Monday, August 27, 2012

Road Stories - Destinations

When people ask me where I'm going for my summer road trip, I often tell them 'thatta way' while pointing in the general direction I'm planning to go.

Now, that's not because I don't want to tell them (maybe sometimes it is actually ;) ), but because I often don't know. When you're on a bike, it's better to be flexible, to allow the weather, conditions of the road and environment and your own feelings and gut instincts to guide the way.

In today's environment of GPS' and instant information, the most useful thing I find on road trips is a basic, free, BCAA (or AAA) map. If you stick to the smallest roads you find on the map (that are paved) it's actually amazing what you'll find.

Having said all that, sometimes you have to break your own rules.

I've been wanting to ride to California since I was about 16 or 17 years old. I remember vividly the desire to just head south and to see where I end up. It's taken over 20 years, but I finally rode to Cali.

I wasn't the only one stopping to take a photo, the gentleman and his wife also stopped and frankly, I like the photo he's in better than the one I took after.

It felt good to finally get there. Of course, it didn't work out the way I planned. After travelling a fair distance, I was faced with 40+ Celsius (100+ Fahrenheit). California was in the midst of a significant heatwave.

So I only stayed for a day and a half, preferring to return to Oregon, the desert specifically, where it was cooler (yes, I went to the desert to cool down).

But, I enjoyed the Redwoods highway

And the coast

That's marine cloud you see in the background, temperatures in Crescent City were about 10 C cooler than just 15 km away, where it was over 30 C.

Bjorn's ever-present "will it look better in black & white" game

I wanted to venture down further down Hwy 101, but road construction (and hunger) conspired against me. So I made some stops to take in the scenery south of Crescent City.

I did run into a creepy talking giant and his bull.

(the horns don't quite line up, do they? ;) )

And I had a little picnic consisting of an apple and a granola bar while staring at the ocean.

Really, closer to the highway than I would have liked, but always within eyesight of the trusty KLR

Once I realize I wasn't going to be spending much time here, I went back out after dinner to take a few more photos.

A different take on the lighthouse

The next morning I was back on the road, riding through Oregon back into Northern Cali, through some very dense smoke due to the forest fire at Happy Camp.

I bought an extra litre of water here and I was so glad I did. I got hot.

On the plus side, I did find Big Foot.

Often, having destinations isn't what my trips are about. But sometimes, it does feel like a good thing.

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