The Secret Military Road to Big Sur | California Motorcycle Road Trip (Day 4)

The Secret Military Road to Big Sur |  California Motorcycle Road Trip (Day 4)

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome back to our California motorcycle adventure. We are in Paso Robles. Bikes are packed up, and we’re going to grab a coffee before today’s adventure starts. You might know as of summer 2017, the road to Big Sur, the PCH, is closed on both the north and the south. A lot of people think it’s impossible to get there, but there is a way, and we’re going to show it to you by taking the following steps. Let’s go. First step: caffeine. Most people are assuming that Big Sur is closed because of landslides that took out the bridges up in the north and also mudslides closer to the south. There’s a ton of parts that are closed and restricted to only local traffic. However, there is a road called the Furgeson Naciamento Road that we’re going to try to take today. It should drop us down a really narrow canyon and put us right out on the coast. Hopefully, we can have it to ourselves. Big Sur is all about solitude, which is a rare commodity these days. Brother, are you ready for another great day riding? Let’s do it, Bro. G-40 I liked Paso Robles. Me too. It’s chill. A bit bousi for my taste. I prefer the wine culture of Santa Ynez. San Luis Obispo so far sticks out to me as one of the best places that we’ve been. Well, it’s just a younger crowd. They have the university there, and they have a lot of the same things that Paso Robles has, but just catering towards more of our demographic. Look at these houses, though. Look at this, Dude. This place, Paso Robles, developed a lot in the 1920s. There was a pianist, a Polish pianist, who helped cultivate wine and bring this on the national, an international reputation as a wine destination, in addition to being the natural hot springs that it always was. Today we are heading out of Paso Robles, making our way to Big Sur. Problem is that the highway is closed, like we said. So, we’re taking a back route through the mountains, through an army base. We’ve heard from other motorcyclist that it’s a really, really fun road…. very remote, and I’m looking forward to it. I think that it’s one of those situations where what might seem like a road block is actually an invitation to get off the beaten path, to try a new way there and in the process, hopefully, discover something even better. Confucius once said that open roads are meant for journeys, not destinations. Let’s go on a journey. All right, you guys. We’ve just pulled over to the one store out here in the middle of nowhere. We’re at Lockwood. It’s 90 + degrees right now. Seems like all the motorcyclist are doing the same thing, pulling over, getting some shade. How are you feeling? Trying to figure out where the next gas station is because I don’t think there is one until we get to Big Sur. Use one of your little spares. We have fuel reserves that we’re going to have to use to get over the mountain. It’s cool. This is like a really……. I really enjoy this section of the ride because it’s kind of like……….. I never knew that this part of California existed. The mountain range is inland from the coast, but the climate is different. It’s hot. It’s dry. There ‘re oaks, ranches It’s just a different vibe. Just on the other side is Big Sur and the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s cool Check this out. Jesus is alive. That guy’s bike set off that person’s car alarm. Got to fill up on water. There’re no stops until Big Sur, and it’s like 100 degrees right now. Get it while you can. Looks like we’ve just entered Fort Hunter Liggett. This is a U.S Army base. Welcome to Fort Hunter Liggett. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just stumbled upon this awesome mission. Mission San Antonio de Padua right next to Fort Hunter Liggett, actually on Fort Hunter Liggett. Apparently, it’s the third mission in California. We grew up next to the first one, which is in San Diego. It just shows you that the interior of California, back in the day, was really integral to this ranching culture, which formed the history of early California. At one point there were 1300 natives from the Salinas tribe here with the missionaries, and this was basically a large ranch. It’s such a trip to discover this. It’s right off the military base. If we hadn’t had this detour, there’s no way we would have found it. Beautiful