Sunday, September 16, 2007

Day 5 - Redding to Medford

(Actually we are back home in Colorado now as I write this. We did not post anything during the trip after Day 4 since we didn't have time or could find a internet cafe. )

The weather was overcast and we were not able to see Mt Shasta or the tops of any peaks along the way back to Oregon. Breakfast was at a Denny's. We stopped in the town of Yreka, CA for lunch and looked for an internet cafe with computer for rent. While there was at least a couple of WiFi spots they did not have computers for customer use. We did find limited access at the city Library so we could check email.

Yreka (pronounced "Y"-reek-ah) was an interesting small town built for the gold found in the surface ground in the mid 1800's (not creeks and no mine shafts). Karla had a desire to find local fiber for spinning yarn and we got a tip for a store in the next town on our way, Ashland, OR.
Ashland is a College town and has a weavers shop in the old shopping section of town. Some interesting art and gift shops were there as well. These shopping sections of old town areas seem to typically have an eclectic variety of businesses. Ashlands' was smaller than expected, but had some good ones.
Medford was our destination for the night and we only really had time to find a good place to eat. We chose Kaleidoscope Pizza and it was very good, but a little pricey. Breakfast the next morning was at Spicers Restaurant & Dessertery as you leave Medford near the Costco on Crater Lake Hwy. It was kind of like a Village Inn and more economical. I only found it because it was in the Nuvi, we could not see it from the highway.
We stopped to view a small narrow gorge of the Rouge River near the intersection to go to Crater Lake. A good place to stop with a short path from the parking lot to a few nice overlooks. Crater Lake is a "Wow!" when you get your first view and that's exactly what the brochure said. We had time to walk around a few minutes and then the clouds started to flow into the crater and obstruct the view. As we rode north on the rim road we found little to see of the lake from the view points because of the clouds and it was becoming rather cold so we headed out of the Park towards Bend.
It was around 12:30 and lunch was on our minds and the trusty Nuvi only knew of one place on our way within range of our hunger. The Mohawk Restaurant & Lounge which proudly proclaims "Taxidermy and Bottle Collection" on the sign as well. Quite a display and the food was quite good also. Another worthy place to stop at if in the area.
In Bend we needed gas and Karla found a Weavers shop, but no fiber. However she was told about a great shop in Sisters which we decided we could just get there after we returned the Harley and got the rental car (this time a Chevy Cobalt). Hopefully they stayed open until 5pm. With just the name "Wild and Wooly" we stopped in Sisters at a convenience store for directions and they did not know the name, but knew of a weavers store. We got there just at 5 o'clock. Although the "Closed" sign was out the owner let us in and Karla was very happy with the store. She bought some different bundles of llama and sheep wool and may even mail order more. Baabaara's Wild and Wooly is the actual name, but
Our plans to head back to Portland via a different route through Salem was changed when we realized we had left our empty luggage at the Eagle Rider shop. I decided we should just go back and continue to Portland the same way we had come the week before after retrieving our bags. It was about a 25min backtrack, but still shorter overall.

Day 4 - Eureka to Redding

After breakfast at the nearby Village Pantry resturant we headed to the Avenue of the Giants. For those who don't know it's a 31 mile stretch of old highway 101 through some Redwood forest. We rode it both down and back so that we could experience the drive from both directions and to get back to the highway 36 intersection.
Highway 36 from 101 to I-5 is considered one of the best roads to ride a motorcycle in the nation so of course we had to take it. Once we got away from the small communities and farms I began to push the E-Glide to it's cornering limits, but soon Karla informed me that she wasn't able to tolerate that kind of riding for long. She was still recovering from a neck injury a few weeks ago and the faster riding was causing neck pain.
We stopped for a meal at the Burger Bar at Mad River. Very tasty burgers there. We met some other Harley riders who were just nearing the end of a long ride they called the Baskin Robbin's tour because it was through 31 states.

My opinion of the road is it's a great place to bring a sportbike and a nice ride even on a sedate level with a touring bike. It is similar to many sections of highway in the Rockies, but more of it and fewer other vehicles. MUCH fewer!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Day 2 & 3 - Port Orford to Crescent City to Eureka

We found a internet cafe "Old Town Coffee & Chocolates" Eureka, CA and I'm attempting this post there. So far the trip is going well.
Sunday night we stayed in the "Home on the Sea B&B" in Port Orford, OR.
It was very comfortable and the Innkeepers were quite generous with their time and help. The soft sounds of the surf lull you to sleep only occasionally interrupted by the loudest highway traffic. You are awakened to the calls of sea birds. Alan the innkeeper has a garage that he allows parking motorcycles and bikes so the Harley stayed safe and dry. We got pictures with his camera at an overlook so I believe I'll be getting those via email later. (Got 'em, thanks Alan) Here's one.

