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Old 12-19-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
WanderingCowboy OP
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Totally Un-Epic Trip Through the Redwoods

So I posted about this trip a while back in the Trip Planning Forum and figured I'd update with the status.

I decided instead of sitting around awkwardly staring at my family this Christmas, I'd ride up the Highway 1/101 from Monterey, CA to Portland, OR to visit a girlfriend and her family.

I'm riding a KLRE650 that Krasniewski original built and I took apart and re-assembled. I also build a riding box for my amigo Ozzy to keep him out of the cold wind and any potential rain. I didn't have to pack much, there are a lot of small towns with motels along the way. So I mainly packed clothes and some lightweight camping gear.

I always assumed Monterey was part of NorCal, but I'm starting to find California north of San Francisco is a whole different world.


Ready to roll (he has more space than he makes it seem).
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:00 PM   #2
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The first day is planned to be the longest one. We set out from Monterey when it was nice and sunny and somewhere in the mid-60s (read: awesome).



The ride up Highway from Monterey to Santa Cruz is mostly freeway and always boring. So while trying not to nod off I got comfortable with the bike's handling while fully loaded (it actually sits a lot lower than I expected).

From Santa Cruz we jumped onto the old Highway 9 up through Felton and Boulder Creek. It's a fun road that only gets better after getting onto Highway 35 past Alice's Restaurant. I didn't get any pictures or stop since I've done this ride several times but I may on the way back just because.


Overlooking Smokey San Jose

The worst part of this ride was getting through SF. The 280 was just a miserable ride, and the Highway 1 through the city has a lot of lights and traffic. But after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, it all opened up again. The ride along the coast past Tomales Bay was awesome. Very few cars and the road seems to run right along the water (maybe 2 feet above the water line).

We finally get to Bodega Bay just before sunset. The campground at Bodega Bay Dunes was recommended so I figured we'd check it out. Besides the camp host, we were the only people in the camp ground. Pretty nice being able to camp in the middle of the week in the middle of December. So I picked a spot behind a dune. After getting the tent set, we hiked over the top just in time to catch sunset. At this point I was still in a t-shirt and feeling good. But since I didn't have any extra room on the bike, after unloading I had to ride to the store to get food and firewood.


Camp



Sunset

By the time I got back it was cold. I grew up in Texas, lived in Hawaii, and live in "SoCalish" so I'm not equiped for this. Thank god for the fire. After eating, I called it a night (around 8pm) and got in the sleeping bag with the dog and the battery powered undershirt. Inside the bag I was mostly warm, but the dog was freezing his ass off on top of it (and refused to get in).




Some video of me from Highway 35 and Golden Gate

So for Day 2, I figure we'd ride a little less and find a pet-friendly hotel near Fort Bragg.

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Old 12-19-2013, 10:57 PM   #3
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Nice! I love that campground!
Wright's Beach is another awesome campground up that way.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:43 PM   #4
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Definitely a good recommendation to stay in Bodega Bay. But I imagine it'd be better in the summer.

Day 2:

I went to bed around 8pm since I didn't have anything else to do in Bodega Bay in the dark and cold. My plan was to get up after it was nice and warm, but Ozzy had other ideas.

So we were up around 7am, while everything was still cold and wet and foggy. Not good riding weather. Thus, we had to kill some time before it warmed enough to continue riding. So we went for a hike, in the damp, deep sand toward the beach. It wasn't a bad hike, but the deep sand sucked. And the wet sand became a mess. Thankfully on the way back the fog began to really burn off. Today still had potential to be a good riding day.


Some Observers




Ozz got confused on the way we were walking

After we got back to camp, we loaded up and set off for Fort Bragg. I don't know if it was the cold, or the lack of sleep the night before, but the ride was rough. I've never wanted more for a ride to be over. I was really looking forward to a hot shower and even thinking about turning back the next day.



Thankfully, Fort Bragg wasn't far so we got there around 1pm. And checked into the America's Best Value Inn. This particular motel happened to be extremely dog friendly (the majority of the Christmas decorations in the lobby were for dogs). In fact, as I was getting off the bike, the lady at the counter came out to get a photo of Ozzy for there wall. When I looked at the wall of dog photos I noticed we were one of several motorcycling dog pairs to stay in the hotel.

The town itself wasn't particularly interesting. There is a coffeeshop in downtown (the only one) that had pretty good sandwiches and free wifi. And there is the North Coast Brewery, which is worth getting a sampler at.

And thank god we got a full night of warm sleep.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:20 PM   #5
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Day 3:
I don't want to beat up the dog too much, but my plan is to ride the Lost Coast, which appears to be about 3.5 hours from Garberville to Eureka. Since Fort Bragg is about 2 hours to Garberville, I figure 5.5 hours riding will just be too much for one day, especially with winter daylight hours. So instead of doing the whole thing today, I'm just heading up to Garberville.



It actually worked out to be a good plan because the wind off the water today was shitty. Gusts just blasting me. Even with a knee out I was all over the place, and I could see the dog carrier getting blasted in the mirror.



The route wasn't bad. Highway 1 turns away from the coast (the Lost Coast) here and joins 101 up to Ferndale. The inland route to 101 was full of twisties and surrounded by redwoods. But the 101 turns into freeway quick and is just boring.

