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Since we are stuck here in Red Bluff, CA while our truck is repaired, we decided to take advantage of our location and do some sight seeing. It has been over 100 every day here in Red Bluff, so we decided to go somewhere cooler. California Highway 36 runs from Red Bluff to Eureka through the coastal mountain range. It is advertised as the “curviest road in California” and is a magnet for motorcyclists. We decided that a motorcycle trip was just what we needed.

We checked the weather forecast before we left, so we packed cold weather gear. The ride to Eureka was beautiful and fun. The trip from Red Bluff to the intersection of Highway 101 is about 140 miles, and there isn't a single straight section that lasts more than a few hundred feet. We rode through the oak covered foothills and were soon in the pines, climbing over mountain passes and following rivers through canyons. It was still hot until we got to about 20 miles from the coast. We then put in our jacket liners, and were soon cold even with that. The coast was covered in high fog and it was only 63 when we arrived in Eureka.

We had good luck with Travelocity’s Secret Hotels last year when we visited Nashville, so we tried again this time. We chose a two star hotel in Eureka and ended up at the Travelodge. It is not a two star hotel. It was extremely dated, run down and very disappointing. Unfortunately, once you commit to the Secret Hotel you cannot get your money back or cancel, so we were stuck. We went to dinner at Marie Calendar’s and split a nice meal and each had a slice of pie to top it off.

We got a late start the next morning, but were on the road by about 10:30. It was cold! The temperature was 52 when we left and it did not get above 60 until we left the coast late in the afternoon. We wore our full cold weather gear and were comfortable. It just makes it harder to get on and off the bike when all bundled up. We rode north on Hwy 101 through Redwoods National Park, stopping at the visitor center and to take a hike through some of the redwoods. It was beautiful but cold and damp. Then again, maybe it’s beautiful because it is cold and damp. We had lunch at a little cafe along the way, and we took a side trip to an overlook where the Klamath River meets the sea.

We stopped for fuel again in Crescent City, CA and headed inland on US 199 toward Grants Pass, OR. It was another beautiful ride through the coastal mountains but we stripped off our cold weather gear within about 30 miles of leaving the coast. It continued to get hotter as we neared Grants Pass and turned south on I-5 to Medford, OR where we spent the night. It was in the mid 90?s when we arrived at 5 PM.

Wednesday we got an early start. We left the hotel, a very nice place called the Brookside Inn, at about 9 AM and headed south on I-5. The temperatures kept climbing and had reached the upper 90?s by the time we passed Mt. Shasta and Shasta Lake. We stopped for fuel again in Redding where the temperature had climbed to 102, and it was only noon. We had a wet T-shirt contest as we both soaked our shirts. The 30 mile ride from Redding to Red Bluff was comfortable, but if we had gone any further we would have needed to soak our shirts again. Amazing how quickly you can dry a shirt in 100 degree weather at 70 MPH.

The total for the trip was just a little over 500 miles. We really enjoy touring by motorcycle but we sure would enjoy it more if we weren’t roasting or freezing!
 

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Sounds like a fun ride. I looked 36 up on Google maps and it looks spectacular.
 

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I just made the trip from Redding to Fortuna via hwy 3 and hwy 36 a couple of weeks ago. If you ever get the chance to ride hwy 36 you won't be sorry! I camped overnight and went on south to Shelter Cove on the coast, then back to Redding via hwy 299. Great riding roads! The weather in the north state (California) this time of year is always hot. That general pulls the fog inland a ways and that makes the coast cool and damp. Glad you had a good trip. Hope your rig gets fixed soon.
 

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Couple weeks back I was camping on Hwy 36. As I was pulling a teardrop trailer it was recommended that we take Hwy 101 to 36 then inland as opposed to taking I-5 to Hwy 36. I'd love to do it in the Burgman. Sounds like you had a nice ride. Thanks for the posting. :thumbup:
 

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I just looked up Travelodge Motel in Eureka and found page after page of horror stories.

You'd only recommend it to your worst enemy.
 

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I'm a native Californian who rides 9 to 14 day tours of CA every summer. I seek out renown motorcycle roads, state highways and county roads, and stay off the interstates unless it's unavoidable. I plan my routes based on the road, not the destination. I've ridden every paved Sierra pass, been up and down Hwy 1 from San Diego to the redwoods, ridden the western slope foothills (Sequoia/Kings Cyn), deserts, wine countries (Santa Barbara and Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino), and my local Santa Monica mountains and canyons . This past June I rode Hwy 36 from Red Bluff to Fortuna and then down the coast to Mendocino. It might be my all time favorite (I'd have a hard time choosing between it and the Hwy 108 (Sonora Pass)). You definitely had a happy accident by landing in Red Bluff. I'm thrilled for you. I'll be going back sometime to hit some of the roads you got to ride, and may venture into Oregon as well.

We lucked out with our weather - cooler than normal inland (upper 80's in Red Bluff where it should have been around 100), and warmer than normal along the coast (upper 60's), and sunny the entire length of the trip.
 

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Funny thing is we have a Hwy 36 here but it is no where near the ride you had!
 
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