The American Northwest. Maybe.

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by motosaint, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    South San Francisco
    Delay after delay kept me from heading out on this trip. It’s been two weeks since my original plans. First it was to take a month off and explore the American West. I had to cut it back to two weeks because it’s just too much time off work and things are going too well for me to screw up the momentum. Two weeks then. I REALLY need the time off…<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    One of my delays. Replacing damaged forks.
    <o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>
    North or South? I love San Diego and always take every chance to visit Little Italy. My stomping grounds when I’m in town. But that also means that I’ll be going through Arizona and New Mexico.. At over 100 degrees at this time of year.. I thought going North would be a better idea. I had never gone any further North in my adult life than Eureka which is not as far as travelling to San Diego from San Francisco. So North it is.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I left at 11am.. Two hours than I originally planned.. I wanted to catch the tail-end of rush hour and make some good miles before lunch. Oh well, I guess I’ll ride as far as I can before stopping for some chow.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Traffic was really easy at this point. You just never know when you’re leaving the Bay Area how traffic is going to be.. I’m making great time. It is a little chilly on the way out but warms up fast once I get across the Golden Gate bridge.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I’m taking Highway 101 all the way up to Eureka. Some people say that’s just too boring. To take a major highway on a long route. What most people not from the area don’t realize is that 101 is an absolutely beautiful ride and it’s not a 3 or 4 lane highway the entire way. It shrinks down to one lane in each directions for pretty long stretches.. The scenery is just breathtaking too. I’d say once you get past Santa Barbara going north on 101.. Northern California is just a stunner to look at. It goes from the concrete jungle of southern California to trees and farmland for hours at a time. Going through big cities and little towns that you don’t even see on the map. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>Along Hwy 101. Is this so boring?
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Okay.. Vanity shot.. I took this by accident actually.. :D It turned out to be kinda cool :clap
    <o:p></o:p>
    A couple of hours after, I decide it’s time to stop and have my first meal. Those who know me can probably figure out where I stopped…. Denny’s maybe? Oh yeah baby… Come here. I’m in Santa Rosa and it’s a nice fairly rural suburb.. It’s also getting pretty warm too.. It’s gotta be in the upper 70’s and I’m probably wearing too much.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    There are a couple of things I’m testing out on this trip: a Camelback Hydration System and Caribou cases. I tell ya.. I don’t know how I got along without the hydration system before. My model is very basic, with only a small pocket on the back, but it holds 70oz.. More water than I drink in even a normal day.. I’m sipping every so often.. It’s amazing! I can only guess what I was doing to my body by going even 2 hours in the heat without a drink. Now when I stop for gas or for a meal, I don’t feel exhausted. I feel alert. I don’t feel like I need a coke AND water when I stop for lunch. I see that I’m really well hydrated.. This is now a MUST TAKE item on any ride more than a couple of hours in ANY weather.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I just got a pair of Caribou cases. I was torn between steel and plastic cases and made my choice on this fact: when steel panniers get bent up, and they will, the seals will leak. The Caribou-Pelican cases are pretty tough and won’t deform. They’ll bust before that happens. And I bought the Caribou boxes mostly because of the locking mechanism. They can be secured on the bike and you don’t have to open the cases to release them. Going on an extended trip, it would make me crazy if I had to open the panniers every time I wanted to remove them. Especially if the weather was bad. Plus it uses keys that are also the same to secure the latches on the cases themselves. So, back to the ride.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I’ve always been interested in Cloverdale which is about 30 minutes further north than Santa Rosa. I guess when I went to Hamburger Ranch a few months ago, I’ve developed an affection for the place! So this time I took a closer look.

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>Welcome to Cloverdale.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Downtown Cloverdale.

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p><o:p>A little theater with movies this great playing?

    </o:p>I heard the town is one of those towns that ex-hippies setup shop in. Maybe, but it’s also very family-oriented as well. I see families everywhere and all the shops and surroundings reflect that too. It’s a beautiful town with a cute, walkable downtown and even a great little theater! So now that I’ve checked out Cloverdale, it’s time to continue onto Eureka.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I pass through Willits. This is milestone to me that I’m a good deal of the way north. I just have to laugh when I see the big banner at the entrance of the city. For some reason, I think of the name as a metaphor for a type of women. The sign is so “look at me!” I like to think that the name is an inside joke of a woman who was the town’s floosy.

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p><o:p>Coming into Willits.. I just have to laugh when I see that sign... :D</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>[​IMG]
    <o:p>Traffic was rough through Willits...
    </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>The ride the rest almost the rest of the way to Eureka was beautiful as always. I think of overcast and a heavy fog as a metaphor for Eureka. Because that’s what I’ve encountered every time I’ve gone to Eureka. Doesn’t matter what time of year it is. It was pretty easy where I was going to stay for the night: the Motel 6 I stayed at back in October. It’s busy in this town tonight. I get one of the last rooms they had. I had to settle for a ‘smoking’ room too. Unfortunately, it didn’t have WiFi. What? “Oh, we don’t have Internet in that room”. Sorry, I gotta have Internet. I gotta go looking elsewhere…<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    After looking around town for another cheap hotel and turning down another place with some cute German tourist, I found another family-owned hotel down the street for the same price as Motel6. I remember coming here before by the very-perky Asian woman who works the front desk. This place is cheap and they have WiFi. I’m in. I start walking my motorcycle over to my room and I see a room with a bunch of guys in it. I park my bike outside and one of the guys stick’s his head out of the room… He’s staring at me for a few seconds when I ask “is there something I can help you with?” He stares a little longer and says “The question is, do YOU need help with something?” “Noooo”.. He then goes back into this room. Okay, that was creepy and weird. I asked the front desk to move me to another room. “No problem”. I get a room a few doors down and it looks a bit isolated and that’s fine by me.

