Weaverville 2012

Red Hill Motel

The new ‘sign’ welcomes you to the Red Hill Motel

Weaverville 2012 – Puttin’ on the Dog

This year’s SabMag West fall event was held in the Trinity Alps region of northern California with a home base at the Red Hill Motel & Cabins in Weaverville. We had daytime weather that was pretty well ideal, with highs in the high 70’s to low 80’s. It was a tad cool at night, falling into the low 40’s by the time the sun came up. Doe had anticipated things well, and I was riding Simba with her voluminous carrying capacity and so had plenty of room for a small coffee maker and many days of Starbucks ground coffee to help me get going on those cold mornings.

Here’s Simba on our ride up on Thursday morning:

Simba Dunnigan

Simba and I took a short break at the Dunnigan Rest Stop north of Sacramento

I had an uneventful ride from Pioneer to Weaverville, Simba purring along as we devoured the 290-ish miles of our chosen route. There’s quite a lot of road construction in NorCal, perhaps ‘getting things done’ prior to the upcoming election, perhaps using up the allotted highway funds? Who knows; but it does impact the time required to travel from point A to point B. In particular the section of Hwy 299 between Redding and Weaverville had a lengthy segment with one-way traffic control, so we sat for fifteen minutes before moving at a snail’s pace through the construction zone. It sucked.

Arriving at the Red Hill at about 2:30, I found Doug C. already unpacked and relaxing after his much longer ride down from northwest Oregon. Doug offered to make a beverage run while I unpacked, so we did that. His Givi top box proved able to contain not just the case of beer; but the ice to keep it cold:

Givi Beer

Doug was proud of the capacity his Givi top box offered.

Don had also arrived in his Miata, and the three of us kicked back to ponder the fate of the world and await the arrival of other attendees. We were expecting Dennis and Harry during the evening. After a few beers the three of us headed down to the Mexican cafe for dinner, enjoying a hearty south-of-the-border meal when we got a call from Harry. He and Dennis had arrived at the Red Hill – Weaverville 2012 was on!

We headed back to greet Harry and Dennis, who promptly left us to get dinner themselves. After they returned we sat around telling lies and wondering who might be arriving later.

Red Hill Twilight 1

Quiet in the darkness at Red Hill – the deer are out there!

Friday would be a ‘chill’ day, as we’d all ridden or driven hundreds of miles to get there, and the five of us headed down to the Garden Cafe’ for a marvelous home-style breakfast of various selections. Then we hung out at Red Hill, kicking tires, telling lies, and generally enjoying the company of fellow Maggots as we enjoyed the wonderful fall weather. Dennis was having trouble with the power outlet for his GPS, so we all contributed to solving the problem.


Dennis watches as Don checks the plug out

After a few trips to the local autoparts store it got done, and we returned to sitting around. Here’s the FJR Trio hanging by their duplex.

FJR Trio

Dennis, Don and Harry hang out with their bikes.

As we sat talking a few ladies walked by with their interesting looking dogs. I don’t recall the breed; but they’re related to Afghans somehow. Pretty dogs; but kinda gawky looking. 🙂

Ladies & Dogs

These ladies were out walking their dogs

Later in the afternoon came the arrival of Gary, Dave and Raquel, and – nursing a BMW with a sick final drive – Brian.

Gary Magna

Gary’s V65 Magna after his arrival.

Dave Q

Dave Q chillin’ after a long ride.


Dave’s friend Raquel, sitting next to Doug


Brian’s BMW with the sick final drive (beyond Simba)

This event was evolving to be about motorcycle repair and maintenance. Gary’s Magna was popping and running on 3 1/2 cylinders, Brian’s Beemer had some kind of issue in its final drive that made it scary to ride; but didn’t seem to be catastrophic (at least not yet). It was pointed out that the rear tire on Sancha – Dave’s ST1100 – was showing cord in the center. Whoa. And there would be more!

Magna Check

Dennis looks the Magna over while Gary watches

Worn tire

Sancha’s rear tire was showing the shiny steel cords in the middle – not good

Several of us had a look at the BMW. Not a good prognosis; but it didn’t seem likely that it would come apart. Brian would depart early the next morning to head home, his route going near a few BMW dealers – just in case. He had a replacement final drive unit at home if only he could get the bike there in one piece. Dave would head into Redding to have a new tire installed in the morning. Gary would live with the way the Magna was running for now.

Saturday dawned clear and very cool, almost cold, with the air temperature in the low 40’s until the sun was well and truly up. Brian had departed before that, and Dave was on the road by about 7:30 as well. Gene and Louie the Wonder Dog had arrived some time during the night on ‘Brutus’ – his clean V65 Sabre – and were sharing Gary’s room.


Gene’s V65 Sabre

Gene and Louie

Louie the Wonder Dog waits patiently for his morning chow

The rest of us again walked down to the Garden Cafe’ for breakfast. I teased Raquel that she was eating dessert for breakfast:

Dessert for Breakfast

Between the hot cocoa with whipped cream and this, yep – Dessert!

