Purpose of the trip was to explore northern California's backroads and meet up with another rider from Santa Rosa who rides them all the time.
Vancouver to Cannon Beach, OR. 90 minute wait at the border, 60 minute construction delay through Bellingham, rain and 9C temps all the way down. Basically the day sucked. Stayed at the Blue Gull Inn, drank until closing at the Driftwood Pub.
The 10 martinis I had the night before was a bad idea. Steve wasn't much better. Didin't get rolling until 11am after breakfast at the Pig & Pancake (good pig, never had the pancake). We have all or Oregon and have to be in Fortuna, CA for dinner. Rain and cold all the way down the Oregon coast, stopped to see the sea lions, rode through the Redwood forest at 10pm in complete darkness riding like madmen to make time. Get to Fortuna 11pm.
Ride to Redding, CA, CA via highway 36 and 299. Highway 36 is one of these crazy California "B" roads that is billiard table smooth, twisty as Hell, and no cars. Continued on to Lake Tahoe through 299, 89 which took us up into the high alpine and 10 feet of snow on either side of the road. Again, no cars, no bikes, just smooth blacktop. Get into Truckee at 10pm, restaurants closed, order pizza in one of the bars.
Leave Truckee at 2pm and head toward Santa Rosa, CA (north of San Francisco) and discover highway 49 along the way. Highway 49 is the most amazing road I have ever ridden. Any of you who have done Neah Bay, WA just take that road and make it 150kms long. There are only two straight sections in it, and they might be 1/2 a mile long. It is endless 25mph and 35mph hairpins and you will be giggling all the way because there is no one else on it.
We drive up the California coast on 1 from Santa Rosa but decide it is too cold (it was only 5C and windy as Hell), so we turn inland and take 101 to Eureka where we spend a night.
Out of Eureka we take in highway 299. This is an awesome stretch of road with the longest and biggest sweepers I've been on. Lean it in and pin it and it feels like you are turning 360degrees, left, right, left, etc. Turn North on highway 96 northeast to the I-5 and take in amazing vistas, and more endless twisties.
From there it was basically freeze our asses off in near freezing temps or rain and hurricane winds as we plow through central Oregon and Washington ending up in Wenatchee on Friday night. Choosing to take highway 20 from Wenatchee to Everett was a bad decision. Steven's pass is high, really high and we rode through two hours of fog and freezing rain, sucked!
Riding through the Avenue of the Giants south of Eureka at 5pm with not one other vehicle in sight.
Highway 49 out of Truckee, CA
Highway 299 and 96 East out of Eureka
Highway 89 East out of Redding down to Truckee
There are no police anywhere on these roads.
There are no cars on any of these roads.
There are no sportbikes on any of these roads (Too far from metropolitan areas apparently)
What I would do different:
*Don't get plowed the first night and ride 700kms the next day.
*Pack fewer clothes and pull into a motel one night early and do a load of laundry.
*Don't book hotels in advance. You never know what's going to happen or how long its going to take to get somewhere. Bad idea to chase deer down on a dark country road at 9:30pm only because you prepaid for your room in Truckee.
*Start looking for hotels in small towns around 4pm and make sure they are close to a pub and a restaurant as you don't want to have to ride your bikes to go eat.
Bring clothes for the worst possible weather. 500-600 kms per day is aggressive when considering that all the roads are tight twisties. Frequent stops to add or remove layers sucks up alot of time, even in a group of only 3 riders. We experienced temps as low as 35F up to 85F in a matter of a couple hours.
*Make a Bee-line for California down the I-5 and skip WA and OR. Its about 1000kms and easily done in a day and a half. The roads are so good in northern CA, everything else here pales by comparison. Work your way South along the I-5 and do day rides East or West on the numerous deserted roads.