Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Seattle to Tahoe and Back - Part One

This is in ten parts, get comfy. If you've been following, you'll notice I've changed the posting dates to make the posts flow chronologically, to reduce needless scrolling...

Been gone for a week, ended up taking a camping trip from Seattle to Lake Tahoe and back on the motorcycles. Why? Superficially, to ride mountainbikes on the famous "Flume" and "Tahoe Rim" trails, but the trip itself was an end in itself. Here's the story.....

Left Seattle in the rain, early morning. Reached the meeting point in plenty of time, we scarfed a McDonalds breakfast and lots of coffee while discussing the details.

The riders, Sim... Honda ST 1100, John ... Honda Valkyrie, James...BMW K100, and me (Bob)...Modded Honda Valkyrie.

None of the guys had ridden in a group before, we were all rusty bikers as life had gotten in the way of riding. Our original plan had us heading for the coast to enjoy the curves asap, but we decided to blast down the freeway to see if we could outrun the rain.

We stopped at a rest stop, as the morning coffee was taking it's toll. As we accelerated back up to speed, a group of bikers matched us. I was surprised to see two valkyries in the pack, as they're relatively rare bikes. Flames and PW, members of our local club, waved at us as we parted ways, their group taking the turnoff toward Mt. St. Helens. Hope you had a good ride, guys.

It worked. No rain. We turned off I-5 south onto Highway 126 at Eugene, Or. Beautiful road, smooth curves and sweepers, no traffic. This tumbled us out onto the coast at a little town called Florence.

Sim, above, and John, below, enjoying the cruise to Florence.

We tilted though the small towns, heading south on 101, watching the sun.

We ended up stopping at Humbug Mountain state park, paused to see the beautiful sea stacks, set up the tents just as dusk crept in, then returned to the small town to get some fish and chips for supper. Slept soundly, felt great for having spent a long day in the saddle.

Amazing pink light sunset...

Awoke to a foggy morning. Yes, we all had our own gear...We didn't know each other's itineraries or scheduling conflicts, this way any one of us could break off at any time.

Packed, continued down the 101 south, enjoying the minimum traffic in the early morning. Sweeping though the fog....

The fog burned off quickly, leaving us to watch the large swells come crashing in.

Crossed the Rogue river, lots of fishing boats just getting started...

Group shot... Left to right... Sim, James, my Valkyrie, John, and Me. You can tell we're not having any fun at all.

Typical coastline road...

Stopped for food and fuel at a little town, realized my right fork seal had quit it's job, allowing oil to leak down the leg. A few swipes with card stock was unsucessful in stopping the leak, I 'll need a new seal when I get home.

Welcome to California.

We wanted to see the redwoods, we did a loop into the forest, but pics don't do these giants justice. The burned out trunk, for example, allowed me to stretch both arms out inside and not touch the sides. Majestic. The minivan and airstream hopefully give you some scale.

Continued down the coast,

to the small town of Fortuna. Here we turned left, heading east on highway 36, on the advice of the crowd over at This is a road build seemingly expressely for motorcycles. Ups, downs, tight turns, long sweepers, We all thouroughly enjoyed this road.

OK, that's all for part One. I have over 180 pics, there'll be lots more. As always, click the pic for the fullsize.


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