We've had a dry spell but more rain is forecast soon, so a couplke weeks ago I took the little NX250 out for a 230 mile romp that included five wonderful gravel/dirt roads in addition to nice pavement stretches in between.
The skies were disappointingly hazy, plus much of the vegetation looks really shabby this time of year which makes for less than inspiring photos. But this report is all about showing off the wonderful riding these roads offer so here goes.
After riding up Hwy 16 through Capay Valley I turned off at a little bridge for the first taste of dirt, planning to take county road 41/Sand Creek Rd.
Road closed ahead? We'll see about that. It is apparently closed off during wet months, but happily I found the gate open this day. After about a mile of funky pavement, then some gravel, the road turns to rocky dirt.
Time to stop and lower tire pressures.
Winding up the hill was great fun and the summit offered great views south back to Capay Valley.
Heading north down the other side was equally enticing.
After a quick descent the road meanders along a valley floor through wooded sections, then into more open cattle grazing country.
A look back at the valley I just passed through. Good October rains sprouted lots of green grass, but it's struggling to get up above last season's dry feed. But this area will look spectacular in the spring.
After 15 miles the road ends and I took another 15 miles of paved roads through almond orchards back toward the hills to cross Hwy 20 and the start of the next adventure, Leesville Rd.
Leesville is 13 miles of gorgeous riding, about half of it paved.
Up near the summit the contours of the hills and the long fall season shadows of the oak trees lend an amazing impressionist painting look to the view looking south.
I stopped at a favorite overlook to eat my lunch and marvel at the silence and the beauty.
Winding down toward Leesville I turned off on fun dirt road #3
, Huffmaster Rd.
Once over the summit the road zig zags down toward a valley. There are lots of these hairpin turns after each downgrade, I lost track of how many.
Once near the bottom the road levels out, passes through the middle of a cattle ranch and goes on for a few more miles of gravel.
Huffmaster ends at Sites, a point along a paved road between Maxwell and Ladoga. They put up a sign, but never got around to the actual town.
I turned left onto Sites-Ladoga Road, a fun and scenic roadway with a fair share of potholes to keep you alert.
More to come . . .