Highway 36 (542 miles today)
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Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:14 pm quote
I set out today at 6:15 am and headed north. I decided to take the long way but twisty way up to I-5 from Napa, so I took Silverado Trail up to Chiles Valley Road. From there I took Pope Valley road toward Middletown. I stopped to help a lady change a flat tire on her car because there is no cell coverage in Pope Valley and I couldn't leave her there. After a bunch of snags in the tire change I was back on the road a mere 40 minutes later. Once I passed Middletown I saw a poor soul that had run out of gas, so I stopped and gave him the gallon I was carrying on my bike. Then I was on my way to Williams via Highway 20. The road was Awesome!!! I hadn't been on it in years and they had recently paved a bunch of it and widened it in places as well. It was smooth as butter and a lot of fun to ride. I gassed up at Williams and hit I-5 on my way to Red Bluff. Just over an hour later and I was in Red Bluff at 10:30am~ and stopped for gas and some food. I noticed the local Vespa dealership so I snapped a picture.

From there it was on to the BEST motorcycle road I've ever ridden. Highway 36!!! I stopped for the obligatory pictures at the best sign ever! I got to the sign just as another motorcyclist was finishing his photo shoot, and when I was pulling away a couple more riders were stopping to take their pictures. Highway 36 is so frickin' fun I don't even know how to describe it. The first section out of Red Bluff was probably my favorite. The oak trees and roller coaster like swooping twisties were like nothing I'd ever ridden before. I stopped for gas in Platina beause I wasn't sure if there was any other gas for a while. It turns out that there was another station just a few miles up the road that would have been a better stopping place. When I passed that service station I noticed a Goldwing with a trailer that I'd seen earlier while I was filling up. A couple miles down the road I stopped to take a picture and the Goldwing came zooming by. I really wanted to see how the trailer tracked behind that big bike so the chase was on. It took me quite a while to catch him but once I did I think I unknowingly started a bit of a race. The Goldwing rider (and his passenger) kicked into high gear and took off, so I push my little GT as hard as it would go and kept pace with him. The only time I've ever ridden that hard to keep up with someone was when I tried to go head to head with Glasseye and OopsClunkThud. The Goldwing pilot was an excellent rider and he made it look so easy with a passenger and a trailer. The only time I felt at a disadvantage was when he gunned it on the uphills. There was no way my GT could keep up with that, so I had to make up for it on the flats and downhills. When he finally turned off to what I can only imagine was going to be his camping site for the weekend he gave me a good wave as if to say "thanks for the spirited chase." After that it was on to the goat trail part of HWY 36. The two lane road turns into 1 land and back to 2 for about 10 miles or so. The road was still wide enough to get around the occasional truck pulling a boat and the conditions were still pretty good. It turned back into a two lanes and I found myself coming down a hill and making a pretty sharp left hander and then it happened! I hit my center stand and my back tire jumped out about a foot and I hit the stand again and my back tire chirped again and then I regained traction. I didn't have enough time to get worked up about it but rather I thought it was odd that it happend at all. I turned around and went back to the scene and noticed that there were some raised sections of asphalt caused by the indentations of larger vehicle tires. My center stand had hit on those raised areas because my tires were down in the indentation. I hadn't noticed the road being at all bad as I was making the initial turn and probably wouldn't notice it if I were to do it again tomorrow, so it was just one of those things that could have gone bad and luckily turned out OK. I was a bit more AWAKE at that point but only had a few more miles before I hit HWY 101.

I thought HWY 36 would take me right through Fortuna so I wasn't worried about gas. Well I stayed on 36 proper and found myself hitting 101 at Alton, which is just a couple miles South of Fortuna. I didn't feel like back tracking so I just hopped on 101 and headed South. I wasn't too worried because I had refilled my 1 gallon can and knew that Garberville had gas if I could just get there. I got to Garberville without needing my extra gas can and put 2.48 gallons in my GT. That was the most gas I'd ever put in my bike, so I know I was low. That danged low fuel light had me worred for a while. I made my way down 101 to Ukiah and got gas again and then headed on to Alexander Valley. I wound my way into Calistoga and stopped for some BBQ at Buster's. YUM!!! Then I just followed the tourist traffic down the Napa Valley all the way home. I arrived home at 6:35pm and put a total of 542 miles my bike and my butt today in just over 12 hours.

