Revelstoke To Santa Barbara – Day 4

START:     Eureka, CA

DEPART TIME:      09:20 am
MILEAGE:      6704 kms
ROUTE:     US101 and US1
WEATHER:      Light drizzle, low clouds

Another good nights rest and another good breakfast at the Best Western continental style, coffee, cereal, orange juice, waffle, sausage and scrambled eggs, good solid meal for another long day on the road. These Best Western Hotels are working out great!

I had to run down the US 101 for a ways before I could pick up the small highway to the coast, it was cool and drizzling the whole morning but not enough to really make one wet, just cold. I was surprised to see a couple of cool cars from Alberta on the highway this morning, I thought it was odd as they were driving together, but by the themselves in the vehicles. One was a low black Porsche, the other was also black, but it was a Maserati, they both looked fast and kitted out with sweet wheels and tires. Before long I was in the Redwood Forest, I took the tour through the Giant’s Boardwalk, which I had done 35 years previous, and drove by the original tree with the road through it. So crowded with Asian tourists that I didn’t bother to get a picture again. It is always cool to ride through these giant trees, it is dark in there as not much light filters its way down to the ground. I passed the “Tree House”, a giant tree laying on it’s side that someone hollowed out and built a house in! Kinda touristy but?? I took a few pictures here and there and then got back onto the 101.

Just North of Leggit I took the turn for Ft. Bragg, CA, this tiny narrow little road weaves you up, down and around and through the forest and mountains to the Coast. The posted speed limit along this road is often down to 15mph, and they mean it. There are no roadside barriers, there are numerous switch backs and hairpin corners, no shoulders, just 16 feet of black top road with trees, bluffs or cliffs right up to the road edge. No margins for error here, concentrate and enjoy the slow route to the Pacific Ocean. Being quite unfamiliar with the road, I was surprised by some of the logging trucks that I encountered using this tiny road. At one point there was a bit of a open valley that apparently was an old ghost town, I didn’t see much but a couple of dilapidated old houses. Further up the valley one could see a tight opening in the coastal mountain range, the road was leading me to this opening. As you go through this natural canyon you hang a tight left turn, then right in front of you is the Pacific Ocean, …whoa , …I hadn’t expected it to be just there!

About a kilometer down the road there was a pull out view point, I pulled in took some pictures, …I also had to have get rid of some coffee. While I was standing there taking in the view, who should all of a sudden appear around that crazy corner back up the road a click was the two black sports cars from Alberta. They were racing each other on this twisty little road, engines revving as they went by me.

This section of coast is quite different from what I had anticipated, just a narrow bench that exists from the edge of the ocean, reaching back to the coastal mountains, with this cool little twisty road. I stopped in Ft. Bragg for gas and was amazed at how cheap their fuel prices were, I filled up with premium for the same price as regular back at Eureka. This was where the ride really got interesting, the scenery was breathtaking, the sun came out and it got nice and warm. The tiny highway hugs the coast all the way down and through Sonoma County to just north of San Francisco. A few small towns along the way, but not much for traffic on the road, which was probably a good thing as I was constantly distracted by the vistas. The Sonoma Wine Country was spectacular, wish I would have had a few days to go and tour some of these wineries and tasted their rich Reds!! Another trip perhaps. Beautiful road, mostly all freshly paved, even the line painting was perfect, so typical for California highways, ..our Province could learn a few things from CalTrans!! The road at some stages is like 600 feet above the ocean, but less than a 100 feet back, very scenic, …with no guardrails or barriers at most corners, it is also a bit intimidating. You really do need to pay attention to your driving.

By late afternoon I was approaching San Francisco, I pulled in for gas in San Rafael, and then caught the rush hour traffic over the Golden Gate Bridge. I had studied my map while getting gas in San Rafael as I anticipated the traffic to be heavy and I didn’t want to miss my exits, I was glad that I had done just that, the traffic was nuts. The gal at the Golden Gate Toll Booth was a perfect Beotch, she must have been having a bad day! I caught my exit for Berkley and rolled on through the University area in heavy traffic. The further along I got, highway US1 started to narrow up and return to hugging the coast, several places the salt spray from the surf was flying back onto the highway, …I could taste it in the air.

I didn’t have a hotel booked, so I kept putting down the miles along this beautiful coast. The Point Arena Lighthouse was a worthwhile rest area, I pulled in for some pictures and to check out this massive light house, again salt spray in the air. By the time I got to Santa Cruz I was feeling the long day in the saddle. I found a little Hotel, aptly called the Santa Cruz Inn, …I would not recommend this place, it was a dump! After freshening up, I went out to find a restaurant for dinner, I didn’t find anything that appealed to me, so it was McDonalds, ..blah… I missed the excellent service and luxury of the Best Western’s that I had become accustomed to. Santa Cruz did not rate high on my trip.

End of day Four

ARRIVED SANTA CRUZ:     7:00 pm, hours on the road 9 hours and forty minutes
MILEAGE:     7329 kms, 525 kms for the day
FUEL CONSUMED:     9.113 US gallons


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