    [​IMG]
    Not a total dump. Just don't look at the heater..
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>I need some food… So I find Applebees down the street. The food is good, but the service sucks. There’s hardly anyone in there and I had to wait at least 20 minutes for my food.

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p><o:p>Food at Applebees. Copying Denny's are we? At least it was good.
    </o:p>
    I’m back in my room and I can’t wait for tomorrow to come. I tried to like you Eureka. I really did… Between the junkies, service and lost souls. I’m going to have to pass. Next time, it’s fuel up and keep headin’ north…<o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    11,467
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    This looks like it's going to be fun to follow. :lurk
    #2
  3. ADVWannabee

    ADVWannabee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    212
    Location:
    Virginia
    This is good to hear as I just got my Camelbak yesterday for next weekend's run to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I made a run to the Dragon with temps in the mid-90s and pretty high humidity. I know I was dehydrated.
    #3
  4. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    99
    :clap
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,332
    Location:
    Toronto
    Thanks for the intro...looking forward to more :thumb

    :lurk
    #5
  6. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    South San Francisco
    &#8220;It tastes like chicken&#8221;<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    You know, leaving at 11am on the beginning of a long is not a good idea. If the weather is going to get worse, it does so later in the morning and day. Really, it gives you less time to take your time to take pictures along the way. I guess I was tired from the day before..<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The weather isn&#8217;t too bad leaving Eureka. I wish I left at 7am. Eureka, the next time I see you will be too soon. I take off on Hwy 101 northbound until I reach the 199 intersection about 80 miles away. A few miles later, I get to Interstate 5, then 234 followed by 62. Man, it&#8217;s starting to get really warm. It&#8217;s probably a good 15 degrees warmer than it was yesterday. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Anna is doing great. After all the work I did on her in the last two weeks: replacing the front forks, adding the panniers, checking my engine leak and a host of other little things&#8230; She&#8217;s doing really well. Take into account that about 4 months ago, I had never done any mechanical work on a car or motorcycle before. The first and when you think about it, a pretty big-freakin&#8217; deal, taking apart the top end of the engine to replace gaskets. That took HOURS and luckily, I had some help from some online expert friends. Especially my buddy Charlie who wrote MOST of the process by hand! I&#8217;ll never forget that. I probably could&#8217;ve done the work without that help, but it would&#8217;ve been more nerve-wracking without the support. Since then, I&#8217;ve replaced the front-forks. It wasn&#8217;t as a big deal as I thought it would be. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p>Approaching Crescent City. A little chilly. The cool thing was that people were riding horses down on the beach!
    </o:p><o:p></o:p>
    I get to Crescent City and it&#8217;s the furthest north I&#8217;ve been as an adult. Very cool. Literally! There is a heavy fog and it&#8217;s a little chilly. I&#8217;m wearing my very reliable $15 Sears sweater and I&#8217;m doing just fine. I switch to my warm-weather gloves for my cold-weather/rain gloves to stay a little warmer. They aren&#8217;t helping that much. The trick is to change the gloves BEFORE your hands get cold. I then get to Klamath Falls for lunch. I stop for the usual Denny&#8217;s&#8230; It&#8217;s busy! There are tons of Senior Citizens in here too. I guess this is the place to go in Klamath Falls.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We all grow old and probably after 30 or so, whether we are athletic or couch potatoes, we&#8217;re just not as fast or strong as we were before that age. I&#8217;ve been athletic since the age of 14 and know this personally. I can&#8217;t nor have the desire to do military presses with 100lb dumbbells or do high-intensity cycling workouts anymore. When I see someone who needs assistance to keep going because of their age, it bothers me. Is that what I face in 30 or 40 years? Possibly even a harder question: Do I want to grow that old? I see a lady who needs a cane on each hand to walk and needs the help of someone to use the bathroom. It&#8217;s one thing if it&#8217;s temporary. It&#8217;s another thing if it&#8217;s only going to get worse with age. She gets in the bathroom before my meal is served. I&#8217;ve read the news on my phone and finished my meal before the lady comes back out of the bathroom.

    [​IMG]
    The sight leaving my hotel this morning. You gotta bring your own oxygen? That's gotta suck.

