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I have a week off between Christmas and New Year's Day. I live in Tucson and am looking for ideas for a ride considering weather. I am not much of an iron butt, around 550 miles per day is the most I like to do. My first thought was to ride to San Diego and head south. Any thoughts appreciated.

Dale
 

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Why not ride to San Diego and head north? You could ride the Pacific Coast Highway, which is absolutely beautiful in the winter (no fog). If it's raining it's less fun and there's always the chance of the road washing out in spots. ANother option - what about Death Valley?
 

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I've done Baja and it's..... well - BORING. Unless you go all the way to Cabo and hang out for a few days.

I think David's got it right, just keep an eyeball on the weather for any major Alaska cold fronts and you should be fine. The fog during the summer on the coast can be downright bone chilling. If the weather turns bad on the coast you can always high tail it down the super slab and head for home.

Personally I like to jump on around Santa Barabara and then head North. You'll find very little traffic that time of year and the scenery and weather is usually just spectacular. Plan on staying at some B and B's - a lot more fun than motels and you always get a really great breakfast to start the day. A good rain suit and heated vest is a must.

Oh yeah, there's a FEW curves on the pc highway as well... ;)

I've done it twice on my scoot and I would go back AGAIN - it's that good. Indulge yourself a little and stay at Ventana Inn at Big Sur while you're at it. The fireplaces in the rooms feel mighty good. http://www.ventanainn.com/
 

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A Christmas ride???? I am soooo envious. Living in the province of Manitoba in Canada I don't get to ride between November and April. Think of me freezing in the dark while you are enjoying your ride this December.

Wilson High
 

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Christmas time in Arizona? I think a good ride would be up to Grand Canyon if it isn't snowing. At least that is if you have the heated seats and grips for the high parts. Most likely it wouldn't be too crowded and would likely have some snow on the ridges making it a pretty ride.

Another way to go would be to Organ Pipe Cactus along the Arizona and Mexico border and Joshua Tree National Park in California.
 

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02lt said:
A Christmas ride???? I am soooo envious. Living in the province of Manitoba in Canada I don't get to ride between November and April. Think of me freezing in the dark while you are enjoying your ride this December.

Wilson High
Average high along the coast in December is low 60sF, average low mid-upper 40'sF. Brrrr, chillly. ;) Lots of sun, rarely varies much. Gets a little colder as you go North but the scenery and the road gets better and better until it quits at The Lost Coast and spits you back out to the real world.....

Lots of places to rent motorcycles in CA and a new Road King is WELL suited to a leisurely ride there....

Ride fast before you're too old and can't!
 

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i second death valley. it really is a beautiful, curvy road with a smattering of asphalt ramps that will launch you (no kidding) if you're not careful. plus the desert scenery is quite beautiful.

you could work in a visit to las vegas while you were at it.
 

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Instead of California, why not head East to the Big Bend Country of Texas. There are some very nice hotels and B&B's in Fort Davis, Alpine, Marfa, and Marathon. This time of year is simply fantastic. The Chisos Basin is spectacular, but pretty hard to get a room at the lodge (try the Marathon Motel or the Gage Hotel in Marathon instead, then ride to the park every day). The Rio Grande river run between Lajitas and Presidio is not to be missed. Marfa has the Paisano Hotel, of the movie Giant fame. Ft. Davis has the Limpia Hotel, and the Old School B&B run by Carla and Steve Kennedy. Alpine is the home of Sul Ross University and a couple of good restaurants...but by far the best restaurant around is the Gage Hotel restaurant in little Marathon.

My wife and I just stayed at the Marathon Motel on our way back from California. Glorious weather, and they are real friendly to motorcyclists.
 

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FlashToo said:
Instead of California, why not head East to the Big Bend Country of Texas. There are some very nice hotels and B&B's in Fort Davis, Alpine, Marfa, and Marathon. This time of year is simply fantastic. The Chisos Basin is spectacular, but pretty hard to get a room at the lodge (try the Marathon Motel or the Gage Hotel in Marathon instead, then ride to the park every day). The Rio Grande river run between Lajitas and Presidio is not to be missed. Marfa has the Paisano Hotel, of the movie Giant fame. Ft. Davis has the Limpia Hotel, and the Old School B&B run by Carla and Steve Kennedy. Alpine is the home of Sul Ross University and a couple of good restaurants...but by far the best restaurant around is the Gage Hotel restaurant in little Marathon.

My wife and I just stayed at the Marathon Motel on our way back from California. Glorious weather, and they are real friendly to motorcyclists.
Wow, that sounds like a GREAT idea for some new asphalt - and about the same distance from the Old Pueblo as CA. Hmmm... might be a good excuse to ditch the relatives this Christmas - (YAWN)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the replies. All great suggestions. We did Death Valley with a couple nights in Vegas a month after I bought this bike in Nov. 03. That was a great winter ride.

Grand Canyon has been a frequent trip for us, and winter time is a great time to see it, but I have been caught by some heavy snows. I think I'll skip that this year.

Organ Pipe is really beautiful and also one we've done a few times. Although I haven't yet tackled the dirt roads on the LT, only on my Harley. It tends to get combined with trips to Puerto Peñasco, another great place to ride, stay. Mmm, garlic shrimp, and roadside chicken tacos. Might head there for Thanksgiving.

That leaves Baja, PC Highway, and Big Bend area. I never really thought of Big Bend but am thinking about it now. However, I have never really ridden the PC Highway and am leaning that way. I kind of thought it would be worse weather that way. I think I'll just watch the weather as the time comes closer and decide which way, east or west, to head.

Thanks again.
Dale White
 

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Mix it up. Come west to Calexico, shoot down to San Felipe on Mex 5. Cross to Ensenada on Mex 3. Come up Mex 1 to the border. Slab for 2.5 hrs to LA. Take 101 (scenic slab) to Monterey and return south on Hwy1 (PCH) I prefer southbound through Big Sur. That puts you on the outside lane for the views and most of the pullouts. Christmas rides rock! Christmas day is great to ride. EVERYONE is at Grandmas! Would be a very good day to ride Big Sur!
Have fun!
 

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desertlizard said:
I have a week off between Christmas and New Year's Day. I live in Tucson and am looking for ideas for a ride considering weather. I am not much of an iron butt, around 550 miles per day is the most I like to do. My first thought was to ride to San Diego and head south. Any thoughts appreciated.

Dale
Take a ride over to Silver City New Mexico. Interesting area, and the weather is usually mild. Get some Christmas Tomales at Mi Ranchito in Bayard.
 
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