Friday, October 8, 2010

oct 7th- waking up with wood, exciting rides indeed

I woke up and started breaking camp. I had to pay for the night's stay but the office didn't open until 9 and was 7:30 or so. I packed everything up, and went towards the river for a walk. These are called Arundo, an invasive plant from Asia.  They are taking over everywhere. 20' tall or so, and looks like bamboo.

I took a picture, but something in it caught my eye as i took a picture.
a ripple in the water?

I tried to snap off another, but missed it.

Got ya this time!


An Otter!!!  never seen a wild river otter before. neato.

I haven't seen much wildlife on this trip, A few deer on the side of I-5 as i came into Oregon, a couple of Foxes here and there, and birds. Lots of birds.
I did see my share of dead animals though. A huge Elk by the grand canyon entrance, deer, coyote, rabbits, skunks porcupines, rat, cats, dogs, and other small furry unrecognizable pancakes.

it's nice to see we haven't run over all of them.
Eel River

Today the plan was to hit the US-1. heard it's pretty good, and the National Geographic book says it's pretty awesome.

I paid the campground the $20 i owed, picked up some small souvenirs and I rode south and hit a town called Garberville. This town was strewn with hitchhicker/granola munching/birkenstock wearing hippies. Tons.  more of them than the population.  Did i hit their Mecca?

I spotted a place that regulars would hang out and went in.  The burgress restaurant.  The prices seemed high, $10 omellette, $2 coffee. meh.  Who cares, just money right?

Wrong. It was worth every penny. home cooked, and loaded up.
ham, bacon and cheese omelet  with hash browns and biscuits and gravy

I overheard a conversation while i was eating.
"Did you know the indians weren't the first people in north america? it was whites, they came over 3, maybe 4 thousand years ago!"

Really? you fucking serious? are people that ignorant?  13 to 17 thousand years ago, early humans migrated out across Beringia.  ignorant idiot.
Anyhow, breakfast was awesome.
a guy across the street eating his breakfast.

Seems the owners around here don't like hippies either, as found on the outside door to the bar/lounge attached to the restaurant. Damn hippies.

Right after Garberville i took the US-1(california 1 north), the best route in California.  WOW.  I couldn't take pictures because When i finished my apex on one corner, i was already swinging the bike over for the next corner. highly technical, even though it's a slow road.  Most corners are 20-30 mph and i was able to take them at 30-35 mostly, some even slower than the posted sign.  A brutally technical road as the road would be a hairpin left, rapidly reducing radius, but a bank to the right, on an incline and declines. Did i mention all corners are blind due to either being next to the mountain or soundrounded by big trees? srsly.
Now try that with a top heavy loaded up dirt bike. hah.  It's pretty awesome when you're in a right hand corner, you're near the center of your lane and your helmet brushes against the weeds that grow 3.5 feet.  neato.
Talk about joy and excitement.
us-1 between the start and Fort Bragg.  only one i could take, or wanted to.  from a pullout at one of the straightest sections

Right before hitting Fort Bragg, there were a lot of trees blooming it seemed.  Something smelled nice, spicy not flowery. Got to fort bragg, and fueled up.  I hit reserve a little while back and i think i was running close to empty.  I still had about 1/2 a gallon left or so (plus i have a Litre of gas stowed on the bike)  currently at 44mpg.  not bad considering how i'm riding it on and off the throttle and loaded the way i am.

Leaving the Fort Bragg starbucks, i notice my headlight is out. FUCK.  I didn't bring a spare. South i went and hit the ocean and redwoods again, and now in search of a spare bulb and a camera as mine is having more troubles as time goes on.  pretty soon it's going to die.

a lot of these circling above. ospreys perhaps?

Again, technical, but pretty awesome.

a big rig hiding behind a tree. the big trees are big.

at some point i missed the turn off to get back onto the US-1, and was suddenly on state highway 128.  Looking at vineyards. Lots of grapes and vineyards. WTF?

Ocean, Vin yards, Mountains, roads with curves, Giant redwoods, all within a 20 mile radius? unreal.

