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This is Why They’re Called Adventure Bikes!

June 5, 2024

Moto Blog

This is Why They’re Called Adventure Bikes!

This is Why They’re Called Adventure Bikes!

Exploring the Carrizo Plain National Monument – Part 2


“Life is short, make every day an adventure.” -Unknown


Greetings and welcome back to what was in retrospect, a truly great day of adventure. The cover photo for this blog was taken at a spot with an epic canyon view that a picture just doesn’t do justice to the way your eyes see it in person.


For Part 1 of this series, I left off with us at the top of a hill in the Carrizo Plain overlooking the yellow bloom covering the plain below. It was around 1 pm that day and we still had a long way to go to complete the route for that day and it was time to keep on pushing forward. We wanted to make a quick stop down in the plain below at Traver Ranch, known as The Old Homestead. The Traver family dry-farmed wheat and barley back in the 1940’s. Today, it’s been made into a rest stop with a sign marquee but unfortunately, the structure itself is fenced off and we were not able to inspect it. After a brief stop, we headed on to the South. It was now time to leave the Carrizo Plain and head down towards Highway 166 and eventually to the Pine Mountain area.

Check Out Part 2 of my Video Diary of this Day!

As we made our way to Highway 166, we came across a couple hundred head of cattle that were being driven Northward by a couple of cowboys on horses. The cows were just walking straight up the road, but they parted and gave way to the three of us guys on adventure motorcycles. It reminded me of something right out of the movie City Slickers and it sure was cool to see something taking place right in front of me that has taken place over hundreds of years, the same way.


Eventually, we made our way from Highway 166 over to Highway 33 inside of the County of San Luis Obispo. The weather was perfect, and we were having such a great time. Erik veered off on a dirt road called Quatal Canyon Road which was inside of the Las Padres National Forest. This road was a connector road up to Road 95 which would take us up to Pine Mountain. Quatal Canyon ended up being such an enjoyable road, complete with some deep sand in parts, washouts, 12” shelf drop-offs, and more whoop-de-doo’s than you could shake a stick at. It started off in a desert landscape complete with patches of wildflowers dotting the adjacent hillsides. As we climbed in elevation up towards the 95, the desert landscape gradually transitioned to a mountainous terrain with Pine trees and the temperatures really started to drop. What an awesome road!

As we turned off on Road 95, we headed up a short way before turning off on a forest service road. Erik wanted to show us a vista lookout that according to him, would be worth the effort; and boy was it ever! What an amazing view this was and not too many like it once you get away from the epic vistas that our national parks offer. It’s a good way to feel small and insignificant in retrospect to our place in the world.


By now it was 5:30 pm, the sun was starting to come down and we knew we had to get moving to make it to Pine Mountain. By now, other than a few snacks, we had not eaten since breakfast, and we were all famished after a long day on the bikes. We made our way back to Road 95 and off we went to the Pine Mountain area. I had never even heard of Pine Mountain and as we pulled in, I knew this was a place I wanted to come back to with Linda. What a quaint little mountain town, complete with a beautiful golf course and what looked like plenty of places to eat, relax, and have fun. I look forward to making it back down there one day to explore the area more thoroughly.


We pulled into the Pine Mountain Pizza Company and let me tell you, after a long day of riding, that was positively one of the best pizzas I’ve had. And the beer that accompanied it wasn’t bad either.

By the time we left, it was almost dark and we had a couple of hours of pavement ahead of us before we finally made it back to Erik’s house which was right at 9 pm. By the time Marty and I made it back to Fresno, midnight. This truly was a day to remember and although very long, I’m so happy I made the effort to go down and explore this area. Not only was it packed full with amazingly beautiful scenery, but I made a new friend in Erik. I’m sure we’ll have many more adventures to come in the future too!


Do you ride? Give me a call and let's meet up!


All my best, 

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