Anyways, from Garberville I'm set up well to enjoy the Mattole Road around the Lost Coast and into Eureka tomorrow.


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Old 12-21-2013, 04:41 AM   #6
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Nice ride. I thought Bodega looked like that year round.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:42 PM   #7
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How's Ozzy doing back there? We need some dog shots!!

Matole is one of my favs Also Bear ridge rd. to the right before you head down to 101 will drop you in Rio Dell

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Old 12-21-2013, 07:02 PM   #8
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Mattole Road is a great one,Ive done it on bicycles and motorcycles both.

Then when you pass through Honeydew there's a gravel road that takes off and comes out on the road to Shelter Point,lots of interesting little roads over that way.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
Mattole Road is a great one,Ive done it on bicycles and motorcycles both.

Then when you pass through Honeydew there's a gravel road that takes off and comes out on the road to Shelter Point,lots of interesting little roads over that way.
Kings ridge rd.
Saw I guy come up that w/ full size cab over camper on
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:56 PM   #10
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So Mattole Road was awesome, and I really wanted to check out a lot of the side roads, but I don't think Ozzy would have appreciated it. It was fairly rough and everytime I got up on the pegs I realized he was getting beat up.



On the way to Mattole, though, we took the Avenue of the Redwoods. I was little concerned it would be a lot of stop signs, but thankfully there really aren't any people in this part of Cali. Just a long twisty road. I'm gonna have to jump on it again going North to South.



After hopping on Bull Creek Flat Rd (turns into Mattole) from Weott, I realized just how cold portions of the Redwoods get. Even though all of the cities on AccuWeather said they were in the mid-40s, the areas in the valleys and in the shade were definitely cold. The first sight of hard froze ice puddles on the side of the road made me a little nervous, but after traveling toward the sun for a while things heated up enough to be comfortable.



The road to start ran through the redwoods with some good switchbacks up and down the side of the mountain. After leaving the State Park, the small villages were kind of surprising in how isolated they were. I had to slow from not 1, but 2 herd of cattle on the road.



But dropping onto the coast was awesome. We had to stop and take some photos.



I wish I had taken some good video, but leaving the coast going north got me into the biggest on-road hillclimb I've seen. It reminded me over doing competition hills on the dirt bike. I seriously have not seen a paved road this steep, so I pinned the throttle back and just pressed up to the top. After a while of twisties some good vistas of Eureka opened up. But I have to believe the portion from the beach toward Ferndale is the roughest. I tried my best to find the smoothest line past the bumps but it was bad.


Tired from getting beat up all day

We finally made it down into Ferndale, and from here it was mainly freeway into Eureka.

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Old 12-22-2013, 12:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for posting, cool trip.
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:31 PM   #12
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Are you sure Ozzy is OK! He looks done in
Dose he have a kidney belt?

Looks just like the 4 I have, 1 tan 3 blk/wht.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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Ozzy's doing alright. He's just enjoying the king size beds he's been sleeping in at the motels. The photo above was actually in the even after we got back from a jog around town. And we'll be stopping for a few days up near Portland before heading back. I'm not too worried about him. He does have a belt. I put a thundershirt on him, and put his harness over it. Then I use a carabiner to clip him onto the strap built into his "pod". I will say that I think building him a pod was a great idea. Since it is thick plastic and I waterproofed the edges (except for the air holes in the back) it actually stays really warm inside with his body heat. I've been a bit jealous of him the past few days seeing how steamed up it gets back there while my hands are chilling up front.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:53 PM   #14
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So we explored Eureka for a bit since we got there mid afternoon. I enjoy going for a jog around new cities when I can to try and get an idea of the interesting areas. I also discovered that the Lost Coast Brewery does happy hour at 4, and since it was 3:50, I was ready for a drink. Met a nice couple from Australia at the bar who had been in Coos Bay, OR the night before. They said the town wasn't a whole lot to write home about, except for the Coney Station bar and the nice people there. More on that later.


Biker Cafe...why not?

So after resting overnight, I got up in the morning to do the usual pre-ride inspection, and noticed a few bolts were ready to be twisted off (loose to the touch), including the lower engine mounting bolt. I'm glad I noticed that because some Loctite and some wrenching made me feel a lot better about continuing on.



I ended up pushing pretty hard today to get up to Coos Bay. Up until now I was wondering if I really needed the waterproof gear. Apparently the whole West Coast is in a pretty unusual drought. But today justified my decision. From Eureka to Crescent City I was riding in a pretty dense fog. The type that builds on the windshield. And oddly enough, once I crossed into Oregon the sun came out. Though the road became more of a freeway than the windy Highway 1 in CA :(




Then passing Port Ordford, the fog got denser, the air got colder and the traffic got slower. I was pretty excited to get to Coos Bay. Not only because I had time to workout and do laundry. But the Aussies were right on about Coney Station. Good folks.



Pressing on tomorrow to Devil's Lake State Park near Lincoln City. I managed to reserve a heated/pet-friendly yurt for fairly cheap. We'll see how it is.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:39 AM   #15
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>"Kings ridge rd. Saw I guy come up that w/ full size cab over camper on "

Heh... came north?. .. there is no place to turn a camper around !
Actually there's no place to turn around going the other way too !
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