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Old 07-20-2017, 01:54 PM   #1
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Riding Bartlett Springs Road

Yesterday the heat finally abated a bit so I took the little NX250 out to explore Bartlett Springs Rd. between Bear Valley and Clear Lake. I've ridden other area roads but this was my first taste of Bartlett Springs. It will not be my last!

Link to google map of route

My route-


Heading up toward Capay Valley in the cool morning air, I enjoyed the back roads and the ever changing farmscape.







Capay Valley was beautiful in the morning light as I passed farms large.....



.....and small,



current.....



.....and past.



Farther along, Hwy 16 was wonderfully deserted this Wednesday morning as I swooped along stealing glances at the creek below.



Reaching Hwy 20 I turned off into Bear Valley and the start of 48 miles of scenic and deserted gravel roads.



Coming up next, Bear Valley Road.

-Bill
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:55 PM   #2
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Riding Bartlett Springs Rd, part two

Someone must have arranged to clear the roads for me because astoundingly, except for a county grader and one parked pickup I would not see another person or vehicle the entire 48 miles all the way to Clear Lake! So with the only dust my own, I savored the solitude and beauty.









With its wide open spaces, sparse cattle ranches, occasional old barn and windmill, a visit to Bear Valley always feel like stepping back in time. There are even old time plain telephone wires with glass insulators still in use.













The valley has felt especially meaningful to me since discovering my great grandparents' graves in an old country cemetery near the north end of the valley some years ago.









After 17 miles I turn left onto Brim Road for the climb up to Bartlett Springs Rd., up next.

-Bill
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:55 PM   #3
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Yay!!!!!!!

I love the sunflowers.
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:56 PM   #4
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Riding Bartlett Springs Road, Part three

Brim Road is a couple of miles of steep twisty climbing to the top of Walker Ridge. Lots of interesting rock formations decorate the path.






At the top there is a four way junction devoid of road markers. And as Yogi Berra said, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." So here's a hint - at the top of Brim Rd. continue heading straight west, that is the start of Bartlett Springs Rd. Left is Walker Ridge Rd. which heads south to Hwy 20, and right is just a jeep trail that ends after a short distance.

Here my bike points the way to Bartlett.



And here's the great ride ahead.




Right away the road starts a fast drop down to Indian Valley Reservoir.





There are lots of OHV trails down to the lake and I barely glimpsed a pickup and tent set up in a secluded cove. No fishermen, no hordes of campers, no other motorcycles, just tranquil scenes and fantastic riding. I was beginning to wonder if the world ended since I left home this morning and I just didn't get the memo. No problem, I just continued on as the road worked its way up and down, mostly following creeks.










Eventually I spotted the ruins of Bartlett Springs Resort, originally started in 1870 as a health retreat. There, paying customers could come and partake of the so called curative waters to fix most anything that ailed them. The enterprise eventually grew to include five hotels, 350 cabins and could accommodate up to 5000 guests at a time. It burned down in 1934, never to be rebuilt.

Below is a shot of Bartlett's glory days.



And today only a few water pipes and crumbling foundations remain.



Eventually the road begins a climb to a 4,000 ft summit. Hairpin turn after hairpin turn makes for a fun ride and great vistas.









Past the summit the terrain gets more heavily forested and steadily drops down, eventually rewarding with breathtaking views of Clear Lake.










Back on pavement at Hwy 20 I turned south to follow the lake shore through Lucerne, aka the Switzerland of America, who knew?






Catfish Coffee House in Clearlake Oaks revived me with a nice chicken pesto panini and salad, and I was ready to head for the last leg of my trip, Berryessa Knoxville Rd. to Lake Berryessa and back home, next post.



-Bill

Last edited by GB500guy; 07-20-2017 at 02:07 PM..
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:59 PM   #5
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Riding Bartlett Springs Rd, part four

Taking Hwy 53 a few miles down to Lower Lake, I headed out on good old Morgan Valley Rd looking forward to one last bit of adventure riding: the remote and very funky pavement of Berryessa Knoxville Rd.



Heading down Berryessa Knoxville always gets me jazzed. Besides the roller coaster ride and great scenery, it just has the feeling that it will never change. At least I hope not.












Reaching Lake Berryessa I hopped on 128 and headed home for a cold one, already looking forward to a future ride on Bartlett Springs Road. Life is good.

-Bill
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:00 PM   #6
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:10 PM   #7
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Excellent photos! I travel 16/Capay Valley a lot and have not noticed Riverdog Farm, is it on 16?
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:20 PM   #8
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Excellent photos! I travel 16/Capay Valley a lot and have not noticed Riverdog Farm, is it on 16?
Thanks Jeff, that shot is actually of the location of their farm stand just below Guinda. Their farm is actually medium size and further south on 16.

-Bill
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:26 PM   #9
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Fantastic. I've encountered that lonely feeling on Walker Ridge Road.
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:25 PM   #10
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Makes me want an ADV bike even more than I already do - great pics, thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-21-2017, 03:05 PM   #11
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Looks like you had a stupendous day. Once again, fantastic photos and narrative!
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Old 07-21-2017, 03:17 PM   #12
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Thanks for the comments everyone, thanks for coming along!

-Bill
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Old 07-21-2017, 07:29 PM   #13
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Makes me want an ADV bike even more than I already do - great pics, thanks for sharing!
Reading this makes me so happy.
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:22 PM   #14
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Very nice shots and commentary.
I've been on a couple sections of your ride.
Not enough though!

The lakes look so good full.
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:26 PM   #15
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Heh, this road sure looks nice without the dust cloud from 499 other riders on the Sheetiron
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