California Wine Country

Mendocino, California
March 10, 2013

Yesterday, I rode from Coos Bay, Oregon to Garbersville, California. A pleasant ride in good weather.

The day didn’t start so well. In the morning, at the hotel in Coos Bay, I put my bike in neutral and started the engine for a warm-up. I went into the hotel room to collect my gear. When I came out, I discovered, to my horror, that my bike and sidecar rolled back and crashed into a beat-up pickup truck parked next to a diner. Fortunately, the riderless ride was short and there was no damage to the bike, sidecar or pickup. Only my ego! Please spare me the obvious question: what were you thinking?

The ride to Garbersville was really fun. I had great views of the Pacific Coast.
I stopped at a hotel in Garbersville, the same hotel I stayed in on my trip North to Seattle in September. The hotel has a free wine and cheese tasting in the evening–right up my cheap alley.

I rode South on Highway 101 to Laytonville and then turned West on the Branscomb Highway to Highway 1, which proceeds directly along the Pacific Coast. The ride on Highway 1 is narrow and winding, but is absolutely breathtaking in its beauty. I stopped at the Pacific Star Winery along the coast and sampled and ordered some great wines.

I am now staying at the Agate Cove Inn, which is a bed & breakfast in Mendocino. This is the oldest B & B in Mendocino (built in 1860) and has a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean. The B& B has no shower, only a bathtub. So, I will be taking a bath tonight.


I had dinner at the Mendocino Cafe–Thai Firepot Soup with chicken and rice. One of the best dinners I have ever had in my life. If you are ever in this part of the state, stay at the Agate Inn, eat at the Mendocino Cafe and visit the Pacific Star Winery.


Tomorrow, I plan to visit wineries in the Anderson Valley and then ride into the Napa-Sonoma wine growing region.


p.s. Everyone is admiring Ollie’s sidecar and taking photos of it.


6 thoughts on “California Wine Country

  1. Russian Gulch SP, Van Damme SP, and Ft. Ross SP (just south of Mendocino)–great coastal touring memories and very good California history. Very good fish restaurants in Bodega Bay–served with Sonoma wine! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy and we’ll keep the light burning.


  2. Bill…great trip so far and looks like it is getting better…wine and cheeze. Weather nice down here and looking forward to lunch together on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. Cindy hanging in there up in Alaska…would love to see the sidecar on the 20th….river trip coming up soon for you….Sioux and I off to your second home at the end of this month for a trek to Base Camp.
    “Drive on!!!!!”


  3. Bill —

    From your descriptions, am right there in the buddy seat traveling alongside you enjoying every minute (and bump in the road) — vicariously. Thanks for the lodging and restaurant tips!

    From a Jan 2011 trip through the area, had an excellent seafood meal in Bodega Bay at the Lucas Wharf Restaurant (center of “town”); nice overlook onto the sea. If you go inland, I liked the Hampton Inn in Windsor (about 10 miles north of Santa Rosa on US 10), included an excellent breakfast in price of room. If in Napa, enjoyed a weekday stay at “The Inn on First”; a B&B, outstanding breakfast included in price of room; near freeway but very quiet inside). In Calistoga, the supermarket on the east side of downtown, north side of main street, has a terrific make-your-own salad. Eat there or take out and eat in a nearby park while soaking up the local atmosphere.

    Good riding,

    Bob Aronoff (Adventurers’ Club)

  4. Thank you mucho for the delightful pictures. I have made that ride many times when I had my place in Carpenteria, in a car however & know of its beauty. I have eaten breakfast at the Mendocino Cafe which I found to be an inexpensive surprise if you get up before the sun. I am gald you are having such a grand time, but you always do. It is your nature, the characteristic I love about you. Enjoy the rest of your trip & stay safe. Love & Hugs, Betty

  5. Hey Bill, Looking good! I was in San Fran this past Friday, (sorry to say for work), and drove home to Dana Point, 8+ hours! The grapevine was closed part of the day due to ice & snow, but I take the Coast like you for the beauty! Even if I am in the car! Can’t wait to see the Bike and sidecar in person, I got my Custom started on Sat but not out of the garage! Ride safe, will join you hopefully someday soon!

  6. Wow Bill…what a beautiful sidecar. And those views are breathtaking. I think all of us reading your updates may be a little jealous of Ollie’s future trips…and looking forward to getting photos and summaries about your adventures together.

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