2011 West Coast Rally "Rally in the Redwoods"
When: August 23-25, 2011
Rally Headquarters: Curly Redwood Lodge
Rally Leader: Kris "Netnorske" Olsen
Rally Leader: Joel "Waterman" Schneekloth
Rally Co Leader: Greg "Schoeney" Schoenkopf
Written by Kris "Netnorske" Olsen
First, I want to extend a big thanks to Joel "Waterman" Schneekloth for all of his help in putting together a great rally.
I could not have done it alone...and he had a big hand in our success at every level. I also wish to thank both of our wives for all of their behind the scenes help with all of the little things...BIG HELP. Lastly, thank you to Teri Conrad for attending the rally and making ROK's presence felt.
To those who took the time out of their busy schedules to ride the many miles it took to attend....well...what can I say. It is because of people like you that being involved with KawaNOW is such a great experience. You could just feel the excitement of another great week ahead as everyone rolled into the Curly Redwood Lodge in Crescent City on Monday evening.
Tuesday saw us roll down the coast through some morning fog to the Avenue of the Giants, led by NW ARL Greg Schoenkopf.
That ride is an amazing experience as you roll past ancient Redwood trees on both sides of you. Words can't do it justice...and probably most pictures can't either. Bucket list stuff for sure! Lunch at the Eel River Brewing Co. was delicious as we sat in a shaded garden setting and dined on such things as my Dungeness Crab Sandwich....mmmmmmmmm.... ! I think everyone who made the trek enjoyed that pit stop.
Wednesday saw a lot of rally-goers doing their own thing, with a small group of about six bikes led by Brad "Blowndodge" Langley riding up the southern Oregon coast to Coos Bay and back, taking in some of the great coastal scenery along the way.
Thursday was a special day as I led a large group on a long loop that included an 82 mile stretch from Willow Creek to Happy Camp along the Klamath River with no stop signs or signals the entire run up Hwy 96. It was the best riding of the week in my opinion, but the last leg from Happy Camp back toward Crescent City led us unexpectedly over a long stretch of fresh chip seal. No warning signs or anything....on a twisty downhill snake of a road. That really sucked and we had no idea that was awaiting us, but we all survived.
We ended the evening at the Elk Valley Casino for a great buffet dinner and a fantastic fundraiser for Del Norte Little League of Crescent City. We handed over an envelope containing $715.00 to treasurer Mitch Jones. You could see the stunned look in their eyes when we announced the total amount we raised. In a small town like that, money in that amount can make a huge difference for the kids of that league. My hat is off to all those KawaNOW members who donated their hard earned cash for such a worthy cause.
It was a proud moment for sure. It was largely because of our awesome vendors who supported and sponsored us that we had such great stuff to raffle off. There were many indeed who will be hearing from me soon....but to fellow members Chuckster and xncrman....a special thanks for sure!
The rally was not without some misfortune. Sin City Stan and his wife went down on their way to the rally, and Badger went down while riding solo taking a corner on Hwy 101 little too fast. All walked away but it does not look good for the bikes. It makes us realize how careful and focused we must remain at all times. My heart goes out to all of them for their pain and loss, but I am thankful they will live to see another rally.
The Curly Redwood Lodge was like a blast from the past...both in a good and not-so-good way. Good in a sense that it was an old-school place with vintage architecture and some incredible woodwork. Not-so-good in the sense that EVERYTHING was old...TV's, the works.
A few upgrades should be on their radar, but overall... it was a nice setting with great parking and large rooms. It was not my first choice for the rally, but at the end of the day it was fine for what we needed.
One downside was that there was simply no good place to gather in the evenings, no patio or firepit to sit around, so the parking lot in front of my room had to do for our evening partying. I did enjoy several of BD's cigars, but was not impessed enough with my mystery Anejo Tequila to bring it out for an encore after trying it the first evening. Next time I will bring a proven winner instead of rolling the dice as I did.
Personally, the ride with the group both up and down the Oregon coast enroute to the rally was a great experience. Tricia and I enjoyed everyone's company who rode along and thank all of you for doing so. It was great to see old friends and make some new ones at the rally.
Many thanks to all who attended....I hope you enjoyed your trip and the Rally in the Redwoods.
For more pictures of the rally click here.
- - - Rally Videos - - -
On the Way to the Rally
Redwoods Rally Video
Avenue of the Giants Ride