I'm from Arkansas, planning a ride out west starting mid September. I have to be in Denver on 9-28, so I'll have a couple of weeks to get the ride in.
I'm thinking about riding to Santa Barbara and then heading up PCH as far as I can get before heading over to Denver. I figure I can make it to Santa Barbara riding hard in 3 days, or taking my time in 5 (1860 miles). I rarely ride after dark.
MY QUESTIONS: Will 4-5 days give me enough time to work my way up the coast into Washington (Long Beach area, apprx 1200 miles)? Would I be smarter to get on further north than Santa Barbara? Or, would I be smarter to get off further south, say in Oregon or Northern California?
Also, in mid to late September, will I be able to easily find a motel room wherever I happen to be with no reservations, or is that even possible out there? I've never ridden with motel reservations before, and prefer to just go where my whims take me, and have never had a problem finding a room. I just don't know if that's possible on PCH.
Also, how's the weather out there during late September? I don't mind some rain, but I'm not crazy about rain every day.
Depending on how far north I go, I figure I'll need 3 or more days to get back to Denver. So, I can drive fewer miles and take more time doing it, but I'd really like to make it at least a little way up the Oregon coast too, so starting further north in CA would probably be my choice if I need to.
If advance motel reservations are a must that time of year, then I may have to choose a different destination. Making too much of a plan spoils the ride for me.
Depending on all the travel variables, I am counting on having as few as 4 to as many as 8 days to spend on the PCH.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! What's the best way for me to get the most enjoyment out of a PCH ride given the time I will have to invest in it?