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Part 3

Monday - Aug 6’ 2012

Nourishing and growing a friendship is not an easy task. When two old friends get together it’s like a rehash of all that has gone on before in years spent together buried in time but not forgotten. Stories told back and forth to each other as you each smile a knowing smile that only the two of you can share and understand. Reliving those old experiences and times with a dear friend is a wonderful thing to be sure but in order to continue to grow that friendship … well that takes new experiences together and that was what Russ and I were set out to do today.

The stage had been set. We were on the doorsteps of one of the better motorcycles roads in California (Highway 36 between Red Bluff and Fortuna) and we would be the judge and jury today of it’s ultimate ranking in the annals of great roads to ride. The sign below, which by the way is my favorite type sign to see on the open road, was located just outside of Red Bluff, California warning would be travelers this way of what was to come. For us it represented an invitation to fun not a warning at all.
Think you know who this is :-)
My best friend Russ and his 2009 Triumph Bonneville ready to roll

The skies were clear and the road awaited so after our photo op we were off. Traffic was light and with the exception of a few large trucks that were easy to pass given their slow speed and the wide sweeping turns and a few straightaways they didn’t present a problem. The road was in pretty good shape with some tar snakes but not enough to really deter the enjoyment.

Gas was a consideration on this 140 mile stretch (especially for Russ) but there was a couple of spots along the way for fuel. Suggest a full tank when you depart Red Bluff and I wouldn’t recommend passing up any stations along the way to top off the tank to easy your mind which we did in a little speck of a town called Dinsmore. The road goes up in elevation at several points to around 5,000 or so feet and there is a section that is narrow in the higher elevations and doesn’t have a center line. It makes for a little excitement when the few trucks we did see coming the other way tend to use a little part of your side of the road. If you’re not careful it would be easy to become a hood ornament for one of those trucks so be careful to stay way to your side around some of those turns. Since the focus was on enjoying the road we didn’t stop to often for pics on the first leg of this road but I did get a few shots along the route towards the end where it went through Grizzly Creek Redwood State Park.
Beautiful Redwoods

We arrived in Eureka, California around mid day ready for a light lunch. We both thoroughly enjoyed Highway 36 and Russ ranked the road a 8 out of 10 and my rating was slightly less around 7 out of 10. Definitely a fine road and a worthy ride if you are ever in this area. Note - there was some road construction at a few points but hey what road doesn’t have road construction going on somewhere?

Here’s the view from the Woodley Marina in Eureka where we took our lunch break had our light lunch of Clam Chowder as we looked out over the docks.
Little cloudy on the coast but the sun was peeking through in spots.

We decided to take highway 299 (Trinity Highway) back to the East out of Eureka eyeing Redding as our final destination for today’s ride. Highway 299 was a great ride as well and followed right along the Trinity River and through the Trinity National Forrest. Here are some pics along that route
Not a cloud in the sky after we left the coast
Trinity River running next to Highway 299

We arrived in Redding and found a motel to rest our weary heads. It was a great day over all and tomorrow the odyssey will continue as we plan to head east over to Lassen Volcanic National Park and then south to Lake Tahoe area.

We are resting tonight in Redding, California

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