Day 4 - Dixon to Cloverdale and back to Cloverdale

Strange title I know, but you'll see.

Today we were on our own.  Jack has gone off to do his own thing and will catch up to us again soon.  We set out early and avoided I-80 entirely.  Much better to travel the back roads.  Because of the change in yesterday's route we were starting out differently so the computer picked out a route to the west coast north of San Francisco which took us through the Napa Valley.

We had a great time on the secondary roads, then found California Hwy 128 (well the GPS found it for us).  This highway follows north and joins up with 101, which is the main road up and down California - it seems.  When we got to 101 near Cloverdale it was time for fuel and a coffee.  We decided to try Starbucks.  Not that I've ever tried it at home.  They do a pretty good Latte instead of our flat white, which isn't even on the menu, but a terrible cappuccino.  Fluff is good, but not two thirds of the cup.  Pity.  But the three-fruit muffin was nice, as was the bear claw.  A bear claw isn't really one, more like a danish.  By the way, bear claw pronounced by an Australian is not recognizable to the American ear.

We drove through the little town of Cloverdale and thought it looked nice.  But we were off to the west coast so we got on the 101 and headed north.  Spent a good few minutes travelling with a surprisingly quiet HD Ultra Classic.  He rode well and we swept up the highway, only having to slow down when some riders going the opposite way signalled a radar ahead.  We're all there for each other.

When we got to Legget, which was as far north as we were going, I noticed a road winding its way beside the freeway, and crossing some bridges parallel to us.  Out of curiosity we turned back along this road, which we found out was Hwy 271 (All numbers).  We had a great little run for about five miles then turned around and did it again with the video running.  Woohoo.

Then we found the Drive-Through Tree.  This is a small tourist attraction of a giant redwood called the Chandelier Tree which has a car sized tunnel cut through it.  We paid our three dollars and drove down to the waiting line to drive through the tree.  Remember I said it was a car-sized tunnel.  We and a couple of disappointed SUV drivers found it isn't quite big enough for the average SUV.  The mid-sized ones maybe, but the one we saw go through had some interesting scratches as a souvenir of his holiday.  A few others attempted but backed out.  We had no problems and even found the hole up the inside.

Photos taken, we rode out of the park and turned on to the road again and headed towards a nearby township called Underwood Park - how apt.  There was no traffic on the road and Charleen was busy with the camera so she didn't notice that I was driving on the left.  It didn't click with me either until an oncoming car swerved off the road about 50 feet in front of me.  I wondered why he did that then realized my mistake.  Immediately I swapped to the right side, gave an apologetic wave and continued on.  This was day three of driving on the other side and I thought I was getting used to the changeover.  But it happened, almost exactly as John Spick, Jack and a few others had warned me it would.  Shortly afterwards I began shaking, thinking of the possible outcomes and had to pull over and take stock.

All calmed down now we turned on to highway 1 and headed for the west coast.  What a blast that road was.  Almost no traffic and heaps of corners to help us get back into the groove.    We made it to the west coast in fairly quick time and stopped for a couple of pictures.  Further on down the road we started looking for somewhere to stay as it was after three o'clock but quickly realised that on this holiday weekend, coastal accommodation was not going to be possible.  So we travelled down through Mendocino and back on to Hwy 128 and travelled back to Cloverdale from the opposite direction we had approached it this morning.  We finally found a nice motel after five pm.  So much for an early day.

We had a nice coldie and meal at a local microbrewery bar and called it a night.

We followed a black Wing for a bit
The trees have beards
Aah corners
Grapes everywhere in the Napa - even on the hilltops
and the flats
All those grapes made me thirsty
Hwy 101
101 and 271 down beside
271 - the movie
Charleen reckons we found Sasquatch
but it was just me
Ride to the West Coast
The west coast
cemetery with a view ..... for???
coastal hwy 1
road tunnel
All the beaches were packed due to the holidays - and the fact it was 30F cooler than inland.
Holiday houses

Gum trees??

Next Day