Today’s Mileage: 185 miles
Total Trip Mileage so far: 4583 miles
I am listening to: Prince and Bonnie Raitt
As I pull out of Eureka the weather couldn’t be much better, still a little cool and windy on the coast as I take Highway 101 for a short distance south but I will soon turn inland and climate change will happen in a hurry. I turn east onto Route 36 as Mark told me, and true to his words, it is a good motorcycle road. Good pavement, light traffic, swooping curves and elevation changes – just what the doctor ordered for a morning motorcycle ride. I passed through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest with more redwoods lining the roadway.
I entered the little (population about 200) town of Platina about 50 miles out of Redding. It was here that I could gas up and take a break before turning onto the little traveled Road A16. I got gas from the ancient gas pump and went inside to get a snack and settle up. The folks in the store were very friendly and had great fun teasing me about the price of every item I wanted. “Gatorade is $3500”. The inhabitants consider themselves to live at the end of the world, well, beyond that actually…see photo of the T-shirt I bought at the store – “only one size available $6700”. After a good bit of fun and chit chat I bid my farewell and rode up to the turnoff for CA A16. Oh, and by the way, Platina is home to a monastery…seems logical.
Now a road like CA A16 is what I like to think of as one of the best things California has to offer in the way of motorcycle roads. Remote, little to no traffic, good pavement for the most part (more about that in a minute), elevations up, down, and sideways, and serpentine to the extreme. In the 50 miles from Platina to Redding I didn’t pass more than a couple of other vehicles. What a great ride, maybe a bit thought provoking along the mountain ascent and descent without any shoulder or guard rails (will post the video as soon as I edit to a manageable size). This road reminds me of the rides I used to take with Roger, John, and Leo Lake back in the 70’s and 80’s when we were living in California.
I arrive happy and full of good karma, find my hotel, check in and ask about parking my bike out front. The manager says, “no not out there, I have a special place you can park” – and she did…see photo below. Folks are just nice sometimes and Hilton property folks seem to really be motorcycle friendly…or maybe it is just me :-).
I call Mark and get directions to head over to his house for dinner. Mark has really changed very little, but he is retired now and tinkering full time. I meet Karen and she is just as nice as Mark and has the most interesting background…tomorrow’s post. We all sit around a talk like it was only yesterday that we separated from each other, not almost 35 years. Tomorrow we go to Mark and Karen’s hanger to ogle the car Mark is working on and their airplane.