Joined: Jul 08, 2014 Posts: 884 Location: Vacaville, CA
Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:22 am Post subject: Gravel road fun under beautiful sklies
Thursday's clear air and 64 degree forecast just screamed "go for a ride!" So I jumped on the NX250 and went looking for some favorite gravel roads. I set off intending to just enjoy the ride and not bother with pictures, but soon the gorgeous scenery had me pulling out the camera.
From Pleasants Valley Rd I took 128 around Lake Berryessa, turned off on Berryessa Knoxville Rd and headed north. It was about here, at the north end of the lake, that I decided this ride might be photo-worthy.
And I can never resist trying to capture the magical scenery and roller coaster ride of the remote 20 miles of Berryessa Knoxville beyond the lake. Hint, you gotta ride it to get the full effect. I only saw two pickups the whole way.
Taking Morgan Vly Rd to Lower Lake, I headed up Hwy 53 a few miles to Hwy 20, headed east and turned off on Walker Ridge Rd, 15 miles of fun filled twisty dirt/gravel ridge top with spectacular views in all directions.
After winding my way to the ridge top I stopped to gape at the cloud formations that seemed to be competing with the landscape for my attention.
Looking east, the Sutter Buttes poked up from the valley floor in the distance.
A bit further along I stopped for lunch and got a spectacular view to the east of the sunlit floor of Bear Valley and the convoluted hills beyond, the Sutter Buttes in the far distance and overhead a blanket of puffy clouds . . .
. . . and to the west a view of Indian Valley Reservoir.
My sandwich was good, but the peacefulness and nature's eye candy were priceless.
I continued north along the ridge with Snow Mountain in the distance.
Reaching Brim Rd, I turned right for the corkscrew descent into Bear Valley.
Once on the valley floor I looked back up toward the ridge and had to grab this panorama of the incredible clouds overhead.
I headed south on Bear Valley Rd. I'd not seen a single soul the entire length of Walker Ridge and would only see a single truck in Bear Valley. The beauty, isolation and great riding had me feeling giddy, but greedy for more as I scooted along the valley's gravel path.
I can never resist stopping at a bridge to capture the reflections in Bear Creek. This time the clouds added another element to the reflections.
Reaching Hwy 16 I headed south for a twisty canyon ride back toward home.
Back on rural back roads, with the afternoon sun getting low I was like the horse that goes faster the closer he gets to the barn as I zipped on home to my sweetie and happy hour.
Nearing home, the rising moon and sunset colored clouds added one more dose of beauty to the day. Life is good.
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