Was extremely last minute this year, and as such, was pretty tough to gather any sort of crew, so just a local bud and myself went down this past Sat, and met Adam (tatoodles) for a few days of NorCal bliss.
As in the past, was simply a season ender, save the best for last and get more turns in 3 days than the whole season prior.......so sick down there.
Screwed up on hotel and made the assumption based on calling 4 days prior to depart that getting a room end of Oct at the Gaia would be a no-brainer. When I actually called back again, day before depart (stoopid) to book......sorry sir, we have 2 wedding parties and 100% sold out.
Was pissed off as this is THE home base for many great reasons, but onward an upward, we found a room avail at the Best Western a few min's down the road. Was a bit worried as Anderson is not exactly a resort town, and things could be sketchy.
Was pleased to find out the hotel was just fine, clean, very accommodating staff, well priced, free breakie, parking outside our room, amenities within walking distance, and hey, they had a room......let's face it, beggars can't be choosers.
Was very reassuring to find out there was a big MMA event being held at the local Casino and the fighters and coaches were staying in same hotel....yikes!
Getting woken up at 5am to a screaming maniac in our parking lot (who we were told the next day, was the loser of the fight......waahhhh) was a lil exciting, but other than that, a great stay and solid alternative to someone who wants to save a few $$.
So the rides......nothing too different from years past, but never short of amazing:
Left home at 4:30am and made Redding 12hrs later, were at hotel in Anderson at 5:00pm.
3 gas stops, one stop for breakfast, 2 rest stops and a 20min visit to the Liquor Expo.....60 of Smirnoff for $16.99.....wtf??!!
Down the I5 to Red Bluff, and Hwy 36 to the West (opposite of coast, inland) to Mineral.....good easy warm up to the day, but nothing exciting. From Mineral Lodge, jumped on to a small road called Hwy 172.......narrow, twisty and fun, through the forest.
Back on to Hwy 36 at the other end, and then a right onto Hwy 32 towards Chico......about 57 miles, 28 of which were HEAVENLY......twisty, some quite tight, clean pavement, along the river, then up the hills, loved it.
Second half less exciting, but an easy cruise into Chico. Then jumped on the 99 for a short jaunt over to Oroville, where we were meeting Adam, who was riding down from his home in San Fran. Had lunch at Feather Casino.
From there we hit Hwy 70 which is always quite nice, fairly twisty, some sweepers, and amazing views from aloft. Rode into Quincy and gassed up.
Left Quincy (no time for RTITS this time) and jumped on to Hwy 36 for the ride back to Anderson. About halfway back, we got pissed on, stopped in Mineral to get wet weather gear on (those of us who brought it) and continued on......rain stopped after maybe 45mins and that's a wrap.
This was the standard, yet always great, Hwy 36 to Coast, lunch at Eel River Brew Pub in Eureka and then down the 101 to Fortuna where we'd blast back up Hwy 299 towards Redding.
36 was amazing......from old Wildwood store to the road towards Hayfork.......BRAND NEW UNMOLESTED pavement. All the really twisty canyon stuff was days old.
No painted lines on the road, no street signs, just fresh black, perfectly clean pavement.....quite a treat.
After lunch, heading towards Fortuna for our ride on 299......the skies were looking a bit ominous........well, for good reason.......we were rained on for about 75% of the way back.
Stopped in Weaverville for a rest and snuck our bikes under the gas station eaves to get cover before the last leg back to Anderson.
We did manage to get some super turns in down by the river, with dry roads and also had our own with the super tight downhill stuff near the end, which was great.
This was the "best for last" day.......ride to Cecilville or as some of us have coined, the road to Crazyville. Left Anderson, up 299 to Weaverville, over to Hwy 3 which goes North, and off towards Callahan. Part of that ride is an absolute blast as well (if you love riding up Baker for example).....the Trinity Alps as they are known.....perfect pavement, tight, up hill, just a frickin blast.
Arrive Callahan, chill, rest and get ready for the road to Cecilville. Was a great ride, and as mentioned last year by CoolDaddy & Co, there is self serve 24hr gas there now, which is awesome. Our crew somehow missed this last year and went on a further adventure, but that's another story.
There's also a pub there, but only open weekends, unless you have group, and if you call ahead, they will open to accommodate. Is called the Salmon River Saloon:
There were some loose horses walking around who came over to visit when I called them......mooches, and I had nothing to offer them.
Rode back, then the whole Hwy 3 in reverse, back to Weaverville for gas. Was getting tired. Decided to skip most of 299 on way back (there was construction) and take the road towards Hatyfork (Hwy 3)......was better than I remember, and again, turn after turn after turn.
Popped out on Hwy 36, and we were both really tired, had not eaten lunch, was after 4pm, and we had another 115kms of the twistiest part of 36 to do! Well, that road backwards to me is like the Duffy backwards to me, LOVE IT, and got my mojo through the fun stuff, truly noting better.
Sun was super low, the hills were absolutely glowing orange, the pavement was perfect, what a stellar way to finish off. We arrived back at the hotel around 6pm and were officially bagged, zero interest in riding another mile, ready to hang up the boots and call it a year.
Left at 9:30am with intention to stay over in OR, were making great time at much of the trip at 80mph, and pulled up home at 9:30pm.
That's enough of the words, here are some pics............
The tow rig:
Putting miles behind us:
Our home away from home:
Snack stop on Hwy 36 to coast:
Our fresh pavement and no traffic on 36:
Hwy 36 through some Redwoods:
Hwy 36 rest stop:
Same thing, helluva view: