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Gawd is California fun or what?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by PeeJay, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. I went to Laguna by very indirect routes, some suggested by pnwriders plus some others I had not yet ridden. Now, the Oregon section was decidedly fun and good and all that but NoCal just has such awesome stuff to offer! I didn't take many pictures, sorry.

    PDX to Detroit via Clackamas River Rd., then 22 -> 126 to McKenzie bridge, the Aufderheide then over to K Falls for the night. Nothing much to say about all that. Well, the tunnel on 58 is closed after 8 pm so I guess I got lucky by arriving around 7:30. [​IMG] And note that Klamath Falls rolls up the sidewalks at 9:00 pm. Dining choices were fast food or Applebee's. Applebee's has booze so I went there. Maybe I'm spoiled from living in PDX but I hafta say, the food was just not very good at all.

    66 from K Falls to Ashland was loads of fun. It's a bit rough coming down from the pass into Ashland but there's brand new pavement further down - looks like they're working their way up.

    I-5 down to 96, Klamath River Highway. 96 is a great ride following the river - mostly smooth pavement, lots of turns, very little traffic but watch out for this guy in Happy Camp: [​IMG]

    There's gas in Happy Camp right across the road from Sasquatch, but it's unattended - cards only. And no premium. But the next gas is I don't how far away but it's far enough that I wouldn't be able to make it after filling up 90 miles back in Ashland. BTW, there's a rest stop but no services at the 96 exit from I-5.

    Just off 96 further down turn left on Salmon River Rd. to Somes Bar. On 96 there were a couple places with road closures where you have to wait for the pilot vehicle. I rode by a line of cars to the front and got yelled at by the Flagger. She said you have to use the right side of the road along the fog line, not the center in such cases. I'm a stupid Oregonite, I said and she smiled at me. Anyway, its very nice road, smooth and tight over to Forks of Salmon. Then it gets funky. [​IMG] It's paved but rough for like 35 miles. It's very scenic, following the river. It's mostly about 1 to 1.3 lanes wide but in places it's 0.7 lanes wide. With very sharp dropoffs. To rocks 100 feet below. No guard rails or anything. I had a blast. :mrgreen: There's a fair bit of fresh pavement in the last 1/3 of the section or so. Too fresh if you know what I mean. Tar and oil bubbling up. :scared

    Let's see ... yeah, somebody at Pashnit wrote it up with pics.

    Then a miracle happens. At Cecilville, which isn't the end of the world though you can see it from there, the road becomes billiard table smooth two lane with wide groomed shoulders. And it twists up, over and down a pass. The whole time I was asking myself "why is this road?" Somebody with influence has a place up there I guess.

    So that drops you out in Callahan which has a store and bar but no gas and you're a bit over 100 miles out of Happy Camp. Not to worry, there's gas - expensive gas - in Trinity Center about 30 miles away. Rte 3 down to Weaverville is a blast. There's some hairpin switchback stuff early on then it becomes typically lovely, pretty twisty, smooth, NoCal backroad.

    I stayed on 3 out of Weaverville. It gets much tighter and twistier all the way to where it meets legendary CA 36. Which I then rode east to Red Bluff to end my second day and meet two of my brothers who rode up from L.A.

    So, next day we got a fairly early start. To do this: [​IMG] WOOHOO! Despite having ridden a fair bit of it the previous evening it was awesome. :mfclap: You MUST ride 36 at some point in your life. It's epic, awesome, wondrous, life changing, miraculous, revelatory, blah blah blah.

    From Fortuna we went to Ferndale for lunch. Then down the "lost coast" through Petrolia. Gorgeous, just frigging amazing. And brutal. It was paved but that only made it worse. Beat the living crap out me. Highly recommended if you have an adv bike or even a sport tourer with a semi upright riding position but on my SV with the GSXR front end I thought I was gonna die! The lower end is quite lovely, with fresh pavement as it winds its way very tightly through a redwood grove. Short ride down the Alley of the Big Poles ... er, I mean Avenue of the Giants and a short blast on 101 into Garberville for the night. Here's a Garberville food cart: [​IMG] Pork / burger / sausage / chicken, corn, baked potato, $10. It was tasty. Nice guys just trying to get by.

    So we headed down 101 and of course hit Rte. 1 at Leggett. I swear, riding that road from there to the coast is a spiritual experience. The first time I was through there I turned around at the coast and rode back up, turned around went back down. It's that kind of road.

