Friday, 25 May 2012

USA - Oregon to the Redwood Forest California

Traveling in the northwest United States, it was about this time I made a commitment to speak at the upcoming Horizons Unlimited meeting in Cambria, California.  I was somewhat close (same side of the country), I love meeting up with fellow travelers, so new goal to get there in time is set.

The rushing through the world continues for me. Ever since I arrived North America, I was rushing to get home to Indiana for my birthday and then I needed to rush across the United States to begin my journey north to the Arctic Circle before it got too cold... By the time I got there it WAS cold, so then rushing out of Canada and Alaska before I got stuck in the snow.. now I'm rushing to get to southern California in time for the meeting.  This adventure business is a full time job!  But I LOVE it!!!

So I do a quick buzz through Oregon.. and thanks to a Facebook friend Jayne McCravens, she put me on to a super host she thought I should meet here,  Eric and Gail Hawes.  This amazing couple have ridden motorcycles around the world for years, including Siberia long before it was THE place to go for riding!  Brave amazing inspiring couple. We had many stories to share and I could have spent so much more time with them.. They fed me well at the local English Pub, and I was off again in the morning.

Whenever I encounter great motorcycle hosts anywhere in the world, including the Hawes, it is like being home with family.  Seems like I have known them forever!  How cool are these two?



When I left in the morning, Eric had me follow him and his dog in the sidecar onto the track out of town we planned the night before.. too cute!


So I made my way to Crater Lake.  A part of Oregon they said I can not miss if I am ever to be in Orgeon.  I got there only to find the road closed.. Closed??  There is no snow yet!  It was a far enough diversion from my mad rush to the south, and I didn't come all this way for an early closing! So I looked on my map and found another entrance that worked.  I was honestly quite grumpy I had to travel around to the other side of the large lake, but it's all part of the adventure.

 Crater Lake

For those of you who don't know about Crater Lake (I didn't), it's the caldera of a collapsed volcano and is the deepest lake in the United States.


Moving about the park roads, I'm amazed at these signs moved up so high for when the snow does arrive.. gee whiz they are expecting some seriously deep snow!

Same for the markers on the sides of the road for the plows.  I've seen a lot of these snow markers in various parts of the world, but never this high.

I hate to be rushing, but really need to.  Just a run up the hill for a few photos, no hanging around, I got straight back on the road and headed for California.


Once I got into California I rode on the highway.  Not being a fan of the motorway type highway,  I got this brilliant idea to head straight west for the coast and ride it all the way down to Cambria.

I had my paper map, and I picked the road.  Even though it was late in the day, I will go as far as I can to stay on my mission.  This road I took from Etna California through the Six Rivers National Forest to the coast.

However!  As I was swirling around on this curvy skinny road, I kept encountering heaps of cows.  Cows Cows and more Cows.. and the thick slippery stuff they leave behind.  So speed was extremely slow and I kept thinking.. Who the heck has this many cows in a National Forest!?! It's not a farm, I would have thought it to be more protected!

It was getting really dark, I was going so slow and didn't see a human soul, until the brown UPS truck was heading for me.  I stopped the guy and asked him how long until the swarm of cows is over.. and he looked at me and asked where I am going.  I told him the coast and he said, "Ma'am, I wouldn't recommend that at this time of night.. you are at least 3 hours on this road to reach the coast.  The cows will continue, as well as deer and other wildlife.  You shouldn't be out here alone."

I argued in a nice way with him, I can handle it, etc etc.  This UPS guy was so nice and truly concerned and worked hard at talking me into following him back to Etna, an hour backwards.  It was safer than doing 3 hours in the dark..

He was funny and he told me to stay right close to the back of his truck and he motored right through the cows, at top speed we were out of there in no time.  He showed me exactly where in Etna was a cheap little hotel and he was on his way.  After he left, I regretted not getting his name or a photo, but I thank him again now all the same.  The same ride in the morning was much better.



The photos of this road were taken the next morning as I got up early to tackle the cows.. they were no where to be found now!! ;-/


I even managed a bit of dirt road through the Redwood National Park and eventually make it to the California Coast. Now I'm set to cruise straight south on the Redwood Highway; a super lovely motorcycle ride of dreams!


There is no better place in California really than the Redwood Forest.. my opinion only!  I came here many years ago with my Mom, and when friends from Australia or anywhere ask me where is the best place to go in USA, I always say Redwood Forest, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone..  Yes, I know there are a bizzillion amazing spots in America, these are just MY three favorites, and I think if you only have one chance to visit,  I would think these are not to be missed.  So since the forest is on my way south, I'm loving the opportunity to see it for a second time in my life.



 Magical giants!!!!



My feel good ride through the Redwoods comes to an end far too soon.

Back on to the coast.. highway CALIFORNIA!!!







Big day.. and Good night.. see you next time! ;-)

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