Tuesday, September 30, 2014

1 ~Alameda Vacay Ride-Part 2~

Continuing on, I half-way marked my map ride into 2 days with stops hither and dither along the way until I reached Oregon.  This post will take you to Avenue Of The Giants, North of Willits and South of Eureka, California.

Riding out of Alameda was a brisk one.  Roberta was right, "wear the chaps".  As I rode towards the Richmond Bridge and over the approximate 5 miles of it, I was happy I put them on.  The ocean can get cold and it was. Sure was a beautiful day to cross it though.  I wanted to pull over, but just wasn't brave enough to test the waters (no pun intended).  There are emergency only pull-outs along the bridge and it would have been just my luck to get a big fat ticket.  When I see San Quentin Prison on the bluff, I know I am not questioning that pull-over anymore and am on my way into the ride North into Mendocino County and out of the San Francisco Bay.

By the time I get to Santa Rosa, I am peeling off the layers at a little gas station where some kid tried to sell me a camera which he "guaranteed".  His girlfriend was in the other lot probably selling the same camera.  Hitchhikers are not an uncommon site from this point North and on either.  I guess the weather was perfect for it.

There are a few scenic artsy fartsy pull overs off the freeway travelling north.  If you can map those out before going it would help.  They come up quick.  After passing a couple, I tried to be equipped to take the next photo op...

I wasn't fast enough needless to say...
and I am lousy at taking photos while riding. 

Missed it...

The road is rich in Oaks and shows off California's rolling hills beautifully.

When 101 finally gets into the "small town" of things (past Napa, Healdsburg & Geyserville), there are reasons to stop and enjoy. For me it was a little refreshment, and walking the small towns. Hopland is one of them, so I stopped a bit to check it out. It is just  south of Willits.

Main drag in Hopland on Hwy 101

I am pointed into the direction of that store. 

...which I did visit

...and enjoyed. 

Then back on the road again to Willits.  Again, the Highway scenery is a California Oak view, a little hotter and dryer, and the roads are a bit more crowded as they get smaller with RVs, commuters, and roadwork a plenty.   

California rolling hills. 

As I get to my destination the heat is triple digits and I am glad I have arrived.  Getting to my hotel, I find out it does not have the restaurant they told me they had when making the reservations and, I also find out the next morning that their breakfast timing wasn't as they told me either.  I did, however, find this little nook to sit and relax in after a good walk to get dinner. After staying the night in this place, I was happy to leave.  No can recommend.  I even had to call the desk for T.P. Oh the woes...

New morning, new day and up early to keep traveling northbound.  Riding through this sign made me smile, "Gateway To The Redwoods". Willits is a small town.  This sign is located in the center of it and on Highway 101.  I couldn't exactly find much to do there though and I wasn't sure how to find out since no one at the hotel could tell me.  So I just took a walk, and talked to people.  The one attraction I will be back for is the Skunk Train, which travels through the Redwoods.  The locals say it is a lot of fun.

Sure enough,  the views from the road changed not long after leaving Willits.

 ..and changed

..and changed again.

...into quaint towns, 

...and back into a tree lined Highway 101, near Leggett, CA

Behind these hills was a fire burning, which was pretty thick until I got to the rest stop. 
Mr. Custodian at the Empire Camp Rest Area turned me on to this map
filled with all sorts of goodies.  There was a fire in Leggett and he told me of the backrounds
to get around.  He is the one who mentioned not to miss this.  He also said if I had time to stay, that would be
the place for camping.  I will rain check that one for the RV days. However, I did ride through it, and it is beautiful and I can't imagine the beauty beyond what I saw, smelled and listened too.
Mr. Custodian:  Thank You loads!
So then I get here...

A marker for Frank Belotti is present.

At this time, I really feel the 
Ahhh Moments begining, 
and I am excited and obviously goofy to selfie vid this one.

The Avenue Of The Giants is the old Highway 101. It takes you inland a bit for about 31-32 miles or so off of the now Highway 101.   In particular, the road has not been kept up too well and the trees are well into the ride.  However, it is worth it and there is a place or two to stop conveniently to hike and spend the day running through the trees, two things I did not have the time to do but hikers and travelers were about.

The roads, and in particular beyond the roads, are covered with Redwoods.  I went searching for the drive through tree but couldn't find it at the time.  Found out later it was right off the 101 and not in the Avenue of the Giants itself.  Watch for that if you plan to go.  I have a few touristy items I missed but now are on the to do list for my next trip.

