We motored on up to the first sizable town we could find- Garberville. Our goal was to find the nearest BMW dealer on our route and see what could be done. Last minute clutchectomy on a Sunday, fat chance. After some searching we got found Hansens
in Medford, OR. Well, at least they didn't laugh at us. There wasn't much they could do as far as a quick clutch replacement. We figured we would head up there anyway. We had planned on seeing a play at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, so we would do that and stop by the BMW shop too. Maybe we could pick their brains and see what we could figure out. Best case, it is a non-problem and we can take the route home backwards and hit Usal on the way home. Worst case, we limp home on I-5. For now we would stay on clutch friendly roads and make the best of it. No Mattole, no Bear River Ridge, no Bald Hills, definitely not Kings Peak. After a lunch of gas station Subway we took off on 101, destination: Gold Bluffs Beach Campground.
We arrived around 5:30. Plenty of time to find a spot and then go see Fern Canyon and hopefully some Roosevelt Elk. The campground was about half full. The bathrooms were amazingly clean and they had showers! We were surprised at the $35 fee though. Between us we only had $30 cash and no checks available. We put in what we had and apology note saying we would send in the rest of the fee and hoped for the best. We hoped that they wouldn't tack on the $8 extra vehicle fee. When only have four wheels, right? We tagged our site as occupied and took off on the bikes down 2 miles to the end of the road.
The trailhead sign showed Fern Canyon less than a half mile away. Heading down the trail in full ATGATT sans helmets seemed kind of silly. "We are ADVRiders, we are prepared for ANYTHING!"
The canyon appeared with a small shallow stream flowing down the middle. The park service had provided bridges made from a couple 2x8s nailed together in several places but with my big boots, I didn't need them. Yay ATGATT! The canyon was pretty amazing. The walls were vertical and covered in ferns. It seemed very primeval. There were several trees that had fallen off of the top ledge and tumbled down. Man, to be here when the creek is rockin' and trees are coming down would be quite a show!
Continuing down the trail it eventually opened up to a meadow with shoulder high grass. Right on the path were three big elk. They all appeared to be young. Two were obviously younger than the thrid and they moved off the trail as we came towards them. The third held his ground. He was eating his dinner and two brightly clad tourists were not going to disturb him. I got as close as I felt was prudent and took a few photos. Then we turned and headed back to the bikes and camp.
More Mountain House for dinner and a moonlight stroll on the beach. Clutch issues aside, this doesn't suck.