    The plan was to ride a road none of had been on before, from just south of Mendocino to Ukiah. I didn't know any details, my oldest brother had planned this ride and he was leading. So we ride down past Mendocino, he turns off to the left and turns back north. WTF? :scratchea Did we miss the turn off? Noooo, he takes us back into Mendocino FOR GAS. $6 per gallon gas. :angry7: I wanted to ride the 8 miles back to Fort Bragg but noooooo, he's antsy to keep heading south. Just a couple miles south of Mendocino is the road to Comptche. The first 15 miles to Comptche are sweeeet! Smooth, pretty tight, lined with redwoods. We pulled over to regroup and I said "AAA+++ WILL RIDE AGAIN!" Then it turned to crap. Not as bad as the lost coast but mostly rough, broken pavement.

    Lunch in Ukiah at the Ukiah Brewpub or whatever it's called. The burger was very, very good. The fish sandwich was just okay but overpriced. The chicken sandwich was an insult.

    From Ukiah 101 south a few miles to pick up rte. 253 which is a very nice but not excessively great ride to Boonville. At that point we felt the need to head south at haste so we took 128 back to 101 and thence down to San Jose (closest we could find rooms at late notice - quite a few other riders there too). 128 was just as I recalled, nice NoCal road but not a destination road by any means.

    On the way back I came pretty much directly save for taking 128 from Cloverdale up to Hwy 1 near Mendocino. The coast end, where it follows the river through redwoods, is new pavement - very nice. I was eager to get home but taking that route meant I would ride 1 between the coast and Leggett again. :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

    I had a total of 8 deer experiences along the way. 9 if I counted the one quietly munching somebody's yard in Weaverville but I didn't have to react to that one. One was notable: On that goat path near Cecilville Bambi and two little kiddies took evasive action of their own. The momma just bounded up the very steep hill to the right. The faun on the left headed diagonally away from me and kept stumbling, not wanting to head down the very steep hill on that side. It finally decided it had to do something and jerked left over the edge where it promptly went head over heels a couple times. The other poor little fella lit out directly away from me but wanted to follow mommie up the slope but was afraid because it was so steep. Finally decided it had to make a move, trip over iotself and spun around on its belly twice with legs splayed out. crackup: It was TOO cute. I was reminded of that when I went to put up this elk pic from just north of Crescent Beach. [​IMG]

    One other thing. At the Super 8 in Crescent Beach the damn shower didn't work! Dribbles only. Shit. Well I still have a lot of riding to do to get home so I suit up and load the bike. When I tell the lady at the counter how pissed I am she sends her uncle or father or whoever who barely speaks english to check it out. I follow him back to the room where he turns the water on, sees no water coming out then PULLS A PLIERS OUT OF HIS POCKET and does something to the diverter valve (handicapped shower, I had tried swiveling the lever every which way) and he says "see, water!" So back to the front desk where I complain that they should have told me HOW TO FIX THE FCUCKING SHOWER THEY KNEW HAD A PROBLEM! I said "I'll give you half price." She said "No, 15% refund." All it took was for her to look at me when she said "maybe I get 25% I have to call." I told her there was no way and went to get breakfast andcalled Super 8 corporate. They promised to have a resolution by Aug. 6th. I haven't heard from them yet. :angry7:
  2. Hwy 36 :mfclap: :mrgreen::301

  3. Hey awesome writeup! I was down there and hit a lot of the same roads. 36 is a friggin blast, but Hwy 1 is even better (in my opinion)! In fact, Hwy 1 is by far the best road I've ever ridden. How was the eastern section of 96? We didn't do that part, but we did do Grayback Rd (NF-48 ) from Happy Camp to Cave Junction, and that road is also incredible! A couple of other highlights - in Oregon on the way back.. Hwy 3 out of Warm Springs and NF-48 west to 35 up to Hood River.

    Great write-up! If I have spend some time I'll share our version as well.
  4. This is truth. Especially when you bust out of the trees and see the water. Totally awesome, and nice write-up. 8)
  5. Mods, ban this poster!

    Seriously, sounds like fun. I'm taking note of those roads.
  6. Great write-up. Sounds like a fun ride.

    I just drove up to Washington from Arizona. It wasn't very much fun, but I found a great place to eat in Ashland.
  7. Find any excuse to do so. Hell, just riding those roads is good enough reason to make the trip.

    I forgot to mention that the burgers at the shack in Mad River (along CA 36) are excellent!
  8. Thanks!

    The eastern (upper) end is same as it ever was, a meandering road that doesn't scream "challenge me!" but it's more like "hey, take it easy but don't go too slow and just enjoy it." The pavement is fine.

    I was SO tempted to check out that cCA NF-48 but just couldn't find a way to work it in. Well, the riding season is far from over...

    I'd bet everyone would like to see your story - get busy typing!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
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