Sunday, October 5, 2008

Adv #7: A Ride down the West Coast...and Beyond

My buddy Clayton Purvis (fellow Suntrek trainee) mentioned once that he had ridden all of the Pacific Coast Highway on his motorcycle. Well, I finally had a week off of work last week, so I figured I'd start working on a similar journey (it just sounded good.) But instead of just doing PCH, or Highway 1, why not drive all the way to the top of the west coast in Washington?

I started Saturday, September 27th after a few days of visiting here in Napa/Sonoma Wine Country with my brother, his wife, and her mom. Leaving Petaluma, CA, I made the 2-day drive up to the furthest northwest point on US Hwy 101, near La Push or Rialto Beach, Washington. Took a left, and started driving down. Here's a couple of things I saw along the way and some of the people I met who might become a long part of this story I'm writing.

Okay, first get into the state of Washington.

And there's the start of the 101, which runs north through a loop in Washington's northwest corner, and runs down thru Oregon to eventually meet up with the Pacific Coast Highway, (California 1.)

Hustled to make it to see the sunset at Rialto Beach. Let's just say I was very close to being on time....

There's my travel companion....watching guard over our campsite that night.

I thought this was a neat picture at Rialto Beach the next morning with the burl wood in the foreground.

Recognize this house? Now I'm all the way down in Astoria, Oregon. And yes....that is the house that "The Goonies" lived in from that famous movie in the 80's. Why is my shirt up? was a subtle attempt at doing the "Truffle Shuffle" as "Chunk" was forced to do in the movie. Google it or find it on YouTube. What a great scene if you don't remember. (And yes, there were plenty of other tourists there checking this house out! I think the same house was also used in "Kindergarten Cop" and a few other movies.)

So further down the coast in Port Orford, Oregon, I ran into Peter Fischer from Germany. This is where my story gets a little more interesting......

Peter is an Adventure Riding Instructor working for BMW Motorrad (Motorcycles) out of Germany. When I took this picture, he had just finished riding for 40 days along the TransAmerica Trail. That trail is 95% off-road, starts in eastern Tennessee, and ends in Oregon. He had ridden most of it by himself, so Peter was quite happy to see another Adventure rider in the area. We ended up grabbing dinner and splitting a camp spot for the next two nights. Not to get too far ahead of things here.....but I can't tell you how excited I was to learn from him that jobs & careers like his exist. Aside from being a good guy to hang out with, he's helped me generate some neat ideas about my plans for the future.

So there's a quick shot of our motorcycles in front of our camping spot at Cape Blanco State Park, just north of Port Orford, Oregon.

And it just wouldn't be right for a couple of Adventure Riders to get together and not go for a ride, right? The next day, we headed down to the beach, despite the fact that sand/water/motorcycles don't really mix together well.

We thought it was so cool that we could dig our wheels in a bit and stand our bikes up in the sand without any side-stand or center stand being used! Oh....this was a mistake....

Peter really wanted to make sure his bike would stand up by itself....

And then when we're starting to show off how cool it is to have his bike buried, and my bike standing on it's own.....I was juggling two cameras and forgot to notice the inbound tide and wave rolling in (see next pic.)

And here's the mistake I was talking about. Didn't notice that the wave had knocked my bike down! So sure enough, we spent about 3 hours taking my bike apart to get the water out. Mostly laughing....but also dealing with the uncertainty of how to get it running again. Must have gotten into the intake system somewhere, so we had plenty of digging to do.

In the end, after the battery had been run down enough from trying to start it, Phillip had been walking by with his wife Laurie (both from Vancouver) and they offered to tow my bike behind the van in order to bump-start it. It worked! Unfortunately I didn't get the picture of Phillip, Peter, and myself pushing 400+ pounds of motorcycle about a half-mile through the sand to get back to the van! Thanks again for the help, guys.

We all had a barbeque that night around the campfire. Here in the pic is Phillip's wife, Laurie, and Jeff who was another one of our camp-neighbors, also from Vancouver. It's so neat how many good, fun people I've been meeting in this lifestyle and career I'm living.
And wouldn't you know it: I made a huge mistake accidentally bumping the heated-grips switch on my bike and accidentally depleting the battery all night long. So thank you Jeff for sleeping late, and still being available for a quick tow (about 6 laps) around the campground so I could drag-start my bike again! What a silly little mistake....killed the battery completely.

OKAY.....this story is not over. Gotta take a week for one more Suntrek trip, and then this journey will continue. The biggest news is: Peter and I both have open schedules after mid-October, so we're talking about riding to Argentina together. He has work lined up with the Dakar Rally (formerly from Paris to Dakar, but now beginning and ending in Buenos Aires) and needs to get to Argentina by late December. I've been planning on working/living internationally after Suntrek, so this might be the sign I follow for now. We're setting up plans day by day's 99% sure we're going at this point, and I can't tell you how excited I am about this.....

No comments:

Post a Comment