By Kc Robinson. Photos by Kc Robinson & Robert Moody
Every biker knows the journey is as much a part of the experience as the destination. While traveling to Redwood Harley-Davidson (RHD) in Eureka, California, you may be lucky enough to come through the Mendocino Coast. Riding the coast on our way to the Redwood Run annually for over two decades, I can share with you some iconic and some of my favorite places along the way.
Nature serves up a bounty, riding Highway 1, with countless opportunities for ocean waves and redwood trees to fill your free spirit with awe! Get off your Hog and stretch frequently to take in the still quiet of the forest floor lavished with the green of ferns, looking up as high as you can see to the majestic canopy of redwood trees. Crashing of ocean waves, watching migration of whales and glorious sunsets are sights to be remembered for a lifetime. This is one reason why spending the night on the Mendocino Coast is worth consideration.
Many places offer an ocean view, such as the Beachcomber Motel in Ft. Bragg, a personal favorite because of the ocean view, easy coastal walk and nice rooms. We have enjoyed the Harbor Lite Lodge with its great view of the Noyo Harbor and delicious dining at Silver’s at the Wharf on the Noyo Harbor. We also enjoyed relaxing our riding muscles in the in-room hot tub of Beach House Inn. We are working our way through the list of places we would like to stay including the Stanford Inn, an Eco Resort which offers award winning dining and opportunity to have a massage in the forest. Picking up a copy of the Mendocino Travelers Guide will help you make your own list of places you must see.
Souvenir shopping is part of road trips for many, although Redwood H-D has an abundance of Harley gifts, on your way through Mendocino stop into the unique store Out of this World. They have the largest variety of telescopes in Northern California for stargazing and of binoculars for viewing the wide array of bird and wildlife such as whale watching in this unique area. Bring your Hog and new binoculars to the historic Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse for a great place to view the whale migration. It is time well spent.
Historic Ft. Bragg has many places to enjoy a walk and stretch along your ride. The Depot Mall & Museum on Main Street is a good place to catch a bite at Laurel Deli and then pick up something that sparkles at Lunar Tide or any of the other artful shops in the Mall like Pacific Glassworks. See historic train engines in the Mall too. From here you are not far from the famous Glass Beach. Down the road in Westport, stop into the hospitable historic Westport Hotel for a drink or dinner.
Riding up the Coast on Highway 1 becomes a forest drive until it converges with Highway 101 at the town of Leggett. This is where you will see signs to the iconic “Drive-Thru Tree.” On up Highway 101 you will be tempted to ride through the Avenue of the Giants, it is an amazing ride.
A side trip to Ferndale, the most western coastal point in the contiguous United States and home of the Kinetic Races founded by metal sculptor and artist Hobart Brown make this coastal town legendary.
Redwood H-D where they answer their calls with “Milwaukee Power,” was truly the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow Saturday, March 24, 2018 for their HOGS & HOTRODS monthly event.
Spring had decided to lavish Northern California in rain, sleet and a snowstorm and yet this did not dampen the spirits of this happy flexible group. That is certainly “how they roll” here at this Harley dealer. Sales Manager Brian Widmar, also known as “Teddy Bear,” explains, community is important to this Harley-Davidson store. Happy community is the feeling that permeates this beautiful store as you walk in the door. We were greeted by the friendly cheerful handshake of Cheryl Gatson welcoming us to this Redwood Harley-Davidson ‘indoor party.’ Rockin’ this party was a band called Doug Fir and the 2×4’s. Father-Son duos bringing rock fan favorites to life while guests shopped and enjoyed delicious pepperoni pizza and beverages.
Johnathan Ulmer, Sales Consultant, shows RHD flexibility to help you into a Harley with his kind warm smile and RHD’s motto, “If it has a VIN we will trade it in.” Johnathan stated that, “We want people to come here for a smile, play, enjoy buying a new toy and have a good time.”
“If it has a VIN, we will trade it in,” was repeated by the Operations Director Brandon Reich. Brandon sets the tone for the friendly personality at this RHD location. Brandon encourages all would-be Harley buyers who want a great deal, “Now is the best time! Get your new Harley while it is raining. We will give you top dollar on a trade-in, once the sun comes out full time so do riders and Harley customers. “
Teddy Bear says, “You must have top notch people to go with a top notch product.” He continues, “Our Bar and Shield, the sign you see representing our logo, represents families and community to us.” The Teddy Bear moniker fits this happy friendly sales manager perfectly, as you will see when you visit RHD. Teddy Bear, invites, “Come on in. We will make you a Bear of a Deal. You will get a Teddy Bear when you buy a Harley.” (Yes, you actually receive an approximately 18-inch stuffed teddy bear! And Teddy Bear himself is a bit of a celebrity on their Facebook page. We frequently feature his videos on our page because they’re funny as heck.) You will also be in good hands with Finance Manager, Ryan Ostermann.
During our visit, Teddy Bear spoke of community projects he and RHD are involved in that show a commitment of backing up their investment in community that goes deeper than words or a sale. One of these community events, in addition to HOGS & HOTRODS, is their Saturday rides. “We have a group ride on Saturdays. Come in at 10 am, we talk about where the group wants to ride, then we go!”
And also in the works is the First Annual Teddy Bear Ride! Teddy Bear will head up this ride with the 4’ tall resident stuffed teddy bear from the dealership riding passenger behind him. The ride will head to a local hospital where participants will drop off their donated stuffed “comfort” teddy bears for the children who are undergoing treatment there or transport to higher level care facilities. Riders’ monetary donations will also be included with Redwood H-D’s contribution in a check presentation to the hospital for any needed equipment and supplies. To be a part of this wonderful effort, check redwoodharley.com as well as quickthrottle.com and Facebook for the date to be announced and how to join in while enjoying the rich natural beauty all around you in this area!
Brandon Pattillo in Sales says of RHD, “We are in this unique location in the Northern California coastal region where the redwoods meet the ocean, and many of the people who come to our store are traveling from out of the area.” Outstanding to this location, many people employed at RHD came from a distance to work here. RHD is under new management since May of 2017 and has attracted their quality employees from all over.
Brandon himself says he came from Yuba City to work here. Cheryl Gatson says she came from Ft. Bragg. It is obvious they enjoy being at RHD.
Now for the Harleys themselves, wow what a showroom full of exhilaration! Customers were in to sit on the Harley of their dreams. “All Free Spirits are Welcome to Take a Test Ride,” states H-D.Com/TESTRIDE for more information. Custom heritage of the past has met the technology of the future in the 2018 Harley line up. Wide white walls with classic ‘Indian’-style fenders, was a favorite of mine. Riding a Harley is about the feeling of freedom throwing your leg over a Hog and hitting the road. Now with the advanced technology of frames and power of the engines, riding has become more comfortable for those long rides, while maintaining the glory of the past.
In the one hundred and fifteen years of Harley-Davidson history, 2018 launches one of the biggest new product lines ever, of eight new Softails. Whatever your tastes from a Sportster, Street, Touring, CVO or Trike come see the 115th Anniversary releases and choose the one that fits your ‘free-spirit.’ Redwood Harley-Davidson has a complete showroom including accessories to fit the occasion.
Making your way to Redwood Harley could compile an entire vacation because of the extraordinary beauty along the way. Check out www.redwoodharley.com/learn-more-about-our-beautiuful-area–visitor-info for RHD’s recommendations of places to ride to in the area.
“Eureka!” Rainbow’s End destination achieved: in Eureka, California, that is. Find your golden opportunity to make your riding wishes come true at Redwood Harley-Davidson! Tell them Quick Throttle sent you!