Every year my wife and I try to take a little trip to celebrate our anniversary. This year the way our vacation schedules worked out, we had to take our August anniversary trip in June. Fine by me! I really, really needed a getaway and was itching to get out on the road with my favorite girl (the Versys) and having the wife along makes it even more fun!
All the planning for the trips is done by me. I tend to get a bit excited about planning these little getaways, and was so excited about this year’s trip that I started planning it last year when we were in Big Sur. About two months before we leave, I start dropping clues to where we are going and try to make them easy enough that she can eventually figure out where the road will take us. Well this year, our 15 year old son had it figured out weeks before my wife did, and finally, two days before we were scheduled to leave, I had to give her a real “softball” clue so she would figure it out. We were heading to the California Gold Country, including “The Little Dragon” and then on up to Lake Tahoe. We had not been back to Tahoe since we honeymooned there 19 years ago, and the prospect of going back brought Loralee to tears.
With our oldest daughter in Santa Cruz, our other kids were set to stay with some close friends, and the dogs at the kennel, we were all set to hit the road.
Day 1 – Clovis to Sonora
“Get your motor running, head out on the highway….”
For this trip I wanted to avoid the slab as much as possible. Living in California affords us some great back country roads that are perfect for the Versys.
First stop, North Fork. North Fork’s claim to fame is it is the exact center of California. It is a small, rustic mountain community, complete with authentic, small-town restaurants. I also decided that on this trip we would try to eat where the locals eat and avoid all the big chain fast food places whenever we could. Our light lunch today would be at the Buckhorn Saloon.
Talk about rustic. We loved the atmosphere and hearing the locals chat at the bar. Food was also very good. Loralee looked at the menu and had to have a “PB&J” sandwich. Our son has severe nut allergies, so eating it without worrying about anyone dying was a real treat.
After a nice 45 minute break, we were back on the bike headed to the Triangle Road Café near Mariposa. The ride around Bass Lake was a very nice reprieve from the 100 degree weather we had been enduring in Clovis. Once we hit Oakhurst, it warmed up again, and by the time we hit Triangle Road, the wife was pretty hot – and not in a good way! Unfortunately, the Café is closed on Tuesday, which meant no sit-down and cool off snack break. Thankfully, there is a general store connected to the Café and we were able to get some cool drinks and relax a bit.
We rolled on down the road and into Mariposa. No time to stop today, we were headed to CA-49, aka “The Little Dragon”. I was looking forward to this part of the trip more than you can imagine. The only part I was worried about was the screaming over the intercom coming from my wife!
Loralee was a real trooper. I tried to be somewhat good on the twisties and there were only a couple of times when I felt her legs gripping me tightly as if to say “slow this damn thing down!!”
After that, we had a nice, leisurely ride into Sonora. I had booked a room at the Gunn House hotel in the heart of town. The Gunn House was built in 1850 and was once a hospital. From what I saw on the internet, it looked like a really great place. Charming, authentic, perfect. However, a few days after I booked our stay, I learned the Gunn House is allegedly haunted! My wife loved the idea of being visited by spirits during the night. I promised that if that were to occur, I would fire up the bike and leave her butt there! I have no problem doing 100+ on my bike, but visits from the “beyond” are not my thing!!
We enjoyed some relaxing time in the pool then cleaned up and headed out to dinner. The place I picked out for dinner was the Diamondback Café and it was amazing. One of the best burgers I have ever had.
After dinner, we window-shopped a bit before heading back to our room to call it a night. For the record, we were not visited by any spirits during the night. I like to think it was because I slept with the Bible under my pillow.