I rode a bike to Reno, just to watch them fly...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MikeO, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy Supporter

    Joined:
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    Vicki Benzing recently purchased the Mustang from Clay Lacy.
    #61
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  2. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

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    Scarning, Norfolk today...
    That'll explain it - although not why it didn't fly this week - any idea?
    #62
  3. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk today...
    15th September 2019

    I have an interrupted night's sleep. This is hardly the best neighbourhood, and there were a couple of loud drunken altercations during the night.

    I eventually surface just before 0900 and start with a long shower. Over the next hour I pack everthing up - double check I have left nothing in the room, and load the bike. I press the starter button at 0944 and ride away from the Motel 6 at Stardust Road forever...

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    My plan is to stick largely to the Interstate today - to get myself in a good position to join the Pacific Coast Highway and start heading north tomorrow. I have a room booked in Petaluma this evening - about 230 miles distant...

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    I join Interstate 80 heading west. To begin with there's fairly light traffic. The weather is perfect - in the high 60s F and with just the wispiest trace of cloud...

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    OK - so it's an Interstate - but it's hardly the M25, is it? :-)

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    I enter California at 0957 - the Tesla count immediately increases...

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    Not long afterwards, a flurry of signs tells everyone to prepare to stop at an Agricultural Checkpoint...

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    I'm waved through - as is everyone not driving a semi-truck, it seems. Not long afterwards I pull over at a scenic overlook...

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    ...which wasn't as good as taking a pic on the move just afterwards, to be honest...

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    This is the road up the side of Donner Summit - an area with an interesting history...

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    I decide to find somewhere to eat. To my eternal disappointment, there wasn't a Donner Party Diner - there's a business opportunity there I feel...

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    I ignore exit after exit, advertising just the standard chain restaurants...

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    I pull over at Emigrant Gap - another viewpoint...

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    ...a beautiful spot... :-)

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    A couple of miles further down the other side of the summit, I am surprised to see cyclists riding on the shoulder. Most freeways I have ridden have signs specifically excluding them at the entrance... :hmmmmm

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    This is exactly what I was hoping to find... :dukegirl

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    An independent restaurant, with an extensive breakfast menu. The place was crowded and buzzing as the USA ordered and ate its Sunday brunch...

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    On the reverse of the menu, I particularly liked the way they described how you can have your burger done... :D

    I order the All American Denver Omelette with Home Fries and some coffee...

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    It arrives rapidly and tastes brilliant :dukegirl

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    Onward! Haven't had a bridge pic in a while, so here's a double-bridge to make up for it...

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    Somebody has been busy in the workshop...

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    Not quite my cup of tea - but can anyone make a guess as to type/model/year?

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    I start running into lots of traffic - no apparent casue for the slow-up - seems to be just volume...

    I know you are allowed to filter ("Lane-split") in California, but I'm not sure if this is permitted on the Interstate... :hmmmmm

    I pull over near Vacaville and put five and a half gallons of Shell Nitro Turban Premium in, then rejoin the Interstate. I'm still pondering the whole 'filtering' thing, when two Harley Davidsons overtake me, speeding down the line separating lanes one and two.

    Since they were both wearing Hell's Angels badges on their jackets, I felt that the legality of lane splitting had still not been definitively answered... :lol3

    To be fair, I don't think I ride slower that 40mph in any of the traffic I came across, so I stayed with it...

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    I first noticed the licence plate number on this - then saw that it had the word Bullitt in chrome letters on the boot lid. Was this a special edition of the Mustang to commemorate the one in the film? It seems to be the same colour etc... :hmmmmm

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    I turn north, past some spectacular roller-coasters, on the 101. All highways heading North-South have odd numbers, and those heading East-West have even numbers.

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    The road goes over a very elegant bridge and effectively then becomes a causeway for several miles through some wetlands...

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    Traffic is still heavy, but I don't have far to travel now...

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    This is Sonoma County and the roads are lined with acres of vineyards...

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    It's a lovely part of the world...

    I'm soon on finals for my destination - Motel 6 in Petaluma - where I am efficiently checked into my ground floor room.

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    I turn the AC to 'Pluto' and drag the kit in from the bike...

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    #63
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  4. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    1952 Ford 1/2 ton pickup
    It's a rat rod
    #64
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  5. Ducatijim

    Ducatijim Hopeless Poseuer!

