I'll warn you now. Go make yourself some lunch. Day 2 was a long day, a lot happened & this installment of my ride report is verbose. Don't say I didn't warn you. Seriously...I'll wait. Go get some food
Back? Got some lunch? Ok, let's continue.
Why is that alarm so damned loud?! And why is it going off so freaking early?!
Day 2 started with me trying to wake up at 6 o'clock so we could get an early start. "Trying" being the operative word. I really don't want to be setting up camp in the dark this week so I'm gonna try hard to make sure we don't. I even told everyone as much last night.
*Listening carefully* Hey...I don't think anyone else is up. I think I'll lay back down.
That didn't last long. Soon after, I started hearing others in the cabin rustling around.
Alright...I suppose it's time to get up & get started.
We all got out of bed & started trying to work off the cocktails from last night. This was the view we were all greeted with.
Not a bad way to start the day. Fortunately nvoelsch was hospitable enough to whip up some blueberry pancakes for all of us. Now...I don't normally eat breakfast, but today was different. I REALLY needed something in my tummy before we continued on our fantastic voyage. We all showered, ate breakfast, geared up & started packing anything we had unpacked (you guessed it...Jada was going to make sure I thought of her every single day). That's when I remembered the staircase. Oh well...I'll consider it a workout my doctor would be proud of.
After packing the luggage back on the bike & getting it all secured & ready for travel, I had the thought that the last time I checked my air pressures, it was warm & sunny. Today...was not. Rick heard me mumbling about my pressure gauge being in one of my saddle bags, requiring me to unsecure everything that I had so neatly strapped to the bike. That's when he offered to let me use his gauge since it was in his tank bag. He'd even let me use his handy air pump. Hey, it's even got an SAE connector so I can power it off my Battery Tender pigtail. Perfect! So I set about checking the pressure in my...whoa...4 lbs. low! Yep, we're going down the coast today, so it's not getting any warmer. Let's just hook this pump up & turn it on...POP! Aww shit. I blew a fuse somewhere. I turned the key on to see if I had power to the rest of the bike & I did. Looks like I popped the fuse in the pigtail. Know what that means?! I have to pull EVERYTHING off the bike to get under the seat. Fortunately Rick ALSO had spare fuses. I finally get under the seat, pull the fuse & it's a 3A. Smallest one Rick has is a 10A. Not having any gadgets that would pull more than 5A, I decide it's a fine replacement. Fast forward several minutes & I've got my bike back together, luggage strapped on & tires at the proper pressure. We're finally on the road...at 9:30. So much for trying to get an early start.
We set off, down the coast...the cloudy, dreary, cold, damp coast. With a quick jaunt up Langlois Mountain Road out of Langlois, OR & back...we continued on. The weather was unfortunate, because there are some really nice views on the Oregon Coast. Port Orford is one of them. But today...meh...not nearly as nice as the last time I was there.
We stop, take a few pictures & get back on the road. Again...not much to report except anyone that had grip warmers was using them. Then we stop in Brookings for fuel & spot this nice "little" gem.
That's what you think it is. It's one of the Dakar Rally trucks. From what we could tell, it was from Germany. What they were doing in Oregon, I'll never know, but it was pretty cool to see one up close.
We continue on, taking a detour through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. It's the first of many drives through the Redwoods this week. I've got video, but it wasn't all that great. Not really tight & rainy. Back on US 101...man...I can't wait to get inland a bit.
