On Thursday afternoon, I began to plan our next weekend adventure. The two options were either heading down south to Pinnacles National Park or east to Yosemite. The weather was going to be partly cloudy with no rain for both locations, so we decided to head East toward the mountains (I’m saving the Pinnacles trip for a moto-camping adventure in the summer).
We left a little later than I had hoped, near 3:30pm, and took the scenic route through Livermore’s Tesla Road out into the East Bay. We rode through Modesto on Highway 132E, and through the vineyards of La Grange. Once in Yosemite’s gold country, the sun was starting to set as we headed north on Priest Coulterville Road. This would have been a great road to ride had it not been dark because there were many twists and turns, and a few unexpected switchbacks. It felt like we were the only ones on the road, and I started to feel spooked by the time darkness settled. We continued on Highway 120 E and made it just after sunset to the Groveland Hotel.
I was debating stopping to eat dinner near Modesto but we decided to wait until we arrived in Groveland. On the way up, I thought we would have to eat snacks from a liquor store for dinner because many of the stores and restaurants were closed. Luckily for us there was a restaurant open right next to our hotel, the Iron Door Saloon.
The Iron Door Saloon is the oldest liquor-serving establishment in California – aka the oldest bar in the state! The food was decent, but the decorations on the walls and ceilings, along with the live music makes this place worth visiting again.
Overall, the hotel and town seems like a place many people spend the night either on their way to or from Yosemite.
On the return trip, we decided to stop in Jamestown for gas and to explore (Our past trip in Sonora). The road to Jamestown started off a bit frightening, as I despise steep downhill slopes. We rode Old Priest Grade down to Highway 120 and then Highway 49 into Jamestown.
It started to feel warm so we fueled up and headed west on Highway 108.
We stopped at Two Mile Bar Recreation Area, where you can kayak and raft on the Stanislaus River.
We also stopped at the Knights Ferry covered bridge.
In Oakdale, and unbeknownst to me, we rode through an area with bee farms and 3-4 bees flew up my jacket and stung my arm.
We fueled up in Oakdale after riding through more vineyards and farms, and decided to take the Highway into Livermore for an early dinner. Then we took the normal route through Sunol back home.
After these passed few trips, we got home with just enough time to wash the bikes.
Another rain storm is headed towards the Bay Area, and I’ll be in Los Angeles next weekend, so I’m going to get a nice break from riding.