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Old 04-27-2012, 03:08 PM   #11
skierd OP
Wannabe Far-Rider
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Oddometer: 2,890
Tuesday March 27. Another no picture day because it was another day of all rain all day.

I kept following the 101 until I just couldn't take the slow traffic, dumb drivers (no wonder they don't let y'all pump your own gas), and shitty weather anymore, eventually punted around Lincoln City and made my inland to I-5. Burned up through Portland, which looked more like Pittsburgh or some other mid-sized Appalachian city than anything I've seen for a couple thousand miles, then jumped on US 30 North to stay off the freeway for a while and hoping for something more scenic, and crossed into Washington at Longview, where I got gas to avoid dealing with another Oregon pump jockey. Not much to say after this, I simply burned up the 5 to get to seattle as quickly as possible. A quick stop for gas in Centralia and to contact Clif, my host for the next couple days, to let him know I was close. Nothing like hitting a strange city in the tail end of rush hour in the rain, but I was absolutely amazed at the number of riders out and the way traffic seemed to flow relatively well and consciously of the motorbikes. I guess if you don't ride in the rain you don't ride up here...

Made it to Clif's in time for dinner and spent most of the rest of the evening drying out, getting cleaned up, and planning the next day's moto-tour of Seattle.

Wednesday March 28

One of my favorite things to do when out on the road, I think I've mentioned, is stopping by a town's motorcycle dealerships to see what there is to see and fortunately Seattle is blessed with some of the best. I should have taken more pictures, but... hindsight and all that. I almost have to come back through this way if I leave Alaska so maybe I'll do it then.

First up, the biggie... Touratech USA. They were interested enough to put me on their facebook page under "Parked out front"



I've bitched as much as anyone at the cost of Touratech farkles and basically had written them off as overpriced toys of the rich and overly gear obsessed... but goddamn this is a honest to goodness motorcycle shop run by guys who ride, love to ride, and love making great quality gear and garb for riders. Its one of the only places in the USA where you could literally ride up with a stock bike and money (lots of money) and outfit yourself for a round-the-world trip in one visit.

Second stop was the other end of the ADV spectrum, AltRider.

http://www.altrider.com/

They focus on the non-german ADV type bikes (and the germans too, of course) and are kinda like the scappy, grassroots cousin of Touratech. Definitely more of a hooligan atmosphere here.

Had a long stop at Moto International, one of the best Moto Guzzi dealerships in the nation.

http://www.motointernational.com/

Had a long talk with Dave Richardson about what's likely to be my new bike this fall, the V7 Classic, bike and Guzzi's in general, then had pizza at the pizza place across the street. The sun came out finally and the city felt like it suddenly came alive with it.

Next stop was Ride West BMW http://www.ridewest.com/ . As I walked in the door, I heard two of the guys behind the counter go "Holy shit, an Ellicott City Motorsports sticker!" Turns out both of them were originally from Maryland, used to work at Bob's BMW (my local BMW shop) and were very familiar with the trials and tribulations of local dealerships back home. More looking at bikes and gear I can't afford, then a quick stop at Ride powersports, before calling it an evening and riding home under overcast skies. Spent most of the night bullshitting with Clif again and playing with the dogs, keeping everyone up past their bed times.

Thursday March 29

My last full day in the lower 48. A nothing day really, Clif's wife let me borrow the car to stay dry while I ran some errands (books and food for the boat trip mainly). Later in the day I dropped in to the Eastside Riders MAG (Meet and greet) at Celtic Bayou for beer and food.



Friday March 30. End of the line, and new beginnings...

Got a late-ish start leaving Clif's house, but no worries at all since Bellingham was less than 2 hours away and I didn't have to check in until 3pm. A quick run up some back roads and some time on the 5 and before I knew it...



I had just enough time to get some food and buy some tie-down straps before it was time to board. Of course waiting in line it started raining but fortunately they let me on early to get out of the rain.

Off with my duffel, strapped and locked my helmet and 'stich to the bike, grabbed my camera, and headed up to the Solarium to claim a deck chair as my camp site for the next couple days...





Bon Voyage!

__________________
"We wish your trail a long one" - Darlene "Sid" Dowd ~ Never run out of traction, ideas, and real estate at the same time.
2008 Yamaha WR250X
Eastern TAT 8/2009 ~MD-Key West-Oklahoma 4/2011~Maryland to Alaska 3/2012

skierd screwed with this post 04-27-2012 at 03:31 PM
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