I stopped into Boonville for a coffee as the gas station (good coffee) and started checking my map.  My USA map isn't detailed enough to see the small roads, but the GPS found a road called Mountainview road that ran from Boonville to the oceanside.
This has to be the most technical route i've ever taken.  I thought the first part of the US-1 to fort bragg was tough, this was tougher.  Tighter turns, no posted speed limits anywhere, Rough roads everywhere, bad patches, sometimes divided, sometimes not, and some sections only 8 to 10 feet wide, up to a max 20 feet or so.  Scary ass shit.  Did i mention no guardrails anywhere?  Awesome ride. The KLR felt at home, hammering on and off the throttle and going over the bumps and dips.  only bottomed out once. heh.
notice the lack of guardrails?

If i get to hit The tail of the dragon, i'll have to compare.  They boast the toughest road to ride... i'm
I missed 20 miles of Us-1 on my little detour.  oddly enough it's the section that isn't mentioned in the book as being good. bonus.  Instead of going 20 miles, i did 53 miles, 23 of those the twistiest nastiest roads ever. loved it.
shot from US-1, i was in those mountains

I got back on California 1 north. WOW again!  As technical as the first part to Fort Bragg, but this part was sheer cliffs instead of big trees.  A little different mind you as there aren't as many blind corners as the fort bragg run.

It was about 5pm, and i knew dark would come soon, so off the US-1 i went, heading towards Santa Rosa.  You see, it has a best buy. It has an Auto-zone. It has motels. It's got what i need because i don't have a working headlight, a bad camera and i'm smelling pretty ripe.
notice the lack of any railings??
the road is pretty much like this the whole way. no railings, and a few hairpins. hah.

I took a room in Santa Rosa and there was a diner across the street and a gas station nearby. all i needed.

Looked 'ok'
Hungry since i didn't eat since breakfast...
The meal was great.  everything cooked properly and tasted fresh.
Garlic bread.
Steak, Scampi, baked potato and veggies.

exhausted.  I somehow managed to turn a 164mile run, into 220 miles of twisties... not that  i'm complaining.

Oct 6th- California, land of the hipppies, then sleeping with giants.

I have increased the picture sizes, just click and you'll see them bigger.

To answer some Comments:

"Where's are the pictures of the "Chicken Ranch"--You can't go through Nevada and not show us one brothel ;)"

Most of the towns i went through were pretty empty actually, not even a general store, let alone a chicken ranch!  i went through the middle of nevada, not the southern border, where i believe they all are.

"So what's the mantra when you get cold?"

"There is no cold, there is only pain..."

Stupid mantra, i know.  I just focus and ignore the pain. I do the same at the dentist, etc...

I got up a little before 7am, and started the day with the usual routine.  smoke. check Facebook. Pack. Leave.
I don't bother with the weather anymore.  Locals give you better information than the weatherman, plus i'm going in a prescribed direction.  If it rains/snows, than so be it. I'm ready for it.  Well, not the snow.

It was quite cool, but i had my liners in, so i was not too bad.  My hands were freezing though.  Need to buy new gloves along the way as i'm sure to hit snow at some point on my way back home.

I took the the interstate heading northwest (turns southwest) and put some miles in right away.  I stopped in at Shari's restaurant for breakfast.
I got this:

It was not great for the price.  Damn chain restaurants.

They had this which i found amusing

Why bring her a pie when SHE SHOULD BE BAKING YOU ONE?

Imagine my non-surprise when i see this mystery machine in front of me, right before we hit the California border.

The shaggin' wagon.  Was very hippyish. I passed it and two hippies were in it, loaded to the gills with their belongings.  Probably a hippy convention going on somewhere south or they are going to their hippy Mecca.  who knows.

Head away from the light!

I rode through the first part of the redwoods.  AWESOME.  A wonder of the world i think.  seriously, the road is in mint condition, and it's truly a sight to behold and drive through.
big trees, nice rode... not very forgiving for mistakes though.
San Simeon pondering over a tree.  Yes, SAN Simeon. Like the city in California.  Heh. 

