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Old 08-28-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
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Hurricane Ridge Brainstorm

Ok, It’s just before lunch time Friday afternoon. The weather’s supposed to be hot this weekend and I’ve invited a new lady friend out for an afternoon on the Seattle waterfront. Over the course of the last week or two she hasn’t been very responsive.

I reach the tipping point and its like, okay, this may be last chance for me to go on a warm summer bike camping trip this year and you haven’t bothered to shoot me a text?

I still have my supplies on hand and halfway packed after coming home from Cali the weekend before last. I start to think about it and realize it really wouldn’t take long to gather everything together, load it on the bike and go.

I start to hatch a plan. I want to go to Hurricane Ridge near Port Angeles Wa and camp out. I need to go to lunch and think about this. There is a place called Smarty Pants just north of the airport I’ve been wanting to try - It has a motorcycle flair - just the kind of place to convince me to do what I’ve already decided to do.

They’re semi-famous for the sandwiches they serve here in what’s left of the industrial center of Seattle.

The place seems like a bit of a dive at first glance, okay a major dive, but they have their sandwich mojo on.
The service is brisk and reasonably friendly for an inner city joint. I leave a good tip - I plan to return.

This joint is a classic example of a working man’s hidden gem. I order the Gringo, no mayo, iced tea please – fantastic. The sandwich shows up with coleslaw and I'm thinking there is no way I can finish it all. I'm not even sure where to start, but I dig in. The bread is perfect and it's stuffed full of goodness. The sandwich kicks my tail. I cry "uncle" and end up finishing the meat and leaving the last of the bun, along with half the coleslaw and the last bite of kosher pickle.

All the while, I’m planning things out, sitting in the outside patio with the city sounds all around, rock & roll on the speakers, and a freeway onramp and airport flight path directly overhead. I need to skip out a little early, I’ll make up the hours. If I really jam when I get home I can be on the freeway by 5. No call, no text, I’m on my way. I get hung up a little with my lead at the end of the day. Dang, I hate it when work gets in the way of play! I hit the freeway at 6.

Fantastic. Success – sort of – I could have chosen a better route.

More to come – Spending the Night in Sequim, Shooting Pool, and a Bike That Should Not Be on the Road.

Yamaha Something or Other in Front of Mugs and Jugs, Sequim WA

Hominid screwed with this post 08-29-2011 at 12:01 AM
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:51 PM   #2
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Why Did I Choose the Hood Canal Bridge?

I can be pretty stupid sometimes. I really need to learn to do a better job of listening to my inner voice.

Anyway, at least I was right about being able to get packed up quickly. I walked through the front door just after 5 and was pulling out of my driveway before 6. After quick stops at the ATM, the beverage store, and the petrol station I was on the freeway at 6:05. Not as early as I wanted, but still not too bad, I’m thinking. Ha!

I decide to go east on 16, then north to the Hood Canal Bridge. Big mistake.
I should have branched to the west of hood canal.
I probably could have found a campsite at Seal Rock in Brinnon.

The ride was pretty good until just a few miles before the bridge. Traffic is dead stopped. Might as well turn off the motor and get off the bike. It looks like the bridge is open since there is no traffic coming from the other direction. Sure enough, as soon as I get my helmet and gloves off to get a drink out of the trunk, the line starts moving. Argh. Okay, throw on the helmet and scoot along for about 50 feet. We’re not going anywhere, we’re just scrunching up. Well, that lasts for about 45 minutes. I seriously considered turning around, but it was too late in the day and I was already committed.

By the time I’m past the bridge and on the way to Sequim it’s already beginning to get dark. My choices are limited, campgrounds are full. I end up at a second rate motel in downtown Sequim. “$89”, the nice lady tells me.
I’m like, “oh, that was more than I was expecting”, sounding like a country rube, I’m sure.
“Well, how much were you expecting?” I mumble something about fifty dollars. “I can give you a discount of $82”
“Okay, I’ll think about it.” She looks befuddled.

Thinking maybe I can do better, I look at another place that happens to be closed (no wonder the parking lot is empty) and then find out the Quality Inn down the street is sold out. I return to the nice lady with my hat in hand.

When I get there I pull in next to a red KLR with two helmets hanging off it. They’re in the lobby when I walk in and we talk it up a bit. “you’re riding two up on a KLR?’ lol.

