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Old 11-19-2017, 08:47 PM   #1
GB500guy
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A quick loop to Mt. Vaca and back

After the season's first serious rain followed by light north wind, our air was finally clear of smoke and haze. Looking east from my hillside perch north of Vacaville in Solano County I could see fresh snow on the Sierras and a clear view of the Sacramento valley, so that was all the excuse I needed for an afternoon loop up to the nearby Blue Ridge to catch the views hidden by cruddy air most of the year.

I hopped on the NX250 and headed over the hill from home. Looking west across Pleasants Valley I saw the communications towers atop the Blue Ridge that I would soon be passing.



A few miles down Pleasants Valley Road I turned onto Gates Canyon road to start the always delightful climb to the far ridge.



The canyon is a peaceful place, populated by a few hardy souls who I'm sure appreciate their solitude. So I do my best to putter along as unobtrusively as possible while enjoying the beauty and appreciating the great roads just minutes from home.









Reaching the top of the ridge I stop to take in the view toward San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge towers are visible on the horizon to the right, and Sutro Tower to the left, San Pablo Bay is visible just below.



Looking due west into Napa County, Lake Curry reflects the afternoon sun. The yellow streak toward the upper right is the vineyards in Wooden Valley, familiar to all you riders who do Berryessa loops through Wooden Valley Road.






I ride north along the ridge top. Looking south, I see Mt. Diablo on the horizon and the Suisun Bay in the foreground.






The Sutter Buttes rise up from the valley floor in the far distance.



The road meanders along the ridge, following the border of Napa and Solano Counties and passing multiple communications towers.












Reaching Mix Canyon Road I head back down toward Pleasants Valley Rd., enjoying the twists and turns as the road descends the convoluted canyon.





There are lots of memories for me in this canyon, where my then girl friend and now wife lived in a funky cabin along a creek. Way back in 1976, I would make a quick stop at home after work to feed my dog and ride up Mix canyon to visit her. Luckily for me she agreed to my marriage proposal and now 41 years later, still happily married, I enjoy revisiting the memories and beautiful roadside views of Mix Canyon.



-Bill

Last edited by GB500guy; 11-20-2017 at 07:34 AM..
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:33 PM   #2
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Awesome; as always, Bill. Thanks for the report and the photos
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:19 AM   #3
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Something new to me not far from your pix of the Mix cyn end.
Any idea on how long this has been there?
Nice to see green again, my pix 10/22
You have to be using a better lens than an iPhone.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:49 AM   #4
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:10 PM   #5
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Something new to me not far from your pix of the Mix cyn end.
Any idea on how long this has been there?
Nice to see green again, my pix 10/22
You have to be using a better lens than an iPhone.
Nope, never have seen that plaque. Is at someone's driveway?

-Bill
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Old 11-20-2017, 01:55 PM   #6
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My sister lives within 100yards of a couple of those pics.

If you go up there, couple things:

Don't speed. You don't pose much danger to the residents, however, if you come flying around a corner and they going/coming from home, you'll probably launch off the side of the road

Residents don't like tourists up there. Get up, get down. Most people that go up there are looking to cause SOME sort of trouble (looting, stealing, vandalizing, etc) . If you go up and hang long, chances are the Sheriff isn't far away.

There's usually debris in the road. Keep that in mind, mix canyon is a great road to cruise... it's a terrible road to try and haul ass on

Be safe! It's taken HOURS for someone to get pulled out of the ditches/cliffs up there. That's a long time if you break yourself.
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:02 PM   #7
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That looks like a lot of fun
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:57 AM   #8
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That looks like a lot of fun
It's deceiving, unfortunately. It's very steep in the section that's paved this nicely (near the top). That said, the fun is in the view - you can see all the way to the sierra nevadas on a nice, clear day!
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:20 AM   #9
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No driveway, just an old weathered mound of dirt scraped off to the side along the county road ridge NB close to someones vineyard. Gives a good view west over the bushes.
I can remember this spot from the late 60's when we would wait for a week of rain before it got "good" = sloppy.
I have been up there in the snow, so much that packed snow pried off the circlip that held the sprocket carrier, to the hub.
We knew better than to race on the blind corner easy stuff, but when the clouds lowered and rain falling, not much traffic up on top to worry about.

Does the name Steve Bauer ring a bell? How about his non PC nickname?

Sorry about the pix, I know now that posting turns portrait to landscape, no way around it, gotta stay in landscape.
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Started hammerin' Honda 90's around Berryessa, Summer of Love '67
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:59 AM   #10
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do you have routes for these rides you post? I dont know where any of that is but it sure looks wonderful.
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:12 PM   #11
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do you have routes for these rides you post? I dont know where any of that is but it sure looks wonderful.
I usually post a map link at the head of my RR posts, but didn't bother this time since it was so short. Just search google maps for Gates canyon rd, Vacaville, and Mix Canyon rd. Blue Ridge Rd connects the two.

-Bill
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:32 PM   #12
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I usually post a map link at the head of my RR posts, but didn't bother this time since it was so short. Just search google maps for Gates canyon rd, Vacaville, and Mix Canyon rd. Blue Ridge Rd connects the two.

-Bill
got it thanks! Heres a link to the summit if anyone is interested.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir//38....a=!4m2!4m1!3e0
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