California is arguably one of the most desirable places in the entire world to live. Often the Californian will crow, “Where else can you snow-ski and water-ski in the same day?” Although quite a trick even in California, it is not an idle boast. It can be done. However, the more day-to-day manifestations of our mild climate are far more impressive. Today, New Years Day, we managed and absolutely balmy, sunny, 67 degrees in the Sacramento area.
A winter storm passed through about a week ago. It was cold, rainy and windy. The stormed dumped a couple of feet of new snow in the Sierras, just a short drive to the east. It was the second storm to come in rapid succession. Around here, they say the “storm door” is open. However, the past two or three days have been dry and today the wind was insignificant; the sun’s warmth burned off the fog and won the day.
It was a perfect day for a ride! After ringing in the New Year last night, coming home at about 1 a.m. only to write for two more hours, I didn’t think I’d be up for it. Apparently my “Harley sense” knew better. I was up at 8 a.m., getting the bike ready and my camera gear packed. It looked cold and the fog appeared persistent, but I knew that we would at least be riding up above the fog - and I can dress for the cold.
I met my friends, Art and Steve, at Art’s house and we rode to meet the rest of the Sacramento contingent at California Burgers in Roseville. From there we rode up Interstate 80 to Starbucks in Auburn where we met up with our Auburn friends, some more from Sacramento, and the Grass Valley posse. By the time we had all gathered, there were about fifty of us – a thundering herd of American Iron… pure V-Twin power. The fog was gone and the chill had subsided. Our route was a short one, but scenic and serene as could be.
We headed south on Route 49, across the North Fork of the American River and up the other side of the canyon. Turning right on Salmon Falls Road, we made the final 20 miles of the ride on a two-lane, winding, mountain road - across the South Fork of the American River and into Old Folsom. We filled the parking lot at Hacienda’s where we ate lunch while basking in the sun’s warmth on the deck, watching the world go by. By the time lunch was over, we were shedding layers before heading our separate ways – some up to Placerville for coffee before heading back to points north, and home. Others went back toward Sacramento to whatever activities they had planned for the rest of their day.
I was among those headed for our Sacramento homes – for I did indeed have a plan for the rest of the afternoon. After making the two-mile or so ride from Folsom, back across the American River (below the Folsom Dam, all forks now converged) to my home in Fair Oaks, I parked my bike in front of my house (usually it goes right into the garage) and stripped off various leather components as I made my way to the couch. Remote in hand, head on the armrest, I proceeded to take a much-deserved nap – there was nothing else to do.