Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 11. 140 Mile Workout and Avenue of the Giants.

I got up this morning and checked out of my motel... it was one step up from the "Bates Motel". I was ready to cross 2 more items off my list of places I wanted to see while on this road trip. I headed north on CA-89, all the way to CA-36, and took it west. A lot of the roads I've been on follow along the sides of rivers, and others were cut into the sides of the mountains. CA-36 has both. I stopped at a grocery store in Mineral. I was surprised, for being in the middle of nowhere they had everything. A huge Mexican and Asian section, better than some of the larger grocery stores back home! I picked up some more supplies, including dried tart cherries and craisins.
CA-36 crosses over the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, then drops down into the Sacramento Valley, and finally over the Coastal Range, and it ends at highway 101, near the ocean. The temps today were nice and cool at the higher elevations, but it was 96 degrees at 1100 when I crossed the valley.

A short ways out of Red Bluff, in the valley, is this sign. I have seen it for years on web sites like and It's kind of a motorcyclists icon in northern California.

It was a long time from when I passed the sign, before the temps began to drop again and for me to gain elevation. It is a very fun ride. Traffic was light, and there were plenty of places to let other cars go by. I was in no hurry to reach the end. It was a heck of a workout, maneuvering a 650 lb, large, sport bike that's fully loaded for travelling, around all those curves!!! I'm beat!

When I came to the end of CA-36, I went south on Hwy 101.

I wanted to see some Giant Redwoods, so I went here.

The road is actually the old Highway 101. A newer, multi laned, road now runs almost right along side the old road. The giant trees are right next to the roadway. I still can't believe just how big they are. I saw pictures of them when I was in school, but they are so much bigger in real life. WOW, what a sight.

A couple more pictures from today.