It was a great night of sleep again. Nothing like being on vacation and waking up naturally, with no pressure whatsoever.
Meet Otto, the proprietor of the Westport Inn. 85 and all, he is keeping it going.
Otto offered coffee and toast. That was my breakfast. OK, time to get going. This is a photo taken by Ken and Meredith as I was leaving. It was very nice to have had a chance to meet them and I enjoyed their company during dinner, whale watching and walking around Westport.
Going north, about 10-15 miles from Westport and I had two options: go straight closer to the coast on a dirt road or go more inland and Hwy 1 ends in Leggett, CA, joining Hwy 101. I chose the Hwy 101 for this trip. I will be back to the Lost Coast in the future. After all, it is not too far from home. And, as I mentioned before, I’m just building the excuses for another trip to this area. However, my plan on this trip is still go back to key areas in the Lost Coast, just that I will take the paved route. When I stopped for gas in Garberville, I found those three guys on the Ducati, Triump and Harley bikes.
The Ducati Multistrada 1000DS.
At Garberville I exited Hwy 101 and went west, back towards the Ocean. The roads are mostly one-lane sort-of-paved roads. The first destination was Shelter Cover. It is down there somewhere. The lost coast is called it that way because not always the access was easy. It still is not easy today, as you have to meander on several switchbacks on a narrow road to get to some points. There are other areas where only a dirt road will take you there and others yet with no rod access. I’m always in favor of not building more roads and not paving the dirt roads.
Ground zero on the Shelter Cove. Tsunami Hazard areas, as are mostly all low points on the California, Oregon and Washington coasts. But especially the narrow bay areas.
Another view of Shelter Cove. Beautiful shoreline.
Looking south. Shelter Cove has a golf course and the houses built around it to cater for the golf lovers.
The lighthouse, and the three riders of the Ducati, Triumph and Harley were there again. They invited me to join them at this point. I declined, as I like to stop for pictures. They already have their rhythm. But I knew I was going to see them again on the road, as we were going to take the same roads going north.
Back on the road, I went back east to then join another single-lane road going north towards Ferndale, CA.
To get to Ferndale, I first towards Honeydew and there I got the Mattole road that goes towards Petrolia and ends in Ferndale. Mattole road was a destination on itself! But first things first. Here is a view of the area. Very agricultural on its vocation.
Honeydew, on the way to Petrolia. Mattole road to the left.
Petrolia, and more eucalyptus trees.
A few more miles past Petrolia and I was back at the ocean. It was extremely windy, winds coming from the north, straight at me.
The road goes on for a few miles along the coast.
Then the road goes back inland, towards Ferndale.
And here is the view, looking back from where I was coming from. Check the camera strap flying on the high winds. There is a cattle ranch right there, at the beach. Only if the cows had the ability to enjoy the views…
One final view of the Mattole rd.
And a video of what it was riding on the Mattole rd.
A few more miles on this road and all of a sudden I was in Ferndale.
Ferndale has very well preserved buildings from the Victoria era. Here is what I found on wikipedia: “Ferndale is known for well-preserved Victorian buildings, which are also known as “Butterfat Palaces” due to their construction during an epoch wherein considerable wealth was generated in the dairy industry, especially during the 1880s. The entire town is an historical landmark.”
And this building, indicating the Portuguese were here at some point, before the city was incorporated. The city was not incorporated until 1893 according to the official site of Ferndale.
I met those three riders again. They were spending the night here and would start their ride back south tomorrow. I wanted to continue going north. Back on the road, I was now crossing the bridge on the Klamath river.
On my way south, I had noticed lots of people hanging around this bridge. I slowed down but did not stop to check what it was. Ken and Meredith had gone this way on their way south and stopped here and told me that what as going on was that a whale had swam up river and was hanging around this bridge. They showed me pictures. As I was approaching the bridge, those digital boards along the road were indicating to be careful around the bridge, as pedestrians were walking across the highway and hanging out at the bridge. So, was the whale still there?
I parked the bike before crossing the bridge. As I was walking towards the area where everyone was hanging out, this cute 8 year old girl asked me if I was going to the moon. I was dressing on my riding suit. That was a really nice moment. Her father tried to apologize. I simply smiled back, caught off guard by the question, and said, “yes, I’m on my way”.
And I asked people returning from the bridge if she was still there. And one lady said: yes, she is there, just swimming in circles.
The story goes that she came in there with her calf. The calf was already a “teenager” and eventually left back towards the ocean. The mother stayed behind and no one knows why. People tried to make her go back by using boats, making noise. Nothing had convinced her by the time I went through. She was there for five weeks and was still healthy at that time. And just literally swam in circles close to the bridge.
Update: I searched and found this piece of news from the San Francisco Huff Post, dated August 16th, 2011:
“In a ceremony screened by tall willows, the Yurok Tribe on Tuesday laid to rest a 45-foot gray whale that had delighted residents, passers-by and scientists after swimming into the lower Klamath River with its calf nearly two months ago.
With scientists by its side, the whale died at about 4 a.m. after beaching itself on the northern bank of the river. Crowds of people gathered to the spot within sight of the U.S. Highway 101 bridge and an RV park where they had watched for weeks as it swam back and forth, seemingly taking pleasure in the attention.”
This whale had been there for more than 2 months by the time it died. It was a sensation, and she even had the media on call to check on her.
I continued my trip towards Oregon. I decided to spend the night in Gold Beach. I found a room at the Gold Beach inn.
This was the view as the sun was setting.
Next to the hotel there was a restaurant called Spinners. That’s where I had dinner. Another day, another mission accomplished.314 miles (502 km).