Remembering California: Serendipity Strikes Outside of Redding

25mph sign near Mount Shasta California Leaving Mount Shasta in the early morning we began to work our way south. We were headed towards Redding so that I could see Calatrava’s Sundial Bridge at the Turtle Cove Exploration Park.

Inside the visitors center sat the usual rack of local tourist pamphlets. I do tend to poke through them when I’m standing around. Most often they seem to hawk places to buy handcrafted pottery, ugly local artisan jewelry or an outlet mall. But, sometimes…sometimes you find a diamond. This was my lucky day.  I found a pamphlet that included scenic drives. Low and behold, it made special mention of “good motorcycle roads.”

You Never Know What you’re Gonna Get

The little map directed us towards route 36. With no other plan in place anyway, what did we have to lose by trying the route? From Redding we followed Platina Rd. out through Ono and on to 36. As we moved further away from the city each mile that went by gave us something new. There were sections of road with turns marked at 10mph that ran along the face of the mountains. Further along the road opened up into fast paced sweepers. As the elevation began to climb and things became greener, the road re-tightened again. Nearly 150 miles of twists and turns came with little to no traffic at all. We rolled the dice and came up winners. [Map Link]

We stayed with route 36 back to 101 and into Eureka. We stopped to have a look around town and grabbed a bite to eat at the Opera Alley Bistro. With hours of daylight still left on the clock we headed south from Eureka towards Ferndale and the Lost Coast. But not before relishing what we’d just ridden. You really never know what you’re going to find in the course of a day. Sometimes you’ve just got to take a chance.

click to enlarge

Mount Shasta California Santiago Calatrave Sundial Bridge Turtle Cove Redding California Platina Road - Route 36 Near Redding California
BMW on Platina Road - Route 36 near Redding California Route 36 outside of Redding California Eureka California Parking Sign


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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3 Responses

  1. Reid says:

    You won, indeed! I am from Redding, learned to ride in that area, and that is far-and-away my favorite route in Northern California. Aside from the Igo/Ono area, which features horrific pavement and pickups which fly around blind corners taking up the whole road…once you’re through that, 36 is just a fantastic ride, well-paved and with almost no traffic to speak of.

  2. Fuzz! says:

    Hi Reid!
    Welcome aboard 🙂

    I am completely jealous. I would love, love, LOVE to be able to ride in California again. I was really amazed at just how rural so much of it is. Here in the east we’re so programmed to see everything as being like LA or the beach. Riding through the canyons was a real eye opener.

    299 out of Redding looks like a winner on the map, too. Would you say its on par with 36?

  3. Reid Belton says:

     Thanks for the response! California is as varied as it is massive and you could easily tour for weeks here.

    299 is a scenic and interesting ride, with LOTS of hairpins and elevation changes (you go through 4 mountain passes.) It can get pretty busy during the summer as it’s the main route from the central valley to the coast. Overall I’d say it’s a good ride. Visit Patrick’s Point in Arcata, it’s gorgeous and has a great campground if you are roughing it. Otherwise, there are motels in the area. Folie Deux for some good eats.

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