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Thread: Northern California

  1. #1
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
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    Northern California

    I’ve had the absolute pleasure for over one month (late July thru August) to explore several thousand miles of Northern Californian roads. I’ve got to say this has been some of the most pleasurable & challenging two-handed driving I’ve been blessed to experience in America so far.

    This has been my second summer in a row here. The natural beauty of this area has captivated me. And, if you love switch-back driving through ever-changing driving conditions…This is the place.

    Cali_Coast_004.jpg

    In one day, a driver can haul through a multitude of geographical & temperate zones (desert, flat farmland, foothill, vineyard, river valley, lake, mountain, various types of forest & coastline) on decent to most-excellent roadways. Throughout any given day, temperatures range from 55 F – 105 F (13 C – 41 C) under mostly always picture perfect sunny skies…although partly cloudy & foggy conditions have also been occasionally encountered.

    Cali_Coast_003.jpg

    My center of operations is near the wine-growing region of Napa & Sonoma, containing vineyards as far as the eye can see which produce some of the best wines in the world. I always prefer traveling on back roads if given the chance. Highways, although purposeful, are boring as hell, often under construction or are often traffic-jammed during the summer out here for one reason or another (especially anywhere near San Francisco…no one except me was smiling at Stinson Beach…those poor bast*rds!) & are thereby avoided unless necessary.

    My driving region has run west to the Pacific Ocean, East to Sacramento, North to Albion & South to San Francisco.

    NoCal.jpg

    For those of you in the know, you’ll recognize these following routes which have received a thoroughly heavy pounding on my behalf.

    121
    128
    29
    116
    1
    175
    20

    Most of these roads require a commitment by the driver to stay focused on the road with two hands on the wheel. Take along a copilot that you trust with your life so you can then also fully admire the abundant natural beauty you are immersed within.

    The adrenaline buzz from driving these roads is heightened by the fact that you can easily DIE if you don’t pay attention. Road shoulders are mostly non-existent. Drop-off cliffs & gulches along highly switch-backed roads are prevalent. Wildlife, bicyclists, a lumber truck, motorhome, gorgeous Mercedes or a choke & puke hippy microbus can materialize behind any corner. Many of these roads traverse wild, lonely, scantly populated areas providing sketchy to nil cell-phone coverage. Make sure you have what you need for traveling & that it is in good order.

    My driving sorties have often run ten hours long; stopping along the way to enjoy local fare or take a better look at whatever interests me (of which there is a lot up here)…or mostly just to see where the hell some road goes to.

    Highly recommended.



    P.S. I’ll add some pics later, but a mixed case of Alexander Valley vino is currently blocking my way…and some of those pesky Cali vino-vamps!
    Last edited by DerFuror; 02-12-2016 at 10:24 AM. Reason: pics
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  2. #2
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    gerryvz's Avatar
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    Re: Northern California

    Niiiice, Derf.

    You should expand northward to Mendocino on the coast, up to Humboldt County and then up toward the Oregon border into the Siskiyou Mountains. The driving, even on I-5, through the Siskiyous (say from Grants Pass, OR through about Lake Shasta, CA) is wonderful and entirely scenic.

    The absolute BEST way to experience this NorCal country, is not even driving on roads though. Rather, it's best to experience it this way, or like this. Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures



    Cheers,
    Gerry

  3. #3
    E500E Guru sheward's Avatar
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    Re: Northern California

    DerFuror, This post has me wanting for some kind of road trip to some new roadways. Were you driving your magic carpet or a rental?

    Gerry, That looks like a lot of fun. Great pictures. I'll put that on my bucket list.

    drew
    Drew
    92 500e 58,500 miles
    92 500e 180,000+ miles
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  4. #4
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
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    Re: Northern California

    Although I've sweet-talked my way into a few sportscar rides, the majority of the time I've spent driving a new Nissan Pathfinder rental (in 040 black). Quite pleased with it.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  5. #5
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    gerryvz's Avatar
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    Re: Northern California

    Oh! I thought you were driving your 500E and wewe on a big-league road trip.

    Enjoy the PRC!

    Cheers from the Raffles Hotel, central Singapore
    Gerry

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 4

  6. #6
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    Re: Northern California

    When I lived in S.F., one of my favorite drives was through Muir Woods (and through the fog no less) on the way to the beach, talk about two hands on the wheel.




  7. #7
    Senior Member Rudy's Avatar
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    Re: Northern California

    had a great time there,too when in the BayArea from 2005 - 2009
    and a very enjoyable part was the "First Sunday Drive" from the MB Club.
    It took me to back roads I would never have driven or found.
    Every month another member suggestes a trip and it ended with a nice lunch.
    A couple of times a couple from Sacramento joined us with their Maybach.
    Really miss those events.

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