place. Got to come back. It’s all being restored and earthquake proof so it should be around for another couple hundred years. Go take a little walk through here, but continue on to Big Sur. We’ve been driving up the road a little bit, and we’ve just found this beautiful little river. It’s super hot today, so……. should we take a swim? I’m doing it. There’re tons of wasps, and I just got stung twice. It’s hard to meditate when you’re getting stung, but after four days on the road, this is the day when I really feel we are sinking into the moment, really appreciating the here and now, not worrying about what comes next, what happened in the past, just being present. Even though I’m swarmed by bugs, it’s still nice to be here. We’ve just crested the peak, and we’ve just passed a sign that says Road Closed 6 Miles Ahead on 1. Although we can see Big Sur in the distance, it’s shrouded in clouds and mystery. We don’t know really what lies ahead. We know that we can get down there, but we’re not sure how much of the coast that we can explore. What a magical place, honestly. I love this part of California…… Big Sur, the geography. These mountains are so rugged that there’s really only one way in and out, especially now that the PCH is blocked off from the north and the south. There is only one way in and out. I cannot wait to get down there and to soak it all in. This is my favorite place in California. First sight: the PCH Yes. Now we’ve made it to the end of the road. Our adventure has not ended. We need to go get some gas; we’ve got to go get some food, then we’ve got to go find somewhere to sleep. Not to mention there’s still 10 miles of coastline to explore. Let’s hop on the bikes and see what else we can find here in Big Sur. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen We slept like babies. We’re totally soaked. We’re pretty much in a cloud, still. Fog that rolled in yesterday has yet to lift so everything is totally soaked. Cheers. Bro. Coffee cheers. Boom. Cheers. We made it. Can you believe it? I can. I need my bike Rocinante because I was not sure whether to try to take her beyond Los Angeles was an exotic dream or whether it was possible, but it’s actually totally capable of traveling long distance. And I can go super far, and it just makes me look at my bike as a vehicle that can take me all the way around the world. I really had a great time with my brother. Rediscovered the joy of motorcycle travel, which I have not felt since almost 10 years ago traveling through Vietnam. Discovered so much of our home state. It’s just been an amazing experience. So thank you, Alex, for getting the idea together to go travel by motorbike together. Thank you Marko for finally saying “yes” because I feel like I’ve been pestering you and annoying you for at least a year now. What was your favorite part? Favorite part……..I think probably the roads out behind Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez… that kind of ridgeline road where you had views of the mountains to the inland and the coast off to the left, and then also back in Jalama Beach area was gorgeous. Honestly, there’s just nothing better than the freedom of two wheels and the fact that we got to get out on bikes together and explore our home state of California and take all you guys and girls with us. It makes me so happy. I just want to keep doing it. I want to keep going. I don’t want to end it here. We’d love to hear from all you guys and girls out there in the comment section. If you enjoyed this series, please let us know. This is something we definitely want to continue doing. We should give a big thanks to all the companies that helped us make this possible: to Sena for the audio bluetooth video connection; to Tobacco jeans for our jeans with Kevlar, Pack Animal for my saddle bags, and Rev’it for hooking up Alex’s jacket. All right ladies and gentlemen, that’s where we’re going to end it. Hopefully, if you’ve enjoyed this video, this series, make sure you subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications. Give this video a big thumbs-up, and drop a comment and let us know what you thought. In the meantime, stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road. Peace.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Awesome Guys! That was truly wonderful. California being my home state as well, you showed me roads I have yet ride down. You guys help set up one of my next great adventures. Thank you, George S.

