Usa: Eureka – Bishop
Eureka, Mendocino, Lake Tahoe, Bishop
After two days, I continued riding south and this time my destination was Mendocino, which were 300kms away from Eureka. I took the route which Marceau suggested, ‘Avenue of The Giants’. Yes, the redwood trees were like giants covering the area making it looked dark and a bit scary. I stopped many times here too, admiring the big trees. The redwood trees was said as the biggest in the world, but I think I had seen bigger trees in tropical forest in the National Park back in my country.
Anita’s Riding Tip:
the "Avenue of the Giants" is a panoramic highway that the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, the park of giant sequoias where there are many natural attractions such as the Immortal Tree, a sequoia over 950 years old 76 meters high. Info on the website: avenueofthegiants.net
I spotted a sign, saying “Ride In A Tree”, so I checked out the place. It was actually an opportunity to ride in a tree, as the tree was so big, it enabled a road to be built inside it.
Anita's Riding Tip:
what is commonly referred to as Highway 20 is California State Route 20 (SR 20) which runs through a fantastic area of lakes and mountains. To learn more visit aaroads.com/california/ca-020ea.html and to know the traffic situation check out http://dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/sr20As.
I’m nearing a town named Williams, I could see lots of peach garden alongside of the road. There were stalls selling peach too but I didn’t stop as I was in a hurry. I reached Lake Tahoe around sunset, but the camp ground listed in my GPS was of non-existence. I had to ride another 50kms to south of Lake Tahoe for another camp ground. I was actually very tired already, but I cant afford to opt for a cheap motel here, as its not cheap for my money. While riding to the southern part of Lake Tahoe, I saw a sign saying ‘Emerald Bay’. It was late but I must check out this place. It was beautiful, but could be even more beautiful if there was sunshine.
Anita's Riding Tip:
on the parks.ca.gov/?page_id=506 website you will find all the information relating to the Emerald Bay State Park. Including the opening periods of the campsite and the very popular boat activities.
After that, it was a winding ride all the way to Leggett and after that along the coast to Mendocino. It was getting dark and I was worried if I couldn’t reach my host place, which was located at Little River, 3km south of Mendocino while there was still sunlight. It was another 8kms to reach the house which was in the middle of the redwood forest. Dave, my host was down with bad flu, so he suggested that I sleep in a trailer behind his house. It was kinda fun for me to experience two nights in the trailer, even though it did felt eerie as the place was too quiet at night. Before I left, Dave, who was also a biker, suggested me to forgo the freeway, but took Highway 12 instead. He was very right. Even though this route was longer, winding, narrow at certain parts and I had to stop many times due to road construction, the scenic view made this choice of route unregretful. I felt as if I’m in another world. The view of the surrounding mountains was very beautiful. I had to stop many times for pics.
I hurried back to my bike after taking some pics at Emerald Bay. It was almost dark by then and I didn’t even know where to stay for the night. I had to waste another 15mins waiting at a construction site as only 1 road opened for traffic. Finally, after riding 527kms, I reached the camp ground and had to pitch my tent in the first pit which I found. God knows how exhausted I was. I woke up late this morning as I didn’t get a good sleep last night. I wonder why…but every time I camped, it will definitely rain in the middle of the night. I found a note on my bike from the rangers, asking me to register at the office. After packing up my stuff, I went to the office, and was charged USD35 for camping at a RV site. I told the ranger that it was very dark, the camp ground was not lit, and I was very exhausted when I reached the camp ground last night. I didn’t even use the full hook-up service (water and electric city) at the site.
The ranger refused to listen to me and demanded that I paid the full amount. I was very pissed off but I had no choice. This must had been the most expensive camp site in my whole life. Imagine, had to pay USD35 (RM157) only for pitching my tent at the site. Nevertheless, the ride today was a very spectacular one along Highway 395. I’m supposed to visit Yosemite National Park today, unfortunately the road to the park at Tioga Pass was closed due to snow. It get even more beautiful when I took Highway 120 (on the opposite side) to reach Bishop. I stopped every 10 minutes for pics. It was sooooo lovely. At times, I felt as if I’m in Tajikistan. I saw red grass fields and snow capped mountain. I also saw orange, brown and yellow coloured bushes. There were also awesome rock formation along the way. I was so glad that I took this route, which was not only beautiful, but very deserted, that I could count how many times I met other vehicles.