Mid-Week Rides: Morgan Territory-Sacramento River Delta, Rio Vista
Wednesday, Sep 20 2017
“Morgan Territory is accessible!” said Don Theile to Road Captain, Chris Weld two days before our ride. “I know a secret way.” Earlier in the week I had expressed an interest in taking the ferries across to and away from Ryer Island. The last time I was in this region with the Midweek Riders, the larger ferry was out of service and the riders had to turn back.
I first saw Paul Hampton pulling into the Arco station on Stanley Blvd. I was busy putting gas in my ride and didn’t notice that he left without filling up. I also didn’t notice that he had stopped at the Shell station across the street to get gas. As I pulled into “The Brick” restaurant parking lot I saw Don’s gray Goldwing and pulled in beside it. Moments later Chris arrived, then came Paul. Don was already seated and had finished breakfast. We met Don and Polite conversation ensued; the gas station issue came up. We learned that Paul pays for everything by credit card. Arco does not take credit cards. He claims to have no debit card. Hearing this, Chris grumbled about buying gas in the same Shell station paying $3.49 for gas when he could have gotten it for $3.19 with a car wash. “Did you get a car wash? he asked Paul. The next ten minutes were spent grumbling about gas prices and car washes.
Don had recommended “The Brick” and all agreed it was a good choice. After breakfast and car wash discussions we headed for Morgan Territory Road and Don’s secret access road. There is a big ROAD CLOSED sign at the access to Morgan Territory Road. We are BIKERS. We don’t heed no stinking road closed signs! We headed down the closed road. The road was closed… by a fallen tree… and an enormous truck with an equally enormous load of rebar… and a very upset driver. Now, how this particular driver ended up on this particular single lane, mean as a snake road, nearly impassible with an army jeep, let alone a GS or a Goldwing is a mystery. His tractor was bumped up against a fallen tree and the trailer ass-end full of rebar was sticking out ten feet behind and at least five feet wider than the bed on either side. He tried to explain. We stood there at least a half hour discussing how a wrecker, helicopter, or dynamite would get that rig off Morgan Territory Road. Now, with saddlebags off, Chris and Paul might have been able to squeeze by the tractor, but Don’s Goldwing… no. I checked the space… I couldn’t even walk around it. Chris rallied, “Vasco Road!” and we retreated leaving truck, driver, and rebar on Morgan Territory Road. It may be Christmas before a skyhook can lift his rig off Morgan Territory Road because even with the tree removed, there is no way that rig can make the curves and hills beyond.
We wound through back roads following Chris and his GPS, which has been known to fail at the worst possible moment, to Vasco Road, then on to CA 4 crossing the Antioch Bridge….
I must stop here for a flashback. As I remember some years ago, one of our Midweek Riders on a bird splattered yellow Honda crossed the Antioch Bridge in a near typhoon cross wind and stopped on the other side to exclaim, “I didn’t sign on to this ride for this s***, and went home. On with our story.
We rode CA 4 to CA 160, the scenic road to Sacramento via the delta. We made a pit stop at Eddo’s Marina whereupon Dick, who was considering turning back due to gastric distress, had a word with Apex, God of Motorcycles in the gender neutral, handicap accessible, confessional and received absolution. The ride continued onto CA 220 at Ryde and we headed for the cable ferry. It’s a short trip across Steamboat Slough, not even enough time to get off the bikes. We crossed onto Ryer Island where we picked up CA 84 aboard the larger self powered ferry. This time there were a few minutes to dismount and enjoy the view. Following Chris, we made our way to a guaranteed great restaurant, The Point in Rio Vista. Motorcycle touring makes one hungry! Chris was mostly right… it is a good restaurant. I really liked the dancing flies.
We left Rio Vista as a group, but split off gradually heading for our homes. Don took the direct route to CA 4, Chris, Paul, and I took Marsh Creek Road, the scenic route, to Diablo Parkway and Walnut Creek. I lost Chris and Paul on I-680 for an effortless ride home in surprisingly moderate traffic, meaning bumper to bumper at 70 mph. Ah, California!
Pictures in no particular order
No order because many have no or incorrect timestamps.