California Cruise 2004 – Day 3: The Redwoods

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Monday, June 21

We drive north along the west side of Crater Lake between towering snowbanks. The higher east road is still snowed in. There is a considerable chill in the air as we ride the dry, two lane road through snow bank canyons and those of us with heated vests have them cranked up. Anyway, we stop several times to gaze at the lake and take photos. The scale and beauty of Crater Lake are simply astounding.

We emerge from the north gate of the Park and head southwest on Highway 230 for a delightful cruise through the sunlit forest. We pick up Highway 199 in Grants Pass, Oregon and continue our southwest journey to the Pacific Ocean and the Redwoods. Scott, Joe and Eric arrive in Cave Junction, Oregon before the others and spot a book store and coffee shop on the main street. We make a beeline for it as Pablo, Pork Chop and Uncle Bob roll into town. After espresso and some huge, fresh baked, chocolate chip cookies that are so big and dense that you’d hurt someone if you threw one at them, we come out looking for the guys. It takes about 10 seconds to figure it out. A big sign outside the Red Garter Saloon stating “Bikers Welcome” clues us in. We find them resting inside in air conditioned comfort.

Refreshed, we continue on Highway 199 and once we cross into California, the riding really picks up as the road twists and turns through the hills and forests. The best of all is the road between Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Crescent City. With continuous twisties, perfectly paved and banked through the redwood forest, it is an absolute treat for a motorcyclist.

At Crescent City, we head south on Highway 101 down the coast. We set up camp in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. That evening, we dine at the world famous Palm Cafe in Orick. The rib eye steaks are superb and the waitress talks us into some homemade pie heated up with ice cream. Wow! They take real good care of us. We head back to camp with full, happy tummies and enjoy a relaxing evening around the campfire at the edge of the redwood forest.

Day Four: The Trinity Alps

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