RR79: Tassajara & Chew’s Ridge

On March 25th 2022, Mahesh (Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport) and me (Kawasaki Versys-X 300) rode into the mountains of Carmel Valley towards the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and Chew’s Ridge.

We started the day by meeting for coffee at Sue’s Gallery Cafe in Saratoga.

We rode up Hwy 9 through the SC mountains all the way down to Santa Cruz. It was quite cold through the mountains and by the time we got to Santa Cruz my fingers were frozen. We stopped for gas near Moss Landing and I swapped bikes with Mahesh till Carmel Valley.

We then started the ride towards Tassajara – the road was mostly hard packed dirt with a few ruts here and there. Nothing very difficult and we made it up to Chew’s ridge quickly.

The gate to the lookout was locked, so we did not ride our bikes up there, but walked the last quarter of a mile. The views from the lookout were amazing. The weather was perfect, and the visibility was great.

From there we rode a few miles towards the Zen center and stopped by a picnic bench for a beer and a sandwich. It was a very peaceful camping spot. We met a forest service ranger there who was laying irrigation lines for the service mules. We had a nice long chat with him.

From there we decided to turn around and head back to the Bay Area. Riding noisy motorcycles down to the Zen meditation center seemed like a bad idea, lol.

We rode on Carmel Valley Road, and then up Hwy 101 through Salinas and it was incredibly windy. The long freeway ride was tiring, but all in all it was fun.

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