: California’s Point Arena Lighthouse
· Remembering California: Discovering the Jewel that is California’s Lost Coast
· Remembering California: Serendipity Strikes Outside of Redding
· Memory Lane: Stopping by the Rock Store – California
· Memory Lane: Visiting Bodie, California an American Ghost Town
With that, I leave you with the soothing sounds of LL Cool J:


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

You may also like...

20 Responses

  1. (In my Napoleon Dynamite voice) LUCK-EEEE! I was stationed in Sacramento ’85 – ’90. As you know, there is so much to see in NorCal. I didn’t even come close to seeing more than a fraction of all the awesome places. Off the top of my head, areas I enjoyed out there (no big surprises) include: the wine country, Yosemite, Gold Rush country, Lassen Volcanic N.P., Mt. Shasta area, Nevada City, Lake Tahoe, and US 1.

    • Fuzzygalore says:

      Thanks, Doug-

      I’m thinking that no matter what we choose to do with our time, even if it is to see things we’ve seen before, it’ll still be an awesome time.

      I was thinking about adding Lake Tahoe and Lassen to the mix of places to pass through. I’ve never heard of Nevada City. I”ll have to look that one up. Thank you 🙂

  2. Arc says:

    Ahhh Fuzz your going to love it! I did the exact same thing last year on a Tiger 1050. Get the Orange one from Dubblju and you’ll have some good luck as I’ve already blessed it with some good travels.

    Def the Lost Coast. It’s amazing and the black sand makes you feel like you on another planet. I just sat and starred for i don’t know how long.

    Stay in Arcada the hippy town in Mendocino County and go see a Reggae show at the local club, get a burrito too at the place diagonally across the square from the hotel, forgot the name. It’s an experience that place.

    Mt Shasta and Mt Shasta Lake, don’t forget the lake. If you plan ahead you get a pass ahead of time to cross the Damn at Shasta. I missed out on that.

    North to Eureka from Shasta to Rt 3 or 96. Both are the best roads I’ve been on.

    I’m OMGing right now I could go on forever I had so much fun there. You will wan to move there.

    Oh and get Oysters in Reyes Park when you fist leave SF and take RT 1 for as long as possible. I can’t stop typing! email me if you want more.

    Oh and the Biggest Todem Pole in the world is there!

    • Fuzzygalore says:

      Now that’s what i’m talkin’ about 🙂
      Thanks for taking the time to make all of those suggestions, Dan!

      Were the sidebags standard on the Tiger or did you have to request them?

      3 & 96… going on the list!

  3. GLantern says:

    Route 36,I haven’t ridden it but anything with a sign that shows 140miles of curves is on the top of my to do list.

    • Fuzzygalore says:

      Ben- i wish you were coming along. You’d have such a great time. (::whispers:: there is still time 😉 )
      You would love 36. LOVE it.

      It’s on the to-do list. thank you 🙂

      • GLantern says:

        Haha don’t tempt me you know I would love to go. I might never come back if I did!! Just not enough time this year but hey let’s see how next year goes. I won’t be half as busy!

  4. Crudmop says:

    36 was my favorite rd – and one we will definitely be doing end to end again.

    It’s tough as while we did all those Arc last time and they were all great, we don’t want to do the same trip again – but some are worth doing again and again – but we want to venture to new territory too – but don’t want to miss some of those… See where this is going? 🙂

    • Arc says:

      Hmmmm, well instead of head north up the coast as your senses tell you you could head east first and take a trip to Tahoe. Plenty of ways to get there that look great but I’d go with rt 4 as it looks to challenge 36. Somehow hit 49.

      Or you could go to 36 and 3 and just do circles for days.

      • Fuzzygalore says:

        Looks like we’re going to have to make some loops in that general area 🙂
        Once I start highlighting these suggestion on my paper map, hopefully the route will make itself known.

        Keep ’em coming, Dan!

    • GLantern says:

      Good, please gopro it so i can live vicariously.

  5. Jess says:

    too bad I don’t still have the 1200 BMW, you coulda just borrowed that! Drat! I do have a 650 gs if ya’ll want to fly into PDX instead! I haven’t explored California (which seems a shame since I’m right here in Portland, OR) but I did go through the Truckee Wilderness on my way to Nevada once, and it was beautiful! Have fun! I’m jealous!

  6. Crudmop says:

    I think Arc forgot we gave him a bunch of those suggestions before he went on his trip 🙂

    Arc – we are grabbing 2 tigers this time round, versus the r1150s we had last time. How are the sidebags as far as storage space is concerned? What could you fit in them? I’m bringing along our givi box for additional space as well, but I was curious how much you could get into each sidebag. What kind of mileage were you turning per tank/gallon?

    • Arc says:

      They will provide top boxes on request but not sure if they charge for them. So if you don’t want to schlep your box out there you could go that route. The side packs are huge and for someone like me that usually tours on a monster seemed as though I could camp in there. If you both have side Panniers I don’t think I’d even bother with a top case. Now I think the panniers they give you are very simular to the Givi Top Box, if not the same thing. So seeing you have one you should be able to figure out weather or not you’ll need a third.

      Here’s a pic. Check the Panniers for scrape marks and you’ll know you got the same ones as me 🙂

      And you guys def guided me in a good direction when I went out there so doing my best to return the favor!

      Oh I’m going up to maine and Quebec city monday after the storm, got any good ones for me?

  7. Crudmop says:

    Oh wow – Givi side cases versus the stockers. I was concerned about the storage space in the stock cases, but with those we have no issues 🙂 Thanks Arc!

    What MPG were you turning?

  8. Sounds lovely. I can’t make road/route suggestions. It’s been years since we were there and it was in a car. But I can tell you about this very cool little place we stayed on Route 1 in Anchor Bay, just south of Mendocino.

    It’s this very cute little complex of vintage cottages. With kitchens, a garden you can harvest from, and eggs from their chickens delivered fresh to your door. I can’t guarantee that’s all the same, but it is one of my favorite overnight spots ever. They have their own little beach for tide-pooling, too.

    • Fuzzygalore says:

      Wow, Kathy-
      Those cottages look precious. That must’ve been such a charming and dare i say – romantic – place to spend the night.

      Great tip! Thank you 🙂

  9. Shybiker says:

    You stole my idea! I want to — and will — fly to CA and ride up and down the coast, enjoying the wonderful scenery and sights. Besides, I have friends all along the way to enhance the trip.

    I hope you have fun — and report back to us!

    P.S., Thank you deeply for your support today. Your words helped me a lot.

    • Fuzzygalore says:

      It was the very least i could do <3

      You simply have to take this trip. California is like a motorcycle riding wonderland. The scenery along the coast is so unlike anything here in the east. You just have to see it with your own eyes.

      I hope that you don't put off your "someday" trip too long. You will LOVE it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.