Day 8 – 2018 Western States Tour

Day 8 route

Day’s distance: 260 miles
Total trip distance: 1,325 miles

Temperatures varied up and down throughout the day, ranging from the upper 50s to mid 70s. Winds also varied from light to moderate.

Highway 1 remains blocked at Big Sur due to the very large Mud Creek landslide. As an aside, Caltrans is estimating a September reopening. Click here for an interesting video of the progress.

Instead, I traveled south on Hwy 101 along El Camino Real. Most of the highway is two lanes in both directions. It lies in a valley with foothills on both sides. The grasses on these foothills are beginning to take on its summer coloring (brown), sooner than those in Oakland.


On reaching Paso Robles, I turned east and made my way to Hwy 58, marked as interesting on my Butler motorcycle map. It parallels the shortest route to Bakersfield, Hwy 46, but carries much less traffic.

I traveled along Hwy 58 during my 2015 Southern States Tour, but turned south onto Hwy 33 at McKittrick rather than continuing to Bakersfield.

Traveling east, I first passed through small farms, vineyards and a few wineries. Soon the terrain changed to a drier, less vegetated semi-arid area. Horse and cattle ranches replaced the vineyards.



Hwy 58 consists of everything from gentle sweepers to 15mph hairpin turns to gentle whoops that are similar to a roller coaster.


I passed by the California solar ranch, a 250 megawatt photovoltaic power plant in the Carrizo Plain. I couldn’t get a good photo from the ground, so I’ll use this satellite image.

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The most interesting part was the section just east of the solar ranch.

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 9.56.40 PM

One reason I keep a blog of my travels is to remind myself of where I’ve been and what roads I’ve ridden. I didn’t initially remember riding this route before but the solar ranch seemed vaguely familiar. When I entered McKittrick, and crossed Hwy 33, I remembered the town’s name.

I can’t recommend traveling a long distance to ride Hwy 58 as the surface of the roadway is pretty rough in some parts and overall in need of a complete resurfacing.

On reaching Bakersfield, I got checked in to my hotel, cleaned up, and grabbed some dinner.

Tomorrow I will ride through Death Valley on my way to Las Vegas.

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