We talk a little more outside and go our separate ways looking for dinner. I wind up at Mugs and Jugs, a tavern just across the street from the motel. I notice this beauty parked outside as I walk in.

Can you say New Sprocket?
The place feels like an absolute dive. I’m feeling a little out of place – need to be wearing leathers to fit in here, I’m thinking. As I’m getting to the bar some guy leans into me, “hey I like your jacket! Joe Rocket is cool.”
“Well, thanks, yeah. I just wish it didn’t say Joe Rocket on the shoulder.” I like the jacket, but I think the name is dorky. Now, he’s offering to buy it from me. Umm, no thanks.

The waitress hesitates when I ask her if the kitchen is open, looks over her shoulder into the kitchen and then tells me she’ll bring me a menu. As I’m waiting I notice some guy I thought was a customer stumbling into the kitchen where he starts playing with a burger on the grill. The quirky guy seated next to me has been chuckling to himself and finally leans over to me and say’s “are you sure you want to have dinner here? He’s had at least 5 drinks that I know of.”
“you know, I was thinking the same thing.” I turn around to hit the DQ across the street. I’ll come back later for a drink.

Turns out the guy who wanted to buy my jacket is the owner of that fine Yamaha. I’m looking at this incredible piece of machinery and he’s standing off to the side talking to someone else. “Is this your bike?” It is. “And you rode it here?” I’m having a hard time believing it. J assures me he did. He’s eager to say “believe it or not, its never been crashed. It’s never been down.” The evidence seems to say different.

I have to go get my camera so I ask if it’s okay. “As long as you don’t get my face in the picture”.

Sweet Ride – It’s a 1994 Yamaha something or other. J told me what it was, but I can’t remember.

As we’re outside talking some guy on a Harley comes blasting into the parking lot. I kind of glance that way without really noticing where he’s going, but he kind of disappears. Did he park on the far side of the building? I don’t think there’s anything over there. I hear some girl squeal, “that’s the perfect parking place for it!” The guy pulled his ride right through the front door and parked it inside. And that was where it was parked when I left about an hour later. He must be a regular. He has his own handicapped parking spot.

Handicapped spot

There is not a single piece of plastic on this bike

He says the new windshield didn’t fit with the fairing - I don't see a windshield

There’s nothing you can’t fix without electrical tape, strapping material, bailing wire and a couple of brake springs.

Note the tape job on the shift linkage. J wanted to make sure I got a shot of that.

He was especially proud of the seat.

And here’s the kicker, the bike is leaning with the end of the throttle handle holding it up against a post.

J explains that the kickstand fell off a couple weeks ago. He goes on to tell me that this use to have a smaller motor, but he blew that one up. He was working as a mechanic (?) for a dealer and the guy gave him a sweet deal on this 1000. “Of course none of the plastic fits with the bigger motor so I just left it off”. It’s a safety issue, apparently. “You don’t want a piece of plastic falling off at 90 mph – that could cut someone’s head off!” Never mind the fact that there are several bolts missing that hold the motor to the frame and the tires are completely bald.

I hang out for bit to drink in the local wildlife and play a few games of pool. I remember why I don’t hang out in bars.

Time to get some sleep. I want to head to Hurricane Ridge first thing in the morning.

Next Post – Hurricane Ridge, a 200 Mile Loop and a Campfire

Hominid screwed with this post 09-02-2011 at 09:02 PM
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:07 PM   #3
just passin' through
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And this is just another reason why the PNW is the best.
What's next? More action!
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by wachs View Post
And this is just another reason why the PNW is the best.
Yup, that's some definite local flavor.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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Hair of the dog that bit me, Lloyd...
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:16 PM   #6
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Risk Tolerance

Maybe the inmate "Clapped R6" should have a look at this... But don't you stand your dirtbike up like that against trees with the throttle end of the bars? It works fine as long as nobody fools with it.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:46 PM   #7
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Smarty Pants

The Troublemaker chicken sammich is worth the trip, I don't care where ya' live.

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Huge piles of Guzzi that aren't motorcycle shaped.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nessman View Post
Smarty Pants

The Troublemaker chicken sammich is worth the trip, I don't care where ya' live.

I'll need to order that next time I stop in!
I noticed it last time
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:59 PM   #9
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Saturday Ė Find a Campsite First!

