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Old 07-12-2009, 01:13 PM   #1
eye.surgeon
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Artist Painting 1000 miles of NorCal goodness

I've wanted to ride hwy 36 and the Lost Coast for a couple years but just haven't had the time to get up there. This weekend with my family out of town and no responsibilities I hit them both in a 3 day blitz totaling 1000 miles.

Friday after work I jumped on the packed bike and hit the dreaded freeway. 300 miles of slab, in the dark no less, and it was 95 degrees out. Destination: my launch point for the real ride, Red Bluff. The starting gate of maybe the greatest motorcycle road in the state and hence the universe-- Highway 36. Getting your pic standing next to the sign indicating 140 miles of twisty roads ahead is a riding badge of honor. Oh you will be mine, sign.

Here's the route for the night.


Once I got through Sacto it cooled off and the traffic thinned out and it was pretty much me, the moon, and lots of little eyes on the side of the road as I droned North. Thank-you cruise control. No suicidal deer thankfully. Got to Red Bluff around 11 PM and was shocked to find there was no Four Seasons. Oh Comfort Inn, you were my next choice anyways [edit, the Hampton Inn is better as I found out on my next trip a year later]. Out the door and on the road the next morning at 7.

There you are, you. At last I've got you in my collection, sign. And as for you SBR vandals, well you will have to live with your guilt.


It doesn't take long for 36 to get interesting heading west out of Red Bluff.


It's a crazy road, really. Who built this thing and what were they thinking?? Just a constant stream of tight twisties, connecting valleys, and amazing views that change from desert to pine forest to giant redwood groves and ends up in a lush rainforest. For 140 miles. And almost no cars. Pinch me.


The pavement is excellent and many of the corners are banked There are lots of surrounding roads worth riding as well.

Eastern hwy 36.


Took a little break in Planita. Not much of a town as all I could see was the store and maye a half dozen houses. At one time there was a platinum mine here. Get it, Planita. Apparently nearby Planita road is a nice side dish, I took it for a few miles but looped back. Already lots on my plate ahead of me.


Although the mountain range tops out at under 5000 feet which is nothing by Sierra standards, there are some amazing views.


Some more 36 views...





Right at the big triangle intersection (if you've been there you know what I am talking about) is hwy 3. I took it on a whim.


It was a good whim. Wow. Amazing. I rode to Hayfork and back and it's nothing but nonstop twisties and no traffic. Highly recommended and one of the highlights of the day.

A side road of the side road. I think this one was called 13 dips? Looked tasty. Another time, dips.


My bike taking a rest. I love this bike. I've had it more than a year now which is good for me. My last two bikes each lasted less than a year before I moved on in a search for that just-right ride. 24k miles going strong. I was thinking about changing to a K1300S but after using the cruise control so much getting the freeway behind me, I don't think so. I'm a wuss.



As I approached the ocean I could see my old nemesis fog. Didn't last long though but the butt cheek and hand heaters felt nice as I rode through it. Sorry K1300S, get some butt cheek heaters and we'll talk.


Trying and failing to make me cold...
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:14 PM   #2
eye.surgeon
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Re: 1000 miles of NorCal goodness

Approaching Fortuna hwy 36 passes through Redwoods state park. A little taste of what lies ahead later in the day riding Avenue of the Giants.


From Fortuna is a quick hop to Ferndale and the ocean. Lots of HD riders there doing their thing. It was cloudy and sprinkling a little.


Took Centerville Road to the ocean. They call this the Lost Coast because the rugged geography prevented the state or county from building highways here. It's largely undeveloped. Cows graze right on the ocean where in southern California mega mansions would be built.


If it looks kinda cold it's because it was. Felt great after being in the furnace called Fresno.


Next on the agenda, Avenue of the Giants which winds through Coastal Redwoods. The trees are kinda tall.


I love this place. I could have spent all day in here. Oh and the clouds had gone by now and the sun was out.


Had to park and walk around for a while.


A guy could get an inferiority complex in this place.


Once out of the Redwoods I made my way down the the coast again on hwy 1. Sunny and warm here. A few touristas but not as many as the central coast.


It's like a whole other world from where I had been earlier in the day.




I rode down hwy 1 headed towards my destination for the day, the luxurious Marriott Fairfield Inn in Sebastopol.

Nature's tunnel


I was going to take hwy 1 almost down to San Francisco but I got kinda tired of all the beautiful views and the associated RV parade so this side road look tempting and I took it. Hwy 128, which winds through Nevarro River Redwoods state park and then through vineyards and some hippie towns and eventually connects to the 101. It's a great ride. Not sure what all the hippies were about.


After 450 miles I was kinda beat and glad to get to the hotel. Here was today's route.


My plan for day 3 was to blaze home before the central valley heat melted me so I left at 6 AM and was home by 10 AM. NO funny business here just the fastest road home. About 230 miles. Took this picture off I-5 on the way. Sometimes you don't have to go far from home to find a pretty picture.


