Camping or motels? Camping via motorcycle has the benefit of never needing a reservation; freedom to just find a spot for the night. It is the same with motels and hotels. One downside of tent camping is all the gear which must be carried on the bike. The downside of motel touring is missing out on the experience of spending the night out in the woods. And as I have learned, motel walls can be very thin; you may hear more of what’s going on in the next room than you would like.
A nice middle ground is cabin camping. There’s no need to pack a tent and many cabins have wood-burning stoves which are a comfort camping in the colder months. Cool-weather touring is preferable to this rider as I like to gear up in full leather and armor. It’s also a time of less traffic and congestion in the parks and mountain roads.
Being based in Southern California, my favorite cabin spots are Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Santa Margarita Lake KOA, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and the Fernwood Resort cabins at Big Sur.
On a beautiful ridge at Cuyamaca
On a cold night this is your best friend
The Santa Margarita Lake KOA is surprisingly nice, but be advised that it is not situated on the lake.
Inside the KOA cabin. When booking any cabin be sure to ask if a mat is supplied. If it is, you can leave your inflatable mat at home. Always take your sleeping bag as most cabin outfits don’t supply linens or blankets. This KOA supplies the cabins with electric heaters.
Tent-cabin at Fernwood in Big Sur. No stove or heater here.
- Fernwood interior
- Big Basin cabin. This had a nice wood stove.
Big Basin State Park
Another Cuyamaca trip. This cabin, named Manzanita was very hot, baking in the sun for most of the day.
- A little gas stove such as this 1970s Swedish model comes in handy anywhere along the ride for making tea, yerba mate, or for instant ham and eggs in the pouch.
Only a few short hours from Los Angeles is the wild and wonderful Sequoia National Forest. We did a nice one-nighter a couple of weeks ago. Fairview Camp – 16 miles North of Kernville, CA.
A peaceful site ….
… with a river out back
Home for a night
It was dubbed “Camp Leather”
A great road, Hwy 178 into the mountains
Someone had artistically balanced this stone upon a rock.
A one-night campout can be just the thing needed to reenergize spirits, enjoy nature, and to have a go at some beautiful mountain riding.
At the local barber shop the conversation is of motorcycles and riding. We do go there for haircuts but often just stop by for the company and the coffee. Bill the Barber has been riding for years and years. Bill’s stories, and the atmosphere in the shop keep us coming back for more.
Bill rides most days
Bill’s Road Star.
At the shop on the way home from camping