California: Touring the Dunsmuir-Mt. Shasta Time Portal

California: Touring the Dunsmuir-Mt. Shasta Time Portal

“When I first caught sight of Mount Shasta over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.” —John Muir, 1874

I met this amazing German chap while touring in Kenya. At a stop on the way to Mombasa, we exchanged information on all kinds of things, including great locations to tour in our respective countries.

His general suggestion for Germany was Bavaria, which leads riders through some amazing scenery. And if you head south, you could also go through either Austria or Switzerland on the way to Italy. To a landlocked American, it all sounded incredibly exotic.

Then came his turn to ask me what some of the best places were for American motorcycle touring. Anybody who knows America also knows that this is a very tough question.

If you have toured the U.S. you’re aware that there are no two states that are exactly alike. Still, he wanted me to make some recommendations, so—as a native Californian—our coastline and a tour of Yosemite Valley are two rides that would be strong recommendations.

Ruling Out the Conventional Options

However, the German had a caveat. His follow up question was more specific.

“In Germany, California has a reputation for being somewhat unique,” he said with a smile. Again, I am a Californian and I knew what he meant, and I had just the town for him in mind.

He continued, “Where is the best place to safely see the beauty of the state and the colorful California lifestyle?” It isn’t an easy question. The state is extremely diverse, no matter how you look at it.