Well, here I sit in the lobby of Great Wolf Hotel, home of the indoor water slides, overpriced magical wands, sensible haircuts and minivan drivers from around the US.  My kinda place – can’t you just feel the love?!?  Let’s get a recap of how our time was on the road from Benbow to Brookings, shall we?

We were fortunate to get a parking space up front at the Benbow Inn, surrounded by a mass amount of Harley’s.  Like I had mentioned, it was Redwood Run weekend and we stood out like, well, like a couple of BMW riders.  We did meet some cool Harley people but most were not as friendly as meeting another GS rider.  Whatever.  Our dinner and breakfast were fabulous!  The dining room is quite beautiful and filled with people waaaay more dressed up than us.  Hard to pack that little black dress in the side case and have it come out looking “fresh”.  During the night, you could hear the growl of Harley’s headed to the Run and I mean ALL NIGHT!  We did sleep well, but it’s hard to completely turn your ears off.

The morning consisted of restuffing the sacks, learning how to make better use of our space and chatting with some people in the parking lot.  We met a very cool couple who rode up on their Harley’s a couple of hours after us.  Her bike I actually admired as she pulled in.  It had a different look to it, not the usual ride.  We were also approached by an older gentleman who, come to find out, raced in the AMA’s some 30 years ago.  Check him out in the pic section!

After rolling out, we headed south a couple of miles to the Big Foot tourist trap.  It’s actually quite cool and we ended up chatting with the owner’s son for a while.  His family has owned it for over 30 years now and they do the chainsaw sculptures, etc.  While there, we watched hundreds of Harley’s criss-cross the highway.  One group that pulled in was headed by a Hell’s Angels dude.  An older guy, he was flanked by 2 of his “bitches”, also known as ‘guys who want “in” but have to be somebody’s wench for a while’.  Saw the “1%er” patch on the vest.  Uh huh.  He was nice enough but let’s just say I wouldn’t want to piss off an H.A.  I dig living.

We made a couple of cool stops along the way, including the drive-thru tree.  How could we not?!?  We took the Avenue of the Giants the whole way.  It’s a stretch of road, about 35 miles, that parallel’s 101, taking you through the old growth redwoods.  Why would you NOT take this fabulous road?  Two thumbs way up.  We finally reached the  ocean stretch and lost count as to how many long range cyclists we saw.  Chatted with a few and was surprised as to how many were not American’s.  Don’t worry – I’m sure we’ll do that, too, some day.

The ride to Brookings meandered along the coast line and I found myself looking more at the coast than the road.

And of course the ride wouldn’t be complete without one casualty.  Santa had brought Terry a head cam for Chrismas to record such awesome moments.  Tom was kind enough to lend us his so I, too, could capture some footage.  So imagine if you will, Terry rolling ahead of me, zig-zagging our way up 101, la, la, la, everything’s fabulous when Jack (completely asleep) looses his grip on the camera unit and WHOOSH!, the ENTIRE camera, base, cable, lens and all, goes a tumblin’ down 101.  It was straight out of an SNL skit!  I’m screaming into the mic, “THE CAMERA!  IT FELL OFF!” while trying to figure out how the hell I was going to backtrack to retrieve the thing.  And you’d better believe I wasn’t going to let it sit in the middle of the road.  We pulled over, I hurried off with my helmet and gloves and sprinted the 1/4 mile back down the mountain, determined to grab it no matter what.  Fortunately, this stretch of 101 is not heavily traveled, so my chances of playing Frogger in real life were pretty good.  Sprint, sprint, sprint, I finally reached it and it was in pristine condition, considering.  I winced as I watched the last car juuuuuust miss hitting it, ran out, snatched it, and just started laughing.  How could I not?!?  What’s there to get mad at?  Shit happens no matter what (and it makes for a grand story).  I ran back up the hill and poor Jack was, “I’m sorry!  I’m sorry!”  Not to worry, little man, as these things happen.

But does the camera still work?  Yup!  Only problem is that the threads stripped when it pulled out from the lens.  You’ll be thrilled to know that another cable is on its way to the BMW dealership in Seattle.  Remember, we have to be there on Tuesday for new tires on my ride and a new shock for Terry’s so why not make sure all our “mail” goes to the same place.  Yes, Terry’s almost new shock is totally blown.  Nice one, Ohlins!  And speaking of cameras, I think my headcam was still going during the launch, so I have to check and see if I caught the moment on film.  Wouldn’t that rock?  Alas, we won’t be posting any video until we get back as there’s much editing to do.  All good things in time.

So I must close this entry with a few highlights and thank you’s to some of those we’ve met along the way.


All the Harley’s along the way; childhood memories of Benbow; Big Foot stop (and I got you a new magnet, Jenn!); watching Jack skip rocks along the Eel River; being with my family; long range cyclists who throw out a wave; people offering to take our picture; handing out so many Adventure Trio cards with promises to keep in touch; the smell of freshly cut wood; being able to laugh when I should really be crying; making it to Oregon; Jack playing in the surf; great photo ops; amazing people with our travel stories; knowing we get to camp as the hotel thing is getting to all of us; meeting an old AMA racer who was heading to Santa Rosa (was able to give him some pointers); good vibes from all we meet; thumbs up from family and friends; watching Jack soak it all in and wanting more; Terry working so hard to make this trip possible; my ability to say no to too many shoes (sooooo hard); knowing there’s 2 more weeks of this.


It doesn’t matter how you get there, just as long as you go.