Mid-Week Rides: King's Ridge Road
Pictures from the Captain, Jon, and Major WWWobble
Pictures are in no discernable order. The Captain’s trip report is here.
First, Dick says:
… a group photo of mighty motorcycle men taken at this weeks early midweek ride. I also tacked on a photo taken before the ride at the GG bridge. I tried to explain to those weenies with all the expensive equipment shooting from the other side that the magic of artistic photography is not in the camera.
Well, no icy highways today so it was agreed we’d ride King’s Ridge Road from the Stewart’s Point-Skaggs Spring Road out of Healdsburg; even the Major Wobble signed onto the ‘plan.’ I arrived on time at the Golden Gate Bridge View area before the scheduled 0830 hrs. departure time to find only Dick Zunkel waiting. Marco was ‘out,’ as was Bill Grass; Eric Winterholler who was keen, suddenly wasn’t. Dick’n I set-out for Pete’s Henny Penny in Petaluma and the Chevron station next door. We pulled in so as to gas and found Al Soboleski and Major Wobble (Bob Burns) topping-off. Randy Bush’s motor was spotted in the restaurant’s parking lot next door. No local resident (Jon Beining) in evidence. We ordered-up as Randy was already deep into the daily breakfast special. Enter Jon Beining…local and late!
We hit the freeway NB for Healdsburg where Bob took issue with my ‘routing,’ or so his gesticulations would indicate. Well, since I use TURN SIGNALS, I won out. We turned-off at Healdsburg for Westside Road but only for a mile’er so, turning north on West Dry Creek Road, a generally one lane path through the edge of wineries and mountain hillsides - very twisty and well banked. After about eight miles we crossed the valley to Dry Creek Road and it’s 50 MPH sweepers to the end of Skaggs Springs-Stewart’s Point Highway and the fish hatchery located there. We paused here to take advantage of the Hatchery’s amenities but behold…CLOSED Monday and Tuesday’s. This, of course, was all my fault…grumble-grumble. We stretched…we’d only come a little over 40 miles since breakfast but it wasn’t a ‘fast forty.’ Bushes needed attention and were serviced by several. We were again ready to ride, but somebody’s phone rang and it was a ‘delay of game.’ (Note to self: No working cell phones next ride… ;)
We rode through nonexistent traffic for the next 35 miles, over half of which was on beautiful asphalt; the other half? This was a collection of ‘patches’ and eventually came along side the Gualala River where, on the bridge to Annapolis, we paused to ‘break.’
All was well, ‘cept maybe for the low water in the river and the garbage truck. Garbage truck! You bettchum! An 18-wheeler with a forty-foot trailer, forced me off the bridge it did! Fellow had to approach (do the curvature of the roadway) with a wide swing and even then, barely cleared the curb on one side. Tough enough vehicle to drive without a clutch of motorcyclists lending body language…which they did.
The Major wanted to follow the road through Annapolis and out to Sea Ranch, this with the promise of coffee at the Stewart’s Point Store. Mind you we weren’t then five miles from the store but going through Annapolis and Sea Ranch, it was now 20 miles distant.
We arrived at the store, an historical building, only to find a bunch’o workmen, no porch, gutted interior and certainly, NO coffee! Good work Major!
Well, we were once again on the Stewart’s Point-Skagg’s Springs Road, only now east bound. I found the narrow, steep, twisting ‘path’ through the Redwoods refreshing and stopped at the turn for Tin Barn for the others to catch-up, I didn’t want to miss anyone. We rode Tin Barn passed the Buhidist’s enclave, a sprawling, secretive establishment in the middle of nowhere with polished copper-domed structures. We can only see glimpses of this establishment and then only the rooftops.
We turned onto King’s Ridge after about 10 miles of Tin Barn and noticed new vines everywhere. California will soon be one big vineyard. However, the old schoolhouse still stands, but just barely. When I first passed this way in 1969 (could’ve been 1970), with Dave Reimers, the school house had a bell tower (complete - upright), and an interior floor. The photo here shows the demise of the bell tower; the interior floor has been stolen. This structure was built with hand-forged square nails.
We finally had a chance at coffee in the General Store in Cazadero. This was ‘lunch’, it was just about 1:45 p.m. upon our arrival.
Clearing Cazadero we rode down Austin Creek for Highway #116 and Duncan Mills, then to Hwy #1. We’d previously agreed we’d leave Hwy #1 at Marshall for Petaluma. This is a road I hadn’t ridden in at least 25 years and it hasn’t been repaved since.
We came to a fork in the road, Novato 8 miles on-way, Petaluma 7 miles the other. Jon Beining headed for home and the rest of us for Novato, gas and US#101 for the Golden Gate Bridge. I arrived home at dusk (before 6 PM) having clocked just over 250 miles on the day. It was a great ride; no ice, no rain and temperatures at one point near 70F.