For anyone in range of Highway 36, you should really take the time to ride this road. It is by far my favorite motorcycle road I've ever been on. I'll do it again some day for sure!!! I took a few pics along the way. Enjoy.

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Starting Odometer

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Ending Odometer

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Lake Hennesey in the early morning with the moon still out.

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Just a fun shot.

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Some ducks making waves.

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This shadow kept following me!

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Sun up in Pope Valley.

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Red Bluff's Vespa dealer, and a few other brands.

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Obligatory picture by the infamous sign.

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Just for fun!

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This shot makes 36 look boring. IT'S NOT!!!!

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Where the Goldwing zoomed by me.



Last edited by Mesmer on Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
Member
'07 GTS 250 Vintage Red
Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Lynn MA
Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:40 am quote
That is a sweet trip.
Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:44 am quote
konbifu wrote:
That is a sweet trip.
Thanks, it was a great day, and awesome roads. I was pretty tired when I got home.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37603
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:26 pm quote
Lovely write-up. I do like that sign!

I need to have two (or three) of me to experience all these good roads.
Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:28 pm quote
jimc wrote:
Lovely write-up. I do like that sign!

I need to have two (or three) of me to experience all these good roads.
I don't know if the world could handle 2 or 3 of you!
Moderator
2010 Dragon Red GTS 300 Super, 2018 Grigio Titanio Piaggio Liberty S 150
Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 16295
Location: Toronto, Canada, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:43 pm quote
Awesome ride and photos! We need a highway 36 up here near me. Thanks for posting the report.
Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:47 pm quote
Benito wrote:
Awesome ride and photos! We need a highway 36 up here near me. Thanks for posting the report.
Thanks. I wish I had stopped and taken more pics. But I honestly didn't know how long the day was gonna turn out. Next time I ride it I'll stop and smell the roses.
Hooked
LX150
Joined: 25 Feb 2008
Posts: 403
Location: Lincoln, NE
Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:51 pm quote
+1000 Karma for the AAA work!!! and a great ride.
Keep rolling.
Hooked
Piaggio Typhoon 125, Piaggio Fly 150
Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 209
Location: Glassell Park, CA
Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:42 pm quote
NICE! love the shadow shot.
Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:18 am quote
MollyTaylor wrote:
NICE! love the shadow shot.
Thanks. I had notice my shadow on the hillsides beside me and thought it was kinda cool. I'm glad I stopped for a picture. The sun was just in the right position to cast the shadow across the road.
Hooked
Vespa GTV, Moto Guzzi V7 Classic
Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 376
Location: Dublin, CA
Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:50 pm quote
Spent about an hour on Google maps 'reliving' your epic ride. I mapped it out and looked at a lot of street views of Hwy36.

I'm now thinking about doing this as a 2-day trip.

Thanks so much for the writeup!

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Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:41 am quote
anthony wrote:
Spent about an hour on Google maps 'reliving' your epic ride. I mapped it out and looked at a lot of street views of Hwy36.

I'm now thinking about doing this as a 2-day trip.

Thanks so much for the writeup!
I highly suggest it! And since you're a bit further south than I am, a 2 day trip would be perfect. You'll love it. If you can find somebody to ride with you it would just give you a bit more piece of mind, since you're way out there in the boonies for alot of the ride.

