the redwood roll.

the redwood roll. 2012. with what started as an annual ritual for me, traveling as i did between portland and phoenix for so many years, i always stopped here in jedediah smith state park on the california/oregon border. it marks that midway pount between sf and portland and usually works pretty damn well as a place for a weary traveler to lay his/her head. with my yearning to keep on movin on and a heavy set desire to share what i know and have experienced with others, i reserved a campsite and made a flyer back in february for memorial day weekend. with a lot of time and money poured into preparation placed on this event, the week leading up to it was a mind fuck... one day the forecast said all rain, the next day it read sunny. back and forth back and fourth. with the departure day reading rain on friday all 350 miles up the coast, it still read sun for saturday, sunday, and monday. good enough for me.

forward motion, as always and forever, we met up 7am at my house in oakland. 7 or 8 bikes deep, we peeled off about 730am. out the 80 to the richmond bridge, over to the north bay in san rafel, then up the 101 for 9 hours to the border. it was cold, somewhere in the upper 40s when we left and not getting above 55 the entire ride up. the rain that did fall on us, didnt last long. just as we stopped to get out some rain gear and motor on, it stopped.

we met carl, from washington state along the way. he was 110% advrider.com but minus the profile and just out living it, rather than researching, reading, and dreaming about it. one of those people you meet and can see that passion in their eyes. just going for it on his suzuki 650 enduro. i told him about camp and that he was welcome. i thought for sure he would show up late in the night at the pace he was riding, but rolling 9-10 deep by the time we got to camp, he was already set up and waiting.

after we got camp going, a food list was taken down, money was thrown into a pot, and one of the cars were utilized to take charge and buy some goods. as we were walkin into the store, a little buzz, faint and off to the south was heard. a few seconds later, that whispering whirl was a full on crash of pistons, popping exhaust, and a blur of sacramentos finest. steve, ryan, casey, mike, and buddy. all gold in my book. they blasted past us and we took care of the food situation and headed back to camp as they were leaving camp to acquire more beer, because we undoubtedly hadnt bought enough! tents set, headlamps lit, dinner was cooked a few times over, everyone was fed, spirits were high and flowing. 30 people eat a lot of food and drink a lot of drink when theres no thought of work, travel, or care to be had.

morning came and as always, i was up before sunrise. the owls were out there to be heard, the stream was gushing with snow melt 100 of miles in the making, and some deer was near by breaking branches as it carelessly wandered on to our .... well... as it approached us who wandered onto his site.

maybe 8am, breakfast was cookin with cheryl burr at the helm and cassandra navigating from what i remember. i walked thru camp with a big stick and a heavy voice waking everyone who wanted to eat. a few slept in and had to eat scraps like the red headed step children, not saying any names, but im talkin about pretty ricky. next time, fucking wakeupahoe!

post brekky, we mounted up and headed further north, to cross the state line into oregon, just to say we made it outta california. also so some could skate the brookings park i suppose. danny d, ruptured his ass bone. one white cheek, one black cheek. good luck on the ride home holmes. rick rolled up and rolled in the deep end. curry jumped to flat. clay and i didn handstands. it was mid 70s and sunny. banana zone or some shit.

as always, pretty wanted to eat at a bar and fried dick sticks didnt sound good, so we booked it to a pizza joint that ive eaten and recharged at for hours on end. we met up with the portland counterparts at this spot and it was good to see old friends with stories of older friends on the road as well... pod had ran into germ and old man wes both earler in the day out on the coast.

after the skateparkery and a late lunch, we headed back into camp, back into the clouds and cold cold climate just 20 miles south of summers sun. needing a break from taking a break, a few of us crashed on the beach on the smith river just 100 feet from our tents. holes were dug, art was made, and no fish were caught. it got dark...then darker. after we got to feelin alright, we headed back towards camp. with no preparation, none of us had lights. just an odd sense of direction towards where we had came. a glow off in the distance that read in our minds as camp fire, go.

