Sunday, December 18, 2011


…in pictures

Dawn over the Olympics – New Years Day.  [If you really have time on your hands, click on any of these pictures and it'll expand.]

January: Butte County’s historic Covered Bridge up there on Butte Creek.

Often pictured from the outside, here’s an additional shot from the inside. Very cool. Very old. And more wooden than even Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner.

Up Butte Creek Canyon, we wind through the county’s pot growing region. Did I say pot growing? I meant historic gold country. (Silly me.) The Beemer rests on the side of old Humbug Road heading up the slope toward Tuttletown.

Not all photographs come from the seat of a motorcycle. This sinister looking old willow is silhouetted against a setting sun beneath the waterline of a drawn-down Folsom Lake. Much to explore on those denuded hill sides.

February: A clear day invited the odd trip to the high country. Here, on State Route 20 east of Nevada City (Nevada County), we view the consequences of hydraulic mining 140 years hence.

March: An extended road trip in order, touring the Gold Country in and around Sonora. This shot finds us in Coulterville (Mariposa County)…

…then out to Monterey and back up the coast on State Route 1. In Santa Cruz, I was introduced to the Moto Guzzi Breva. As I left the Italiano bike shop there, a piece of my heart remained behind.

Up the road a piece, we outran this storm.

April: Back on the coast, practicing foul weather riding in and about the environs of Mendocino County north and east of Elk (nee Greenwood).

A lovely iris up that way, reminds us what spring is all about.

May: Back closer to the ranch, this old barn presents itself in El Dorado County on the road in toward Rattlesnake Bar on the south side of Folsom Lake. Nice State Park camping area out that way. Will it stay open?

June: A road trip finds us crossing Fandango Pass in Lassen County, tracing a portion of the California / Oregon border and again skirting a storm.

Dramatic view of Mount Shasta (Siskiyou County) at the conclusion of a 210-mile day – 120 of which were not paved.

I succumbed, bought a Guzzi, and took her up State Route 49 toward Downieville (Sierra County.) Certainly a most excellent shakedown for the little Italian number.

July: Table Mountain (Butte County) and a visit to the area’s other – unsung – covered bridge. Wonderful wildflowers up this way in early spring (not in July, however) and now, trails are set aside for hiking and viewing. No so, fifty years ago.

August: Duncan Peak Lookout invites a more-frequently-than-annual return. By personal decision, while this road calls, I always simply walk it. Great loop for hiking out of Robinson Flat (Placer County) for wives, kids, dogs, and fat ol’ guys such as myself.

The gentleman in the current tower bore witness that the lookout is not in its original location. He offered directions to the old site which I visited.

Early September: and another trip to the Coast is in order. Riding buddy crosses this historic Sonoma County bridge on his GS. Life does not get much better.

Our loop takes us from the Pacific Coast to the Cascade highland. Here is Mount Shasta as viewed from the old mill in McCloud, CA (Siskiyou County).

Abandoned rail cars are like an adult-sized playground for two restless boys on bikes.  Here's a Maintenance of Way car for the old McCloud River Railway about 100 years short of rusting into oblivion.

Autumn and the California Delta calls, although the Delta affords great riding any time of the year. The Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg (Yolo County) provides cover for several area wineries.

Nearby, a derelict lumberyard and an old oak tree compete for historic significance.

Fall, again, proves a great time to revisit the oft-overlooked areas of the Gold Country. This CCC era suspension bridge is on the old road to Iowa Hill (Placer County.)

Revisiting the stompin’ grounds of my youth, I find myself looking at a fiery black oak just over the hill from Mineral (off State Route 36 in Tehema County.)

Mistakenly I visited the localest of shopping areas in December. To cleanse my soul, I had to seek out this windy country road nearby.


Blast from the past: Circa 1984, I wore myself out after a 600 mile day and bedded down by the side of the road not knowing I would have the security afforded by the Malheur County Sheriff in Oregon. The little airhead was a durable bike as dependable as the sunrise, but the seat may have been engineered by the local pre-cast concrete folks.


Second runner up for shot of the year: An old saddle, perched for who knows how long, on a fence rail out back of the General Store up in rural Adin (Modoc County.)

First runner up: A coach parked on the old McCloud River Railway across from the town’s gracious hotel.

Shot of the year: I love this old hay barn adjacent to Goose Lake (Modoc County.) It speaks to our agricultural heritage, our agricultural future and to simpler times.

2012 breaks and I hope for two things: more adventures and the possibility of meeting you on the road.

Ride with care...

1 comment:

  1. You've really got a nice set of photos going here. I love seeing all the beauty that surrounds us. I believe we are fairly close, since I have ridden and seen many of the same sights. We may have to try to connect this upcoming riding season! Cheers to you and yours and a very Merry Christmas to you.