Requesting help from anyone knowledgable about this remote route in Northern CA
Im Mark and I am about to take a mini tour from San Benito county to Lucia near Big Sur, CA. I dont know if this is the right forum to be asking for this kind of help. I need to find out how to get to G14 Jolon Road which is on the west side of the 101 as I am coming from the east side of the 101 from G13. I will be coming from Hwy 25 onto G13 passing through King City. But I see on this great recourseful map online (recreationmaps.gov) that there is one alternate route I can take to get across 101 but wonder if this is taking me out too far time wise(I know "too far" and "time wise" is relative to the person's experience and desire but I just need to find if there are ways or a way to get to Jolon Rd w/out getting on to the 101 besides G15). The route G15 that runs paralel to 101 seems to connect to G14 and it looks like I will avoid getting on the 101 to get to G14 where I want to continue on to the town of Jolon. But im not sure if G15 will take me to G14 w/out getting me on to the 101. Is there a different way to get to G14 besides G15? I know these roads well since I have enjoyed them many times but only in my car. Never paid attention to the bike routes since I was not thinking about bicycling at those times. I appreciate anybody's help who is knowledgable about these routes via bike. Mark
There is a new pedestrian bridge across the Salinas River in King City in the city park just before you get to US 101 - turn right just before you get to US 101. That will put you on the other side of the river right where G-14 meets US 101. If I understand you correctly - you will be coming into King City on G-13 and want to head down towards Jolon on G-14.
Not sure where you are starting, but if it's around San Juan Bta - consider taking Union Rd. and Southside Rd. The stretch of CA 25 between Hollister and Tres Pinos has really gotten busy these last few years - but it has shoulders and a weedy bike path alongside. The rest of CA 25 is superb!!! Remember that facilities are few and far between. Paicines at Panoche Rd has a good store. You can go off-route to Pinnacles campground, if you need water, etc. Then it's empty all the way to King City.
I hope you are planning to visit Mission San Antonio de Padua - the quietest and lovliest of the missions.
Get the Krebs bike map, I used it to go through that area, with no problems. Sorry, I can't remember specific route numbers. I was coming from the coast through Ft. Hunter Legget, through King City to the Pinnacles. I'm pretty sure I was on Jolon Road for a bit. I also heard there is nothing to speak of in Jolon, as far as supplies go, but you should check that out with someone else, as I didn't visit.
As John said, if you are coming from SJB, use the Union Road cutoff off hwy 156 to go around Hollister, and take Cienega Road, which, once you are past the Hollister Hills Recreation area (ATV's) is unbelievably beautiful, with almost no traffic.
Thanks to both of you for replying...I will begin from my tiny town San Juan Bautista and I am familiar with all the routes you mention such as Union Rd which is down the road from me and to the historical and beautiful route Cienega containing the oldest runnning winery in CA. I have traveled the many routes throughout this county as well as the north eastern areas of Monterey county that connect to San Benito roads. All this by car and many times after midnight. They were a blast driving at night with very few cars and sometimes not one for several hours...But since the gas prices are high, traveling those long distances are now seldom. I would love to travel those routes on bicycle another time especially J1 off 25 that leads one into even more remote country than on Hwy 25 such as Panoche Rd and New Idria Rd...I would need more water though since there are no stores out there except the Panoche Inn near the Hot springs Rd which is still too remote once you get into Panoche or New Idria...talk about desolate, I dont think I can desire any more remoteness than what those roads offer...Ive parked my car on the side of New Idria Rd while observing how no cars or people ever came by the whole 7 hours I was there!---I even slept for an hour without any interruption...so weird how quite it is out there except for the ocassional birds in the canyons....WOW!--how most of California was at one time over 80 years ago. I love going through Coalinga and Priest Valley as you take 25 towards its furthest southern end and beyond. I know 25 very well and have my yearly pass to Pinnacles National Monument---have to have that pass since its in my backyard
I will be taking that awesome G13 from Hwy 25 and then I will take that bridge you mention John once I leave King City to go into Jolon. And I agree that the mission in Jolon is the most beautiful and serene of all missions. I was able to sleep inside that mission when I asked a priest from there if I could. An Army general from the nearby base suggested I do this before going to the hotel near the base and to my surprise I was able to sleep in one of the oldest rooms of the mission...what an experience to sleep in a historical and mysterious place like that!...I live near the most complete mission but I tell people to explore San Antonio over this one because of its unique history concerning the way in which it was strategically placed due to the ancient Indian legend of a ceratin natural healing area present within the geography along the river behind the mission. Then there's the remote campgrounds like "Indians" found inside Jolon that few people know about. Im not refering to the ones found along Nacimiento Ferguson Rd which are also almost unknown. There are places where you can see layers of fossils protruding out of walls found deep inside Jolon and Jolon is supposedly the only place in California where there exists the greatest variety of oaks than anywhere else in CA. Jolon is one of the most mysterious and enchanting places I have ever been...I saw for the first and probably last time a type of hawk capturing a large snake and flying away with it in its talons as the snake writhed angrily...I was dissapointed to realize my video camera was off.
