Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
ZAMM Fanatic
Joined
·
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There's nothing very nice about Interstate 8 from Phoenix to San Diego. So riding buddy Warren and I decided to get there and back other ways.

The way out we took I-10 to Blythe, cut down to just north of Brawley, then took Banner grade up into Julian. The way back we took 94 to Jacumba, then 98 through Calexico including a stop at what must be one of the world's biggest flea markets. These roads offered a bit of everything.

Passing through Quartzsite then down on 78 from Blythe you pass through endless irrigated fields, and get to stairstep your way through numerous 90 degree turns. A few have 4-way stops, most you can corner. Eventually you end up in some badlands with all sorts of twistys and endless hoop-de-do's that will put you airborne if you're moving fast enough. There's nobody out there but a few agricultural trucks and workers so you can move right along.

You hit Brawley, 10 miles or so of superslab, then head up toward Ocotillo wells headed towards Julian, passing through the Great Sand dunes. LAST time we did this we hit a sandstorm and encountered snowplows keeping the drifts off the road. This time was MUCH more pleasant. All the desert rats with all their toys were out playing, well, at least as many as can go mid-week.

78 takes you the back way up into Julian, a little mountain town where San Diegans go to escape the heat, eat pie, and in general relax. It's limited to trucks under 40' because of the fantastic twisties. The pavement is fantastic too. As we climbed off the desert floor back up to 4000' it cooled down considerably, and both Julian, Ramona and Poway were blanketed with fog and rain. Blech! Amazingly, it cleared off at the beach.

Whupped after a day long ride plus getting hit the night before, we headed for Pacific Beach, a restaurant RIGHT on the beach called "World Famous" and had refreshments and chips and guac before meeting friends for dinner at the Point Loma Seafood market, IMHO the ONLY place in San Diego to eat seafood. It's fresh off the boats and prepared any way you want it.

Home was a guest house with a view of Point Loma owned by some of Warren's relatives. Can't beat that. Hot shower and it was lights out.

Spent the next day running around San Diego, eating Dim Sum, getting a new Iphone battery installed (Huge Iprovement), some new shoes for Warren, couple of $30 hour-long massages, (ahhhh!), and then over to Mona Lisa in Little Italy for a traditional Italian dinner. My oh my!

Wanting absolutely NOT to take Interstate 8 and battle all the wind "up on top" we chose to ride 94 out of downtown San Diego all the way to Jacumba, getting coffee and bagels in perhaps Lemon Grove, then pausing in Calexico. Now THIS is a fun road, endless twisties. A little more traffic than I'd have like, and boy do you ever see your tax dollars at work -- a zillion border patrol guys in F250's. Do they ever get out of the trucks?

Well, we had the sun in our eyes the whole way along 94 which stole a little of the fun, but we were leathered up and the cool morning made for a great ride. After getting forced back onto I-8 east of Jacumba, we jumped BACK off and onto 98 which parallels I-8 through the town of Calexico, on the Mexican border. We stopped at a massive outdoor flea market, had a little lunch, and then headed out 98 till it dumped us again, back onto 8, 30 miles west of Yuma.

We saw 100 or more Border Patrol trucks along 94. They were everywhere.

From there the ride turned incredibly boring, droning along the Interstate at 80mph for hours. Getting back to Phoenix, me via the 303, Warren via the 101 was mere relief, along with a gas stop where I85 connects I8 to I10 between Gila Bend and Buckeye.

"Getting back on the horse" after getting hit was probably a good idea, I was able to relax after getting a few miles in, and who can complain about 2 days in San Diego and great routes both to and from.

Interstates, I have decided, are good for nothing but getting from A to B in rapid fashion. There's no "there, there."

didn't take many photos (sun ahead of us) but I'll look for some stock photos of 94 to post. cheers!
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
23,697 Posts
Try going from Cali on 14 to 138 to 18 to 247 to 62 to 95 to 72 to 60 to 74 to 17 into Phoenix or reverse it. Now that's taking the back roads.

It really isn't as bad as it looks. Just stay on a east or west route in most cases. So what if you take a wrong turn. There's some nice country out there though. It's how the wife and I came to Texas.

We wanted to go the whole way staying off interstates. Still had to now and then though to get from one secondary road to another. We did it without any help from any GPS device. Just normal folding paper maps on top our tank bags that had a clear pocket.

We had CB's so we could agree on what the next road to take should be. It's how we travel all the time. But I have started to use my phone and a GPS type route planner now. As long as I have cell service I'm good but that certainly isn't fail safe.

So I have a off line map I can resort to. But using that I have to stop and look at it and remember the next 3, 4 or 5 turns. It's fun.:)
 

·
ZAMM Fanatic
Joined
·
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Try going from Cali on 14 to 138 to 18 to 247 to 62 to 95 to 72 to 60 to 74 to 17 into Phoenix or reverse it. Now that's taking the back roads.
Ok, so that's the Carefree Highway from the Black Canyon freeway (17) north of Phoenix to Wickenberg (74)

Wickenberg through the major metropolitan area of Bouse to Parker (60)

Parker through Rice to Yucca Valley to 29 Palms (skirting Joshua Tree) to Palm Desert on 62 (I've ridden that, it's beautiful!)

Up the 247/18 to Apple Valley & Victorville (Yep, that's how I got there)

Since I was going the other way I missed the turn at Bouse onto 60 and instead (since it was getting late) headed straight down to Quartzsite. Took forever to see the lights of civilization! I won't make that mistake again!






What I noticed around 29 Palms, on that trip, and all along 94 and 98 yesterday was the large # of older RV's in the desert. Some look "active," many appear abandoned, AS IF a lot of people drive RV's to the desert and either never leave, break down, abandon them, whatever. Most were beside houses, or might have been "towed off" to some fenced lot, they weren't just parked in the boonies. Probably five times the # of RV's I see in non desert areas.

Maybe folks drive an older RV to the desert in the middle of a Wisconsin or Canadian winter, leave in the spring intending to come back but never do.

Maybe some of these folks:

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/24/145645412/down-and-out-escape-to-slab-in-california-desert
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
23,697 Posts
Some of them might have been native American homes. RV's are better than the government housing in many cases. That's what I thought they were anyway.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top