The “Lost Coast.” You know how Highway 1 runs all along the CA coast, right? Wrong! There’s a section in NorCal where the highway runs inland. This has left an area of coastline with minimal development and tourism. I assume it’s because the highway is not running through. It’s very scenic as you shall see.
The internet connected me with a group of guys from the bay area that were going on this ride and I’d heard great things, so off I went.
Day 1: In the afternoon I trucked the bike to Red Bluff on I-5. This allowed me to avoid 4 hrs of slab riding. I unloaded the bike and rode up highway 36, a favorite motorcycle road I’ve been on before. It took almost 4 hrs to ride over the mountains. That includes stops to rip off my helmet visor, add layers, etc. The off road helmet was a big mistake. I expected wind issues, but man it was bad. Here's the obligatory 36 shot:
Honestly this was not a particularly fun part of the trip. I was staring into the setting sun the whole time and it was getting dark and cold during the last hour or so as I neared the coast. I arrived in Rio Dell and checked in to the hotel. I didn’t see the other guys around (some bikes but no people) so I went to dinner. When I got back I met the 9 other riders and Tony, the ride leader.
Day 2: This was the main ride day. We hit the road at 9ish. I was immediately pleased to find that these guys were all experienced riders and we set a good pace. We rode several miles of dirt roads over rolling green hills like “The Sound of Music.” Ahhhh…perfect weather, amazing scenery, and plentiful amounts of wheel-spinning power in my right hand mmmm…. Good!
Color's a bit wonky on this one, but you get the idea.
We slowed several times for cows in the road. Eventually dirt changed to pavement, and actually most of the ride was on paved or partially paved roads. I would have liked more dirt, but no complaints. It was nice to get down to the water too. I don’t see the ocean very often and it’s always impressive.
The owner of the bike below told us he was hauling "vintage VW parts, a wakeboard, and...." I forget what else, but it was too much!
Below is the boat ramp at Shelter Cove. We had been told we could ride on the beach here, but when we arrived the tide was in, so no beach!
This is the view from the little deli we went to at Shelter Cove. They said it's the biggest rush of business they've had so far and they were happy to see us. It's a quiet place, not many people around.