Day 17 – Ferndale to Klamath Falls, OR

Distance: 443.7 miles / 714 kilometres
Riding time: 8:30 – 8:15pm Whew! Long one.
Temps: 12 Celcius (Ferndale) / 35-38 inland – most of the day

Got up, packed and moving at a reasonable time. I knew it would be a long day, but it turned out to be a LONG day.

GoogleMaps into GPX files is somewhat imperfect. Today was a perfect example. I got gas and left on the 101 highway looking to catch the 36 east for the day. Somehow it programmed the wrong direction and I realized something was wrong about 30 miles (50 kilometres) along. Apparently, when I took one street instead of the programmed one it rerouted my day plan and went to the next nearest point which would by pass some of the best riding. So I put on an extra 100 kilometres before even getting started.

Turning around for the correct route was totally worth it. The highway 36 across and past Hydesville is unbelievable. Huge old growth redwoods, tree lined highway and turn after turn for about 100+ kilometres. Then it kicks over into highway 3 for a while which is also a blast. All with perfect pavement and ascending and descending passes.

Coming inland means much warmer temperatures. Today it was especially “warm”. High 30s all day.

After highway 3 it connects with a more freeway like 299 which is high speed sweepers but nothing much to see or write home about.

The longest stretch today was highway 96 which I thought would be fun/interesting. Well, it wasn’t. I’d heard 100+ miles of corners, no traffic and a good riding road. It was hot, had a head wind the whole way, and several 20 mile construction zones with loose stones and a 35 speed limit. Not fun. It did eat up a lot of miles to cross the top bit of California but this is one of those times I’d have preferred to just slab it on the interstate.

The last bit of the day was a quick stretch on the I-5 over Siskiyou pass. Over 5000 ft but still windy and hot. It connects with about. 100 kilometres of road to Klamath Falls which is the old Route 66 and Green Springs road. Quite a nice way to end the long day with a good twisty road, significant change in elevation, and a drop in temp as the sun began to fall.

This riding day would not be complete without an almost running out of gas story. I didn’t fill up when leaving the I-5 thinking I could stop along the way to Klamath Falls. Nope. No services the whole way. I went deep into the reserve and was left with 0.75 liters of fuel at the end of the day. Just made it. If I was really lucky I would have made it another 10-20 kilometres. Still it added a bit of excitement to an already long day.

The Maverick Hotel in Klamath Falls is a screaming deal and really nice for $50. It’s like an old Holiday Inn style hotel with everything in suited rooms. They even leave water and a basket of treats for your arrival. Now that’s service you don’t see in a bargain hotel chain.

I was exhausted but I remembered another reason why I picked this hotel. Next door is a Brew Pub. Jackpot. Microbrewery beer and it was at the end of the hotel parking lot. The Klamath Basin Creamery Brew Pub is excellent. Good food, good value and really tasty beer. Really enjoyed their Notch Eight IPA brew. I even got a 22 oz bottle to go. Which helped soothe me to sleep after a long and enjoyable day.