We rode to the coast and we rode to the woods. What’s left for us to see? The countryside.

R1200GS and green hills

We came upon Collier Canyon Road after having the general idea of heading north of Livermore, CA. After exiting the freeway, we took a few random right and left turns past office buildings and condos until the road dwindled down to one lane and took a sharp 90-degree turn.

Leaning fence

The hills were electric with green grass and neon yellow dandelions. We were used to seeing country hills like this in the summertime, dry and golden. Today the colors were so bright they looked fake, like out of a video game.

Cows grazing

We wound around on a worn-out country road, not seeing many cars coming in the opposite direction. Farms dotted the landscape on either side. Herds of cattle, horses and a couple of llamas looked up at us in wonder (or boredom) as we rumbled past.

Sun through trees

Despite the lush green grass, there were still some scraggly trees and bushes that will become this summer’s tumbleweeds. This tree was particularly gnarly and had many broken-off branches caught in its lower parts.

Old barn

We gingerly approached a dilapidated barn with rotting wood and a rusty roof. It appeared to have been empty for a long time, so we stopped to stretch our legs.

R1200GS near Livermore, CA

Old Barn

R1200GS in front of old barn

There’s a saying in California that you can surf in the morning and ski in the afternoon. While distance-wise, that’s probably true (though personally, I would be exhausted), this state’s varied landscape and climate make for some great adventures close to home  – from lush farmland and rocky lava landscapes to hot dry deserts and the misty coast.

R1200GS and rolling green hills

Without looking at a map or GPS, we went as far on the empty road as we thought we should, then turned around and made our way back to the bustling freeway and back home.

Photos by: Nick Johnson | Words and additional photos by: Hayley Johnson

Written by Hayley Johnson

Fashion designer and lover of all things plaid.

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