Photos and videos really can not describe the beauty of this ride.  Being in the thick of it on the road and feeling the changes of the weather, smells and visual sightings cannot be put into words, or even photographs for that matter.  You need to just go.  Here are a few pics and a little video I put together. There is a section on My Funky You Tube, entitled "August 2014 Vacay Ride" that I am going to use for posting more videos after posting here.  There are a couple up on the road around the Leggett area already up just showing the ride in that location.

Thick in Redwoods.

Easy pullovers

Into the woods.

Out over the bride. 

Next time in Part 3 of this ride:  Elks, an ocean coastal ride and the Rogue River to Oregon. 

Happy Redwood Highway Trailzzz, 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2 ~A My Funky You Tube Moment Tip #3~

While I am getting a second post written, I have many Go Pros to go over. 
Here's my newest Tip #3 in the series A My Funky You Tube Moment. 
Elks on Coast Hwy 101/1.
Northern California Coastal Redwoods. 

(some of my FBzzz have already seen some of this vid as it happened that day)

Monday, September 15, 2014

20 ~Bob Skoot - RIP Friend~

Bob Leong
"Bob Skoot"

Family Man, Gadget & Camera Man, Rider & Lover of Motorcycles, 
Lover of Life Itself, and to a lot of us here,
Our Blogging Friend. 

Bob armed with his camera in Alameda, CA giving us a visit
For many years in our motorcycle blogosphere, a lot of us have been lucky enough to meet those that comment and blog along with us on our writing rides.
With a great enthusiasm, we have gathered and spent time with each other to talk, 
laugh and share life's givings and tales across the country. 
Bob was one of those people who enjoyed doing just that.  
He visited many of us and gave us his adventurous stories on his blog Riding The Wet Coast.

Today, and with heavy hearts, our blogging community has learned that Bob has passed on, 
and we are all very saddened by this news. 

Sympathies and love go out to his wife, family and friends. 

You will be missed dearly.   

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 ~Alameda Vacay Ride, Pt. 1~

Part 1 of my "Alameda Vacay Ride"

I left Southern California on August 13th for Alameda.  Sold the house and it was time to turn over the keys to the new owners on the 15th.  Knowing it was going to be a bittersweet journey , I stuffed the tissues in my jacket and Gozilla and I rode off toward Northern California. Have you ever done the ride and cry?  ughghghg... Memo to myself:  No eye makeup when riding and crying.

Anyway, I knew this was all happening, so I planned a two week or so venture to do a solo ride and get myself back together.  What better way to send off the keys.

Since I love the California Coast, and have ridden lower Hwy 101,  I made map plans to journey up Northern California's 101.  The part of California I haven't seen in decades.  First stop:  Pismo Beach, California.  A normal stop when I ride this route.

Computer, camera, clothes.
I ended up taking a small case for all my layer change outs which I just  kept
attached up on the luggage rack.  At first I didn't want too, but it ended up being perfect
Worked out just fine that way and didn't feel over burdened.
As usual, I don't even get through the L.A. basin and I have to pull over where there is absolutely no place to pull over.  So I made an exit, rode around in circles, and ended up at the Skirball Cultural Center.  I was hoping they would not deny me using the facilities, and no they did not.  Friendly and welcoming.  Why is this so important?  In all the pulling over and such, I met a man who was so great to talk too.  It never ceases to fail me that I meet the greatest people at the oddest timings.  He loved my trike and asked me a few questions about it, then mentioned he rode and raced bikes.  I looked at him in a peculiar way and threw a cheek to cheek grin looking at him.  One eye and one arm.  "You ride"?!  He smiled and said "yes, look me up on Google". Wow!  I asked, "did you lose your eye and arm that way"?  He shook his head and said, "No".  I didn't ask any further, but we did talk about the trike and riding in general for awhile. We ended up exchanging contact info and hopefully I will be sitting down with this guy and getting more skinny on his great life.  Super friendly guy and I was super happy to have met him!

Meet Brett Bemis, also known as Bandit Rider, 4 Stroke rider

Refreshed,  I continued my trip...through traffic, because now I have talked so much it was morning rush hour in the Los Angeles basin.  Love meeting people, but traffic, Bleckkk...but then again, I didn't have far to go the first day. 

