Day 9: Fortuna, CA to Medford, OR

Today we slept in a whole 30 minutes and got up at 6:00. We both had a small bowl of cereal to tide us over until a better breakfast later, because we had plans to go to a motorcycle cafe after we rode through the Avenue of the Giants. We left the hotel at 7:00 and it was 54 degrees. Shortly after we hit 101 we hit a misty fog, which made the temperature seem much cooler, so I was happy to have my heated grips and seat to keep me warm.

We entered the Avenue of the Giants from the North entrance, stopping frequently to take pictures of the towering Redwoods. The way these trees line the road and seem to reach the sky above you is just incredible. There are a couple of places where you can pay to drive through trees that are hollowed out at the base, but we opted not to do that.



Once we made our way to the South entrance, we hit 101 heading back North past Fortuna to Eureka where we stopped at the Black Lightning Motorcycle Cafe. As we were backing our bikes into the motorcycle parking spots in front of the cafe, the owner, Jeff, came out to greet us and take a picture of us with our bikes. He asked us where we had come from and where we were heading, and made us feel incredibly welcome in his establishment. Dwayne and I both ordered the Black Lightning Breakfast Sandwich was sausage, egg, and cheese on an grilled homemade english muffin with their chipotle secret sauce. It was hands down the best breakfast sandwich I have ever had! We also both had an iced cinnamon roll for “dessert” and I had a Lightning Latte which had caramel, cinnamon, and vanilla. The cafe had a fantastic atmosphere with all sorts of motorcycle memorabilia, and Jeff and his staff were all extremely friendly and welcoming. We both agreed that if we lived locally we would be there all of the time. It is a must visit location for breakfast or lunch if you are ever passing through Eureka, California.






Eventually we decided it was time to hit the road again, so we purchased some swag for souvenirs in support of such a wonderful cafe, said farewell to Jeff and his staff, and continued North on 101. We rode down the Newton B. Drury Scenic Byway, and then out to the Klamath River Overlook, which ended up being too foggy to go all the way up to, so we turned around and found a pull-off about halfway down where we could take some pictures of the ocean.


Next we continued up to the Crescent Beach Overlook, which was just under the fog line, so we were able to get some great pictures and enjoy the view for a bit.


From there we started up Howland Hill Road, which we were excited to find quickly turned to gravel, but our excitement was short lived when we got up to the top of the hill and the gate was shut with a “road closed” sign in front of it. We were very disappointed that the road was closed, but we took some pictures before turning around and making our way back down. We found later when we went past the other end of the road on 199 that it was closed due to a bridge being out. It was a definite bummer, but what can you do?

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We took 199 from Crescent City, CA to Grants Pass, OR, and it was an absolutely beautiful ride. There was a gorgeous river down in the valley beneath the road for a long time, and the trees and mountains were stunning. The road was also extremely curvy most of the time, and extremely fun to ride, except when we were stuck behind semi’s a couple of times. Semi’s really have no business being on that road, but that’s just my opinion after being highly annoyed that they were ruining my fun by going extremely slow in the curves.

Once we made it to Grants Pass, we hopped on I-5 down to Medford where we are staying for the night, and then I dragged Dwayne to In-N-Out burger for dinner, because I had been dying to eat there since we reached California and had yet to make it happen. This was my last chance as it is the last one we will be near on our trip. They really need to expand those to the East coast, I’m just saying! I ordered a protein style cheeseburger (lettuce instead of a bun), animal fries (fries topped with cheese, grilled onions, and the secret sauce), and a vanilla shake, and Dwayne had a Double Double (two beef patties and two peices of cheese), fries, and a chocolate shake. After hearing me rave about it for the last week, I was afraid he wouldn’t like it and would think I was crazy for insisting that we had to eat there at least once on this trip, but he loved it and agreed that it was a must-have. Score!


Unfortunately our tracker malfunctioned again today, and I have no idea why, so mileage is not correct, and it didn’t map the first part of the day correctly. Tomorrow we will be seeing Crater Lake and then heading back over to the coast to Newport, OR for the night.

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