Thursday, August 9, 2012

From the Frying Pan to the Freezer and Back

Since we are stuck here while our truck is repaired, we decided to take advantage of our location and do some more sight seeing. It has been over 100 every day here in Red Bluff, so we decided to go somewhere cooler. California Highway 36 runs from Red Bluff to Eureka through the coastal mountain range. It is advertised as the "curviest road in California" and is a magnet for motorcyclists. We decided that a motorcycle trip was just what we needed.

[caption id="attachment_748" align="aligncenter" width="300"] I know my thumb is in the photo, but this was taken from the motorcycle with my phone camera.[/caption]


We checked the weather forecast before we left, so we packed cold weather gear. The ride to Eureka was beautiful and fun. We rode through the oak covered foothills and were soon in the pines, climbing over mountain passes and following rivers through canyons. It was still hot until we got to about 20 miles from the coast. We then put in our jacket liners, and were soon cold even with that. The coast was covered in high fog and it was only 63 when we arrived in Eureka.

[caption id="attachment_749" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Pacific Coast south of Eureka, CA[/caption]


We had good luck with Travelocity's Secret Hotels last year when we visited Nashville, so we tried again this time. We chose a two star hotel in Eureka and ended up at the Travelodge. It is not a two star hotel. It was extremely dated, run down and very disappointing. Unfortunately, once you commit to the Secret Hotel you cannot get your money back or cancel, so we were stuck. We went to dinner at Marie Calendar's and split what we thought was a nice dinner. The next morning we both had lower intestinal distress, so we must have gotten some kind of food poisoning since we shared the meal.

We got a late start due to not feeling well, but were on the road by about 10:30. It was cold! The temperature was 52 when we left and it did not get above 60 until we left the coast late in the afternoon. We wore our full cold weather gear and were comfortable. It just makes it harder to get on and off the bike when all bundled up. We rode north on Hwy 101 through Redwoods National Park, stopping at the visitor center and to take a hike through some of the redwoods. It was beautiful but cold and damp. Then again, maybe it's beautiful because it is cold and damp.

[caption id="attachment_750" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Big Tree in Redwoods National Park, 304 feet tall and 1500 years old.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_751" align="aligncenter" width="300"] You feel small walking through the Redwood Forest[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_752" align="aligncenter" width="225"] The hanging moss was very pretty.[/caption]


We took a side road toward the coast to an overlook where the Klamath River flows into the sea.


[caption id="attachment_759" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Klamath River Estuary and Pacific Coast to the South[/caption]

We stopped for fuel again in Crescent City, CA and headed inland on US 199 toward Grants Pass, OR. It was another beautiful ride through the coastal mountains but we stripped off our cold weather gear within about 30 miles. It continued to get hotter as we neared Grants Pass and turned south on I-5 to Medford, OR where we spent the night. It was in the mid 90's when we arrived at 5 PM.

Yesterday we got an early start. We left the hotel, a very nice place called the Brookside Inn, at about 9 AM and headed south on I-5. The temperatures kept climbing and had reached the upper 90's by the time we passed Mt. Shasta and Shasta Lake. We stopped for fuel again in Redding where the temperature had climbed to 102, and it was only noon. We had a wet T-shirt contest as we both soaked our shirts. The 30 mile ride to Red Bluff was comfortable, but if we had gone any further we would have needed to soak our shirts again. Amazing how quickly you can dry a shirt in 100 degree weather at 70 MPH.

We really enjoy touring by motorcycle but we sure would enjoy it more if we weren't roasting or freezing!


  1. That doesn't sound like the most pleasant trip you have ever taken.

  2. I envy you the cold weather. Good thing you planned ahead and were ready for it.

  3. Mom, we really did enjoy the trip. We could have done without the extreme hot and cold, but the ride was great fun. The twisty roads are great on a motorcycle, and the views at the ocean and in the Redwoods were great. The trip was a little over 500 miles and we enjoy being out in nature like we are when on the motorcycle. You smell the air and feel every little temperature change. There is a much greater sense of experiencing the places we go when on the motorcycle than when driving through encased in steel and glass with the heater/air conditioner running. I'd equate it to being a participant instead of a spectator.

  4. Hmmm, a wet Tshirt contest between you and Dianna. I bet Dianna was the winner. (Sorry Richard. :) )

    Glenda and I came down the coast road out of Eureka and through the Redwood Forest on one of our road trips a couple years ago. It sure is beautiful country, with ginormous trees!

  5. mayela guevara alvarezAugust 21, 2012 at 5:03 AM

    Hi Dianna, im glad you guys are doing fine. I just put your last name and there you were. I was so happy to hear from you guys. Well God Bless all of you. Mayela