Due to rain in the forecast at our destination, we had over half the folks who originally signed up to attend this ride cancel. We had 2 riders join us for just the first leg of the journey and we added 2 along the way (details below) leaving an intrepid group of 11 riders on 10 bikes for the entire weekend.

We left Shari’s at 9:30 under partly cloudy skies. The temperature was a bit on the brisk side at around 50 degrees. We added one rider along 101 somewhere north of Windsor. At our first stop at the Coyote Valley Casino, we hooked up with another rider who lives in Ukiah. Due to the low fuel prices, the gas station was very busy and the normally nice, clean and plentiful restrooms were closed for some reason. Sigh… We hopped back on 101 and stopped briefly in Laytonville where one rider opted for a deli lunch which was obtained at Geiger’s Market. The official lunch stop was at the Peg House in Legget where a hot meal was enjoyed by the rest of the group. The weather turned rather menacing but no rain yet! Just cold and windy.

We proceeded north up 101 again and exited in Rio Dell for a quick bathroom / gas break then took the backroads into Ferndale. We parked the bikes in front of the Ferndale Post Office where a postal worker opened the blinds to ogle the row of machines before him. The group split up and wandered the town investigating the shops, bakery, coffee shop and yes, even indulging in ice cream. After an hour or so of playing tourist, we mounted our trusty steeds and headed into Fortuna. One rider booked a room in Ferndale so he remained in town. The weather once again threatened but a sprinkle or two was all we encountered.

As usual, the post-ride cocktail get-together offered everyone a chance to relax and mingle. We had a few new riders on this trip, so it was nice to visit and get to know them (and vice versa). We all headed over to the Eel River Brewing Company for dinner where fun and frivolity ensued. A nice evening indeed but the best part… We managed to avoid any significant precipitation, so we all stayed nice and dry.

We departed at 9:30, some a bit tired from the loss of an hour’s sleep. It did rain during the night, so the roads were wet. We took the scenic Avenue of the Giants which meanders in and around some beautiful redwoods, small towns, and campgrounds. We stopped at the Immortal Tree to take the traditional group photo then back on the road. We briefly stopped just south of Richardson Grove Campground for a bathroom break then onward to Laytonville for our final gas stop. One rider headed directly home from here while the remaining 10 riders stopped in Willits for lunch at Lumberjacks. After the usual hearty meal, we bid our goodbyes and headed home.

I was home around 3:30 with a total of 450 miles for the weekend.

Thanks to everyone who decided to throw caution to the wind and take a gamble it would not rain too hard. I think we were rewarded with a nice weekend despite some wet roads on Sunday morning. A special thanks to my sweep, George who, as usual, did an amazing job!

Road Captain – Robyn LaMantia “Queen Lolly”

Click the Google Photos Image to open the Ride Album in Google Photos