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Great Roads West

Riding the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway in Northern California

State of Jefferson Scenic Byway

If you have traveled Interstate 5 between Oregon and California, you’ve probably seen one end of the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway. Eleven miles south of the Oregon-California border, I-5 drops into a wide valley where the Interstate crosses the Klamath River. As I-5 climbs out of the valley heading south, you can catch glimpses of a twisty two-lane road following ...

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Unexpected Serenity in Southern California

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Is there any scenic countryside left for motorcyclists in the urban sprawl of Southern California? Actually there is, and it’s surprisingly close to the densely populated areas of San Diego County and amazingly diverse in climate, altitude and scenery. Starting off early on a weekday from my house in Escondido, 30 miles north of San Diego, it’s a quick jump onto ...

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Overland Adventure to the Overland Expo

Schnebly Hill Road is not for the faint of heart or those with limited experience with big bikes off-road. It does, however, offer some of the best views of Sedona. Because of this, it can be crowded with tourists in Jeeps, so it’s best to take it slow and easy, and take plenty of breaks for water and photos!

There was a time not too long ago when I looked at riders on massive “adventure” bikes, loaded down with what appeared to be roughly a ton of hard luggage (usually covered in stickers), camping chairs, sleeping bags and enough bolt-on crash protection to mount three sets of auxiliary lights, and I just…didn’t…get it. My idea of riding off-road was ...

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Twisty Roads and Redwoods in Northern California

Route 36 through the coastal mountains. (Photos by the author)

On a warm summer morning, my wife and I departed on a four-day trip that would take us on some of the finest motorcycle roads in Northern California, most notably State Route 36 with its 140 miles of continuous twists and turns. Riding north from Sonoma County on U.S. Route 101 to its junction with State Route 128, we followed the ...

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Riding to the Grand Canyon During National Park Week

Standing on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, trying to take it all in.

In Northern Arizona, mid-April spells the beginning of the thaw of the snowpack in mountains, and the corresponding bloom of the hardiest of wild flowers below. It is also the time when early-season motorcyclists begin taking to the open road. This year, my first extended ride of the season is a spectacular roll along the South Rim of the Grand ...

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Back to Alaska—A 40th Anniversary Ride

Subject David Anderson's Indian Collection 11.13.2011.No Usage Rights Of Any Kind Granted Without Written Authorization from John R. Boehm

Mosquito hordes clustered around me as I sat on my Suzuki Water Buffalo contemplating how to extricate myself from the damnable predicament I found myself in. I’d committed the cardinal sin of removing my eyes from the gravel roadway boring through the Yukon wilderness. The front wheel had entered a rut and pulled me down a broken embankment into a ...

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Riding a Quasi-Antique Classic in Arizona and New Mexico

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Ancient Native American shadows and echoes are scattered across central and northeast Arizona. Cruising this region, Carol, my wife, and I are exploring the remains of the ancient pueblos and cliff dwellings. The Anasazi, Sinagua and Ancestral Puebloans settled here, prospered and disappeared, leaving only hints of their existence. To maintain the historical ambiance of the journey, we are riding ...

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Circling the Sierra: A Three-State Ride Around Snow-Covered Mountains

Circling the Sierra: A Three-State Ride Around Snow-Covered Mountains

Itching for a Northern California adventure, my longtime riding partner, Patrick, and I mull over the possibilities. It’s too early in the season for the Sierra Nevada, which are still covered in serious white stuff. How about skirting serious elevation by heading east into Nevada, then north into Southern Oregon and taking a coastal path home? We leave Los Angeles ...

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