<- That's the B&B over Karla's left shoulder.

We ate dinner at the Crazy Norwegians Fish & Chips which is another highly recommended restaurant along the coast. Only about 100 yards from the B&B it's not a fancy place, just great fish and chips. I also sampled a cup of their Clam Chowder in my quest for the best chowder. I give it the highest rating. Plenty meaty and just the right balance of ingredients.

After we left there we visited the old Coast Guard installation and ordered some dog tags for the Grandkids. It is an interesting place to see too.
We stayed in a unique Motel in Crescent City, CA last night. The Curly Redwood Motel which was built in 1957 of the wood from ONE Redwood trunk! Still in very nice condition and inexpensive, it has covered parking in front of the rooms so the Harley was out of direct weather again. It's right across the highway from Fishermans Restaurant which has very good Fish and Chips and other seafood. The Curly Redwood Motel has a deal with the Elk Valley Casino for breakfast so we went there. We had a standard eggs, hashbrowns, toast and bacon breakfast and it was quite good. It was included as a free option with the motel stay, just ask if they still have it.
We had clouds along the coast today and not great for some coastal images. The Redwood forest Just south of Port Orford was just fine so it worked out OK. When we got to the Redwood National Park we exited on the Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway which wanders through the redwoods much like the Avenue of the Giants road. Very nice and I think I liked it better.
Of course we had to drive thru a Redwood tree when we could. These are the old private attractions that I believe are not legal to create anymore since giant old growth redwoods are protected.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sea Caves to Port Orford

The flight to Portland went smoothly. We had a Pontiac Grand Am as our rental car to drive to Redmond. I had purchased a motorcycle helmet on ebay and by chance the seller was in Portland so I arranged to pick it up instead of him shipping it. That all worked out well and we made it to rent the bike as planned. There was some question about that at the time.
We had dinner in Sisters about 25 miles from Redmond at a place named "El Rancho Grande" Pretty good Mexican food. After dinner we rode on through the forest in the dark on the McKenzie Highway 242. It is a narrow road full of many sharp turns which was fun on a motorcycle, but I wished there had still been daylight. We made it to Eugene about 9:30pm to stay the night in a motel.
The next morning we ate a continental breakfast in the motel and headed to the coast at Florence then north on 101. Based on my internet research we stopped at the Darlingtonia Botanical Garden just north of Florence and as far as the Sea Lion Caves stopping at coastal viewpoints along the way. When we returned to Florence we stopped for an early lunch of Clam Chowder at Mo's which was recommended by various reports and Steve at Eagle Rider Rentals. It was pretty good, but ours seemed to have more potato than clam for my expectations.
We continued down to North Bend/Coos Bay and out to the Cape Arago State Park to see sea lions and whales from the overlooks. It was a very pleasant road and some very scenic views. On that day (Sunday) there were a couple of volunteers with private telescopes which they let you use and gave information about the sea life and history of the area. There were hundreds of noisy sea lions on the rocky islands just off the shoreline and we even saw a few whales blowing big puffs of spray when they surfaced. As we left the park we missed the turn on Seven Devils Road which was recommended to as an alternate route back to 101 so we gassed up before we continued on.
I had also read about great hot dogs at the Langolis Market & Deli so we had to check them out. They had just closed as we got there, but someone let us in thinking we had just left and had forgotten something. Hah! Anyway, the dogs are smallish and very good, but I'm not so sure they are worth the hype I've read. Still, if you like a good hot dog and you're near there, give them a try.
We are now in the B&B "Home on the Sea" in Port Orford and the weather was perfect until just before town the fog moved in about 5pm so no photos late today. Hopefully in the morning the sky will be clear.

Friday, September 7, 2007


So, here's our route map. We are using this as a rough guide and will likely venture off the route on a whim. We bought a handlebar mount for our Garmin Nuvi 350 which will help with our unplanned side trips.
Direction of travel is directly to the coast and then south. The weather forecast is good early in the week and so far the local forecasts I could find online look better than I expected. We may not need our rain gear after all !

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Thursday night: We are finishing up web research for the tour. We're trying to become aware of most of the things to see and do along our proposed route while allowing plenty of flexibility for route changes as we go.
We rented an Electra Glide Ultra a couple of weeks ago for a day to check out the model so there were no surprises when we picked up the bike for a start of our 6 day tour.
We will fly to Portland Saturday and rent a car to drive to Redmond where we pick up the Harley rental. We then return the car at Redmond Airport and drive the Bike to Eugene for the night.
Our plans are to take lots of digital photos and notes. Post on this blog where we can find time at night and a computer to use. We'll fill in much more detail when we get back home.