Montara to Fort Bragg, California – 8th July 2021
Time to get back on the road. Lisha and Julia kindly help me get the bike turned around so that I can ride straight out of the garage and down the steep slope onto the PCH. I can’t thank Lisha enough for allowing me to stay and giving me the space to really get the bike sorted out. I am pleased that my old battery is likely to fit her bike so basically it will get it moving for her, it’s the least I can do. I also took the opportunity to adjust the suspension yesterday, as I am still getting the head wobble at low speeds, but especially around 40mph. Interestingly there is no wobble at all when the luggage is off the bike, so obviously the weight is the problem, hence putting the suspension up to number 4, there is only one more option after this so wait and see how it goes.
I am now heading back up Pacific Highway 1 towards Oregon, but as California is such an enormous state it is still going to take a couple of days. I intend to stop in Fort Bragg and have already booked a Motel there, it was still expensive at $88 for the night, but it was the cheapest I could find.
But first… I must cross the Golden Gate Bridge… am looking forward to this, as of course I have already been across it 3 times in 2018, but didn’t really get a chance to have a look at it ‘close up’.
On the way I come across this… is this coastal erosion gone mad?
Am soon approaching the bridge and I pull off to have a look in the visitor centre before riding across. I tried to get a good photo but the fog is just too thick… one is quite successful though
I manage to pick up a couple of souvenirs, then it’s time to ride…
Well that’s a pile of poo… I just about managed to get some of the bridge in at the very end, so disappointed. I park up at the other side and try again to get some good photos of the bridge, Alcatraz and the San Francisco skyline, some hope lol
Some of the photos are quite atmospheric, I especially like the last one that I took of the skyline and the Bay Bridge.
Anyway, back on the road. I am soon passing the turn off for Muir Woods, where Sylvie, Lynda and I visited back in 2018 and am back on the PCH travelling up the coast. There are lots of hawk type birds circling overhead enjoying the thermals, I try to capture some but only manage to get one in flight.
You can still see the fog hanging over the ocean just the other side of the hills. I am then routed up into the woods and enjoy the twisty roads overlooking the coast.
Then I am back down towards the coast and soon stop for some refreshments, unfortunately the cafe is closed but there is a general store where I pick up a drink. I notice my reflection in the shiny engine cover so cannot resist the photo.
Interesting to see the old bank is now a surf shop, we are quite a way from the sea here so I am a little surprised to see this. While I am sitting having my drink these two young women come out of the shop and start loading up their van, it’s only then I see what is written on the side of it
Wow… well good for you, I hope they are able to raise enough money to make a difference.
The road then swings back inland for a time before snaking towards the coastline and am soon passing Bodega Bay where Sylvia and I stopped with the Aussie girls back in 2018.
The weather is fabulous and the roads fantastic, am really enjoying this ride… the hairpins are quite a challenge on this heavy lump of a bike I can tell you
The coast is now becoming much more sparsely populated and rugged with apparently pristine coves and beaches, just beautiful
and the road hugs the coast all the way up to Point Arena where it goes inland for a short time, I stop to take these photos, don’t quite know why
and am soon riding along some beautiful tree lined roads
before emerging again, passing Elk, Little River, Mendocino, Caspar finally arriving in Fort Bragg at my motel.
I park the bike at the back and cannot find the reception or office. I walk around the building, but there doesn’t seem to be one.. how odd! It is a huge car park and there is some kind of large eatery on the other side; mmm I wonder if I should enquire in there? I do hope there isn’t going to be any problems as it is now quite late and I am dog tired from the long trip. Ahhh yes there is a notice to say check in here, a short staircase up to the first floor and I ask at the restaurant desk. A woman then takes me to another desk where we complete the check in. I forgot to ask for a ground floor room so I will have to lug my bags up to the first floor; I do ask if she has a ground floor room, but they are all taken. I also ask what time the restaurant closes… 9pm, wow that’s early, well I’d better get my skates on if I want to eat here.
I get up to my room and frankly am underwhelmed.. especially for the price.. first of all the main lights don’t work, lucky it is still fairly light out so I can see to put the two bedside lamps on. There is a closet area with a fridge and some hanging space and a waste paper bin that is actually full of crap from the previous occupant, well I’m certainly not impressed with that.
I quickly get sorted and make my way back over to the restaurant as it is now 8.30pm. I get a table and order my dinner, I have a great view of the bay and out into the Pacific Ocean so cannot resist a couple of photos.
After I have eaten I pay and ask to see the motel woman again. She comes over and I explain about the lights and the dirty waste basket, she apologises and says she will deal with it immediately. I am happy about that and she accompanies me back to the room. She doesn’t do anything about the lights of course, but does take the rubbish away. I expect the cleaner simply forgot to empty it, well these things happen, but the lights should be checked and repaired in my view.
Yet again I forgot to start the relive recording at the beginning of the ride… a bit disappointed with myself today.