Some thoughts on the trip...

Hwy 36 is just that good. I've ridden much of what's worth riding in California and I used to think Sonora Pass was the best road in the state. I have to say hwy 36 is probably better. Don't cry Sonora I still love you and you're a lot closer so we're still an item. Riding the northern hwy 1 is beautiful but not more so than the one that is close to my house so I don't see me doing that again. Avenue of the Giants alone is worth the trip, it's amazing. I have to hand it to you NorCal riders, you definitely got it going on up there.

Put on about 1,000 miles on this trip and well worth it.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:41 PM   #3
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Re: 1000 miles of NorCal goodness

Great shots, eye!

This run is popular and also a popular one to report, and I never tire of it. Good job.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:47 PM   #4
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Re: 1000 miles of NorCal goodness

Well done with the pictures. Simply awesome! My parents have retired and live in Mt. Shasta. I will be seeing them in September and I have plans to try out Hwy 36 when I am up there during the visit thanks for the glimpse on what to look forward to. It will be my first time on Hwy 36 for me. I very much enjoyed your report(s), as always.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:52 PM   #5
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Re: 1000 miles of NorCal goodness

Dang! Got drool all over my keyboard.
When I finally get to take a multi day trip to NoCal, I now know some not-to-miss roads.
Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:03 PM   #6
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Re: 1000 miles of NorCal goodness

Great report and photos Rod. I will be leaving on Aug. 29th for my Calif. trip. Hwy 36 and lost coast or on the agenda. I have done 36 a couple of times but this will be the first time riding it East to West and also first time for the Lost coast ride. Photos make me wish I were leaving sooner.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: 1000 miles of NorCal goodness

Oooooo.... I'm jealous.

I too have utilized the 'get out of Dodge' Friday night ideer to get through LA and stop at a nice jumping off point. Really maximizes the more pleasurable aspects of a motorcycle tour in California. I have also done that 450 miles in a day on slab to position myself for a ride or meet others. Will worth it when you have limited time.

Nice job getting the 'SBR-trademarked-140-mile-of-twisties' sign. (Note to self... Pashnit sticker must go on sign as well... and Frenchy needs to put 'The Kingdom of Rhode Island' sticker as well!). You also shot a couple of very nice calendar contenders for 2010 as well. I have driven 128 and thought to myself that it would be much better on a bike.

I'll be visiting your devoted Sonora later this month what with GR09 and I'm taking a few extra days to explore the area as well.

Next... Mr. Highway 36 maybe in the fall.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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Thumbup 1000 miles of NorCal OH MY Goodness

as usual, a fabulous Ride Report with outstanding photographs
I'm a "Hwy 36 virgin", but not for long - I dropped some $$ on Tim yesterday and signed up for the Pashnit NorCal Tour in mid-August
I'll be travelling some of the same pavement you just did and I am so looking forward to it
The RT will have a full service and a new pair of 'dancing shoes' just before we leave and the NorCal Tour will be the first leg of a 3000+ mile motorcycle vacation what a way to start a vacation

thanks for the tease Rod
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:25 PM   #9
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Re: 1000 miles of NorCal goodness

Yes Rod, a great road 36 and your pictures " Fantastic". Your description right on and enjoyable to read.

How would you like to ride it every day? Or maybe just 2 or 3 times a week?

In 1955 when I went to work for Hedlund Lumber Sales (a wholesale lumber broker) in Sacramento I had the pleasure of doing just that in a 60 foot lumber truck and trailer hauling boards out of Hedlunds sawmill in Mad River just east of Dinsmore.

Sometimes it would be shuttling load after load from Mad River over to the coast to Eureka and Arcata, and sometimes it was shuttling to Redding or Red Bluff; but most of the times it was hauling to LA, Long Beach or San Diego. These cities were growing like wildfire during the years after WW 2 and Korea.

It wasn't just 36 and Mad River, it was also 299 both directions out of Redding to Weaverville,Burnt Ranch, Hyampom, Willow Creek, Hoopa etc. going west.

It was 47 miles of oneway dirt road back then from Hayfork and it was better to travel after the snow fell and made for a smoother road.

Lots more fun on a motorcycle and much better road today.

Back in 1955 when a lot of California was flooded we were moving as much lumber out the coast side of 36 thru Fortuna and south thru Rio Dell, Scotia, Meyers Flat etc. that our trucks got cut off by overflowing rivers both north and south of us that we were shuttled out to return over a week later to get our rigs home.

It was during that time I took my new Dodge Royal Lancer with factory dual exhaust to LA for a set of 27 inch Douglas mufflers to be installed, that I found how wide spread the flood impacted the state.

A miserable winter for California, many lives lost when the Sacramento river overflowed the levees in Yuba City and several other places.

Didn't mean to jack your thread...........Ken
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:45 PM   #10
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Re: 1000 miles of NorCal goodness

Once again Rod, You don't dissapoint...
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