  2. Hey Guys. Took that road years ago in 1967 being 18 years old (summer of love) after riding a Honda 50cc from Santa Cruz to Yosemite and back down to Big Sur and home at a cruising avg speed of 15 – 20 mph At that time a lot of the road was dirt & gravel Then hopped on my bicycle and pedaled up to Lake Tahoe and back from Santa Cruz. To be young again. Still riding at 68. Enjoyed your video

  3. So glad you guys posted this. I am heading out towards CA on my bike in a couple weeks and was wondering if this route was any good…. It's DEFINITELY on my list now. Thanks for the upload!

  4. Easy to get hooked here. Sub'd after the first video. This production is like none other. Hope there'll be more adventures from you two.

  5. 12:17 "dikota bandung, kumaha dararamang, kapunten pisan"

    that was native language from west java, indonesia @vagabrothers

  6. Guys, you'v done it again! You have entertained me and informed me at the same time. Plus watching you eat and drink is cool as well. Cheers!

  7. i liked the video ! really well made and good information, the editing was well put together as well. I like how you make it seem like an adventure and mention how remote it is (make it feel like middle alaska or something) but there are towns all along the way, I just rode that route a couple months ago.. nicely marketed though.. I wish I could tell a story like you! haha. keep it up.

  8. Just binged watch this series. I loved it!!!!! I just did a solo ride from my home in NYC, upstate, then into Canada through Toronto and to Niagara falls. Then I went home after 6 days on the road solo and logging 1,300 miles. Now I want to head to Cali, meet you both and ride the back roads with you two awesome brothers! I subbed your channel, Keep up the two wheeled moto-travel.


  9. Always inspiring videos vagabrothers! Could you post a little info about travel gear that you used for camp? thanks and keep exploring

  10. Hmmm… Secret Road? Not at all, it's well known among many. But good idea and I was thinking of doing the same soon! Fun to explore HWY 1 with no traffic!

  11. The fact you guys can articulate knowledge about California in a cool way makes this video 10x better. Well done. Enjoyed the mission knowledge.

  12. You guys did an amazing job on the entire series 👍👍great videography, music.. loved the concept and thanks for the inspiration..👌

  13. Vegabros! What back road is this? I'm an amateur photographer trying to capture great landscapes and it would be a truly awesome if you guys could help me out! Thanks 🤙🏼

  14. Awesome series guys! Growing up in Pacifica CA and having traveled north and south all of CA many times makes me miss the west coast after watching your vids. VA has great scenery and all…but nothing like PCH and the Pacific Ocean. Thanks! Safe travels and cheers!

  15. My brother and I were inspired by this video and did this trip last weekend. Thank you guys so much for the inspiration! It was everything we wanted it to be and more!

  16. Just watched all episodes and they were great. True inspiration and they showed what motorcycling is about. Now a new subscriber. Thumbs up and cheers from Sweden, land of the Vikings. 👍🏻🍻

  17. The great state of California. The solitude of Big Sur. I love your video. Thank you so much for sharing. Watching your video really make me miss California a lot. Please do not do the Lost Coast and Redwoods or my head will get messed up. A lot. LOL

    Great video though. Once again, thank you. Definitely subscribing.

  18. this has great cinematography but it also is filled with deception. First off at the time of shooting this video CAMP FIRES ARE BANNED and these boys are lucky to have not encountered locals, forrest service or police and somehow mysteriously avoided the 5,000$ fines. Big Sur was ravaged by fires and floods all in a short time frame and locals lost their homes and lives so to see a illegal roadside fire in the Eucalyptus grove just North of Gorda is especially concerning. Another rider traveling through (AFTER this video was shot) has been arrested and charged, served jail time and still faces the fines. If Big Sur is your favorite spot in California then respect it when you come. DO NOT HAVE AN ILLEGAL CAMP FIRE spend the 35$ to get a legal campsite (especially if your sponsored) and enjoy a worry free camp fire that won't cost you 5 grand. I'm glad these fellas didn't get to show even more secrets of Big Sur.

  19. It is good to have a machine with a range of 250-plus miles on a road trip such as this, unless you like paying $5 per US gallon for gasoline, On the other hand, motorcycles don't carry much fuel and a fill-up doesn't cost a fortune.

  20. Very very cool, I always wished I had a brother, you two guys seem very much like nice very young, smart, and I only wish I could have met you on the road for a day or part of without intruding of course, if it would have been an intrusion I would have said enjoy your ride, I'll likely see you again as I agree with your take on that part of our home state I am now planing a trip to the mission, for my 60 th birthday on my KLR this 2018 March. Peace out nicely done, what drone did you use by the way if you don't mind my asking, and I was really happy that you kept it about the trip not all the gear cams, tent, sleeping bags etc… But I am wondering if you used the Mavic or the Pro4 or some other brand. I love my Mavic. As it is so small and the abilty to lock on to myself as I ride.

