I had heard great things about highway 36. It runs from Red Bluff in the valley, then across the mountains to Eureka by the coast. It's about 140 miles of twisty mountain road with no traffic and no cops! The plan was to make a loop by riding to the coast via 299 and other small roads, then back on 36.
Terry and Dale joined me in the adventure. Terry's got a new BMW GS (that's him on the left with his sci-fi movie bike) and Dale has an even newer black Buell. We spent the first day riding in the foothills near Redding because a storm was brewing in the mountains, so we wanted to wait it out. The foothill roads were fantastic. We got caught in a shower on the way back to the hotel, but we were out of it pretty quick.
The storm blew by overnight, so we headed for the hills on the second day. We rode hwy 299 out of Redding into the mountains. It's a nice road, but fairly well traveled. We left the main road and headed North on hwy 3. This is when things got much nicer. The ride was great, but the weather was getting cold. I thought I was ready for it, but it was colder than I expected. I wheelied up the boat ramp at Trinity Center.
The "adventure" part of the ride started when we left hwy 3 at Callahan and headed East on Cecilville rd. The locals in Callahan were friendly and gave us advice about road conditions, gas stops, etc. The road from Callahan to Cecilville was one of the nicest parts of the ride. We rode over a summit and saw a dusting of snow on the trees (too cold!) then down the other side into Cecilville. The pavement was perfect and the curves had just the right flow and timing. Pure street riding bliss! Dale provided some entertainment by almost flying off the road while he was in front of me! Terry raved about the curves.
We arrived in Cecilville to find the only gas pump and burger joint for many miles around. The owner said lots of motorcyclists come through as it's a popular ride. The gas pump was old and scary looking, but we didn't have much choice. I found myself watching and smelling very closely what came out of it! The bikes ran fine though. I also found this cool, old fire truck and had to shoot it.
Leaving Cecilville, the road was one lane with little or no shoulder. In some places the "shoulder" was actually a cliff. A log truck coming our way was an eye-opener. The scenery was beautiful as the Salmon River Rd. wound it's way a long the river. The pavement was good, but the narrow, blind corners made for slow going. We encountered horses, mules, and cows in the road at various times. When we finally reached hwy 96, I was happy to find big sweeping turns and 2 lanes. I celebrated with a 105 mph blast that left the others wondering "where'd he go?"