After spending the night at the lovely Sequim West Inn I have a different agenda this morning. Campsite first Ė riding later.

Riding up to Hurricane Ridge is the number one priority and the best place to do that from is Heart Oí The Hills campground in Olympic National Park. If I can sleep there tonight itís only 124 miles to run home tomorrow. I can be back home in time for lunch and chores on Sunday. Iím counting on the idea that many people are moving through the area when camping HOTH. It is no reservations, first come, first served campground.

Itís a short run to the campground, point C on the map below. Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center is point D.

Sequim to Hurricane Ridge

When I get to the entrance to the National Park I ask the ranger about camping at HOTH. He tells me they filled up pretty early last night, but there should be plenty of spots right now. The campground is just beyond the park entrance to the left. I stayed in the A loop last summer so I cruised the B, C, D, and E loops. There were some suitable spots and some not so suitable, especially in terms of privacy. I really value some visual separation when it comes to camp spots. I think I found one of the most private spots in the entire campground on the B loop, site 31.

Site 31

The first time I came through this loop I was checking out site 30, just across the road, but there was someone in 31. By the time I got done touring the other loops I came back hoping 30 was still empty. It wasnít ideal, but it would do. As I back into the spot I notice the people in 31 are gone. Hmmm. Thereís a car slowing coming up the road checking out spots. I make a snap decision and squirt over to site 31 Ė it looks better. Jumping off the bike to check it out, Iím pleased. Much better.

I have my spot paid for, tent set up and firewood purchased by 11:30. Home base established, I can go do some riding.

The run up to Hurricane Ridge has some fun curves if youíre not held up by traffic. A word of caution, though. If youíre going to make a mistake, make it to the uphill side of the road. Making a mistake to the downhill side could result in a fall of several hundred feet, or more. If youíre riding solo and nobody sees you leave the road it could be days, weeks, months, or longer before anyone finds you.

There are a few corners with gravel on the pavement. Make note of these on the way up and you can have fun on the way down.

Just keep an eye out in the stretches where the uphill rocks are looming over the road.

The Visitorís Center is at the top of the hill. If you keep going past this, there is a tight two lane road that dead ends into a parking lot at a trailhead. I head out there and what do I find? That red KLR from last night. Apparently the KLR couple are doing a day hike up here. When we talked last night I told them the two nicest things to check out while up here were the Dungeness Spit and Hurricane Ridge. I guess they took the advice to heart.

There is a 1.6 mile hike up the ridge. Iím not going to do that, but Iím thinking they might return while Iím dorking around.

Iíve been accused of liking to stop and smell the roses. Guilty as charged.

I snack on some trail mix and water, then go for a short walk to snap some photos. The flowers are in full bloom right now.

Itís really warm up here Ė a perfect summer day. I donít see the KLR couple, but itís time to move on. I head down to the Visitorís Center to scope out food possibilities and look around.

The deer up here have gotten so used to people itís not unusual to see them wandering around the info center and parking lot within just a few feet of the human's.

Most people follow the rules and casually ignore them, giving them space to do whatever they want. Attempting to feed or pet the wildlife is specifically out of bounds. There is always someone who just doesnít get it. Today it was some guy pouring out his water bottle near the edge of the patio. He was either trying to entice the deer in for a closer photo or he was ignorant enough to think the deer couldnít find adequate water on its own. Whatever the case Ė thatís a no no.

This deer is reacting to a couple of small dogs barking from inside a car in the parking lot.

The center has a gift shop, some food for sale, and rangers who answer questions and give lectures and walking tours.

I didnít notice if this guyís GS was clean or not. Iím guessing I have more bugs on my windscreen than he does.

Itís still relatively early in the day. Iím hatching a plan to run out to Seiku and Neah Bay along a really twisty route, but Iím hungry. Think Iíll head into Port Angeles for lunch and figure out the plan.

Next Post Ė 200 mile loop along the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Hominid screwed with this post 08-31-2011 at 09:37 PM
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by what broke now View Post
Maybe the inmate "Clapped R6" should have a look at this... But don't you stand your dirtbike up like that against trees with the throttle end of the bars? It works fine as long as nobody fools with it.