As you read my long thread, you can tell how excited I am about living up here. Sorry if I get like this. If you had moved from the almost unrecognizable suburbs as I did and yearned to live in a place totally contrasting most of Southern CA, you would understand. For my mini tour I will be hauling water besides other essentials in my Nomad. I am looking to buy a special water bottle that purifies water like the one they sell on Forestry supplies website. I would love to meet more riders and it looks like I got two thinking about going with me. I will let you know Anna when exactly I am taking this mini tour and maybe we can meet as you indicate. Thanks for your help. There is a restaurant located within the Army base and its the former hunting lodge that Randolph Hearst used when he owned all that land. I was planning to go on the last week of November or between the first two weeks of December. But I may have to wait until after January since my brother who resides in Korea and his friend really want to come. I am wondering if any of you know the time when it will rain more often, between January and February. I dont mind the rain but I really wouldnt want to be riding in a heavy downpour non-stop for days. I know that weather up here is more unpredectable than where I came from. If the brother and friend decide to go, it will be between January and late February. If solo, Im taking off in early or mid December.
I'm Mark, too, and I live in Hollister and ride quite a bit. Be nice to hook up some time. Good luck with the tour. I've ridden it all on different rides. The decent to the coast on Nacimiento Ferguson Road is likely to set your brakes on fire -- more of a descent than San Juan Canyon.
Hey Mark, Im the guy who contacted you about a year ago about advice on what type of bike to get and you told me about some interesting road to ride a bike near the Pinnacles which I still havent gone on and want so much to experience. I recently emailed you about an incident here concerning wildlife near the the San Juan Inn and you responded back with advice I needed. It would be great to hook up some time with you and I would even like to start some kind of bike group where people who want to experience adventure on these remote roads of San Benito county can get together for a day ride and maybe camp out ..Three days ago I began riding from San Juan Bautista to Hollister and then south on the 25 and then turned on Cienega Rd and began one of the best experiences I ever had in my life...I was so amazed how awesome this ride was and the quietness throughout Cienega and the wonderful experience of VERY FEW CARS!! ..so many close encounters with deer on both sides of the road and other wildlife like owls and hawks....WOW!!!...I went all the way on Cienega and rode on it as the sun began setting....the night riding mid way on Cienega was also incredible and something I will always remember..riding back to San Juan Bautista after midnight was great too...I never take it for granted that I live near some the best places for bicyling on the planet...Went on John Smith and Quien Sabe road the day before and loved it...
Yes Jim, I consider Panoche Valley an incredible rare treasure! Ive been there many times but never on a bike. That valley is extremely incredible both day and at night. Next time I head out to Mercy Hot Springs I will take more time to ride around the valley and camp out. That would be one awesome tour to take out there. Now you got me anxious about heading out there...If I wasnt heading for Lucia, I would plan to leave for Panoche in two weeks. Panoche Valley is one of the places I direct tourists who are looking for something to experience out of the ordinary...it is like a rare endangered species in California. Im just in the middle of reading a book about the history of that valley and I am appreciating it more. The human history of the valley is similar to that of Big Sur and Lucia---many Europeans from several regions and languages made an impact there which seems to be almost obscure to most people looking for historical information on that valley...
I am anticipating having a great ride...It would be interesting to see if more people get together during my short time out there on the coast next week or later on after next year. Either way I hope something happens since Im new to bicycling and love to learn from others.
Hey 888 -
Enjoy your ride. Even though I might be from Wyoming, I sure do love Cienega and Panoche. I discovered them by accident ten years ago and always love coming back to ride then again and again. May the wind be at your back.
Best - J
Just got your reply. You know where to find me. Since I started the newspaper gig, I haven't been putting in the miles, just commuting mostly, so you'd need to give me some time. I'll be back in the saddle in a week or so, getting back in shape. Is the book you mention Frusetta's?
Did you do a Crazyguyonabike journal about an anticipated tour through the area? If so, we corresponded, but never got to hook up. Did you do that tour? It was a great piece of reading.
what an accident that must have been jamawani. I also plan to go back to those rides again and again but this time on my bicycle and maybe on my future Ulysses XB12X in the coming years.
paxtonm, I am sure the book is by one of the Frusetta's because he mentions himself as the narrarator and he identifies Joseph Frusetta as his father. I would recommend anyone interested about obscure history of eastern and southern San Benito county to conversate with Bob at Mission Cafe in San Juan Bautista. He grew up in the Panoche Valley and Monterey county and was in the CDF in one of the remote areas of San Benito county. He is the first person who led me to a deep appreciation for those remote areas. Much of his first hand knowledge and his learned history of San Benito county is surely not found in any history books. Its a pleasure to listen to him talk about unknown facts of all kinds concerning that area and historical anecdotes.
I also came to discover some of those "hidden treasures" after reading your articles on some of the areas you have written about.
The person who lent me the book is a grand daughter of a long time owner of a ranch with great historical significance near the Pinnacles National Monument. The ranch is on the land where the village of San Benito once existed. Hope to see you in the near future.