This past weekend, John and I decided it was time to go for a ride exploring the Ojai Valley by motorcycle. The last few months have been chilly and rainy and we missed our fun outings on that big beamer.
So we packed a couple of overnight bags and since there was a thick marine layer lingering in the early afternoon, we headed up an over the San Marcos Pass looking for sunshine.
As we crested the summit, making our way through the fog it felt like we were riding with the clouds, and I was glad I had bundled up for the ride.
Like with many other trips, our first stop was for a late lunch at Bob’s Well Bread in Los Alamos.
If you are ever traveling to Santa Barbara on South Hwy 101, I highly recommend stopping in for breakfast or lunch.
Biting into our fresh, chewy baguette sandwiches we looked over the map to find the back roads away from the foggy coast to San Louis Obispo. We have driven State Route 227 through Edna Valley in the car before, but on a bike, it is a completely different experience.
The twisty turns through old live oaks and into beautiful farm and ranch country are breathtaking. At the far end of the valley is the old historic town of Edna where we stopped to take a look around.
By the time we left, it was getting late enough in the day and we decided to make our way back to Santa Maria to stay at our favorite Holiday Inn for the night. Even though the hotel is just an hour from our house, our goal was to extend our ride and take the long way home the next day.
The next morning we bundled up and left Santa Maria in dense fog and 56 degrees and headed inland on Hwy 166 in search of warmth and breakfast.
Riding past Twitchell Reservoir through golden hills into the high desert, I was struck by the stark difference between the natural dry landscape and the rows and rows of vines.
My first thought was, “How much water does it take to make wine?”
The vineyards were stunning and by the time we stopped at The Buckhorn for breakfast in New Cuyama, it was warm enough to shed some layers before continuing on into the Ojai Valley.
Taking a right on Hwy 33 the landscape changed from high plains to twisting mountain roads.
Mother Nature had returned in abundance after fire ravished the valley a year and a half ago, and we were greeted with pungent yellow deerweed lining the road. I loved seeing all of the greenery and when we reached the summit, it was nearly 90 degrees, and I was glad I had removed my scarf and extra layers.
I was lost in thought riding pillion and watching the scenery when we rounded a corner, and the temperature dropped by 15 degrees in an instant. It took one more turn to realize why, and we stopped to take photos of the enormous fog bank pushing its way up through the valley.
Luckily, Ojai Deer Lodge wasn’t far away and we stopped to enjoy some music, a bottle of water and some local flavor. This place is popular with riders and on the weekends has a lineup of bikes out front.
Leaving, we bundled back up for the short 50-minute ride back home. As we drove back into the fog I thought about our weekend ride.
We went from fog to sun, cool and damp to warm and dry, and back again to fog. There were many twists and turns along the way and we had to adjust to enjoy the ride.
But we were prepared for whatever the journey might bring and enjoyed our trek through back roads and small towns and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Ojai Valley by motorcycle.
I would never ride a motorcycle without proper equipment and my favorite helmet is my Schuberth helmet.
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