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Map Northern California Trip 2019

11 days
3352 km / 2095 miles

Map Northern California Trip 2019

Because of a business trip to Japan, we couldn't take our motorcycle trip at our usual time of year. Jayne had suggested touring Northern California - the parts we hadn't already seen - and Southwest Oregon, which we knew nothing about. We were very worried about the weather this late in September, but it worked out surprisingly well. It's just very important to be flexible in your planning while you are on the road.
So it was past mid Septemer 2019 when Jayne and I started on our northern California motorcycle trip.
This trips didn't really have many highlights in terms of planned points to see. It rather was a trip to experience and ride the northern Californian landscape and ride the  mostly winding roads over hills and through valleys. We didn't have a planned route either, so we looked at the map each night and picked a road that looked jagged and therefore likely to be curvy.

We rode from Portland, Oregon south to Grants Pass, Oregon on Interstate 5, in the pouring rain. It made a miserable day of interstate riding even worse. After a morning rain it cleared up the next day and stayed dry for the rest of the trip. We had some cold nights on the mountains and some hot days in the valleys. A little bit of everything, just how we like it.

Images on the left show our entire route (upper image) and our route in northern California (lower image).

The best time for such a trip is probably not late September, but we were lmostly lucky with the weather. Late spring and early fall are usually the best times.

The road conditions are generally good. Some of the small side rods were pot holed, but it wasn't too bad.

In terms of safety wild animals and wildfires are probably the greatest thread (besides other drivers). Not only bears can be dangerous, but mountain lions and even racoons can be dangerous. We always left our food in locked aluminum panniers when camping. In regards to wildfires it is advisable to ask at ranger stations about current conditions and expected fire direction. There are also many phone apps out there to show wildfires, but cell coverage in the middle of nowhere is spotty at best.
Some people in the remote areas want to stay away from other people and may be armed. If you respect "No Tresspassing" signs you should be OK.
Oregon Highway 22
The night before we left we last-minute booked a Camping Yurt just past Grants Pass, OR for our first night, as the forecast showed pouring rain all day and night. We had always wanted to stay in a Yurt, so this was a good option for not getting the tent wet the first night out.
The Yurt was surprisingly big, comfy and the electric heater kept it nice and warm.
View of Mt. Washington
Oregon highway 27
From Ashland, OR we took the State Road 66 east, which is a very nice, winding mountain road. It had stopped raining which made the ride even more pleasant. Crooked River Highway
Motorcycle camping at Palisades Campground
In Keno we took Hwy 97 south. It threatened to rain and it rained all around us but only hit us for a few minutes.

I had wanted to see Mt. Shasta from Weeds, but it was hidden behind low clouds.
Crooked River
Hwy 27 / Crooked River Highway
We continued east and then south on state road 89, which is the Volcanic Lagacy Scenic Byway.

We stopped to see the McArthur Burney Falls.
It's a state park, but they charged only for one vehicle. We would have turned around otherwise.
Hwy 27 / Crooked River Highway, Gravel

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