If you do the trip, make sure you take lots of pics and do a write up. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Hooked
2009 GTS, 2013 Buddy, italjet Velocifero, yamahopper
Joined: 16 May 2007
Posts: 401
Location: Nor Cal
Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:35 pm quote
Great report Jed!

from Napa do you think Red Bluff would be a logical 1st night stopover for a 2-day trip? Or the 101 end???
Molto Verboso
Current: 2004 GT 200 & 1976 150 Sprint V Previous: VS5 GS 150, 1974 Rally 200
Joined: 29 Apr 2006
Posts: 1946
Location: Oakland. 1000 posts, only 10 of any value
Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:27 pm quote
Awesome! Love the trip/
Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:30 am quote
tupelosue wrote:
Great report Jed!

from Napa do you think Red Bluff would be a logical 1st night stopover for a 2-day trip? Or the 101 end???
It just depends which day you'd want to have as your longer day. If you stopped at Red Bluff for the night your second day would be about 3 hours longer than your first day. It might be a good idea to take your time and spend the night in Red Bluff just so you could be completely rested and able to really enjoy Hwy 36.
Ossessionato
Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 3335
Location: pacifica,ca.
Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:11 am quote
nice photos, looks like a fun ride.
Molto Verboso
Piaggio MP3 500
Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1402
Location: North Georgia
Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:18 am quote
Lovely - now I just need to become independently wealthy so that I can ride all over the world . . . . .
Hooked
1980 Vespa P200 E , 2009 kymco 500 & 2007 Kymco Exciting 250
Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 137
Location: Orland , Ca.
Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:54 am quote
I live on Orland , which is just on I-5 a couple towns before Red Bluff, I'm seriously of doing this ridfe on 36.. Looks and sounds fun...
Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:56 am quote
Noffy wrote:
I live on Orland , which is just on I-5 a couple towns before Red Bluff, I'm seriously of doing this ridfe on 36.. Looks and sounds fun...
Yeah, if I lived up there closer, I'd probably ride one way on 36 and come back on 299. That would be an awesome day's ride!
Hooked
1980 Vespa P200 E , 2009 kymco 500 & 2007 Kymco Exciting 250
Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 137
Location: Orland , Ca.
Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:20 am quote
Next time you come by this area let me know show you my 1932 Mohawk gas station and all the classic cars I have.. There's a few of us scooter people in our small town...

Last edited by Noffy on Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:25 am; edited 1 time in total
Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:22 am quote
Noffy wrote:
Next time you come by this area let me know show you my 1936 Mohawk gas station and all the classic cars I have.. There's a few of us scooter people in our small town...
Will do. Sounds fun.
Hooked
1980 Vespa P200 E , 2009 kymco 500 & 2007 Kymco Exciting 250
Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 137
Location: Orland , Ca.
Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:27 am quote
Did you have any problems riding your 200cc on I-5?
Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:37 am quote
Noffy wrote:
Did you have any problems riding your 200cc on I-5?
Nope.

See here!
Hooked
1980 Vespa P200 E , 2009 kymco 500 & 2007 Kymco Exciting 250
Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 137
Location: Orland , Ca.
Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:08 am quote
sorry .. read that story about you after I wrote the question... very nice on the previous story..... amazing
Enthusiast
Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 57
Location: Reidsville, NC
Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:14 am quote
Slightlly different version of this ride yesterday, rain and all. HWY 36 to Berry Summit / Titlow Hill RD back to 299. Titlow Hill is simply spectacular! 54 miles of isolation with the Trinity Alps on one side and Coastal Range on the other.

Did this ride last week on my VStrom and a different group but enjoyed it much more on the GTS.

Any MV'ers up in this area or contemplating a ride here, may I accompany? Retired to Redding several years ago and spent most of my time exploring. There are infinite number of iconic routes adjacent.
Addicted
4 LD's in various states of repair, MP3 500, 1961 Lambro Fli 175, 1965 Topper, 07 GTS250, 81 P200, 79 P200
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Location: The Catskills, NY
Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:04 am quote
Thanks for the report. Made me smile. Great pictures.
Addicted
Red SYM HD200
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Location: Bay Area, CA
Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:22 am quote
Great road, great ride, great report!
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