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    Location:
    Reporoa NZ
    0BDBE894-0F3B-4A56-A1F1-06FC52F03989.jpeg Your report and pix are a nice reminder of my own day spent there last year while gypsy-ing around the US on my sickle.
    A great experience for a very amateur aviation buff from the bottom of the Pacific
    #65
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  6. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

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    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk today...
    #66
  7. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy Supporter

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    Vicki has a pretty tight schedule, and the sale happened not that long ago, so no chance to get plans in place. She wants to race it next year if it fits her other aviation projects.

    https://www.vickybenzing.com/
    #67
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  8. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk today...
    16th September 2019

    I get awoken by the intermittent, but insistent, cawing of a crow. Bearing in mind where I am planning to ride today, this is a mite unsettling.

    I peek out of the window and see that it has rained overnight, but the roads are rapidly drying out in the bright sunshine. I stumble around the room getting things repacked. This doesn't take long - amazing how good I can get at something just before it becomes unnecessary... :lol3

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    I have just pressed the starter on the bike, when I glance back towards the room...

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    ...to notice someone appears to have drawn an ADVrider salute - in lipstick, by the look of it, on the window of my room... :hmmmmm

    I set off for the route Doris and I planned together last night. I don't get as far as the first set of lights, before I am drawn, as if by a tractor beam, towards breakfast...

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    I order something light - to sustain myself...

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    A strange thing happens while I'm eating.

    At the booth in front of me is a Mexican American family - Son and daughter in their 20s and their mum and dad. They are just about finished (in fact the waitress had given them a 'doggy-box' to take food home), when an elderly white lady using a walking frame entered the restaurant and started talking to them. It was clear she was a total stranger, but was being completely over-familiar with all of the family, leaning over them and doing things like stroking the young man's face and asking if she could marry him. Her husband (or carer) kept trying to get her to come to their table, but she just snarled at him. Eventually the family - who had been very polite - made their excuses and left. The woman then looked at me and I stared at her, until she looked away and decided to bother someone else.
    It was a disturbing situation - the staff clearly not sure what to do about it. I don't think that family will be returning to this restaurant, though...

    I get rekitted and return to the bike...

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    ...where I am 'cawed' at by another couple of crows. Or maybe the same ones - I know nothing of crow habits or manners...

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    Today is going to be completely different from yesterday's slog along the freeway in heavy traffic. I set out heading West towards US Highway 1 - the Pacific Coast Highway...

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    It's a beautiful, clear and warm morning with hardly a cloud in the sky - the temperature is in the mid-70s F...

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    Great mail box... :D

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    There's virtually no traffic, the road surface is in tip-top order and all is well with the world...

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    Barns. That's something that has been missing from this ride report - let's see if we can't put that right today...

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    I see the occasional motorcyclist - and why not - this is beautiful riding country...

    Near Bodega, I notice an old car and turn around to have a look at it.

    John, the (unfortunately camera-shy) owner, comes out to see why I have stopped, then takes great pleasure in showing me around the old girl...

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    John is a part-owner of a brewery and every year he finds an old car to raffle off at an "American Dream' festival he stages. He found this car...

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    ...thinking he'd raffle it off, but, by the time he'd driven it home...

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    ...decided he still needed to find another car - this was a keeper... :lol3

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    He eventually found a 54 Chevy to auction off. He intends to do the interior this winter and the paint the next year...

    My favourite part?

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    ...this little deflector - a manufacturer's accessory - designed to reduce the number of insects that hit your windshield...

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    John's picket fence posts anre topped with huge Abalone shells. They are bigger than my hand. He tells me that overfishing - even with extremely strict government fisheries controls - have decimated stocks in the area. Abalone meat is now sold by the ounce rather than the pound - and is about $10 per ounce... :eek7

    John's a real character - and this had been the evening, I could imagine having a few beers and learning all about this area. Alas, it's mid morning and we both have places to be...

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    I carry on heading north up US-1...

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    ...past some odd architecture...

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    The road can still be damp in the shade, so I keep an eye out...

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    I turn right into the pretty little town of Bodega...

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    ...where I find this old schoolhouse, now a private residence.

    Any Alfred Hitchcock fans out there? Click below for the answer... :-)

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    The fence has a plaque mounted on it explaining the history of the building...