    <o:p> </o:p>I head off to the parking lot to continue the ride. I do a quick pre-check cause I&#8217;m concerned about a few things. There seems to be oil coming from somewhere where I did the engine work. It&#8217;s very minor so I&#8217;m not too wired about it. Or it can be just dirt that I didn&#8217;t clean off when I washed Anna last. So I wiped the area clean to make sure that if there is a leak, it will show later.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The more pressing issue is the top securing brackets for my cases. To make the Caribou cases work with the Happy Trail racks, I had to do some improvising. I thought the way I attached the brackets to the rack were perfect. Due to the weight of the loaded cases, it&#8217;s pulling the brackets down. I&#8217;m not too worried about them coming off, but people behind me might get a little nervous with the slanted cases. A short-term solution: Use the tie-wraps I brought in my tool-case and use them to secure the brackets so they won&#8217;t move. I secured two tie-wraps to each bracket over 100 miles ago and they seem to be working great. The brackets haven&#8217;t budged and holding the cases perfectly.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I&#8217;m drawing attention for some reason. I like to think it&#8217;s because I&#8217;m such a good looking man. I know the kids think I look like a Power Ranger. Which is cute. Okay okay, there was a perky red-head that got in a car with her friend and were watching me which got me on this rant. Okay, on the road&#8230;<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    234 and 62 were really nice roads and fun roads. By this time, it was getting hot too. So hot, that when I saw a milkshake place, I had to stop by and get some. It&#8217;s busy here! A couple&#8217;s chihuahua starts barking at me in an aggressive manner. I just looked down and laughed. It&#8217;s owners were like &#8220;get back here!&#8221; I told them it&#8217;s not a problem cause I&#8217;m fully armored. &#8220;Take a bite buddy. It&#8217;s going to hurt you a lot more than me&#8221; I say to the dog.. Heck, a pitbull probably couldn&#8217;t hurt me with these boots.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    234. Beautiful ride. It's warming up quite a bit now.
    <o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>
    &#8220;It tastes like chicken.&#8221; This is often said when people eat protein from an animal other than chicken. I&#8217;m feeling that way with Oregon. It feels like a giant Lake Tahoe CA. Lake Tahoe is my first ride love and have some great memories from that ride I took several years ago and Oregon is feeling that way. If you pulled me out of here and put me in Nevada, I really wouldn&#8217;t know the difference. It&#8217;s absolutely beautiful with great roads to ride on. Except that there is so much more of it in Oregon!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    62. It's getting really hot now. I'm so glad I got my hydration pack :huh
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Along 62. I saw the sign and turned around for this.. Totally worth it. It was vanilla :D

    [​IMG]
    I believe this to be Rogue River along 62. This was on a bridge. It was massive :huh
    <o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>
    Question: Is there a requirement that female rangers have to be hot? I&#8217;m talking to the Ranger at the entrance of Crater Lake and I&#8217;m like &#8216;WOW&#8217;! This has been a common occurrence at many National and State Parks. Yosemite was my first experience of this phenomenon. If she wasn&#8217;t so hot, I would&#8217;ve been pissed that I had to pay $5 JUST TO GET INTO the park. There&#8217;s a separate fee to get a campsite and I get that at the kiosk. I&#8217;m nervous about the camping fee.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    On the Crater Lake website, it says $15/night for a tent space. I&#8217;ve budgeted this. I go to the kiosk and they tell me they there are no more tent sites and only RV sites are available. I did get there at 6pm, so that&#8217;s my fault. So how much is the RV site? $27! &#8220;Oh, it&#8217;s only $6 more than a tent site&#8221; they say. Well, I wouldn&#8217;t be pissed if I didn&#8217;t already pay $5. Oh, if I want to use the shower that&#8217;s close to my site, I have to pay $.75/4-minutes? So I&#8217;m already paying close to $35/night. Do you guys have WiFi? No? God, this is really sucking&#8230; Okay, I&#8217;ll pay. But I&#8217;m only staying 1 night. Judging from what I&#8217;m hearing from other visitors, they&#8217;re doing the same thing. Not a good end to a 268 mile ride and my introduction to Oregon.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I&#8217;m getting all setup and things are going good. I&#8217;m all setup in about 30 minutes and my site is pretty quiet. I go up to the kiosk to ask a question and I see some other people wanting to get a site. Especially this one young couple and I hear the woman say &#8220;maybe we need to sleep in the car on the side of the road?&#8221; I walk away with what I needed and about an hour later I&#8217;m thinking to myself &#8220;Why didn&#8217;t I offer to share my site with them?&#8221; &#8220;Why the fuck didn&#8217;t I?&#8221; I want to say that I was tired from my ride and pissed with paying the camping fees that I just wasn&#8217;t thinking straight. I feel so bad for not offering. However now that I&#8217;ve documented this screw-up, I won&#8217;t do that again. They looked like a nice couple.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I&#8217;m being attacked by bugs! It&#8217;s getting dark and bucks are just attacking me left and right. Wherever there is exposed skin. These bastards are on it. Now I know why people are pretty covered up around here. It seemed a little strange at first. Okay, cover up a little more and try not to scratch. Though I already got about a dozen bites on me. Maybe I&#8217;m being punished for the &#8216;young couple&#8217; incident. Okay, get it over then.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I got a little fire going. With firewood I bought for $6.75/stack. More money down the hole. That seems to help keeping the bugs and flies away. Oh yes, there is some presentation that a Ranger is doing at 9pm in their theater. I go check it out to kill some time.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Hmm, if I was 8 years old, I might like the presentation. He talks about different animals and how they might talk to each other with different voices. It would be much better if he didn&#8217;t split the presentation for adults and for kids. Keep it one or the either dude. Hey, where&#8217;s the hot ranger that was at the entrance? Put her up there and she&#8217;ll boost the presentation quite a bit. Okay, I can&#8217;t take it anymore&#8230; I walk out nice and quietly near the end.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I stay up for a little longer&#8230; Just sitting by the fire and playing with my phone-app that shows me the constellations in the sky. Way cool. Google Sky Map. Well, it&#8217;s getting even later and I hit the sack. A friend of mine gives me a hard time for bringing some technology when I camp-out. Tonight, I don&#8217;t whip out the laptop, open the tent fly to gaze into the night as I fall asleep. It&#8217;s really beautiful out tonight.<o:p></o:p>
    #6
  7. JeffinTD

