Watching the weather forecast is something I do a lot of in the spring. We’ve had such crazy winter-like weather here in Oregon the past few months that chances to ride have been few and far between. When I saw the 7-day forecast showing several nice days in a row, I sprung into action by making some reservations, booking a few days off of work, and planned an impromptu trip down to the redwoods of northern California.

(The reason for this particular destination is that it doesn’t involve crossing any mountain passes where snow is likely to linger well into May this year.)

It was raining lightly when I left the house at my usual 8:30 AM departure time. I gassed up in Eagle Creek and headed through Estacada and Molalla before turning south. It rained off and on all the way to Marcola, just outside of Springfield, my first stop of the day. I visited with my in-laws and ate lunch, gassed up again and got onto I-5 southbound. The rain had stopped and it was now mostly sunny, so the riding experience was much nicer.

Leaving I-5, I took highway 38 westbound through Drain and Elkton. Just outside of Reedsport, along the Umpqua River, is a series of large fields where elk usually congregate. They were there but weren’t in a place where I could pull over safely so I had to ride past, pictureless. So far I had only seen two other motorcyclists, and they were heading northbound on I-5 around Cottage Grove.

I got to Coos Bay around 4:20 PM and checked into the Red Lion. My room was nice and a fairly good value for the price. It wasn’t cheap, but when it comes to motels, you really do get what you pay for. Dinner was a shrimp salad in the non-smoking sports bar. I slept well that night, knowing the weather would be even nicer the next day.