After nearly a year of planning and bike preparation, it’s finally time to leave for my vacation.
Ferndale to Red Bluff
Preparation for the trip is way behind. Due to way too many fire calls this week, I got behind in work, and in getting the KLR ready to go. I was hoping to get the tires installed yesterday, but a rubbish fire on the riverbar took up my entire afternoon. So I took the tires up to Eureka at 9am this morning and dropped them off. I was hoping they could mount the TKC-80s while I waited, but they said they’d have them ready by noon. I then went back to the office to try to finish up some work and about 10 minutes after I got back to Ferndale the dealer called to say the tires were ready. I should have just hung around in Eureka.
So I worked until about 12:30, then went back to Eureka to pick up the new rubber. Then I went home to install the wheels, do a quick oil and filter change, and then packed the bike. Leaving home, the odometer read 7754. I had one final stop at the chiropractor and since the doctor was also running late, I got a long rest on the bench. After all the stress of getting ready, it actually felt good to just lie there waiting for the adjustment.
Finally with the adjustment done I headed out, starting my ride officially on Hwy 36. How lucky am I to be able to start my trip on one of the greatest motorcycle roads in the US? Just as I started through Hydesville I noticed the odometer read 7777. I took that as a good omen. Boy was I wrong.
I stopped for dinner in Mad River at the burger bar and had a nice conversation with a Harley rider from Myers Flat. It was a nice re-affirmation that not all Harley riders are jerks.
The sun began setting just as I neared Platina which meant that I would be riding the most exciting section of 36 in the dark. I noticed a beautiful sunset in my mirrors and stopped to take a quick picture of it.
I got to Red Bluff right at 9:00 and pulled into the Econo Lodge for the night. I took advantage of their pool and swam for a bit which felt good. Then I called Lori just to let her know I made it safely this far. This was the first call I made on my cell phone which I bought specifically for this trip. I finally joined the 21st century.
Pretty tired I tried going to sleep but the kids in the next room sounded like a couple of rock stars on a binge trashing the motel room. I really expected furniture to come crashing through the walls at some point. Fortunately, I had my iPod, so I tuned the noise out until they finally wore themselves out and it was a bit quieter. Definitely reminded me why I like camping better.