    JeffinTD Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,415
    Location:
    NE Oregon, The Dalles
    Cool RR!:D

    Where else are you heading in Oregon? 101 along the coast is very pretty, but full of slow RV's.

    Mt. Hood is also very nice, with some cool backroads.

    If you are into museums and aviation, the Tillamook air museum is really cool, as is the Evergreen museum in Wilsonville (Spruce Goose).

    Mt. Saint Hellens is also interesting.
    #7
  8. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    South San Francisco
    Yes, I was going to check out Mt. St. Helens.. But I wanted to explore Portland a lot more. I am really clicking with this city. It's absolutely amazing. :clap

    #8
  9. JeffinTD

    JeffinTD Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,415
    Location:
    NE Oregon, The Dalles
    Portland has a lot of neat stuff. Powell Books would be a must see, if you are a book guy.

    Send me a PM if you run into any trouble while you are in the area.
    #9
  10. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    South San Francisco
    Day 3 – Crater Lake to Eugene OR - 140 miles<o:p></o:p>
    It’s an absolutely stunning day today! I wake up around 7am and there’s dead silence. I take my sweet time getting out of my sleeping bag. Sometime last night I closed my tent fly because it was just too cold. Even with my 0 degree rated sleeping bag! Inside the tent it looked pretty bright outside and I’m not disappointed: damn it’s beautiful out!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>Finally, a proper camp-setup picture! Crater Lake is a great campsite. Just make sure to bring bug-spray repellent!
    <o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>
    Since I’m trying to be on a budget, I figure I have to make some food I brought with me. It’s some dehydrated corn-chowder which sounds absolutely delicious to me. I got a new campstove that I bought. The Jetboil system I’ve used before is really awesome. It’s a simple, self-contained system that’s a real pleasure to use. Only problem is that you gotta make sure you have enough fuel in the little proprietary fuel-tanks it uses. Not a good thing if you’re going on a long trip, especially in a foreign country. After about half an hour of reading the instructions and fumbling around, I figure it out and boil the water I need and enjoy that delicious corn-chowder. Yummy!

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p><o:p>This may make business sense, but what about eco-sense?
    </o:p><o:p></o:p>
    I tell ya, it’s all about preparation. When I got my new cases, I thought I did a pretty good job of fitting everything in there in a way that would keep things in place and avoid things falling out whenever I opened them. Not so good. The clothes side is doing okay and that was easy. Unfortunately the side that holds tools and gear is not doing so great. So I spend about 45 minutes on it and it’s much nicer now. I’m so proud of it, I had to take a picture!

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p><o:p>Nice packing job eh? To top it off, I placed my big-warm riding gloves beneath the straps to create a sort-of cover for all of this. I'm pretty darn happy with this packing job. I'm putting my tools in here since I want them more secured than on the bike. Man, almost half my case is for tools and parts!</o:p>

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Yup, the zip-ties are holding!
    </o:p>
    After packing up everything, I head off. It’s about noon and I’m a little pissed. Well, not sure if I’m going all the way to Portland today. It’s 260 miles and while that’s not THAT much, after two big days especially yesterday’s heat, it’s a bit much. I’ll figure it out when I get to Eugene. Damn, the hottie-Ranger at the entrance yesterday isn’t there. Oh well, the cutie working the kiosk is workin’ it. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I probably spend the next hour or so stopping along the way to take pictures of Crater Lake. It’s pretty darn impressive, inspiring and humbling. Incredibly blue water! Yup, it does look like a meteor made this. The sides all around the lake are all sloping towards the center. I wonder how that pimple got to stay in the lake? That should’ve been flattened with everything else.

    [​IMG]
    Crater Lake is pretty darn impressive. :huh

    <o:p> </o:p>[​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>
    Did I tell you that there are tons of forests here in Oregon? I swear I feel like I’m in a foreign country. Miles and miles of it. Loving every moment of it! I can feel getting closer to Eugene though since the highway is opening up to more lanes and traffic. It’s a pretty easy ride to Eugene and I make it there by 4pm.

