Waking early, breaking camp, and hitting the road for the ride across California to Fallon, NV was the goal for this ride. The sky was still overcast from the night before as the sun hadn’t had a chance to burn off the fog yet, so we started the morning in cooler-than-we-expected temperatures. We headed south on a short? detour to see the Avenue of the Giants.
It likely goes without saying, but traveling the old highway from Pepperwood to Meyers Flat, CA, is an incredible journey through time. I couldn’t help but think of some young biker of years gone by on an old flat twin cruising through the primordial forest 70 or 80 years ago. The scenery was breathtaking and I felt dwarfed by the ancient trees. I was very grateful that they’ve been preserved and not harvested for what would have made some lumber baron very wealthy.
Phil was determined to find one of the famous drive-through trees, so we continued south until we could experience that 100-year-old tradition for ourselves. Just outside of Meyers Flat we found what we were looking for and took the obligatory photos mugging at the camera. Phil missed the 12-foot yellow and green sign; and didn’t notice the rest of us turning off (we gave him a pretty hard time when he finally realized we had disappeared in front of him), but we all eventually had the opportunity to smile for the camera.
We decided to jump on the Interstate to head back up to our home-bound route, which is also a very beautiful ride through the redwoods. But, there’s something about taking those old highways winding through history that really appeals to me.
Instead of retracing our steps all the way back to Eureka, we decided to take a shortcut over Highway 36 to Redding. Our shortcut added several hours to the trip, but the multiple mountain passes and incredibly twisty roads made for my favorite day on the bike. We likely wouldn’t have chosen that route, but I’d go back just to ride that road again. Yes, it was that awesome—despite the fact that Kathy blew into the first gas pump we found on fumes. In all seriousness, this was likely the most incredible canyon riding I have ever done. One pass after the other for several hours. I stopped once to take a photograph—I didn’t want to get off the bike.
Temperatures rose as we pushed into the interior of California and were at or near 100 degrees as we stopped for dinner in Redding around 6:00 pm. After a quick bite, we shot off like a rocket for Nevada (we wanted to make our first stop on the Loneliest Highway in America, Fallon, NV) and rode through some incredible scenery until nightfall.
We rolled into the parking lot of our hotel late into the evening tired and ready for a good night’s sleep. I don’t think I moved from the time I passed out on the pillow to when Phil called to tell me that I was about to miss breakfast. What a great day on the bike—probably the longest single day I have ever spent in the saddle by five or six hours, but worth every minute.