Gold Country

Memorial Day Ride & Q

The group had some interesting toys all ride up.  The most interesting was the set of VW Bugs…

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As a kid I rode in a Honda Pilot (not the SUV) much like this one on the beach.  They are really fun toys!

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The ponies all ready for departure

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The ride plan today was simple: leave the Gold Country, swing into Sacramento, swing into San Francisco and return home.  With a leisurely morning at camp we were all on the road at 11.  Most people were heading to San Jose, a few to the North Bay and I think I was the only one headed to Sacramento.  The new fun (rediscovered) find was none other than Mt Aukum Road!  It even has a cool name.

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I enjoyed Highway 193 so much yesterday, I decided to do it again.

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About halfway up the highway the road crosses one of the forks of the American River.

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It was getting towards lunch so I figured I would stop for food.  The park at Chili Bar had an eight dollar parking fee.  At first I was thinking whatever but the guard let me take pictures for free.  I figured since I was going to eat lunch there anyway I’d cough up the eight bucks.  There was one rafting crew that came by and it looked like a lot of fun!

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As luck would have it my connection in San Francisco could no longer hang out, and my connection in Sacramento wasn’t able to hang out until later in the day anyway.  So I had plenty of time to kill before he needed to be in Sacramento.  I finished rolling up 193 to Highway 49 in Cool.  It took Highway 49 down to Salmon Falls Road.  That was a new one for me.  It’s a pretty fun ride.  Not overly technical, but winds through the foothills and ends near Folsom Lake.

Since I had even more time to kill I decided to take some photos of Folsom Lake.  In the grand scheme of things it’s not that picturesque but it was good enough.  At the West End is Salmon Falls Road is the south side of the lake.  With a little bit of juggling of the maps on the GPS I found my way out to the dam.  With all the heightened security around terrorism, you can no longer parked on or near dams.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any good photos from the dam.  I found one entrance to the lake but they wanted $10 to get in.  After my experience at Don Pedro, $10 to go into Folsom Lake just wasn’t worth it.  With a little more wandering around there was a different entrance to the lake that had a higher vantage point.  The guards were just high school kids so they let me take photos for free :-).

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With only an hour to kill and the temperature warming up I headed for Sacramento.  John was having a Memorial Day barbecue and it was great to be in town to hang with some of the Sacramento motorcycle riders.  A quick shower, a trip to the grocery store, and it was time to fire up the barbecue.

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The daylight was ending… a quick photo with the host and it was time to start singing some Dionne Warwick to see if I knew the way to San Jose.

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Turns out I did: Interstate 80.  I actually like riding Interstate 80.  The highway is so big and so long this is something that’s interesting riding something of that magnitude even if the riding itself is not all that interesting.  Touched down in San Jose was late is expected but I didn’t care.  It’d been six weeks since I had a good ride on a motorcycle and I could’ve ridden all the way to Los Angeles and would’ve still been happy.

Route Map

Categories: Gold Country, Life

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