    [​IMG]
    On the way to Eugene. It feels like most of Oregon is this way.. Mountain after mountain of forests. :huh
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>I stop at a Denny’s in Eugene and honestly, I’m a bit tired. I think it’s with all the miles I’ve put in the last few days, the heat and the stress I was dealing with even before I left, it’s caught up with me. By the time I finish eating, it’s 5pm and I still have a good 3 hours of riding before I make it to Portland. I see a Motel 6 directly next to the Denny’s. Okay, I’m staying the night. I check into the Motel 6, unpack Anna and get into my room. I take off my riding gear and crash on my bed for a good 3 hours. Wow, I am really tired!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I wake up around 9pm and feeling quite refreshed. I hop into Denny’s for a little snack. I chatted with the Manager there and he’s filling me on the info on Eugene. He says the town is really family oriented, but not much to do for a single guy like myself. Yeah, I’ve noticed that. The only people coming in here are mostly Seniors. A few college-looking women are in here. Since the University of Oregon is just down the street, it’s no wonder this can be a hangout spot. I go back to my room and update my ride report and I crash around 1am. Seriously, I spend hours on this thing… Oh, you guys probably knew that!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Day 4 – Eugene to Portland - 110 Miles<o:p></o:p>
    Finally a short riding day! I hope. Since it’s a short ride, I on-purposely chose to leave the hotel at the latest possible time. That was noon. I pushed Anna over to the Denny’s next door for a Santa Fe Skillet, one of my favorites, then to hit the road. The “no sales tax” still wigs me out. I feel like I should give a bigger tip… But the people here are still making their wages so…<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I really like Eugene Oregon. People are incredibly nice and helpful here! At home, I hold the door for anyone if they are close by. Especially for women. In the few hours I’ve been here, I’ve had two older gentlemen hold the door open for me! Heck, I can’t remember the last time that happened to me in San Francisco. Not once. Not sure if there’s much to do around here since I see mostly farmland and forests.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    For a good 2 hours, the ride was largely uneventful on Highway 5. Which I thought it should be. Though about 50 miles South of Portland, there’s some construction going on which slows me down a bit. Since I’m carrying these cases with me, I dare not cut through traffic. Traffic really builds up again right outside the city limits. What should’ve been a 2-hour ride turned out to be 3.5 hours!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Yesterday evening, I eMailed some people to see if they would put me up for a couple of days. “Brauhausbier” (Eric) a fellow advrider.com inmate in Portland eMails me back the following morning telling me that he and his wife would be happy to host for me for the weekend! They live in NE Portland and totally close to everything. I’m having dinner with them and we’re going to watch True Blood. It doesn’t get any better than that!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I got to Portland at 4pm and just catching up on things. I end up in an area in Portland called the Pearl District and it’s a laid-back cosmopolitan kinda feel to it. I get one of the fanciest mochas I’ve ever had at a place called Barista located at 539 NW 13 Avenue.. Probably a bad idea since I’m giddy with excitement of the area and the mocha just adds to the twitchy’ness I’m experiencing. I’m looking at the surroundings and I’m lovin’ this town. I might stay here for a few more days than I originally planned!

    [​IMG]
    A mocha and pastry at Barista's. I later found out that this is one of the best place to have coffee in Portland. I thought it was good.. But that mocha cost me $5!

    [​IMG]
    You wouldn't think this was one of the best places for coffee in Portland. The ladies working there were super-nice!

    [​IMG]
    They take their coffee-making seriously! :huh

    Okay, now I gotta go and meet Eric and enjoy this absolutely perfect summer day with a great evening and dinner! The one thing I’m noticing is that the bug bites I suffered from Crater Lake has caused some parts of me to swell up.. Even my tongue is feeling a bit numb.. I’m sure dinner will fix that!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p><o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Parked outside Eric's place. Neat!
    </o:p>
    I find Eric’s place pretty easy and Eric and his wife are outside. They must have heard me comin’! Nice couple and I park my bike in their driveway. They made me feel totally at home! They show me my room and I unpack Anna. Eric does the cooking and we all chat about everything. I noticed the clouds in Portland tend to have a silver-lining on them. Maybe that’s a sign! We finish the superb dinner and we go watch the latest episodes of True Blood! I love that series.. But I knew I would only be able to watch one episode since I’m feeling a tired and it’s closing in around 10pm. I got a fun day ahead of me tomorrow.
    #10
  11. JeffinTD

    JeffinTD Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,415
    Location:
    NE Oregon, The Dalles
    Cool RR.

    What else are you planning on seeing?
    #11
  12. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    South San Francisco
    Check out my next posting.. Lots of stuff!

    #12
  13. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    South San Francisco
    Day 5 - Portland OR

    I only had two things planned for today.. Salsa lessons at 2:15pm and dinner with a friend and her boyfriend at 6pm. It’s always funny how things turn out though…<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    My hosts left the house before I got up.. Eric is slammed with work and wouldn’t be able to go on a ride with me. Bummer. Oh well, I was out by 9:30am..
    <o:p></o:p>
    First up: Farmer’s Market. Eric had recommended that I check out the Farmers’s Market. But after 30 minutes of riding around, I couldn’t find it. But I found a market that was arts and crafts which really looked like a tourist trap. I had some food there that pretty much sucked.

