Subject: NorCal and Oregon ride report (kind of long).
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 00:03:29 -0700
From: Bill Bornman
Organization: Potius sero quam nunquam

Click here skip all the boring text and just check out the route maps and pictures


July 1st I left home and headed north and west towards the coast, I didn't really have a plan, except to get out of town riding for a week or so and stop in Klamath Falls to see a friend.

Skipping the (HOT) boring part of the first day, I took Hwy 20 from Willits to the coast and headed north on Hwy 1. About 30 miles north of Ft. Bragg where Hwy 1 starts to cut inland, my AAA map showed a county road (431) that continued along the coast to a state park with a campground. I decided that campground would be my stopping point. I reached the turn off after dark, and almost missed it - it was a steep dirt road that angled back and to the left - it looked more like a bad drive way than a county road, but there was a sign!

After about 5 miles on the dirt road, I finally hit the campground, paid my fee ($7) set up my tent and went to sleep. The next morning I wandered around checking the place out and it's actually a really nice camping spot - I plan to go back soon. Continued north on Mendocino 431 until it intersected Bear Harbor Road. Mendo 431 was dirt the whole way - I saw 4 vehicles going south. The first was a county pickup with two guys cutting brush back from the road, a little later I passed two guys on graders trying to smooth out the surface (and not doing a very good job). The fourth vehicle was a State Park pickup with 3-4 people in it - doing important State Park stuff.

I cut back towards the coast and into the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park - I saw the sign warning about the dangers of elk and another prohibiting OHV and threatening the operators with jail and vehicle impound. I figured there was no chance I was going to see any elk and I wasn't on an OHV so I kept going. The dirt road was pretty steep and I'm glad it wasn't raining or I don't think I would have gotten very far on my Tiger. After a mile or so I saw some elk off towards the ocean and stopped to take some pictures. Continued down into the park. I was going by a visitors center-like building (actually it looked like an old farm house) - I stopped to watch some deer and heard yelling behind me. After a minute or so I realized the yelling (bordering on screaming now) was directed at me. After removing my helmet and ear plugs I was confronted by an apoplectic older woman who was demanding to know if I had seen the "NO MOTORCYCLES" signs. I assured her that I hadn't seen any such signs, but I had seen some no OHV signs which I hadn't paid much attention to. We talked for a few minutes about the problems they'd been having with vandalism by people on OHVs, the elk I'd seen up the road, etc. and after a few minutes she calmed down and said she check into the "no motorcycles" policy - I told her I'd look at the signs again on my way out. Sure enough, the signs had a big red circle with a slash through it over a picture of a motorcycle (or maybe it was an ATV, kind of hard to tell) - the printing on the sign said street legal vehicles only, blah, blah, blah (at least I was right and she wasn't too pissed off when I left).

Took the Briceland - Thorne Road into Garberville for lunch and then headed north along 101. I took the "Avenue of the Giants" which is basically parallel to 101, but a lot nicer on a motorcycle. I would have taken the Mattole Road through Honeydew and Petrolia, but it was already getting late and I wanted to be in Klamath Falls by 8:00 or 9:00 (hah!).

Went up 101 through Eureka and Arcata and cut inland on Hwy 299. Headed north on 96 out of Willow Creek along the Klamath River. There were two areas near Orleans where traffic was being controlled with flaggers and pilot vehicles due to fires along the road - probably started by people throwing cigarettes out of car windows. I realized there was no way i was going to make it to Klamath Falls before 1 AM and started looking for a camp site along Hwy 96 - couldn't find anything I liked (that wasn't full) before it got dark. Got to I-5 around 10:00 and decided to get a hotel room in Yreka (Motel 6, $40 - not bad).

Wed. I headed north on 5 to Ashland where I turned east towards Klamath on Oregon 66. The first 20-30 miles of this road was great - twisty, scenic, no traffic. East of Pinehurst it was still a nice road, just not very twisty. Stopped Wed. afternoon to see my friend in Klamath before heading north to Crater Lake NP. Pulled in to the Lost Creek Campground about 8:30 (sunset was close to 9:00). Of the 15 or so sites, 5 or 6 were empty (this was July 3rd - try to find an empty campground ANYWHERE in California the night before a four day weekend!).

Thursday AM people started drifting into the campground around 9:00 - so I decided to stay there another night instead of trying to find camping again. Turned out to be a good idea as every place I saw while riding around was pretty much full. I did a loop ride on Thursday - up the (dirt) Grayback Drive from the campground to the Crater Lake Rim Drive, around the lake the long was to the south entrance to get gas. Went out of the park and west on hwy 62, NE on 230 to 138 and west to Steamboat. Cut north out of Steamboat towards Oakridge on a forest service road - the first 10 miles or so was a great (paved) motorcycle road - the middle part (10 miles) was dirt and then the north end was paved. This ended up being a great detour, both for the riding and the scenery. There are lots of roads like this on my map that I'll have to go back and explore sometime. From Oakridge I headed SE on hwy 58 to US 97 and back to my campground.

Friday I headed back south into California via hwy 39 through Merrill, OR. Cut south on Hill Road west of Tule Lake (where I saw the five deer in the photos) to Lava Beds NM. The Medicine Lake Road (dirt) takes you past the Mammoth Crater and eventually comes out on hwy 89 near Bartle. South of Medicine Lake this road was paved and lots of fun - there were quite a few RVs, trucks pulling boats, etc. at Medicine Lake but the road was pretty clear. I was hoping to camp Friday night in Lassen NP so I headed south on 89. I got to the north gate just after 8:00 and the sign said all the campgrounds were full. Luckily the ranger who was just locking up told me I could just find a spot of the road south of the park and camp (which I did, just after dark).

Sat. I got up pretty early (for me anyhow), packed up and started riding - it was cold enough that I needed my liner under my jacket, but not the electric vest like after sunset near Crater Lake. I continued south on 89 to 36, gassed up in Mineral and then took 172 back east to 89. Went south on 32 to Chico and thought about continuing towards home. While riding south on 99 I decided to ride the Feather River Canyon (hwy 70) while I was in the area. So I gassed up in Oroville, took Cherokee Road to hwy 70. North and east on 70 to Graeagle, south on Gold Lake Forest Road to Bassets and south west on 49 to I-80 at Auburn. from there I bombed west on 80 through Sacramento (where it was about 105 degrees) and back to the Bay Area.

According to the GPS I did 1,772 miles in 38.25 hours of riding spread over 6 days. There were a few times when the plug was loose and I lost power, so those numbers aren't exact, but they're pretty close.

I took something like 550 megabytes of photos (160+) with my new Olympus E-20N digital camera. Some of them turned out pretty well, although it didn't do to great looking in to the sun or with snowy mountains, with a cloudy sky. The average file size of the pictures was about 3.5 megs, so the ones on the website have all been resized/compressed to take up a reasonable amount of space. When I get around to it I'm going to get rid of some of the similar photos and those that aren't very good.

this turned out a lot longer than I thought it would - hope it's not too boring.
Bill Bornman - 98 Tiger
Lafayette, CA