Without any planning i found myself camping in the same campsite I had visited on my first trip to the USA 10 years ago, we where now deep into Humboldt county, no one around and beautiful 1 1/2 lane roads through the hills. The goal for the day was to make it to San Francisco and wash off 5 days of road filth.
After a morning of amazing riding we pulled into Garberville. It's always the same scene in Garberville, dreads, dogs and hitchhikers. I always leave the gas stop in town feeling clean no matter how filthy I am. Onward down the 101 and a quick right at Leggett puts you climbing over the coast range and descending to the pacific. Highway 1 is deserted in the late fall, so you pretty much have the whole road to yourself. No cops and perfect pavement. Jordan had a go-to lunch spot called Queenie's roadhouse cafe a ways down the road and he promised it would be worth not eating all day for. Around 4 pm we pulled up and parked the bikes across the street just as she flipped the closed sign. The lady looked at both of us and knew we where starving, she simply said "hurry up if you want to eat." About 15 minutes after we sat down, a kooked out couple rolled up in a Mercedes and started banging on the window. "We want tarts! We want tarts!" The same waitress that let us in responded, "Sorry we are closed and sold out of tarts." "But we drove all the way from LA just for tarts!" "Well maybe you should have looked up our hours or called ahead, would have saved you a lot of time." the server did not give a fuck, kook lady was pissed and stormed off, "Fucking Sunset Magazine says our tarts are the best, now we have people driving from all over for them. They're not even that great."
The food was amazing and three cups of coffee helped get me in the mood to move again. The sun had set and we were now in the dark heading inland to meet back up with the 101. Its a trip merging into full rush hour chaos on bikes that go 30mph slower than the rest of the world racing against deadlines. We were getting buzzed by cars the rest of the ride into the bay and reaching our dear friend Ayni Raimondi's apartment was a huge relief. We spent the rest of the night stinking up her place and swapping stories.
A couple days in the bay was enough time to do laundry, send extra gear home and catch up with friends. Jordan spent an extra day in San Francisco while I went south to visit my good buddy Aaron Vonminden in San Jose. Aaron is a legend with an obsession for rare drag racing parts. I don't know anyone else with such an amazing collection of cars and parts. Somehow he keeps a chopped 31 Model A coupe, 32 pickup, flathead cadi powered 33 coupe, 55 chevy and a 50's merc running. All highly modified and unique.
Aaron lives above his shop in the industrial park where we got loose, and hit the city on bikes blasting curbs and telling stories. I woke up on the shop floor and loaded up the bike to meet up with Jordan in Santa Cruz. We hit up Autozone and changed our oil in the parking lot. Back on the 1 we were riding through foggy fields towards Big Sur.
After you pass Monterey the scenery drastically changes. Your mind melts into the hills and cliffs that shape the landscape. A lot of the land is private without much opportunity to get off the highway, but a good ways south we jumped on a dirt road into the hills that was recommended by some friends. It gets steep quick and soon its no longer maintained. Not really knowing where we were going, we just followed it till we broke through the fog and into the open rolling hills. The sun was setting as we reached the top and ran into a fellow camper setting up his gear. Matt had spent the day surfing on the coast and soon we were sharing stories around the camp stove. Good times and good company. We woke up above the clouds and watched an incredible sunrise before we descended down into the foggy coastline towards San Louis Obispo. By the end of the day we would find ourselves splitting lanes through LA traffic and setting up camp at our buddy Josh's place.