    [​IMG]
    The 'Saturday Market'. Total tourist trap.

    [​IMG]<o:p>
    I told them to take my name off the list.. I didn't have time for it tonight. :D
    </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Did you know that Portland is known for two things? Coffee is one of them.

    [​IMG]
    Voodoo Donuts. CRAZY place! I mean, it’s just donuts for cryin’ out loud! There was a 70’ line at 10am! Donuts, I’m sorry, I’m not waiting.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Second: Powell’s Bookstore. I heard this place is a block large. Well, the block isn’t THAT big, but it’s still impressive. It’s not someplace that’s going to take you all day to explore, but they DO have about as many books as you can possibly find in any retail place. And it’s busy too! I’m finding Portlanders are most likely better educated than other big cities. I wouldn’t be surprised if most people around here had a Master’s degree at a minimum. Though a joke I read for Portlanders is that people sign up for Grad school and never go. Portlanders also have a great, ironic sense of humor. Funny thing is that in this bookstore… Their magazine section really sucks… Only 4 motorcycle magazines?

    [​IMG]
    Powell's.. Really, a whole city block :huh
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    They actually had maps of the Powell's bookstore underneath this display.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Okay, they had '5' motorcycle magazines. Your elitism is showing folks... :evil
    <o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>
    Third: Salsa-Dancing Lessons & Social. I found Viscount Dance Studios on the web and they have a great deal for July 31<sup>st</sup>… A dance lesson and social for $5! It was a smallish class with about 14 people. I was a little hesitant at first with such a small class. But my fears were erased by the fantastic instructor Sarah. I’m REALLY picky with dance instructor and Sarah is great! I signed up for Salsa but she changed it to Paccata which I’ve been trying to avoid because I don’t want to get it mixed up with Salsa. It all worked out. She taught quite a few things and it didn’t seem hard. I chatted up quite a bit with the other students and had a great time! I was there for a total of 3 hours! I wish I had taken some pictures...<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Fourth: Dinner at Dragonfish at the Fairmont. I was meeting my friend Christine and her boyfriend here for dinner at 6pm. I got there around 5:40pm and they were already there. So we started a little earlier… Right on! More time to hang out. Dragonfish is a GREAT place! The sushi is absolutely amazing! Maybe the prettiest looking meals I’ve ever seen. I spent $22 for one BIG, DELICIOUS roll, coffee and dessert. Not bad at all! No liquor though. No, I rarely drink.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I had some time to kill before the Mambo Lounge and I just walked around the area on East Burnside. It’s BUSY with a big party at Hotel Jupiter and a concert going on down the street. I was tempted to hang out at a Gentlemen’s Club. But I might crack. So I decided to hang out at a bar down the street. A little liquor does help me before Salsa dancing. Perfect.

    [​IMG]
    This looks like a fun place to hang out. Give it a try when in town.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Fifth: Salsa-dancing at the Mambo Lounge. There was a class that started at 8:45pm… According to Latino time… That’s 9pm everyone else. There were a fair number of people before. I’d say around 60 people. Crowd was pretty friendly. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I was one of the better dancers, which is not saying much. There was on machismo-guy there who has even worse eye-hand coordination than me!

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p><o:p>Good dancing and a band. No coat-check? :huh
    </o:p><o:p></o:p>
    I danced a bit after the class, but competition for partners was FIERCE! There was at least 30 extra guys in the club and that’s never good.. Though I stuck around until midnight… That’s 3 more hours of dancing! I may feel this tomorrow morning. I got back to Eric’s place around midnight. It was only about a 15-minute ride.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Day 6 – Portland OR<o:p></o:p>
    I got up pretty early and packed up Anna and was ready to roll-out around 9:30am. My hosts must have had a pretty tough day on Saturday because I had to wait for them to get up. ;-) They were up late watching the remaining episodes of True Blood. They said they were great! I thanked them again for their extreme generosity and they’ve invited me back if I’m ever in town. Oh yes, you can bet on that. I love this town!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    For many hours yesterday, I was wondering what I was going to do. Head on to Seattle WA or hang-out in Portland another day? Gosh, I really love Portland. How can I explain my feelings about Portland? It feels like when I meet a woman and there’s instant chemistry on both sides. You almost don’t need to speak to each other to communicate and you find it effortless to talk about anything for hours on end if you want. You are charged up with energy and suddenly anything becomes possible. I don’t want to leave her right now. I decide to stay another day. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I didn’t tell my hosts this cause they’ve already been extremely generous with their home and I didn’t want to impose. Even still, Eric offered me the room to stay another day or two if I would like. I was tempted, but I really feel they’ve gone the extra-mile already.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    My friend Christine’s boyfriend told me of a great coffee-place on 23<sup>rd</sup>/W. Burnside and that I should check it out. Okay, so I head off and really, it took me like 20 minutes to get there. It feels like everything in Portland is no more than 20 minutes away. It’s clear across town! I find it pretty easy and it looks like your average coffee-house. I quickly find out two things about this place: staff/service are the BEST! My mocha is pretty darn good too! I found out that the person who started Barista’s actually worked at this coffee-shop first! The ladies working here are good friends with the people who work at the other shop and say they are the greatest. You know, that’s one thing I find about Portland: seems like everyone knows each other and are incredibly supportive for them. Doesn’t matter if they are competitors. I love this town! I hang out at the coffee-house for a couple of hours drinking, eating and checking eMail and blogging… Then I go.

