The Big Swing

A typical Pacific Northwest morning mist covered everything this morning including our 3 Hoosier plated motorcycles. There was no sense wiping them off as we like to do – the mist was heavy enough that it just kept the bikes wet.

The temperature was a balmy 59 degrees as we debated whether to put the rubber suits on or trust that we were going to ride out of this. We had this discussion over the breakfast provided by the hotel. The price of the breakfast was “free” (the rooms were the most expensive of the trip so far).

Debate over. The rainsuits stayed packed away and we added layers to deal with the damp and the cold. We rolled out at our usual 9:00 AM local time and made it all of 2 blocks before we pulled in to top off the tanks. I must say that I am really happy with the MPG I’ve been getting on the big red bike. I usually get around 42 or 43 when using the ethanol blend premium at home. We’ve been filling up with ethanol-free gas out here and I’m getting 48 to 50 MPg consistently. Yippee!

The plan today was to ride down US-101 to near Ukiah, CA and then head west on CA-20. The GPS helped keep us on track (all except the last mile or two when we took a typical “short cut” through a residential area).

The road was smooth for the most part and took us through another beautiful stand of redwoods. They don’t call US-101 The Redwood Highway without reason. Unfortunately, you will have to check back either on this blog or on Henry’s Ramblings YouTube channel to see if there are any images of these monstrous trees.

We rode past scenic Lake Mendocino and the state was kind enough to provide a turnout where we could remove a layer or two of jackets. The Big Swing had started. The temperature had jumped from 59 to 85 degrees and it wasn’t done climbing yet.

A view of Lake Mendocino from our jacket removal spot

There were very few opportunities for more pictures today as we were anxious to get to our destination and put the 240+ miles behind us. We pulled into Granzella’s Inn in Williams, CA. This turned out to be a really nice place with a restaurant across the parking lot – conveniently named Granzella’s Restaurant. Adjacent to the restaurant was Granzella’s headquarters building. I’m not sure who Granzella was / is but he / she must be a key citizen in Williams, California.

At Granzella’s (the Inn not the Restaurant), I checked the temperature. It registered 99 degrees. The Big Swing amounted to 40 degrees today. It sure felt different than when we rolled this morning. We had stopped for a late lunch at Carl’s Jr. (Hardees for you Hoosiers). I was not hungry but the clock said it was time to eat so I figured maybe ice cream was in order. Luckily, Granzella’s Ice Cream had just what I needed on this hot afternoon.

I’ve been trying to get some laundry done for the last couple of nights but I just couldn’t get motivated. Tonight was the night. I have clean unmentionables for the next few days. The guest laundry was being guarded by this guy. I’m pretty sure this is an example of the rare GranzellaBear.

Tomorrow we’re headed for Nevada as we turn our front wheels back eastward. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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