Well, holy crap, I managed to get behind in my blog. I blame work.
The SF Bay Area was under a heavy storm warning/surf advisory last weekend, so of course I immediately headed over to the coast.
I stopped for some cute little holiday decorations in Woodside on the way:
I took King’s Mountain Road up into the Santa Cruz Mountains, which is always one of my favorite local rodas. When I crested the summit, I kept going straight onto Tunitas Creek Road. Tunitas is a fun dualsport ride in the winter; it’s foggy and misty with rocks and tree branches in the road. Some sections were so covered in damp pine needles that it was hard to see the road.
I really like Tunitas Creek Road. Not surprisingly, I didn’t bump into much oncoming traffic; a couple of locals in pickups, but that was about it.
When I got to the coast, I headed for San Gregorio Beach. The waves were pretty rough and high. If I remember correctly, they had about 20′ crests on Saturday afternoon.
I pulled into the parking lot at San Gregorio Beach and was surprised to see a park ranger on duty in the little “pay here” booth (it’s always empty). The ranger was a sweet old Chinese man, and I tried to explain that I would just do a U-turn in the lot and leave again; I really didn’t want to pay the 5 bucks for a day pass just to photograph the waves.
The ranger, however, had other ideas.
“Oh!” He said, interrupting my explanation, “I like motorcycles!” and the next thing I knew, he had left the ranger booth and was physically climbing onto the back of the GS!
“Well, OK,” I said, because really, what else could I do? “Do you want a ride?” He did, in fact, want a ride. So he held onto his little park ranger hat, wrapped his arms around me, and we did a lap of the large parking lot. “Hold on!” I told him as we turned into a straightaway, and he squealed happily when I cranked it up to about 20mph.
Back at the ranger booth, a couple who’d been watching this entire adventure took my camera and got a picture of my new buddy and me. After I’d parked the GS and took off my gloves, the ranger saw my engagement ring and said sadly, “Oh, you have boyfriend.” Sorry, Mr Park Ranger!
I took some photos further down the coast where the waves were even more nuts. It had been raining off and on, too, so I got to splash through some nice mudpuddles in the beach parking lots (which are mostly dirt/gravel to begin with). Fun stuff.
The way back was a nice route inland via Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Gazos Creek Road, Cloverdale, Pescadero, and Alpine Road. Overall, a great ride of just about 100 miles.