August 18th, 2014

Gualala, California

Gualala Red Woods

Gualala Red Woods

Since buying my new BMW a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been eager to get out on the road and do some exploring. I had to wait for the rest of my gear before hitting the road. As an aside I bought a top of the line helmet, a Schuberth C3 Pro which is a german made helmet, and a Rev’it Levante riding jacket with all the bells and whistles.

Point Arena Lighthouse California

Point Arena Lighthouse California

I dusted off my camping gear and crammed it all aboard leaving my home in Marin County north bound to Mendocino County via the California coast. Dam if it wasn’t cold! I’m not a native of California, but please allow me a second to school you up on the local weather patterns.

The water off the coast is friggin freezing. The California Current flows southward from Alaska due to the coriolis effect caused by the rotation of the earth. It literally is a nutrient rich super highway that feeds an abundance of sea critters. Also through the process of upwelling cold water from the deep abysss  churn its way to the surface in a constant process. In terms of summer fog creating cooler temperatures, the fog rolls in from the ocean over land in the morning as the rising sun heats up the land. Warm air rises, and something has to fill its place—the foggy air that’s hanging out above the ocean.

On the bike, GoPro Hero 3

On the bike, GoPro Hero 3

The beauty of where I live is that micro climates abound. Leaving home on bike trip  day 1 I had morning temperatures in the 70’s. As I neared the coast the temp dropped to the 50’s and together with aforementioned fog it was downright chilly! I rolled north bound on highway 1 passing through Point Reyes Station, Tomales Bay and into Jenner California. The scenery is truly stunning especially from a motorcycle. Riding the bike adds such an additional joy compared to traversing in a car. The ability to pass slow moving cars with ease makes all the difference.

Point Arena Headlands

Point Arena Headlands

I checked into the Gualala Redwoods Campground in Gualala, California. I set up a base of operations from my tent. From Gualala I rode north to Point Arena via Old Stage Rd which runs along the ride line of the coastal mountains. Again weather being the driving factor. Just a mile or two inland drivers up the temperature by 10 degrees and sunshine instead of fog.

Point Arena Seascape

Point Arena Seascape

I was stunned pulling into the town of Point Arena. On the map it looked to be kind of substantial. What I find was a tiny town in significant decline. Boarded up houses, shuttered businesses. Frankly just depressing. I also stumbled upon an equally deteriorated cemetary which was pretty cool to check out. However, there was a really cool spot down by the Point Arena municipal pier.

Cathedral of Redwoods

Cathedral of Redwoods

Below is a picture of the Coast Guard House Inn which back during the U.S. Life Saving Service days was Station number 314. Read the great history and see some cool pics by clicking here.

U.S. Lifesaving Station Point Arena, California

U.S. Lifesaving Station Point Arena, California

There is a terrific little coffee shop, chowder house and an active commercial fishing operation. The smell of the tide permeates. What a cool little spot!

After spending two nights in Gualala it was time to ride home. And that’s what I did.

Kindly,

Christian Allaire

 

 

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