Finally, we get a reprieve from the weather when we get to Arcata & head inland over CA 299 (Trinity Highway). I'm pretty sure Grace was secretly snickering the rest of the day, seeing all the references to her younger, sexier sister & knowing she was on this trip with me instead. CA 299 is a GREAT road. Lots of high speed sweepers, lots of passing lanes & we saw very few LEOs. It's a good thing too, because we had to try REALLY hard to stay ahead of the cages that just HAD to be in front of any traffic they saw, even if it meant holding them up when the passing lane disappeared & the curves got tighter. I'm not particularly proud of how fast I was riding, but I had fun, no one got hurt & no one got any awards. When we got to Willow Creek, CA to stop for fuel, I thought it best to check my tire pressures again since the temperature had risen about 30°. Sure enough...I was 4 lbs. over the recommended pressures in both tires. No wonder the shoulders of my tires were all shiny & looking like they may have melted a little. I have to say, I was kinda proud of what my tires looked like...even if it was due to the pressures being a little high.
Fueled up, watered down, done visiting with a guy from Texas on a 2 month journey that had been behind us for much of the Oregon Coast & having eaten some snacks, we head toward Weaverville, CA. There we'll hook up with CA 3 & head for Trinity Lake. It's 5:30 already, so we should get a move on. Remember? I don't want to setup camp in the dark. Shortly after Weaverville on CA 3, it starts looking like dusk. Unfortunately, we can't really go any faster because this stretch of highway had the most dense population of deer I had ever seen. And shit...now it's getting dark. That's when Rick & I notice in our mirrors that nvoelsch's headlight was pretty dim. He had mentioned some sort of electrical problem where the bike would stop putting out a charge intermittently. This isn't good. We're pretty much in the middle of nowhere. So we slow down, trying to keep him in sight, give him something to aim for & decide that we just can't stop until we get to where we're camping for fear that he wouldn't be able to get it started again. About 5 minutes later, we see it bright again. Huh, ok...whatever...let's just get to camp. I was in the lead looking for a campground that would have food since none of us had eaten since lunch in Crescent City. I must've passed 376 campgrounds before we ended up in Coffee Creek. There was a sign advertising a campground so I turned off. That's when Rick noticed the little Pizza Pub across the street. Well, it's already dark so let's get some food before they close & ask them about camping.
Yeah, Rick really looked like that. We were all ragged & ready to setup camp. Notice how dark it is. Yeah, so much for setting up camp in the daylight. At some point, one of us asked our server if she knew much about the camping situation around here...explaining that we had heard about a campground across the street. She says, "yeah, my parents own it." Awesome! We get more information, finish our dinner & head over.
When we get there, we meet the nicest guy, Willy. He lets us all camp in the same site for only $15. Best part is, every site has power. GREAT! We pick out a site, Rick & I leave our headlights on & hurry to get tents pitched. As I finish pitching mine, I look back & Grace's headlights aren't nearly as blinding as they should be. Shit...I should have replaced that 5 year old battery before leaving on the trip. After trying unsuccessfully to start Grace, nvoelsch says, "don't worry. I brought my battery charger with me!" He goes to the power post & finds out that "power in every site" meant RV power in every site. Ok, he still says not to worry, he brought jumper cables. HA! Two bikes are having a hard time starting (yeah, Rick's battery went really low too) & we're going to depend on the guy with the electrical gremlins to get us started in the morning? Oh, cruel fate. nvolesch gets his bike started & suggests that I ride it up to Willy's & see if he's got an RV->110V pigtail that we can borrow. It was a long shot, but he was really nice before. Maybe we'll get lucky. Sure enough, Willy has one & let's us borrow it free of charge.
Ever ride a motorcycle in the dark without a headlight? I hadn't either, but the utility truck's charging system was acting up again & I had to ride back to our site with no lights. Finally I get back to camp, we hook the utility truck up to the charger, Rick got his bike running & I'm actually able to start mine. We don't leave them running long as it's pretty late & we don't want to piss off the neighbors. I'll hook mine up to the charger tomorrow morning. With camp setup & the bikes put to bed, we sit at the table for a bit, discuss the day & go over some loose plans for tomorrow. I think it was around midnight when we all headed off to our respective tents & fell asleep.
How was lunch? Aren't you glad I stopped you & suggested getting food before telling my tale?
Day 2 Route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3421322
Day 3 - CA 3 and COWS!!!