I've never tried it, but I'll need to add it to my bucket of techniques

I was definitely afraid to even touch his bike in case it might fall over.
Seemed to be nicely balanced, though
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:02 PM   #11
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Jeebus, I'm so gonna lead you down a bad road this weekend for taking such a long time to post a ride report. C'mon man, pick up the pace, some of us are living vicariously in hellish climates awaiting ride reports from the homefront.
Excellent, our country is now run by folks that would allow you to smoke pot in Washington State, but not buy a Big-Gulp in New York.

10 State Trip 2010
2011, $1000 in the pocket, how far can we go
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:13 PM   #12
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Saturday Afternoon - 200 Mile Loop

Okay, it was only 190 miles.

The ride downhill from Hurricane Ridge is a blast. The road is in surprisingly good shape considering the elevation Ė lots of nice smooth corners that are as challenging as you want to make them. I have a nice run down, passing a couple of slow moving cagers at the top. My only other obstacles on the way down are a couple of bicycles. The first one is challenging, just because heís oblivious. Heís using the entire road and taking my line away from me. I hang off his shoulder for a good half mile thinking he might hear me as Iím engine braking through the curves behind him. No such luck. I was trying to give him a break and didnít want to startle him by flying by too close and too quick. Well, Iím running out of patience, finally see my break, and gun it past him. He had no clue I was even back there. One really should be aware of their surroundings at all times.

I run into the red KLR one more time in Port Angeles. We spot each other as they turn into a Jack in da Box so I whip around the block to go talk to them. Swapping motorcycle talk I learn this is his first ride. I tell him about advrider, wish him well and head to lunch.

This is the route I came up with at lunch.

Port Angeles to Neah Bay via Joyce.

Highway 112 branches to the right of 101 Just west of Port Angeles and runs along the Juan De Fuca Strait. This is a popular motorcycle road and has a lot of challenging curves, some of them a little too tempting. The road is not in great shape in a lot of places, with off camber curves and corners that can sneak up on you. Caution is advised Ė keep an eye on the yellow signs and the speed postings. When they say 15 or 20 mph they mean it! Sure you can squeeze through a little faster, but Iím not talented enough to press the issue too hard. If you're impatient or overly agressive this road has the potential to slap you down quickly.

112 between Seiku and Neah Bay. The road is in even worse condition with similar twisties. It is fun in a few places. My goal is to ride out to Cape Flattery, The furthest one can drive to the northwest corner of the contiguous U.S. I plan to make it to Key West at the far SE corner some day.

You have to run through Neah Bay to get to Cape Flattery. Itís basically a fishing village, tribal town on the Makah Indian Reservation. Theyíre having a salmon festival so traffic gets routed through the residential area that sits behind the waterfront road.

The road to Cape Flattery ends in a parking lot.

I park next to a Buell and a Versys. I like the cable locks these two riders have rigged to their helmets and jackets. They have the cables running through the full face helmet and one sleeve of the jacket, then through the forks. The cable is not going to stop a determined thief with a pair of cutters, but it will discourage the casual dirt bag just taking advantage of an easy opportunity. I always worry about leaving my helmet on the bike, especially in a state with a helmet law. Not gonna get very far without running into Johnny Law.

You would think after driving all that way I would walk down to the beach. Itís only about a mile, but its steep and Iím not in the mood. Itís starting to get late and I just want to ride back to camp. Instead of taking 112 all the way I branch off and take 113 back to 101 before heading east back to Port Angeles. 113 is fun with wide open curves meant to be taken at high speed. I find a primitive camp spot along the way and file it for future reference.

Not many pictures today Ė I just felt like riding.

Stop for ice in Port Angeles and have to keep one eye on a pair of young transients that are hanging out in the parking lot and acting hinky. They keep looking over at me like theyíre looking for a mark or something. I keep my best scowl on, making it obvious that they are on my radar, while I go about filling my cooler with ice and getting squared away. Iíve been told that I can have a pretty intimidating scowl when I want. It served me well when living downtown for all those years. Iím really a nice guy, though!

Back at camp itís time for dinner and a fire.
It was a nice day of riding Ė maybe 225 miles if you include the initial run from Sequim and the uphill run to Hurricane Ridge.

Itís nice to have a campsite waiting for me when I get done for the day.

Itís dinner in a pouch tonight

The campground has an international flair to it tonight that I really wasnít expecting. As Iím futzing around with dinner and the fire I hear other languages drifting in from the sites around me, Arabic from uphill, Japanese next door, what sounds like Eastern European from site 30, across the way, and English from a bunch of kids partying up by the bathrooms. I run into some gals with accents from down under at the dish washing station.

