Saturday, June 13, 2015
LA to Laguna Seca
So I'm, as usual, playing catch-up here. This is the start of my ride last week. First ride on my own since Malcolm and Joe left and I went to NYC for a couple of weeks. Fuck it felt good to be back on my bike and on the West Coast again! Sorry New York but I think our time is done now I've found California.
Anyway I left LA with grey skies above, but they soon gave way to clear blue and increasing heat. It got real hot by the time I got through the hills north of LA on the I5. I was trying to make it most of the way to Palo Alto as I had a meeting there with Lisa, my old MDes supervisor, at Stanford the next morning. So I had a bunch of miles to cover!
I turned onto the 46 off the I5 and headed for Paso Robles. It was good to be off the interstate! These bikes aren't great on that sorta road. The 46 was nice, but I was soon on the 101 headed north. A fast, full on, and windy ride for the next hour or so... until at Greenfield I turned off onto a road Tucker had told me about. A back road to Monterey, the G16 to the Carmel Valley.
This road was beautiful. Stunning even. I hardly saw another car, just twisty old forgotten two-lane blacktop through gorgeous countryside. I started to think this might be the best road of the whole trip? Only problem was it was so twisty it was taking a lotta time to cover much ground. I could tell I wasn't gonna get that close to Palo Alto tonight!
Before I'd left Tucker had suggested camping at Laguna Seca, the racetrack I've watched many a Moto GP on. I knew I was close and so thought I might look for it. Little did I know the G16, just past Carmel Valley township, pretty much spits you out at Laguna Seca!
Laguna Seca campground!? WTF? I never would have guessed you could just camp here. There was no racing on when I arrived, although I think there was the next day. I knew I was gonna have to get up super early to get to Palo Alto in time to meet Lisa though, so I didn't get too excited about being able to see any racing. Still it was pretty fucking cool to camp here, and wander around the outskirts of the track. It was cool being there when it was so dead. there was hardly anyone around and it had an 'air' to it, like something was about to happen (which no doubt, I guess, it was). I'd highly recommend stopping and camping here if you're passing this way. They have hot showers too! It costs $35, but that's sorta normal up around here, and hey it still beats a motel.