The Breakfast Club: Not a Kings Canyon Campout
Thursday-Saturday, Sep 23-25 2021
Sometimes plans change. The start of the year recreation.gov said no reservations would be accepted for dates after Labor Day. Walk-ins only. Sometime during the year the rules changed and no walk-ins would be allowed. Reservations required with reservations for sites openning 30 days before your start date. Luckily Harry discovered this in time to make reservations for Kings Canyon.
On 9/16 I got a reminder from recreation.gov about my reservation. On 9/18 I got a notification from recreation.gov that my reservation was cancelled due to site closure. California fires strike again.
Tom found that if he excluded Saturday night in his search there was one site available in Hendy Woods State Park. He grabbed it. Two nights are better than none. We figured it was probably the worse site in the park but we weren’t given any other choices. A camping we will go.
We met for breakfast at the Two Bird in San Geronimo at 8:30. I was late by a few minutes. I thought I’d stop for gas before hitting the restaurant. The plan was to take Sir Francis Drake for easy fuel choice. The plan changed when I rode by the Sir Francis Drake exit on 101. Lucas Valley is more fun, anyway.
Since I was going to be the first to need gas Tom told me to lead the way. We headed out to 1 then up the coast. It was a cool, somewhat dreary ride. Still better than droning on 101, though.
I skipped the expensive gas in Bodega Bay so I could buy even more expensive gas in Jenner.
After leaving the gas Station Tom took the lead. We stayed on 1 until the town of Elk. Tom and Harry got some sandwiches at the Elk store to take to camp. We backtracked a few hundred yards to pick up the Philo Greenwood Rd. Hendy Woods is just off of Philo Greenwood Rd a bit before it ends at 128.
The further east we rode the higher the temps. Harry said he saw 90 °F at one point. It was 80-something tee-shirt weather setting up camp.
Todd couldn’t leave early on Thursday. He rode up 101 and met us at the camp site in the early evening. About 9 PM we started heading toward our tents.
Speaking of tents… I don’t know why the site we got was available. Far from being the worst site in the campgound, it was one of the best. Four riders with four tents and none of them were anywhere close to another. Would select the site again.
I’d planned a day ride with the help of Google maps. Note to self: don’t believe Google maps in the future. The first mishap was a mile or two out of camp. The back road I was going to take into Philo was a steep, uphill, loose gravel road. It almost looked like a driveway. Backtrack to 128.
We rode 128 to Boonville where we picked up 253 toward Ukiah. Nice road, will ride again. After a stop for gas and a ride through Ukiah we took Orr Springs Rd to Comptche. Google maps was doing OK so far. In Comptch we decided to go to Fort Bragg for lunch. Tom led the way to the coast and up to Ft Bragg to the Home Style Cafe. Lunch was good.
Harry said he wasn’t feeling great and decided to take the direct route of 128 back to camp. I led Tom and Todd south on 1 to Albion where we picked up Albion Ridge Rd. Google maps had no problem routing me back to Comptche using this road. While I was expecting maybe sections of dirt or unimproved pavement, I didn’t expect the road to end at 3 driveways about 8 miles in. Tom later said there was a sign saying the road didn’t go thru when we turned off 1. I didn’t see it.
We backtracked to 1 and headed south. The plan was to see of Navarro Ridge Rd would go through. If there is a sign for the Navarro Ridge Rd turn off on Southbound 1 we missed it. New plan. Again. Instead of taking 128 back to camp we kept south on 1 to the town of Manchester and took Mountain View Rd into Boonville. Todd beep his horn and continued south as we turned off. He stopped in Point Arena for a bathroom break and eventually backtracked to Manchester to also take Mountain View Rd.
Back in camp I had a beer from the supply refreshed in Philo. Before a second beer I decided I needed to take a walk. Tom joined me. We toured the camp to see which were the best sites. We were looking for sites that could support a largish number of tents and that didn’t butt directly against adjacent sites. I think site 83 was our choice for best. Our site, number 4, may have been second best.
There was no hurry in leaving camp. I was the last guy ready – must have been the 2nd cup of coffee delay – and we were still on our way around 9:30. Todd had suggested a place in Boonville for breakfast and let the way there.
There was a minor parking related mishap: Tom decided to go GS-ing on the sidewalk to get to the parking spot. His glasses decided to fog up just then, leaving him incapable of seeing the obsticles in his off road adventure. The GS took a short nap. I was parking my bike and did not see this. Harry was busy documenting the event in pictures. Todd, nice guy that he is, helped Tom get the rubber side down where it belonged.
After breakfast we headed out to 101 and destinations south. Harry was going to meet his brother. Todd, Tom, and I stopped for fuel in Cloverdale. Next stop after Cloverdale was home. I got there a little after 1 PM. I spent some time later that afternoon unloading the bike to prepare for the ride to breakfast on Sunday. Oh boy, the Two Bird, again.