another night of pillaging thru half eaten hot dog buns, left out all day salsa, and chili can crushed chips, dinner was a toasted/burnt bun with chili poured on it. camp vibes for damn sure. i shot the last photo in this post at this point with my tripod, 30 second exp, blah blah blah, technical terms i dont care about. its the memories that were made that count... "forever be inside of me for every hour of every day"

sunday we started with the rumaging again, this time its called breakfast and not dinner. the pack started to close up shop, make plans and people were peelin off one by one before noon. with a long ride in front of all of us come monday, we all agreed to keep it going but a bit further south just shy of ukiah. make for an easy ride home come monday. we packed up and rolled out around 2pm i think... at this point of the trip, my phone was dead and had been for over 24 hours. i could have really cared less what time it was or wasnt... after all, its always four thirty all the time, right? we wheeled off thru stout grove, casey forgot his rod and reel, so he went back for that and we surfed down the hillbomb into the depths of the 2500 year old trees. ewed and awed, photos snapped, and dreams of being the biggest best thing on earth were smashed with the very sight of the trees at hand. we got yelled at for yelling, we made people stop and watch as we climbed everything in sight, and then again, we peeled off thru the rest of the forest being as quiet as 20 harleys (most with open pipes) can be.

200 miles down the road in willits, we met up with the car counterparts. carry our shit was the name of the game, cassandras b-battery died and her b-bike wouldnt start. so it got electro shock therapy from currys car and back north we headed another 30-40 minutes. somewhere along highway 162 to covello, we stopped and fell asleep next to the crashing and cursing eel river. a sight to be seen later in the morning as its well beyond sunset. with stars brighter than i remembered, i crashed early in an odd mindset. odd because the realization that this gypsie caravan of life was coming to an end and reality is knocking on realitys door. i passed out in the tent slightly not sober and fell asleep next to some level 5 rapids.

level five im sure of it. because tomorrow, monday, we shot them in our level 5 rafts purchased at the world famous outdoors man store, wal-mart. up again, maybe at the crack of dawn, i watched the shadows come crashing down, uncovering the tent and a blasting of heat penetrating the tent. but before that could happen, i was under water in the river, waking up the best way possible. crystal clear snow melt streams. it really doent get any better than a gravel bottom river...

need less to say, the day was spent surfing the rapids on shitty 10 dollar tubes. i lost my superglide summer harley shirt, rob lost his glasses and come the end of the day, ricky lost all the air in his rear tire... more on that later. some cliff jumps were made, like i said, the rapids were shot, and some skin, a lot of skin, was burnt. i think we aimed at leaving by 3 to be home by 5-6 but a 4pm departure time was more likey as the good times were killing us and...well... it always takes longer to get outta vacation mode than it does get into it.

like i said, ricks tire was on a diet, and 50 mile round trip can of fix of flat didnt work... by this time, rob, cassandra and i were 75 miles down the road and the others stayed to help pretty ricky survive. bee lined it home, slapped the rip riders around me fives and i split off towards oakland at the split. a long cold richmond bridge lead unto a warm berkeley sunset and thoughts of grandmother were had.

to say the least, everyone that came made the trip happen, i just reserved a campsite and invited some friend sto come along with. this is for the best of times and the best of times. superglide summer is and has been in full effect. huge thanks to everyone that made it happen... you know who you are. WE OUT HERE!

cheryl burr. korean. ninja.

cheryl burr. baker. amazing.

sensual blowing.

kiss the bottle.

celiesse mueller. sure shot shorty.

could it be that im just nervous?

rode 900 miles to shoot bb guns at a can 40 feet away. gold in its rarest form.

these boots were made for ridin.

ladies and gentlemen, casey smith. sacramento king.

shes lived all over the world, crossed international lines on her motorbike, and lives her dreams more than most people i know... and this, was her first state line crossed on her grandfathers harley. roll your bones cassandra wages.

pretty ricky and brieann. shes in focus cause i have too many photos of you rick.. deal with it.

crewed up. 30 deep friday and saturday nights...


WhitelinePsycho said...

Bloody magnficent post, thanks.

hellsheros said...

Well said Lee, didnt think that the fun i had this weekend could be put to words but thats as close as anyone that was there could do. Words could not match real life!this trip was a mind blower i could have pushed this trip out forever i love you guys! no bullshit just living way to real! thanks for the invite and next time i see you I hope were jumping out of a plane together!
<3 love steve and the sacto crew

Chester.Mel.Ester said...

I really hope you decide to write a book someday.