Burnin' Dinosaur Bones - The Pacific Coast - Moto Trip: The Americas
We follow the coast from Washington to San Diego, experiencing Americana at its finest.
After a hearty
breakfast in Montesano, we loaded up and rode back to the 101 to continue our journey south. We made a quick stop at the famous Marsh's Free Museum in Long
Beach, WA. While there we saw Bigfoot, an endless assortment of saltwater taffy
(which Johanna had to try all of), and Jacob the Alligator Man.
After that we had a
short ride to Fort Stevens State Park where we were able to do some laundry
before falling asleep. The next morning we got up before the sunrise to go see
the wreck of the 'Peter Iredale', an old ship whose remains were scattered across
the beach a short distance from our campsite.
After that we were
cruising down the 101 yet again, passing between coastal overlooks, to plains
and manure filled farmlands, to mountainous forests. On the way we stopped at
the Tillamook Cheese Factory to get some free samples (every little bit counts when
you're homeless/jobless). We ended the day at Beverly Beach State Park.
The next day, we
were up bright and early to hopefully snag a spot at an out-of-the-way
campground in Port Orford that was first come - first serve, a daunting
prospect on a summer weekend in the PNW. Luckily, we were among the first
people there and we got our pick of camping spots.
After a break day,
we were back on the road again, this time crossing the Oregon-California border
into the Redwoods National Forest and through to Arcata where we stayed with
James, another person Josh had arranged a night with through ADV rider.
He recommended a
motorcycle café in nearby Eureka, which we visited for breakfast. It was
we headed out back into the Redwoods, cycling our way through the Avenue of the
Giants, a 31 mile "highway" off the 101 that winded its way through
some of the tallest trees we had ever seen.
To complete our
Redwood journey, we stopped at the Chandelier Tree in Leggett to get our
obligatory tourist photo at a tree you can drive through. Cheesy, I know.
through the tree, we took a great 20 mile ride through the twisties towards
Fort Bragg, and our eventual stay with Dave from AdvRider in Little River. Dave
has an awesome property just a little ways from the coast. He gets a ton of
moto travelers that come through, but we had the place to ourselves.We quickly set up our tent before catching up
on some emails and starting a fire while playing with the neighbors massive
We were up early
again the next morning and rode through more fog and endless curvy roads
(seriously, it seemed like it would never end) to San Francisco. After the
obligatory photo overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge we rode into the city to
meet Josh's old friend Nevill and his girlfriend Mariah at their home, Fort
Awesome. And it was awesome. They lived with several people in what we can only
call a mansion in the Presidio neighborhood, a former military base. From here
we had easy access to the city, and spent the next day sleeping in for a change
before walking down to the pier and being tourists for a bit.
After a fond
farewell, we hit the road again to the Bigfoot Discovery Museum. Sadly it was a
bit underwhelming to cryptid fans such as ourselves.
That night we stayed
at Sunset Beach Campground, which was not on a beach. In addition, the staff
repeatedly tried to argue that we should pay an additional $10 for a second
motorcycle, despite agreeing that our motorcycles took up less space than one
car, (and weighed less, and cost less). They finally gave in to Josh's logic,
mostly because they were unable to find any actual policy saying we had to pay
for this. We cannot recommend you avoid this campground enough.
After getting the
hell out Sunset Beach early, we took a route to Paso Robles, CA that was
recommended to us by our hosts for the night, Roger (AceRph) and Diane from
Advrider. They were incredibly hospitable and assisted us with changing our oil
and treated us to In-N-Out for dinner, which was just what we needed. The next
morning Roger took us to breakfast before we set out again to our last US
campsite for a while, Songdog Ranch.
took a wrong turn somewhere, and ended up taking the boring highway 46 through
the scorching hot and flat oil fields. The only thing for 50+ miles was endless
oil derricks spread across the horizon. We did stop at a James Dean themed gas
station, which offered pistachios and almonds in a variety of amazing flavors.
We can personally recommend Hickory Smoked Pistachios and Maple
We finally arrived
at Songdog Ranch where we met the owner Rev, who has been motorcycle camping
since the 70's and even owned his own soft luggage company. Songdog had an
impressive history, at one time being a motorcycle only campground, until the
government stepped in and ruined everything due to overly strict zoning laws
(led by nosy neighbors). Despite all this, the campsite was fantastic, and we
had a great night watching the Perseid Meteor Shower.
The next day we were
back on the road to Calabassas, where Johanna's Aunt Marge lives. We had a
great time catching up with family and sleeping in for a change. Sadly it was
over all too soon and we were up early to avoid the notorious LA traffic. We
mostly succeeded, and several hours later found ourselves in San Diego with
Johanna's parents. We spent some time exploring Ocean Beach and the next day
went to 8 Ball Motorcycle Tires to get new tires put on. Our old ones were
pretty worn out, and had over 5,000 miles on them. The crew there really helped
us out and within an hour we were on our way.
Tomorrow we are
heading to our first border crossing by motorcycle, and then we'll be in
Mexico. We'll try to post again in a few weeks.