  21. Well done! Thank you for presenting such an "insiders" view of this part of the coast. I grew up in the Santa Barbara area and have done this trip numerous times over the decades but it is NEVER tiring. I hope Internationals view this series and see these sites in California and also see that there is sooo much more to Cali than Disneyland and Universal Studios; not that there is anything wrong with those places, but showcasing the stunning natural beauty, the diversity of geographies, cultural history and modern lifestyle of the Central Coast exhibits all the natural riches that have made California such an amazing state. AND, that it can be done inexpensively is such a service for travellers! I enjoyed the whole series. Thanks.

  22. New subscriber.  What kind of camera do you guys use for making your videos?  It looks really clean and professional.  How do you get that look?

  23. I stumbled upon your video days ago and just took Nacimiento-Fergusson road today to Big Sur. Not my first time to PCH but first time took such a remote road. Absolutely LOVEEEE it! So much fun! Thank you guys for the inspiration!

  24. Hey guys, loved your series. We are from Florida and were planning on riding out to California last November but called it off due to the land slide closing the PCH. I wish I would have found this earlier. Do you have the route/Gpx files or something we can follow to get there?
    We would appreciate it.
    Ride safe, keep filming. Love your channel.

  25. Ok, I literally never comment but just can not restrain myself this time.
    1.) First of all, very nice videography and the visuals were just top-notch. Well done.
    2.) As for the dialog… My God. I don't know where to start. I guess thank you for reminding me yet again why most people can't stand Californian's. I thought the dialog was in jest at first; but unbelievably, it was real. I kept debating whether to just mute the audio and enjoy the visuals (minus the hipster/douche leather riding jacket. I felt compelled to stab myself in the ear as soon as the comments refereed to "sinking into the moment and being in the here and now and being present". Tell me, do you pair your own bottled farts with that low-impact soy tofu vegan and gluten-free panini?
    3.) The whole purpose (besides the journey) was to get to the PCH by a means other than the North and South, correct? The comment was only 'way way in or out'. It was not clear from the sequence whether you found a way to the PCH other than this N/S route (and you dropped down via one of these routes) or if you intersected Big Sur in the middle. I see what you ended up doing of course, but the sequencing wasn't perfectly clear.

  26. How can you two metro dweebs stomach Northern Mexico? Come visit us in the United States. Maybe you will rediscover your lost manhood, in so doing. This wasn't a run this was frolicking. Gotta say I'm not digging the fem "vibes." Excellent videography skills though.

  27. I rode Nacimiento-Fergusson in October about 5 years ago. Found a tarantula crossing the road up at the top. Awesome little road. Thanks for bringin me back with style. nice video.

  28. Great video. You guys put a lot of work into this and it really shows. Good job. I actually lived in that area when I was in the army many years ago so brings back memories. Definitely no problem doing long trip on smaller bike, it’s not as comfortable for sure but my son and I just did a 1,500 mile trip to big bend in Texas and he was on a Harley Iron 883 and I road a fat bob; touring bike sure would be comfortable though haha. Take care.

  29. Absolutely beautiful footage. Of course, California is like taking photos of beautiful people.. it makes it a little easier. Looks like great area to ride in. Like everyone else, PCH is on my bucket list ride.That landslide has been a real inconvenience. I'm planning a ride and camping trip to Joshua Tree in the next few months. I really can't wait!

  30. Loved the trip, curious if you have a trip map to share? Planning on doing this same trip in a few weeks. More so curious where you found gas in Big Sur and which campground you stayed at. Keep the vids coming!

  31. Next time I'm down that way, I'm definitely gonna have to take that route. Looks much more peaceful than Hwy 1 to Big Sur from Carmel By the Sea. I haven't really gone beyond Big Sur, though. One day.