    [​IMG]
    Great coffee house. Definite must in Portland :D
    <o:p></o:p>
    I went just a few miles north and found a fairly cheap Motel 6 that looked like a nice place to stay. I knew there were one or two places that was going to have salsa-dancing tonight and that was the only thing on my agenda today. I’m a bit tired from 6 hours of salsa-dancing. I didn’t get to the hotel until 3pm so this is the perfect amount of time to rest up. A restaurant about 10 minutes away is having free salsa-dancing lessons at around 7pm. Perfect!

    [​IMG]
    Okay, apart from my messy bed.. Notice how nice it is? For about $55 dollars? Remember the other place in Eureka for the same price?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Oh yes, a few of you may be wondering: why all the salsa-dancing? Well, it’s a great way to meet people, especially if there is a class beforehand. A good class will make you change partners frequently so you don’t have to show up with a partner. It’s quite rare that there are too many women or men for the class. So if you click with someone, you probably have someone to dance with after class and you’re already familiar with them. With these classes, they are usually filled with beginners. So it’s rare that you’ll meet someone who’s really advanced. If you do, they are usually pretty happy to help you learn. I know I am. I consider myself an advanced-beginner so I usually do well in these classes and am very comfortable. You should give it a try. The basics are fairly easy to learn and salsa-dancing is HUGE in the bigger cities. There is salsa-dancing every night in San Francisco! Portland is getting there with four of seven nights having salsa-dancing somewhere.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I get to the restaurant on time. It’s in a very residential part of Portland. Not someplace I would suspect salsa-dancing. The restaurant looks good, but the class is lookin’ really small. I’m talking 3 people including me. Oh well, I’ll probably dance with the instructor. No problem. Thankfully, another couple show-up just a few minutes later. That’s fine, it’s a small dance floor anyway.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Not many people. Bummer. Still, I had a decent time.
    </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>The class is pretty good! Definite beginners in the class but it’s still fun. I can tell the women in the class like my leading. One of them even complimented me on it! There’s one thing my regular dancing teacher tells the men in class: you gotta be alpha-male when leading. It’s pretty rare when a woman doesn’t want you to be a good lead.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Class finishes and I’m starving! Food is pretty good at this restaurant. I dance a little more after dinner. The instructor has some friends over and I dance with her a bit and some other people that have showed up for dancing. I pull some moves on some partners that I guess is very sensual. I got an ‘oooh, nice’ comment from one of the moves! After a couple of hours, I figure it’s time to head on back to the hotel room.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Have I mentioned that I love Portland? Gosh, I’m already figuring out when I can come back. There is a Chris Isaak concert playing at the end of August and think that can work out perfectly. I’m already feeling heart-broken with the thought of leaving Portland. Really, it was either head onto Seattle or to Boise. I’m not feeling Seattle. So instead, I figure I’d head onto Boise instead. Yeah, my heart is broken and I’d rather see some friends I have in McCall Idaho. A long day tomorrow.<o:p></o:p>
    #13
  14. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I just did this ride two weeks ago, and it changed my life, in a good way.

    If you're still in Portland and like Japanese food, find this place on NW21st; it's just past The Blue Moon as you're walking toward Burnside.


    [​IMG]

    The service is great, the food is amazing, and the prices are ridiculously low.

    If you take Hwy 1 back down and stay in Ft. Bragg, check out the Harbor Lite Lodge, ask for Jay, and mention the "advrider bro-deal."

    I look forward to reading about the rest of your travels.
    #14
  15. WOXOF

    WOXOF Just wander'n

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    706
    Location:
    SFO, CA
    Enjoying your RR

    A little info on Crater Lake.
    It is actually the collapsed caldera on Mount Mazama. It was destroyed around ~5677 BC when it violently erupted.
    The little island in the lake is called Wizard Island and is a cinder cone created by later eruptions.
    It is capped by a volcanic crater about 500 feet (150 m) wide and 100 feet (30 m) deep. The crater was named the "Witches Cauldron"

    There is another large cinder cone, Merriam Cone, that is located in the northeast part of the lake.
    But it is approximately 500 feet below the lake level so you don't see it.

    It is the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest lake in North America (Great Slave Lake is the deepest).
    #15
  16. JeffinTD

    JeffinTD Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,415
    Location:
    NE Oregon, The Dalles
    If you need anything in The Dalles, restaurant recommendation, or someone to show you some of the forest roads, let me know.
    #16
  17. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    South San Francisco
    I heard that a meteor created that lake. Didn't bother to do any research on it. It's impressive nonetheless. If camping there, you gotta bring the bug-repellent! Thanks for the clarification.