The Quilt Faire was in town, and Main Street was lined with lovely quilts, some for sale while others were family heirlooms on display.

Quilts 1

Downtown Weaverville was lined with quilts!

Quilts 2

More quilts than you could count!

Doug, having just become a grandpa for the fourth time, took proper advantage and picked up a quilt for Aubrey, the new granddaughter.

Baby Quilt

Doug’s newest family member gets a souvenir from Weaverville…

Back at the Red Hill, we all decided to go for a ride. After gearing up, we headed up Hwy 3 to Trinity Center (there will be video coming!). Here we are taking a short break after a leisurely ride up the hill past Trinity Lake.

Maggots rest at Trinity Center

Maggots rest at Trinity Center

We got back expecting Dave to have returned with his new tire; but alas he wasn’t there. Harry, Dennis, Gene, Raquel and Gary decided to head out for another ride in a different direction while Don, Doug and I hung back at the Red Hill for a relaxing afternoon.

Racq Ninja

Raquel heads out on her 500 Ninja ‘Jade’

Dave subsequently returned, having passed the group headed the other direction down Hwy 3 toward Hayfork. He’d done a bit of exploring and brought back some special wine, which he would share with Raquel, Don and I on Sunday evening. After a relaxing chat we all retired to our respective rooms for a short nap while we awaited the return of the wanderers.

They returned and all except for Gene walked down to the Red Dragon for a very filling and delicious Chinese dinner, bringing back leftovers for which Gene was very grateful (as was Louie!). Most of us were toast and retired pretty early. Sunday would mean departure for many, and sleep was a valuable commodity.

As Saturday had, Sunday dawned clear and cold. Doug had taken a better look at the rear tire on his FJR and discovered that it, too, was essentially bald. He made contact with home and departed somewhat abruptly. His wife and son would be loading up a spare mounted wheel and heading south while Doug rode north. As Brian had the previous day, Doug made it home safely.

After another delicious breakfast at the Garden Cafe, the remaining attendees mingled and shot the breeze while departees did their thing.

Louie Waits

Louie the Wonderdog, geared up and patiently waiting for Gene

Maggots Chill

Gary, Dave and Raquel

Harry and Dennis departed, with a 450 mile journey ahead of them. Gene and Louie were next, with Louie snuggled in the makeshift sling Gene had put together to hold the sweet little guy secure on the bike. That left Gary, Don, Raquel, Dave and I to chat a while before Gary headed home.

Raquel had asked that I ride her Ninja to see if I heard a ‘tapping noise’ she was concerned about, so I put on my gear and took ‘Jade’ for a spin. When I returned I suggested that the ‘tapping noise’ was actually somewhat distressing, and we needed to look into it. A short while later we’d determined that the chain had a ‘hard spot’ in it, and that spot was making the noise when it rounded the small-diameter front drive sprocket – which is why the noise went away when the chain was ‘unloaded’ by pulling in the clutch. It was obvious when we checked the slack at multiple locations and found an almost 2:1 discrepancy. I recommended she get some penetrating oil to get home safely, then replace the chain and sprockets.

As they had been all weekend, the deer were hanging out close by.

Red Hill Deer

at least they weren’t out on the road!

Then she and Dave headed out to check out nearby Lewiston while Don and I held down the fort at the Red Hill. When they returned they brought dinner in the form of some delicious fried chicken (not KFC), potato salad, chips with salsa, fresh apples, and SnickerDoodles for dessert. Dinner was, as promised, served with a very special vintage Cabernet for which the grapes had been harvested immediately after a major forest fire in the area in 2008. Nothing on the label suggest this ‘smokey’ flavor in the wine; but it was there and it was delicious!

Smokey Cabernet

This was superb wine, with a smokey flavor that came from a forest fire!

It was an early evening, with Don, Dave and Raquel having longish journeys ahead of them and planned early departures. I sat on the porch outside my room, finished a good beer, and watched another twilight scene at the Red Hill.

Red Hill Twilight 2

Exceedingly peaceful!

I was awakened when Don fired up the Miata at 6:30, and heard Dave and Raquel start their bikes a short while later. I made my morning coffee, had my juice and meds, and packed things up for my trip home. Simba and I would be the last ones out of Weaverville.

Simba waits

Simba, all alone and waiting to be loaded up for the return home

It had been another great event, even with the bike issues. It was good to see Don, Doug, Harry, Dennis, Gary, Dave and Raquel again. And it was particularly good to meet Gene and the real ‘man-of-the-hour’, Louie the Wonder Dog. Here’s to you Louie, for everything you do for Gene.

Louie the Wonder Dog

Louie, you ROCK!


  1. Looking very nice and familar (?) :-)Irene & fred

  2. Looks like a good time… Was Bill Warner there? Anyone heard from him lately?

  1. Pingback: So here we are… « foothillryder

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