This weekend the BMW Club of Northern CA had our annual election meeting and since I am the Treasurer I figured I had better show up to find out who the new Treasurer would be. Our Tour Captain had planned a great route for us from Fremont (SF Bay Area) to Arnold, CA in the Sierras.
We gathered for breakfast under the cover of fog and then saddled up to head for Tesla road and the central valley
After climbing up and out of the Bay Area it was a short blast down I-5 to locate J-16 for the arduous task of crossing the valley.
We got a little turned around in Patterson and ended up taking J-17 right into downtown Turlock ÔÇô no need to do that again 3
After clearing Turlock we passed through the hamlet of Snelling where we picked up Merced Falls road (J-16) and began the climb into the foothills. Parts of J-16 are under repair and it required the rider to be aware of loose gravel and large mounds and holes in the road ÔÇô just the kind of road where the GS shines. . 132 ends in Coulterville where we crossed that lovely ribbon of asphalt, Highway 49, and aimed for Groveland via Priest-Coulterville Rd. At the top of Priest Grade we gathered for the final ride to Groveland for lunch.
In Groveland a group of us headed for a BBQ stand and another headed for the Mexican joint in town. Those of us that had the BBQ were done before the rest of the group and this is where I left the tour.
After lunch I backtracked on 120 to Deer Flat Road and then to Wards Ferry Road over to Sonora. To call Wards Ferry a road is a bit of a misnomer, in many places the road is barely the width of a car with very steep drops on the side that is not a rock face. I wasnÔÇÖt going to make time but it was a lovely ride.
A view to the road below
Wards Ferry dumps you in to Sonora on Tuolumne rd and I made a bee line for the Golden Arches to grab a cool drink and to test the plumbing. It was running late so I fed the beast and hightailed it over Parrots Ferry Road to Highway 4 east to Big Trees State Park.
Many state parks have become a hassle for the club, nickel and diming us per bike and at one park not even allowing us to hold our meeting. issed. I would like to say Big Trees was not only a great place to camp but the folks there were super nice. $97 for the group site and no hassles seemed like a steal to me. After a great dinner in Arnold where the club elected the new board it was back to the campground for drinking and lying around the campfire.
The mosquitoes were biting and this chap models the latest bug couture.
There was no pictures to protect the innocent but here is what it looked like at about 6:30 AM this morning.
A couple of aspirin and a diet Pepsi later a couple of us headed to Murphy for breakfast. I had the Murphy Omelet which I highly recommend. It has Chili peppers, cheese, salsa, spicy sausage and is covered with sour cream and more salsa. :dg ÔÇô I ate at about 9 hours ago and I am still not hungry.
After our morning repast Scot headed for someplace to check out a fairground for the 49er and I headed back from where I came. Heading back I once again took Parrots Ferry but this time I took Big Hill road up and over to Sonora. Big hill road is spectacular and at the top there is an old sawmill. The sawmill was strategically placed right at the top of a hill that drops straight to the valley floor below. Here are a couple of shots from Big Hill Rd.
From Big Hill I once again rode Wards Ferry to 120 ÔÇô what a great road
While I was taking that picture a guy on a bike was coasting his way to the bottom ÔÇô that must have been a hell of a ride back up.