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    So you can understand why I was a bit perturbed by the crows earlier... :lol3

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    I ride out of Bodega (past a barn), and towards Bodega Bay...

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    I can smell the ocean on the air....

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    I park the bike by one of the quays that serve the shellfish industry - there are some fishermen unloading their catch...

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    Skulking around, like a half-submerged U-boat, is a seal (or sea lion), probably looking for any surplus stuff being thrown back...

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    Some kayakers enter the picture and the seal takes a deep dive for a while...

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    Annoyingly, my No 2 camera now decides to run out of battery. No drama, as I switch quickly to my reserve S80, carried in the tank bag for this eventuality...

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    This is a very pretty part of the world...

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    I meet up with Jo Pasero, the Sheriff's K-9 unit - and his dog Titan, who is a Belgian Malinois. He is both a patrol dog and a drug-sniffer. I mention that a friend of mine's husband is a dog handler in the UK and ask what the Malinois is like - Jo tells me that he's had a German Shepherd before, but Titan is 'way crazier'... :lol3

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    Onward!

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    It's a beautiful ride - the road just winding in and out and the scenery so beautiful that I never get near the 55mph limit...

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    There are regular roadworks. Often ot looks like there are areas which have been washed away and are being restored and reinforced to avoid a repeat...

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    I bet the architect won an award for this place...

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    Nearly the whole length of road I ride today has double yellow lines in the centre...

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    But I find it rarely hinders me. Most slow moving vehicles I encounter turn into pull-offs to let faster traffic pass...

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    It's a tough job, but someone has to do it... :-)

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    There are some excellent switchbacks around some of the inlets - which often house tiny communities...

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    ...but the long, sweeping bends are fun too...

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    I encounter a couple riding Harleys - the female in front setting a pretty impressive pace on a heavy piece of machinery...

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    I decide it's lunchtime...

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    I sent this pic to a friend in the UK - she commented "Nice to see some salad" :rofl

    I have to say it was delicious... :dukegirl

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    Mind you, with a view like this, you could forgive a restaurant a lot, I suppose...

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    Onward!

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    The road follows the coast closely for a few miles...

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    Beautifully made mailbox - it was at a site with cabins to let and the design of the mailbox matched the cabins.

    For clarity - the actual cabins were substantially larger.

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    I shall be home in a week - in fact I will have had my interview by this time next Monday...:hmmmmm

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    I see a couple of lads on bikes at the side of the road, clearly in some form of automotive distress.
    I turn around and put the hazards on to give us some limited protection.
    One of them has a puncture in his rear tyre - can I help? I ask him if it's a tubeless tyre (I have kit to repair that), but the lost look in his eyes tells me he knows nothing of the bike. I look at the wheel and it's clearly a tubed tyre and will need the tube repaired - I don't have any equipment to deal with this. Looking at the bike, the tyre has no tread on it and I'd bet a months pay he doesn't even know how to check the oil.

    Hell, I was young, dumb and broke once.

    Come to think of it - I just got old... :hmmmmm

    I flag down a pick-up truck and ask the very pleasant woman driver if she could help this chap out. Can we load his bike into the bed of her truck and get a ride into the next village (where Doris has already told me there is a service station)? Sure thing! What a great gal!

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    Within two minutes they are packed up and on their way - they shout their thanks - I never even caught their names... :lol3

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    Oh well, best keep riding then...

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    Lots of barns on this road. I wonder if the more modern, low-maintenance barn will eventually take over from these old wooden ones (sometimes with Corrugated iron roofs)? Perhaps the wood ones will eventually die out...

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    My target for tonight is Fort Bragg...

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    ...and I'm not far away now. In fact, I almost ride past the Super 8 where I have a reservation tonight. I'm swiftly booked into Room 113 - and park the Adv directly outside the door...

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    I unload the bike...

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    ...then ride to the gas station next door and fill up with Chevron Supreme with Techron (whatever that is)...

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    What a great day.
    #68
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  9. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Western Orygun
    [​IMG]
    1940 Ford Deluxe Two Door Sedan. Unmolested, very rare these days.
    #69
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  10. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk today...
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    Yep - spot on Roger :thumb

    It was pretty much solid, with the exception of the running boards, which you can buy complete with rubbers, apparently...
    #70
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  11. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk today...
    17th September 2019

    I sleep really well, up until the call from the UK at 0515... :rofl

    I have a great shower (none of this wishy-washy pressureless Motel 6 showers - this is a Super 8!), then dress and stumble around the room packing. As I get nearer to Portland, the packing becomes easier...

