Originally Posted by eakins
That vehicle looks to be a MAN and it's probably just a bunch of overlanding Euros who own it.
Nothing to do with Dakar, just some tourists like you.
Fair enough. It was pretty cool to see one up close though. In fact, it got a LOT of attention when we were there.
Back to the report. I did it again. I just can't get out of storytelling mode. I've decided that my goal isn't necessarily to tell y'all about our trip & keep you entertained. Rather, I'm recording our trip while I can still remember the details. If you're entertained & still reading, thank you. Please enjoy. But really, I'm just having fun writing this ride report & reliving one of the most awesome weeks I've ever had. Go make another sandwich, I'll be here when you get back.
Much like most days, I awoke after everyone else. In fact, nvoelsch had already showered. Looks like we're gonna get a late-ish start again today. Speaking of showers, it was then that I realized that I had forgotten to pack one very important item. Suddenly, the voice of Towelie was in my head, reminding me, "Don't forget to bring a towel!"
Well, I had forgotten & we're pretty much in the middle of nowhere so I can't just buy one. There's a thing about necessity...you'll always find a way. As it turns out, a t-shirt makes a pretty good towel when necessary.
After showering I head back to camp & start packing up. Cue the obligatory camp site photo.
We take the charger off of the utility truck & put it on Grace, just so I can get a little charge on her while we pack up camp. Finally...around 9:30 am, we get going. We stopped at Willy's to return his RV->110V adapter & have a 10 minute conversation with him. I'm pretty sure he doesn't see very many people out there because conversations with him were never short, but he was very friendly & hospitable. He even gave us a recommendation for a road we should take while we're in the area. More on that later.
We started the day continuing northbound on CA 3, having noticed a squiggly section of the road on our maps. Sure enough, we get to Scott Mountain a few minutes later & were immediately greeted with the kind of road that makes my heart flutter.
Now THAT'S how you start the day! There were a couple corners that made me glad I ride triples. There's nothing like being surprised with the tightness of a corner, rolling WAY off the throttle, not changing gears & being able to pull out of the corner like a tractor.
At the top we pause for a break, taking in the cool mountain air & taking a few pictures. It really was
a beautiful morning.
After our break, we keep heading north on CA 3 toward Yreka. I take the lead & we head down the hill. It's a lot less twisty on this side of the mountain, so we're able to pick up the speed a bit more. While trucking down the hill, all my training & practice paid off. I found myself in a situation requiring some emergency braking in the middle of a corner. Turns out, I'm pretty good at it.
Giving a few final revs of the engine so they didn't dart out in front of Rick & nvoelsch, we were on our way again. We made a quick stop in Yreka at the local Wally World to pick up a few things (including a towel) & then headed toward CA 96. The first part of CA 96, from Yreka to Happy Camp, was great. Lots of high speed sweepers & very light traffic...except of that one logging truck.
It was fun, but I didn't get any video or photos of that section. We stop in Happy Camp at a grocery store to find out where we can eat in town. It was a very small town so we didn't have a lot of options. The thing about motorcycle touring is that everyone wants to talk to you, to get just a bit of your story & sometimes give you road recommendations. This stop was no different. The guy in the grocery store recommends a place to eat & suggests that we take a road that heads north out of town & over to CA 199. Unfortunately, today we couldn't do that, but we mentally noted his road. We will
, however take his recommendation on good eats in town.
While we're eating, a guy comes up to us & asks if we know anything about the motorcycle on the side of the road west of town. We reply that we don't, but that a group of riders just left as we were pulling up. After finishing our meal, we continue on toward Willow Creek. About 10 miles out of town we come across this.
Go ahead dude...praying is all fine & dandy, but I'd like to suggest learning how to ride. There you have it...an abandoned motorcycle, oil all over the road & clearly it's all fresh.
Now...I haven't mentioned it yet, but we were in contact with SamEyeHam (a friend of ours from Portland) the day before, trying to meet up & ride with him for a bit. He finally calls me to warn us about the oil in the road. Apparently he had hooked up with this group & rode with them for a bit when this guy crashes. I guess things were going well when, for whatever reason, these guys picked up the pace & one bites the dust. Anyway...weird way for us to cross paths with Sam. We never did see him.
So we take our pictures & continue on. Shortly after the wreckage we come across a section of CA 96 that made my heart flutter again. While it's bumpy & the surface isn't all that
great, the configuration of this piece of road was awesome, moderately tight & we were really able to get a good rhythm going.
Just before Orleans, we get stopped by a flagger. They were crawling all over Norther California while we were there. While we were stopped, nvoelsch looked over to the hillside & found out why we were stopped...and it wasn't construction.
That's not a cloud. Apparently there's been a fire burning there since early July. After sitting there for about 10 or 15 minutes, the pilot car came by & were were on our way again. We roll into Willow Creek finally & head west on CA 299 back toward Eureka. This run across the pass wasn't nearly as fun as the first. Lots of traffic, no one using the turn outs & no one passing quick enough in the passing zones for us to get by. Pretty uncharacteristic of Northern California. Eventually we stop at Berry Summit & take in the sights.
Realizing it's 5:30 pm & we've still got a lot of road to cover before stopping for the night, we get going. We roll into Eureka & stop at the local Big KMart to look for an RV->110V adapter just in case we need one. When we pull up, we hardly had enough time to dismount before a guy in a wheelchair was there trying to hit us up for money. I have to admit, his technique was good. First striking up a conversation & trying to relate to us as Oregonians...then going in for the kill. Back on 299, I had accidentally left the camera rolling, so I actually got it on film.
We also saw this car in the parking lot that had obviously been there a while. All of the windows were busted out, the trunk was wide open & the mirrors had been knocked off. Eureka really is a weird place.
As it was pretty close to dark, we decide to check into a KOA for the convenience, the power & the lighting. This way, even though we're setting up camp late, we'll still have light to do it.
Yep, that's the utility truck on the battery charger again. After setting up camp, we head into town for dinner. This time at Lost Coast Brewery.
While at dinner, Rick decides to try one of the beers & the server suggested a few fruit flavored beers, bringing the tangerine & watermelon to Rick to try. He can't decide which one so she suggests that she can mix them, calling it "Twatermelon." That got quite a few laughs from us for the rest of the trip.
After dinner, we headed back to camp & settled in for the night. Unfortunately the couple staying two sites away didn't settle in until much later. Gotta love KOA. Right next to the freeway, crawling with boisterous children & a couple having sex (not quietly, mind you) until late into the night. Fortunately, being on a motorcycle trip, we had our earplugs handy.
Day 3 Route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3421325
Day 4 - Some people REALLY don't want you to pass