Through Santa Barbara and then Santa Maria, I stopped at the Harley Dealership on 101 to get a new pair of gloves and take that Harley Selfie we all love.  Getting a coffee in too was well needed. Normally the HD's have coffee brewing.  This dealership seems to always have it for riders.

Santa Maria Harley Davidson

Pismo Beach is only a few miles up the road from here.  I made good timing and when I get to my destination for the night, I have enough time to walk around, get some exercise in, and eat of course.

First things first:

Boots come off.

Then I walk for a couple of hours and check the place out:

Then I have a drink and din din:

Then I find a place to sit and,

Watch the sun set: 

The next morning I woke up to my bowl of oats and some fog. 
I love this weather.  
The fog was above the road, so it is not
very threatening, and it only last a few hours in the morning on the ride. 

The weather was still but chilly.  

View from the balcony seating area.  Foggy a tad bit. 

While I was getting packed up to leave, a young lady came over to the 
bike and asked a whole lot of questions. 
 Her mother just stood there with a smile and let her. 
She was very interested in learning how to ride a motorcycle. 
Mom said:
"Teagan you can do anything you put your heart into". 
Loved Mom!

Here's how Teagan struts her stuff:

Come to think of it, I have walked that walk many times too!

...and then later in the day when I stopped for lunch in Gilroy, a 
young man was really enthusiastic about the machine too. 


Okay Now A Little Diddy: 

Wild Val had a husband named Darrell aka Animal. 
He passed many years ago.  
Old School rider.
Part of my trip plan was visiting our old school riding friend, Russ & Pam in Oregon.
We all had our group way back when.  This was our "family", and we still love and consider each other friends after all these years, even though all our lives have changed. 
Anyway, Wild Val made me a beautiful Dream Weaver for my birthday in July with one of 
Darrell's ride pins on it.  
I took him with me to visit Russ.  
His birthday just so happened when I was there.  

Darrell's Ride Pin
My First Angel On This Trip. 

I arrived to an empty house.  I had kept a cot and bedding there, but the house
was empty other than a bit of food in the fridge.  
Yup, I cried.  Felt different and surreal. 
I took a walk around town and then went to sleep. 

In the morning I answered the door to Roberta's tears and goodbyes. 
I gave her the cot.
For me. 
To Sleep on when I visit her. 
(Selfish me *wink*)

Like the Mama Ro she is, she helped me get on my way. 
Told me to put on chaps for the Richmond Bridge and warned me that I would be cold if I didn't, 
then handed me a pin that once belonged to her daughter, 
An Angel pin. 
For those of you who don't know this, Natalie, age 22, lost her life to a drunk driver back in June of this year.  Not just a one time drunk driver, but a two time drunk driver, who just one week before this tragedy got out of the DUI program.  
The car hit a pole so hard it broke her heart
Our hearts broke too. 

So Now...
I have two Angels with me. 
My heart smiles with love and promise of a great ride. 

Nat's angel on Darrell D's bike. 

So, Berta and I hugged and cried our goodbye but I had one last stop:

The old digs I lived in as a teenager.  

Lot of memories in this town. 
Anyway, time to move on, and move on I have. 
I can always visit.

Coming up:  The ride to Willits, Crescent City, Rogue River, and Shady Cove, OR. 
Thrown in with some animals, trees, Mother Nature, and more riders met along the way. 

Happy Life's Ride Trailzzz,

P.S. An Important Little Diddy

Natalie was a very giving young lady. 
She was an organ donar.  
She donated all on the day of her death. 
Before her parents could even see her,
she was giving life. 
That is hard to write and I am sure, hard to read for some...but it is the truth of it all.  
She gave back the ultimate in a tragic situation.  
If you are considering being a donor, please go to Donate Life California and check it out. 
Become a donor of life. 
For Life.


Friday, September 5, 2014

6 Cheap Sunglasses Spotting ~ Jessi Combs

I met this lady through friend Betsy Huelskamp back at the LOVE Ride last year.  Just a hello and how do you do.  Very friendly. By the looks of her, you would never think she is this daring.  So petite and cute to boot.  She is however, very well rounded in the moto world, so when I was looky looing around the net this a.m. I saw this from awhile back and thought I would showcase
a lady on the Spotting who knows how to strutt her stuff the way she loves to live.  

Awesomeness I say...

Want more? 
Jessi Combs.com
All Girls Garage

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