    I decide against the complimentary breakfast - they have a self-service waffle maker and this technology and I don't have a good history... :lol3

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    The sky is unbroken blue. Either there has been a shower overnight or (more likely) there has been a heavy dew...

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    I'm on the road just before 0900, heading north, despite Doris's insistence that we should be heading south.

    For bridge fans, this trestle should keep you happy for a while, I'd think...

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    There's the hint of mist in the air (confirming in my mind that it was a heavy dew that had left the vehicles in the car park wet)...

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    There's very little traffic, I filled the bike up last night and have sufficient fuel to reach my destination and it's difficult to imagine what could improve the day...

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    Doris keeps pestering me to turn back, but I have a plan - hatched using Google Maps last night...

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    I'm heading back to Redding today. I book my hotels through Hotels.com and, every ten nights, they give you a 'free' night (or more accurately, a credit which you can use towards a night). I decided to book back into the Oxford Inn at Redding, as it will position me well for tomorrow's slog north...

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    The plan will involve riding the Pacific Coast Highway a little further, before joining the 101 for a bit...

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    It's not as warm as yesterday, so I zip up the vents in my jacket...

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    I follow the main road inland, diverting from the coast for a while. Out of the sun in the woods, the temperature drops significantly...

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    I climb and descend a few hills, the ocean just a memory now...

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    Bridge!

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    Eventually, I leave Highway 1 and join the 101 heading north...

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    Lots more woodland, with the occasional stand of Sequoias...

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    There's a lot more traffic on the 101 - it's a commercial highway...

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    I stop at the One Log café (I so wanted there to be a similar sign on the restroom - there wasn't) and order a Breakfast Sandwich...

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    Despite its appearance and presentation - it was quite tasty... :D

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    Taking the dog for a push...

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    I head a little further north, then turn right onto Alderpoint Road...

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    ...which winds up into the hills, heading to join up with US36E in an hour and a half or so...

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    It is a terrific road - twisty and with a very varied surface - mostly as a result of regular rockslides having taken place and 'make-do' emergency repairs having been made to it...

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    It's a road you can't relax for a second on - if you miss a bit of bad surface and go off the edge in the woods, they'll still be wondering what happened to you in five years time...

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    I don't think I saw more than three other vehicles the whole time I was on it...

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    You can see what I mean about the road surface here...

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    The bike's going well and I'm well hydrated and feeling alert - it's a great ride...

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    When the views open up, they're glorious...

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    The first vestiges of cloud are beginning to form. Eureka (which we are well to the south and east of now) was scheduled to have some rain today, but my route will prove to be dry...

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    I decide, a couple of hours in, that I'll stop at the first café I come to and have a coffee - and perhaps something else...

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    See any cafés?

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    Me neither :bluduh

    A mouthful of plastic-flavoured warm water from my camelbak will have to suffice...

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    Onward!

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    I probably violate any number of local laws by stopping to take a pic from this bridge. The footballs on the wires are to make them visible to helicopter crews (although they are also effective in stopping wildfowl flying into lines)...

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    :fpalm

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    There a lots of derelict buildings at the roadside - this barn isn't far off becoming firewood, I'd think...

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    Look at that!

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    The property owner obviously heard me stop to take the pic. He told me that it's taken him a winter's free time to build - which includes kitting the interior out with lights, fake instruments etc.

    Parenting done right... :thumb

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    I eventually reach the end of Alderpoint Road - definitely one to make note of. I turn right onto US36E and start making tracks. A sign tells me that there will be a road closure between 1300 and 1500 today - and I'm not sure how far the road works are.
    I am soon stopped at this set, with Dee telling me that the 'road closure' ones are 10 miles further on. I look at the clock - it's 1255. I say "I'm not going to make it, am I?" - Dee replies "Not with that attitude - get to it!" and turns the sign to 'Go'.

    I bet she's a great mum...:lol3

    I really turn up the wick and get to the closure just as they are preparing to close - good call Dee...:thumb

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    Look - a barn and an aircraft!

