Friday, April 27, 2012

Bend to Bellingham (Portland and Olympic peninsula too)

(4.19.2012) 193 Miles in the rain
Day 16 I think. After 3 days Snowboarding in Bend it was time to hit the road again. I decided to take route 126 into Eugene for a change in scenery. Even though it was cold and rainy, I still found beauty in the ride. By the time I got to Florence I was chilled to the core and pulled into the first hotel with a hot tub. Pizza and beer for dinner after soaking for an hour.

(4.20.2012) 255 Miles. Wet in the morning. Sun in the afternoon.
I had leftover pizza for breakfast from the night before and was on the road headed north by 10:00. The Oregon coast has some rugged areas, dunes. and nice beaches. It is one of the only places you will see pine trees growing in dune sand (I think). Lunch was fish Tacos in Pacific City. Hwy 101 splits away from the coast from Pacific City to Tillamook and I figured the windy 2 lane would be more scenic. I think I was right. At Cannon Beach I took hwy 26 into Portland to meet up with my old friend (bartender) from Bozeman. Later that night I went to a going away party for my friend Tara who has just quit her job to backpack in Asia for a year. Check out her blog --->

Fish Tacos @ Fat Freddy's in Pacific Beach, OR.
My Favorite Bartender from Bozeman. She let me crash at her house all weekend. Thanks Jacquelyn   
(4.21.2012) Hungover in Portland
Nothing productive on Saturday. I did meet up with Hans Tofte and we had a beer in "The Vern". It used to be the Tavern but "Ta" on the neon sign was out for who knows how long so people call it the Vern.

The "Vern"
(2.22.2012) 250 Miles. SUN!

I left Portland on Sunday morning after some steak and eggs at the Acropolis. The road to the coast was crowded with weekend warriors from Portland trying to soak up the sun. Once I got into Washington the traffic went away and the smooth blacktop unfolded in front of me. I met some guys on BMWs who suggested I camp at lake Quinault. None of the campgrounds at lake Quinault were open. After a 20 mile ride on fire roads along the River that feeds the lake I found a campground. A couple from Seattle was car camping there but there was no one else around for miles.

(2.23.2012) 238 Miles
I made myself stop at every waterfall I missed on the way in the night before. I am discovering how fun a good camera is. Slowing the shutter speed way down makes the water look almost like smoke. I had to ride into Olympia to visit the Girbing's heated clothing warehouse so most of my day was a boring ride. North of Aberdeen, WA, 101 splits away from the coast. 109 is a 2 lane black top that hugs the coast and ends abruptly in Toholah in the Quinault Indian Reservation. The GPS and Google showed dirt roads connecting to 101 so I thought I would give it a shot. I made it until I was 5 miles from 101 and there were some signs that said "Quinault Tribe members only" so it would be best to turn around. Back tracked to Pacific beach to camp the night in a very windy spot. Still a great view though.

(2.24.2012) 214 Miles to Bjorn's house in the rain.
Woke up to rain. Had to pack the tent away wet. It kept me dry though. Headed north to Moclips then took the "Moclips HWY" to 101. I figured it was better to stay on paved roads when I was traveling through the reservation. And it was raining so I knew it was going to be a long day to get to Nordland near Port Townsend. I got to stop in to the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building to see some of the boats that Bjorn has worked on. The craftsmanship and effort that went into these is just incredible. Steak, Clamstrips and salad at the Valley Tavern made our bellies happy. 

(2.25.2012) Drying out at Bjorns house. The highlight of my day was a burger at the Valley Tavern in Nordland. It was pretty epic. 
The Burger at the Valley Tavern in Nordland. 
Messing around with long exposure in the car

(2.26.2012) 157 Miles in Rain, Sun, and the Citiots of Seattle
Before I can head into Canada, the KTM needs an oil change and service. Normally this isn't a big deal for me but with no shop... It becomes a hassle. I posted on ADVrider and within a half hour a guy my age from Marysville Washington offered me his garage and couch for the night. Brad is a construction management major and has very similar interests to me. He has a KTM 690 (since 08 the first one in WA), KTM 950 ADV, Yamaha YZ and a Artic Cat M7. His garage looked a like my toyhauler used to. By midnight we had my bike ready for the next big leg up to AK. Thanks again Brad!
The Man and his shop

Looking at error codes

Checking the Valve Clearance. (They were within spec)

(2.27.12) 130 Miles 
I called Capita and they said to stop by their shop in Seattle. Back to the belly of the beast. After some discussions, they decided to hook me up with a board to replace the one I broke a week ago. This speaks a lot for the character of that company. They could have easily told me to go pound sand but they are cooler then that. Thanks Capita. You guys have a loyal customer for a while. Made it up to Bellingham while it was still light out. Riding Baker in the morning with Bjorn. STOKED.
New Capita... Straight out the 80s!

KTM.... The true SUV