I feel very lucky to live in Northern California. Fairfield itself has few attractions, but the location is outstanding, about halfway between Sacramento and San Francisco. Napa wine country is 20 minutes away, and there's an incredible variety of other places all within a short ride.
It's Sunday morning. Having spent Saturday doing things with the wife, today is mine. Where to? Let's check weather.
Bodega Bay? High of 60, cloudy, fog. Nope.
Lake Tahoe? High of 70, chance of thunderstorms. Better, but...
Sonora? High of 76, sunny. Yeah. To the foothills!
On Google Maps I spend a few minutes mapping a route. It ends up like this:
C on the map is both the starting and ending location. The idea is to take the slab thru Sacramento to keep the time reasonable, and then more scenic roads to Sonora by way of Murphys. I've never been that way before. The ride home through Copperopolis I have done before, and know that it's very pretty. The final jog on highway 12 will be straight and boring.
But first, a run to Starbucks for the wife who has just awakened. These little acts are important marriage maintenance (we'll have 15 years in August). A bonus is a warm engine so I can check the oil level upon returning. Oil is good. Then a quick breakfast, lube the chain, check the tires, gather up my stuff, and off I go.
First pic is where I pulled off onto a side road from Highway 16 after passing Sacramento. 16 is a pleasant two-lane country road (you can see it in the distance). It passes through Rancho Murieta which has many upscale-looking new homes.
Here is a historic landmark area near the town of Jackson.
I stopped in the town of Murphys for lunch, and to walk around for a bit. Lunch was outdoors at this historic hotel.
There was a gaggle of motorcycles parked nearby.
I took these pics from my table while waiting for lunch to arrive.
Lunch was pretty good.
Then a stroll down Main Street.
This little girl gave me a big grin as I put a dollar in her violin case and complimented her playing.
Back at the bike, it's time to move on.
The ride on Parrotts Ferry Road is breathtaking. Here's where I stopped at a bridge crossing a part of New Melones Lake.
This same spot also seems to be a trail head.
I stopped in Sonora only to gas up. No pics... it was not as quaint as Murphys was. After leaving Sonora, I took another bridge pic at Tulloch Lake from Obyrnes Ferry Road. This is also a very scenic route.
Obyrnes Ferry ends at Highway 4, but Google had routed me (with some prodding) straight ahead onto Rock Creek Road. Rock Creek was not a main drag, quite bumpy, not a problem for the Strom. It ends here.
Following the route for a couple more miles and turns, I was suddenly surprised and delighted to find myself on gravel.
But my delight lasted for only three miles.
Sadly, I had to backtrack about 12 miles to return to highway 4. Then went up 99 to Lodi and highway 12. Here are some pics from a couple of weeks earlier, showing some of the windmills along 12.
There are also a couple of drawbridges on this road, one of which I had to wait for.
Well that's it. The end of another Sunday ride in California.