    Just after taking this snap, I passed a sign saying "No services for 98 miles". Since there weren't any services by the sign, I thought it a little negative in intent... :hmmmmm

    No matter - I have sufficient fuel to get to Redding - could really do with a coffee though...

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    36E is a completely different kettle of fish. Mostly passing through scrub and grass covered hills, rather than forests, it has much longer sight lines, a great road surface - and a ludicrous 55mph speed limit...

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    You'll notice that the day had become overcast, but as I travel further down US36E, it starts to break up and the temperature rises...

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    ...scene of a fire a couple of years ago (judging by the new growth)...

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    The bike's singing along and I'm giving the tyres and suspension a workout on the long sweeping bends...

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    I stop at some roadworks. There is only one vehicle coming the other way - the Sheriff's cruiser...:eekers

    Couldn't have met him at a better time - thank goodness he didn't set off 10 minutes earlier.... :lol3

    Anyway, by the look of this work, they are building a sort of 'overpass' to replace the bend. Interesting to see how they go about it -I would have thought they'd be assembling pre-cast pieces, but it looks like they are casting it in situ...

    I'm sure someone will be along in a minute to explain... :D

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    Still no cafés - but great roads...

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    I'm grinning behind the visor... :D

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    As I descend to lower levels, to eventually make a rendezvous with Interstate 5 North, the patchwork road repairs are replaced by the more familiar 'tar snakes'...

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    There's an enormous Fire camp - like a small town - on both sides of the road, crammed with RVs and caravans. No sign of a helicopter site, or of any fires in the area I travelled through, though...

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    I'm soon seeing signs for the Interstate and have resigned myself to the fact that I won't find a café before I get to my hotel...

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    What a great couple of roads they are though...:-)

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    I join I5 North for about 15 miles, before taking the Redding turn off...

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    I park under the canopy, check in and take the luggage trolley out to the bike to unload it...

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    I unpack in my very pleasant room...

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    ...and then walk next door to Logan's - a bar and roadhouse next door...

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    Where I order - and then demolish - a Logan's Burger with sweet potato fries, washed down with a couple of glasses of lemonade...:dukegirl

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    I make myself a coffee (manufacturer often misread) in the machine in the room and start on the journal...

    Great day.

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    Words to live by...
    #71
  12. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk today...
    No recent pictures of Marnie on the kennels' FaceBook page - perhaps she's tunnelled out?

    Here's a picture of her meeting her match when trying to outrun a lurcher recently...

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    #72
  13. Shady Pass David

    Shady Pass David Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    I flew in the 1941 Stearman at Erickson's last summer....I'm still grinning. I hope to go up in the P-51 Mustang soon...
    .............Can't find the pic of the plane right now, how bout this?..... DSCN4181.JPG
    #73
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  14. Shady Pass David

    Shady Pass David Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Divco...You were close..Had a 6 cylinder Continental engine, same as used in my 1960 Century inboard runabout, and many others...
    #74
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  15. Shady Pass David

    Shady Pass David Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    I think I found my plane and myself pictures..Great RR to spend the past couple of hours on..Thanks! DSCN3529.JPG DSCN3529.JPG

    Attached Files:

    #75
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  16. Shady Pass David

    Shady Pass David Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Sorry for the 2 same pics...Sometimes I do O.K. other times.....

    Attached Files:

    #76
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  17. Gone Troppo

    Gone Troppo Somewhat bemused observer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Oddometer:
    16,167
    Location:
    Over the bridge of sighs..
    Great report. I have also been fortunate to have a set of wheels and some spare time on a business trip to the US...on the other coast.

    What a fascinating country it is.
    #77
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  18. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    20,662
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Outstanding!
    #78
  19. wobbly one

    wobbly one Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Billings, MT
    Fantastic report and photos MikeO! Really well done. I rode my GS down from Montana for Thursday and Friday's races and was going to post up a little report. After seeing your stunning photos and excellent story telling I think I'll just take up knitting or something instead. Press on.
    #79
    hairnet, mitchapalooza and Bigger Al like this.
  20. MikeO

    MikeO Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    16,083
    Location:
    Scarning, Norfolk today...
    [​IMG]

    Great pic - where is the waterfall?

    But for the love of all things holy - switch the date stamp off :fpalm :D
    #80
    mitchapalooza likes this.