Riding a coastal route…


I can’t honestly say riding along the coast of Washington and Oregon on a Harley was ever on my bucket list, but along about March of this year it struck us as a pretty good idea. And that’s how it turned out to be, as Ellen and Reid found out last week.

———-

This was the entire reason for the trip. Cruise the coast, stopping when we saw something good - just like this scene at Ruby Beach, Washington.

This was the entire reason for the trip. Cruise the coast, stopping when we saw something good – just like this scene at Ruby Beach, Washington.

July 22, 2013
Ellen/Reid: To say it was rugged getting up this morning is a major understatement. I couldn’t believe it when the clock read 5:10. I could’ve stayed in bed for another hour, easy. It was just so hard to roll out of the sack. I waded through 243 work emails yesterday so that made the transition to the morning work a little bit easier, but not by a whole lot.
It was a good week in Washington and Oregon. We had Chamber of Commerce weather the entire ride. Sunny every single day. Our early mornings along the coast were cold and the marine layer had to burn off before we got into any real sunshine.

The leathers didn't come off much on the trip...cool for us North Carolinians, but warm by Washington and Oregon standards.

The leathers didn’t come off much on the trip…cool for us North Carolinians, but warm by Washington and Oregon standards.

The Washington coast was a little disappointing in that the two lane highway takes you close to the coast but you only see it in a few spots. Routes 16, 112 and 101 in Washington were virtually deserted of traffic. That was really surprising at the height of the tourist season but quite pleasant for us. But the best beach view, Ruby Beach, was in Washington. Maybe the visual highlight of the whole week, although I thought an expansive inland tidal basin for the oyster trade was pretty good too, in its own stark way. Oregon was totally different in that you saw much of the coast and ocean views but was considerably more crowded. Once we crossed the border bridge into Astoria, Oregon, the traffic really picked up which was a downer. So, as my cousin Tom alluded to, once you’ve seen the coast you’ve seen the coast, so we ditched the idea of biking the entire length of Oregon and went inland at Newport at Route 20 and rode to Bend to see

Our friends Sue and Rand Hammond in Bend, Oregon. If there is a more well-rounded, cooler community than Bend, please, tell me where it is.

Our friends Sue and Rand Hammond in Bend, Oregon. If there is a more well-rounded, cooler community than Bend, please, tell me where it is.

and stay with my good friends Sue and Rand. They’ve been there for about 10 years and like it very much. It is one hell of a town. Lots to do and see but I’m not sure what people do there for work since the industry is light, and

Sue said for every job posting there are 100 qualified job applicants. They continue to make a go of Thin Book Publishing. Ellen, tell Tim we rode alongside the broad and expansive Umpqua River just as anglers were trying to catch steelheads. Wish we could have dipped a line in there.

From Bend we rode Route 20 to Salem, the capitol to stay with my cousin Tom and his wife Jessica.

Jessica, a writer for Gourmet, served an incredible meal, virtually all of it local products.

Jessica, a writer for Gourmet among other noted magazines, served an incredible meal, virtually all of it local products.

They’ve got a good spot, too, near a big park and not overly far from the statehouse and such. She’s a prolific author under her own name, Jessica Maxwell, and Tom is doing pretty wellin the legal trade, having gone into private practice from working for the state. It was great to see them. They are literal world travelers. We took a fairly pedestrian path up I-5 to Portland to see my aunt Mary, and Tom’s sons Ben and Eli. They’re doing pretty well, too.

If there was ever a rugged individualist and adventurer, it's Eli Andersen. Try hand paddling the length of Vancouver Island, one of his many solo adventures.

If there was ever a rugged individualist and adventurer, it’s Tom’s son, Eli Andersen. Try hand paddling on your belly the length of Vancouver Island, one of his many solo adventures. Eli gives Felicia the scoop on the board he hand-crafted for his trip.

Eli showed us his hand crafted board he used to paddle down the west coast of Vancouver Island. We had a nice dinner at Mary’s place, then got back on the bike for another 60 miles or so just across the Columbia River into Washington. The next morning was more of the same pedestrian (I-5) route up to Seattle. We were going to make an off road pass by Mount St. Helens but the morning clouds had yet to burn off and there wasn’t much to see. And by that time anyway we were mostly fried and tired of sitting on the bike. We returned it back to the Harley dealer about 1 p.m., then headed to downtown Seattle in a rental car. I was just exhausted. The bike demands constant attention, and once you’re off it there is a noticeable letdown. I came this close to snoozing at lunch.

If the truth be told, this was each day's reward. A stop at some wayside place (this was in downtown Bend) for a cold one and just plain relaxing.

If the truth be told, this was each day’s reward. A stop at some wayside place (this was in downtown Bend) for a cold one and just plain relaxing.

We found some fleabag no-tell/motel near the airport and called it a night until the time for our flight home.

I suppose it’s always good to get home, and in truth that was just about enough Harley riding for me for awhile. 1,472 miles doesn’t sound like a lot but it was plenty of road time at this stage of the game. The oath was not to overly push it, and other than the first day we lived up to that. There wasn’t a lot of angst turning in the keys. Hey, next summer it’s hiking in Wyoming.
Love, dad
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4 Comments

Filed under Writing to adult children

4 responses to “Riding a coastal route…

  1. mort

    1400 miles… very respectable.

  2. Laurie Taylor

    I plan to be at Newport Beach at the end of Sept. Kent Roberts, BHS ’68, is my step-brother and has a condo on the beach. Can not wait!

    • Laurie: Route 101 north of town is fabulous. We didn’t get as far south of Newport as we intended (we wanted to ride to Florence but couldn’t quite make it. Newport is a fun spot.

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