Beast was running really rough for a while, but during the Redwoods, Beast seemed to smarten up, or maybe i just pushed it harder and didn't care.  What a wicked ride.  I need to get Beast looked at, as it's really starting to bother me and worry me a lot.

If you haven't been, you must go.

I got to Cresent City, and got the first look of the Pacific from the USA side.  Last year, i kinda saw it, but i blasted through Seattle and didn't see much of it. woohoo moment.

lame fact.
everytime i hit a milestone (in places i wanted to see, border crossings, etc) i scream WOOHOOOOOOOooo!! into my helmet.
another lame fact.
whenever i see an animal on the bike, i usually mimic the animal (moo for cow, etc).  Once per state.  Dunno why.  i just do.

I rode through more redwoods and hit another location i wanted to see.
Paul Bunyan and his huge blue cow?

The drive through tree.  there are 3 of them, but i hit this one first. It was on my list. woohoo.  i bought a sweet keychain here, but somehow left it on the back of the bike and promptly lost it. oh well.

Another woohoo moment. 18k.  no wonder the bike is running rough.  I haven't done the 10k maintenance on it yet except tires and oil.  I hope i didn't ruin anything!  i was starting to go into panic mode because when i hit 18k, i couldn't go up a 2% grade in 5th gear while keeping 60mph. sad.

wait for it....

Wait for it...


shots on the way to Eureka.

I stopped in the Kawasaki Shop in Eureka, and EUREKA it was.
I got there at 2:30 and the mechanic wouldn't be back until after 3.  wait wait wait.  Saw a nice pair of gloves, but decided on picking them up later.

The mechanic (Jack) said that he wouldn't have time to do what i needed (spark plug, oil, air filter, etc) today as he had an appointment.
I asked if he had time to do the oil and Air filter, and he said after the appointment, but he would start on it now.

first up, air filter.  Black with oil. bad.  I let it go way too long and i was starving the engine for air.  He said it was "really bad", as in he never saw it that dirty before. hah.  It took a while to clean it, then he put it aside to dry.  It needs to be completely dry before he can oil it.
Next up, oil.  Black as tar and just as thick.   Bad.  I've been riding the bike really hard it seems.  The appoinment was for a tire change, and the guy wanted it left overnight, so he finished up with me completely.  He also changed the idle back to where it should be as i fiddled with it when i was at a higher altitude.

Beast was in better form.  He said change the oil soon, and get the maintenance done on it as soon as i get back home.  Jack was a good mechanic.  with all he did, he charged me next to nothing.  2 quart oil change an labour.  $48.  really?? cheap.  if you're in eureka looking for a good kawi mechanic, ask for Jack.

While speaking with the guys in the shop, i was informed that Humbolt university is quite... Hippyish... and they don't recycle!  There were a lot of backpackers going south, none north.  All hippies going to La La Land for fame and glory? odd.

I wanted to hit the Avenue of the Giants and go through before it got dark. It's really hard to take good pictures when you're having a great ride.  You don't want it to stop. you don't want to stop, you just want to ride.  It's also hard when it's dark in there during daylight and now being 5ish the sun was setting fast.

hugging an average sized tree for Elaine

It was near dark, and couldn't find a motel or anything open, and saw a sign for campgrounds. Jackpot!  i should have been camping more, but i hate to camp in bad weather. They were closed and i self-checked in.  IE: i picked a spot and put the tent up.

I was by the Eel River, and could hear it burbling.  I set up the tent and went back into the little town to see the general store was just about to close.  I snuck in and picked up some stuff i could eat.

and here is what i made:

I figured i could make myself some sort of chili burrito with the corn tortillas.  I was wrong. While the chili was good, the tortillas were hard and horrible.  Gross.

It was lacking a certain something, so i added some Sourdough Snacks and some Smoki Roni into it.

Delicious!  sure, it looks like dog-food, but it was good.

I made myself a tea and did the usual map stuff, writing and putting songs on the GPS.  finally went to sleep at mightnight, with the sound of the gurgling river... and generators.  WTF people, this is camping, why do you bother to leave your house, to set up a tent, with chirstmas light and stay there for weeks on end. WTF is wrong with you people.

a view of the Eel river from where i sat.