Hominid with his Aqua Sox camp slippers.

I really like the Aqua Sox. They're great for around camp and work well in the shower too.

The Japanese guy next door is snoring like a water buffalo as I climb into my sleeping bag. I do a little reading and then settle in to saw some logs, myself.

Dreams are weird. All I can remember is I was running, and running. I wake up in a cold sweat. Iím literally dripping and the top of my mummy bag and the fleece Iím using for a pillow are absolutely soaked

Iím also kind of freaked out. I donít want to get out of the tent, but I need to change clothes and dry off my bed. Fortunately I have my spare clothes in the tent along with a hand towel.

Itís 3am and I eventually do need to get out to answer the call, still kind of freaked out and listening for every little noise. I really donít get back to sleep until about 5:30.

Note to self Ė the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles is probably not the best reading selection for a solo camping trip.

Next Post Ė Morning Pics and a Ride Home

Hominid screwed with this post 09-01-2011 at 10:01 PM
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:42 PM   #13
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Sport Bikers

On the way to Neah Bay I run into a pack of sport bikers at the gas station mini-mart in Seiku. Theyíre all clustered around the gas pumps Ė thankfully I donít need gas. I need aspirin and I score a lime for later. I get to watch the sporty guys play while Iím eating a trail mix snack.

After theyíre fueled up Iím treated to revving motors, parking lot burn outs, and one guy trying to do a front wheel stand. He never does get the back wheel off the ground, though. Thereís some confusion about someone leaving a credit card with guys circling around and shouting at each other. I guess they figure it out cuz they all go screaming out of there in a frantic pack.

I look at the guy and gal seated nearby next to their Sportster and say ďI hope they all make it home without somebody hitting the pavement.Ē

ďWe were just thinking the same thingĒ, comes the reply.
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 243Win View Post
Jeebus, I'm so gonna lead you down a bad road this weekend for taking such a long time to post a ride report. C'mon man, pick up the pace, some of us are living vicariously in hellish climates awaiting ride reports from the homefront.
Almost Done!
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:36 PM   #15
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Sunday - Heading Home to Escape the Vampires

Itís nice waking up in my tent with the sunshine filtering in, knowing I had not fallen victim to a vampire while I slept.

As Iím breaking camp and packing up the bike I canít help but notice again my steadily growing bug collection. I havenít washed the wee since I got back from cali so I have bugs from three states captured on mywindscreen and front fairing. Should be fun cleaning those off when I get home.

Iím going to head home the same way I came, across the Hood Canal Bridge, south past Bremerton, and over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Before I do that I want to go back up to a viewpoint on Hurricane Ridge Road and snap a few pics.

Port Angeles is shrouded in fog. You can see Canada in the background.

I believe this is Mount Baker.

The tunnels are fun.

Watch out for bicycles, though.

Basically the entire road is curvy, but itís nice of them to put up a few signs.

The wee looks cleaner from a distance.

I move to the turnout just down the road for these pics of Mount Baker.

Just as Iím framing this first shot up an older short guy walks over, steps directly in front of me, and starts framing his own photo. I mean, the back of the guyís head is inches in front of mine.

I resist the urge to give him a head butt with the front of my helmet Ė I hadnít taken it off. I do say to him, ďIím not in your way am I?Ē He acts as if he hasnít heard me and continues looking into his camera. I shake my head and then look over at his wife, whoís standing next to his car. She shrugs her shoulders as if to say ďI know Ė heís an ass Ė sorryĒ. I never cease to be amazed by some of the jokers I run into when out in public.

He finally goes away and I take a few shots then jump on the bike and head home.

It was a beautiful day and a beautiful weekend for a motorcycle ride. Iím glad I pulled the trigger on this trip. It was a 513 mile weekend. Not much by some standards, but it was some fun, relaxing riding in perfect weather. Mission accomplished.

The whole ride home Iím thinking about food for lunch Ė Iím hungry. Iíve got a serious jones going on for a bowl of pho, so I pull into my favorite local spot when I get back to town to finish the ride off. Yum.

Now I can go home to a nice warm shower with a full belly.

Hominid screwed with this post 09-02-2011 at 06:52 PM
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