  32. Dudes, that was killer! I am tempted to go on another moto trip! I randomly left in the middle-of-the-night one night on a cross country non planned trip! It rocked and I encourage everyone to always take a cross country trip (on motorcycles preferably) and take it all in! If you guys ever do cross country trip i did mine under $2K and road some gnarly roads there and back! Love the show!

  33. my bro and me has motorcycle. also  We live in LA. we want to be there as like you guys. is there any tip?

  34. OMG that music at 12:16 was in Sunda dialect (from West Java, Indonesia) 😆! Where did you get it? I can't find the credits in the description

  35. The third cotholic inslavement ( so they inslaved 1300 people with military help )of the native population that had absolutly no need of them !!!

  36. The roadside fire near Gorda Springs is highly illegal then, now and anytime. Please DO NOT emulate these fellas. Big Sur is open to law enforcement now and currently the fine for any campfire is 5 grand.

  37. Morning Vegabrothers, first off condolences on the loss of your friends and I hope you two are doing well.

    The California Motorcycle Road Trip series is for sure my all time video to watch and every time I review the series it just gets better. I was in Cali and had hoped to recreate your tour, but work called and I'm now living in Italy (I know what a bummer right) LOL. As soon as my bikes get here I'll be vlogging and documenting wonderful memories like you two…Please keep doing what you do.

  38. Yes, the secret military road…Nacimiento Fergusson Road…a true goldmine of riding. Wow…this series never gets old.

  39. Okay, so I know they aren't riding harleys here but I recently took a three state road trip about 3,000 miles on a Road King,
    I filmed the entire thing and would love to know what you guys think.
    Here is the first episode if you want to check it out. 🙂

  40. Next time, stay at the Hearst Hacienda INSIDE Fort Hunter Liggett, the interior version of Hearst Castle, cool architecture, and super cheap (not fancy accommodations, but perfect for a ride stay).

  41. Very cool video! I lived around Paso for about 2.5 years it was great riding. A very tasteful plug about your sponsors,nice.

  42. I wish my brother would also get into motorcycle riding and join me on my long journey rides instead of just playing mobile legend.

  43. Made me glad to know that you’re truimph bonnevvel, could travel around the world 🌎 I have one too, thanks for this excellent video, I enjoyed it .

  44. Guys, wet your shirts and wring it out at every stop then wear inside your gear – acts as Air-conditioning. I do it all the time in summer up here in Canada. Also a wet bandana around neck keeps carotid artery cool.

  45. Good friend Rene and I rode that road 2 years ago. We went on the Army Base Fort Hunter to refuel. Road is narrow, but, loved the road, have to be careful of rocks on road, cars, and big trucks.

  46. Simply fantastic guys. Thanks for share ! I´m from Brazil and also ride my motoycycle by South America.

  47. What you said about that mission was pretty funny.
    You said, "Its being restored and being made earthquake proof so it should be around for another couple hundred years."
    You guys are from SoCal, same as I.
    Let's face it, what you meant to say was it's being earthquake proofed so it should be around for another 2 or 3 weeks!😆😆
    I understand that as regards a great bike trip in the interior, ranchs, pasture, some great places to stop, Have you tried up on CA-46 near Cholame, Ca up into the small famous town of Parkfield. You can catch CA-46 east out of Paso Robles.
    Been there a few times, great ride, you have to stand on the bent bridge that sits directly over the San Andreas Fault. EAT at the little Parkfield inn. Lots of. Motorcycles up that way love the trip and the road.
    Google it, you might enjoy it.
    Great video btw!

  48. I did this ride a few months ago, it was a blast! It felt like we were getting away with something going through the military base!

  49. Where is that swimming spot? I'm heading up there this weekend. Just trying to get an idea of where you found that!

  50. "at one point there were 1300 natives here with the missionaries and this was basically a big ranch." Nothing like forced indoctrination and labor to pacify a populace…..

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