    No, I'm not in Portland anyore. I may be going back later this month for a concert. Any reason to go back :D I did see that Japanese place when going to the coffee shop. For some reason, I remember that sign. I'll give it a try next time. There's so much on East & West Burnside :clap
    #17
  18. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    South San Francisco
    I&#8217;m rested, but I am not looking forward to 430 miles today. From what I can tell, it&#8217;s mostly desert with some farmland here and there. It&#8217;s going to take me at least 8 hours to get to Boise, so I leave asap this morning. I believe it&#8217;s around 9am when I get on the road.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Eric told me that &#8220;The Gorge&#8221; is the deepest in America. This is a 60 mile stretch from Portland along Highway 84. Yes, it&#8217;s very impressive and beautiful here. I just had to stop and take some pictures along the way. I&#8217;m totally diggin&#8217; it. Looks like a nice place to live too since there is a big lake here.

    [​IMG]
    The Gorge. Impressive and pretty!
    <o:p></o:p>
    I stop shortly after the The Gorge for gas and food. I stop at a Subway sandwich shop and I&#8217;m really hungry. I sit down and shortly, start talking with some guys sitting across from me. One of them asks me if that&#8217;s my bike outside. I said it is and that I&#8217;m on a road trip. They turn out to be missionaries of the Mormon Church. I doubt any of them are over 30. Really nice guys and we talk about God and our outlook on life. I think they were impressed when I said &#8220;When I don&#8217;t know what to do in a situation, I think &#8220;what would Jesus do?&#8221;&#8221;. They were like &#8220;yeah, perfect!&#8221; They didn&#8217;t do the hard-sell on their church, but simply gave me their card.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Yes, tons of desert from Portland to Boise. There is a WHOLE LOTTA nothing between the cities. It&#8217;s also above a hundred degrees on the highway. I catch up with other motobikers on the way and we&#8217;re all taking off our jacket-liners and getting water. I&#8217;m just burning up right now. I&#8217;m so lucky to have my hydration gear. How did I get along without it? Of course, I stop off at a Denny&#8217;s near Pendelton for some chow. It&#8217;s a decent sized city, but I don&#8217;t know how they survive here. It&#8217;s not THAT big a town. On my way out, a couple of older gentlemen stop and talk to me about my bike and my trip. Really nice guys and they tell me what&#8217;s ahead. One of them when leaving said &#8220;it was nice visiting with you&#8221;. I&#8217;m tellin&#8217; ya, people are nice!

    [​IMG]
    Man, it was hot from Portland to Boise. At least the food at the rest areas was cheap :clap
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>The weather is getting a little funky closer to Boise. There are actually rain clouds and it sprinkles a bit. It makes for some good picture-taking. There are some great shots to take! Truckers are cool too. I&#8217;ve noticed that when I&#8217;m pulled over onto the side, they&#8217;ll get on the lane further away from me. How cool is that?

    [​IMG]
    Fixing the damn mirror.. It's the SECOND mirror I've gotten from a certain company!

    [​IMG]
    Anna is holding her own.. Though that was one of the coolest Mustangs I'd ever seen :eek1

    [​IMG]
    Funky weather on the way to Boise.. From 100 degree heat to sprinkling rain. Good picture taking opportunities though.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    My hotel room in Boise. It was pretty darn nice. The BEST bed I've ever slept on!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I pull into Boise and I&#8217;m exhausted! It&#8217;s around 7pm and I get off on the exit near the airport since that&#8217;s where most of the hotels seem to be located. It seems like the cheaper hotels are on the west side of the freeway. I was going to a Motel 6, but I did not like the element I saw there. I stopped at a much fancier place and they were all booked up. Yes, there were many people here. What the heck? Why all the visitors? Is Boise up to something? I check out another hotel across the street. It also looked expensive. I figured that with the miles I put in today, I deserve a better than normal place. I tell ya, it&#8217;s a pretty darn nice place. I&#8217;m feeling a little guilty. For a moment. ;-) I also order a pizza and enjoy. Even for the price I paid, there is someone who knocked on my door and ran away and there are people talking in the hallway. Funny, I never had this happen to me at cheaper hotels. Well, the talking yes. After a much needed shower and some great pizza, I fall asleep on the incredible bed. It must be the most comfortable bed I&#8217;ve ever been on!<o:p></o:p>
    #18
  19. JeffinTD

    JeffinTD Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,415
    Location:
    NE Oregon, The Dalles
    If you happen to go back through Pendleton, they have an underground tour. It takes you through tunnels that the Chinese workers used to live in, and to a brothel above the downtown that was well preserved. Apparently a prominent business man ran the place, and his wife only found out upon his death, and had the entrance walled off.

    Idaho City is a cool place to check out around Boise.

    Anyhoo, thanks for doing the great RR.
    #19
  20. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    South San Francisco
    To Idaho unless I'm invited and personally toured around. Boise really sucked. But I know McCall is pretty nice and there are some other nice recreational things to do around there too. It wouldn't be fun to do all that by myself.

    With all the brothels that have and currently exist.. WHO THE HELL would drive 2 - 4 hours just to get laid? :huh If it's a free-lay, okay. But if you gotta drive out there AND pay for it :huh I don't have anything against people paying for it, but it's gotta be convenient or show up at the door IMO. :evil

    #20