California Cruise 2004 – Day 2: Rendezvous at Crater Lake

Sunday, June 20

  • Waldport, OR to Crater Lake National Park
    • 272 miles
    • Scott & Trev
  • Sunset State Beach, CA to Crater Lake
    • 522 miles
    • Paul, Jeff, Eric & Joe

Trev and Scott break camp and find breakfast at the Galley Ho Restaurant somewhere on the Oregon coast. The waitresses are wearing t-shirts with “I love the HO!” on them. Nice touch. Food was good, too.

We do some more coast cruising down to Coos Bay and then head inland through the Coast Range for some nice two lane riding on Highway 42. It’s pretty peaceful out here. We even pass through a town named Remote. Once we reach I-5 at Roseburg, we pick up Highway 138, a.k.a. the Rogue Umpqua Scenic Byway. 19 miles east of Roseburg, the highway hugs the Umpqua River on its way up into the Cascade Mountains. We now start gaining elevation with lots of twists and turns. As we approach the Continental Divide, we emerge from the forested hills and valleys onto a flat, treeless, expansive plain with mountain peaks sticking up out of it. From what we’ve heard, the only thing that causes flat terrain high up in a mountain range is lava. Looks like we are now in the Crater Lake neighborhood.

We gas up in Diamond Lake, just north of Crater Lake, and continue south on Highway 138. Trev gets a chance to test the durability of one of his hard luggage bags as it detaches at speed and cartwheels across the dusty plain. Thankfully, the sucker doesn’t open up and discharge his undies all over the road.

We roll into Crater Lake and secure two campsites just as the rest of the ODMC contingent comes motoring in. The snow hasn’t completely melted off yet so we setup our tents between big slabs of snow and pools of standing water. Tiny mosquitoes are hatching like crazy and they enjoy sucking on Pork Chop’s shaved melon. Benadryl is applied to ease his itching. Meanwhile, a good dinner is had at the lodge on the shore of Crater Lake.

It gets pretty chilly this high up in the mountains after sundown, down in the thirties, and some of us buy “CL” knit caps at the camp store. With caps on, beers in hand, bundled up in whatever clothing we have, huddling closer and closer around the fire, we look more like ice fisherman than motorcyclists.

The cigars are broken out. Eric and Scott puff on premium hand rolled Dominican cigars while Pablo sticks with America’s number one cigar, the Swisher Sweets wood tip, two hole. The brews range from Bud Light to Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale to Obsidian Stout. Mighty fine!

Day Three: The Redwoods

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