Tuesday, February 4, 2014

From the Atlantic to the Pacific: I Made it to California

August 15, 2013:   It was a long day.  I was nearly 12 hours on the road.  I left Fernley, NV

    Motel in Fernley, NV

and ended up in Crescent City, CA.   I wrote about it  click here.

My route took me north on US395 to Susanville, CA where I was stopped for construction

 and then CA44 through Lassen Volcanic National Park

I remember that it started out fairly cool but reached about 100°F when I reached Redding.  I had really wanted to ride CA36 but I was short of time so I continued on to CA299

which would have been a terrific motorcycle road if not for the heat and horrendous traffic, not to mention the construction zones and I think the heat was getting to me and making me tired.   I stopped for a quick snack and beverage but it wasn't that refreshing due to lack of air conditioning and having to brush the flies away.  I may have been overheated as I couldn't even finish half of my hamburger

There were so many twisties and I was getting fatigued.  In retrospect I should have taken more rest breaks because of the heat but I was trying to reach my planned destination for the night and I was chasing the sun

I finally made it to the coast and headed north on Hwy 101 north of Eureka

It was nice to feel the cool breeze off the Ocean and the temperatures became more bearable

I stopped to say hello to Paul Bunyan and Babe  (click here for info) .   I find that the hardest part of riding alone is finding a home for the night.   The sun was getting lower and I still had an hour to go

I pulled over at a viewpoint to look at the scenic coastline.   It was hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago I was looking at the Atlantic Ocean and today I was here on the Pacific.   I had made it both ways and in a couple of days I would be home

My BMW R1200R didn't miss a beat.  It worked flawlessly without any problems

I also recorded some video of  Hwy 101

I was tired and tried to find a motel for the night but some were full and others were charging too much so I headed to the campsite where I just managed to set up before it got dark.   I was hungry and didn't feel like riding back to town so I reverted to my emergency rations

I had now camped on both sides of the Continent.  For some reason on this night I felt so alone.  Perhaps it was because my journey was ending but I was looking forward to seeing familiar faces the next day and being in more familiar territory


  1. So Bob, did you shout "Eureka!" when you got to that town? :)

    1. Dom:

      I was very happy to be on the coast and with the much cooler weather. I may not have shouted it but I was thinking "Eureka" , I made it

  2. The sunshine pictures sure are welcome, but not if you don't remember the heat fondly. Funny how we want the heat in the winter, but it can really suck in the summer.

    1. Trobairitz:

      It wasn't too hot from Susanville but it was really sweltering when I reached Redding for gas and the traffic was heavy. It took a while to find my way out of town. Along ca299 there were two construction stops and one was uphill. Think of only moving a few feet at a time wearing out your clutch hand for over half an hour. When I got free there were idiots tail gating me and I was tired, perhaps overheated so I pulled over for a break thinking of having nice cool, air conditioning except there wasn't any

  3. Bob, next time you head out on a long trip or even a long ride in high heat, remember to bring along a Camelbak with your choice of fluids and ice. I'll easily finish 70 ounces, and could drink more, before my next fuel stop. Heat and dehydration can be a killer! It sneaks up on a person. It makes you tired and can cause mental confusion. Like the day I forget my credit card PIN and then almost put diesel in my tank. Too hot, too long with out a stop or fluids!

    Nice to see Paul and Babe. 299 is on my list of roads to ride next time I get that far west.


    1. Erik:

      I know you are right about having lots of liquids. I just don't know when to stop. I barely had anything to eat or drink that day and I was tired, and it was sweating hot. I only had a coffee in the morning and rode 3 hours to Susanville for a breakfast sandwich and other than half a hamburger which I couldn't finish, that was it until I boiled water for my packaged ration at camp around 8pm

      I think ca299 is a great road, just not on a busy, hot August day with construction stops. I think ca36 is better and that was my original plan until I decided I was short of time. It will have to wait until my next trip to the "lost coast"

      I also saw a neat Dinosaur and I should have turned around to photograph it.

  4. Really nice video of the coast hwy. I also generally don't like to ride after stopping for the night but I usually stop sometime during the day and pick something up for the evening. A small, collapsible insulated lunch bag will keep things cold pretty well if a bottle or two of cold water is in there as well...

    1. Richard:

      I was tired, I wanted to have dinner and the sun was setting. The KOA was about half an hour north of the main town. There was no way I could relax and have a sit down dinner without having a "home for the night". I did not pass any stores or malls, perhaps there was one in Crescent City but not on the road along the water so I made the decision to just ride and set up camp before it got dark.

      I made it just in time, but then I didn't feel like riding half an hour each way to town so I boiled water for my food package. The food was okay and I also had instant oatmeal and coffee in the morning before I left. I brought two stoves with me but I used my MSR Whisperlite because I could use pump gas in a pinch

      I'm only posting these flashbacks so I can post my videos, as they could not be edited "whilst on the road". My small computer would not load the video files causing my laptop to freeze up. I installed a newer version of Adobe Premier Elements and now it works fine. Only one more to go . . .

  5. I've ridden the 36 but not the 299. I'm gonna have to add that to my to-do list. Thanks for the report.

    1. Steve:

      Without traffic, the 299 if a great road but not with construction stops. I am still going to ride 36 when I get down there again. I wished that I had more time but I had to start heading back to work.

  6. Thank you for posting this! I haven't been north of S.F. in so long and this has boosted me to hopefully make the trip this year while my back is still half way good. Northern California has so many beautiful trees lining the roadways! Very nice photos and video.

    1. Kathy:

      We went to Stinson Beach a couple of years ago. I also want to ride to the "Lost Coast", perhaps next year or so. I may be down your way this coming September.

      Hope your back is getting better. Ride when you can/are able .

  7. Bob on my loop to the Pacific I had intended to go to Crescent City but decided to blow California after SanFran and head north instead to Portland Oregon ... too many things to see and do - not enough time for one lifetime.

    1. Karen:

      For some reason I always "skipped" Portland. I passed by numerous times but never stopped. I turn West from Longview and hit the Coast via Astoria or I head over to Hwy 97 South to Central Oregon. I really like 395. I just had to ride through the Redwood Forest. My real plan was to see the "Lost Coast" but I ran out of time

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  9. The coast picture put me back on the Coast. I had spent enough time in the Interior that 90F had become comfortable and even 100F was no problem with enough hydration. I was about 30 miles from the coast and suddenly I could smell the sea air and I'm COLD. 75 degrees out and I've got my warm riding suit on. Getting gas I was getting the 'hairy eyeball'. " Who is this freak"? It took a couple of days for things to get back to normal.