Our planned route looked like this.
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My husband, Hans, and I had stumbled upon hwy 162 off of hwy 101 one day about four years ago. We had made it to Covelo, but the ranger there said the pass was snowed in so we had to turn back. We marked that road in out minds for later exploration. Maybe a way to the coast when we finally do Usal?
Fast forward to this July. We just finished a week of Boy Scout Summer Camp and my wonderful husband says, "Ok, now for us. We need 'we' time. Where are we going for a week?" Easy answer- Lost Coast! I spent some time gleaning ADVRider and hatched a plan. Get across the valley, take 162 through Covelo, ands take Branscomb/Usal/Kings Peak/Wilder Ridge/Mattole/Bear River Ridge. Wind our way up the highways to Oregon and Bear Camp Road. See some Shakespeare in Ashland and time dependent, work our way home from there.
We were packed and ready to head out from Nevada City at 8am, but some last minute duties left us in Sacramento at around noon. Not the best start, but who cares? We have learned to keep an open schedule on our "vacations." Keeps the stress and heartache down to a minimum. We topped off with Chipotle burritos and headed up the great I-5 super slab for Willows.
About 30 south of Willows we were in mild traffic when someone threw something out the passenger window of a pickup that was ahead of me in the right lane. I thought they were dumping out a drink. It didn't get on me, but I thought they were pretty stupid to do that with motorcyclists around. Then it happened again and I felt a little something damp through the vent in my jacket. I looked closer at the passenger and realized that he was purging himself of last nights over indulgence. Horrified, I watched the truck pull in in front of me.Hans had passed the truck already and had pulled into the right hand lane for me to catch up. Now the truck was passing him and I was watching out for further expulsions while trying to maneuver to get around him cleanly. We have intercoms on our helmets and I tried to warn Hans, "This guy in the truck is puking!" for now the truck was even with him and he was in the firing line. The truck sped up further and we dropped back, letting him go. The driver wasn't very straight on the road, so he was probably still inebriated. When we pulled off the highway, I didn't seem to have any on me or the bike, but it was a pretty gross thing to have happen.
We headed up into the Mendocino Forest on 162. We were amazed at how fast we gained altitude off the valley floor and how BIG it all seemed. We are used to going through this range on hwy 20 at Clearlake. It was nothing like this. What an absolute OHV heaven out there!
Now, normally I would insert a photo or something here, but this is where the GoPro user error comes in. The camera is new, and due to lack of preparation all my videos are of my bike and the road right below me and not much else. Bummer. I did bring my point and shoot though, so I will give you what I've got.
We pulled into Covelo and it was getting late. I had wanted to make it to the campground on Usal but our late start put us at a disadvantage. Time to stealth camp! Hmmm... this road looks promising, Dos Rios. It cuts out to Laytonville and has some small dirt offshoots. We headed out 162 (amazing curvy goodness) and turned on Dos Rios. All the offshoots seemed to be driveways and it would be dark soon. Oh! Here we go! A flat spot where they seemed to be a high commodity. Not very stealth, as it was just off the side of the road, but it was a gravel road with hardly any traffic. 230 miles today, lots of slab.
Home away from home! The road is about 10 feet behind me here.