Two Santa Cruz Inmates Make a Break for Seattle

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by teachnsurf, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    We Leave Today

    I love my job. As a fourth grade teacher, each day of work is very rewarding, full of laughs, and quite meaningful. For ten weeks each summer, I'm free.

    Last summer, I rode my 09 Bonneville to Augusta, Maine, and back, while stopping at all the state capital buildings along the way. That was an epic adventure (9,857 miles over 4 weeks) and a wonderful way to get my feet wet into the world of long-distance riding.

    Last Saturday, I went to see Inception (worth a view, especially on the big screen) and ran into @large. He asked me how this summer's ride to Seattle went. I explained that I hadn't got around to doing it yet so he suggested that we ride up together. After quickly looking at calendars, we realized today would be a good day to leave.

    With a few days to prepare and pack, we hit the road at 08:30 and have till Wednesday to get to Seattle so the Slab will not be in order.

    The bike, the rider, and his happy dog upon last year's homecoming.

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    Tonight, @large and I should have a bit more to tell.
    #1
  2. jblausey

    jblausey Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rohnert Park, CA
    The RR you did last year was great. When you broke down, the ADV community rallied to get you to a shop. You asked "why" and the only reason was you needed help and to pay it forward. You weren't even wearing a bikini (thank goodness).

    Ready for the RR this year.

    JB
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    57,309
    Location:
    Toronto
    :thumb

    :lurk
    #3
  4. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    :clap
    #4
  5. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Introducing @large and The Beast

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    The day started off well and on time, which is always a good sign; although, the coast was coated in grey and wet.
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    Our route had us starting north on Hwy 1 out of Santa Cruz. Not too far out of town we came across an awesome gorilla and a hay bale labyrinth (out of frame).
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    Just outside of Pescadero, we stopped for some fashion photos.
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    We made it to SF without problems or photos and then cut west on one toward the coast and more cold and grey.

    After tooling around north on some wonderful two lane roads and seeing a bunch of riders heading south (everybody was in a waving mood today) we reached Tomales Bay. A not too tall ridge separates the bay from the ocean and the fog. Yeii, sunshine and warmth.

    We stopped to take a few pics and take care of some personal business.
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    Unfortunately, after the bay, the road cuts west and the fog resumes.
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    We decided 99 miles of costal fog and summer traffic just wasn't going to cut it so we headed inland as we made our way up north. Just 15 miles east we found some sun, California vineyards and happy cows.
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    Although it was 100 degrees, it was a really nice change from the wind chill. Out came the mesh gloves and away with the liners.

    We ate up some miles on 101 and turned right when we got to Hwy 20. Ft Bragg was just over a hill.

    We got to Ft. Bragg and met up with a college mate of mine, Jay. He is the proprietor of the Harbor Lite Lodge in Ft. Bragg (awesome place all of you advriders) and an excellent host. He took us to Silvers for an incredible meal.

    Jay
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    After 11 hours on the road and 300 some miles, we're calling it a night and wondering what tomorrow has in store.
    #5
  6. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    It's about 5:30 and excitement has me awake, again. At least it's not like yesterday morning's 4:00 wake up.

    The last half hour was spent navigating a foreign house in the dark. After some stub toes and quick descents down some wooden steps, I made it to the kitchen and made some brew.
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    Being up this early has also given me some time to think about my riding partner.

    It seems like most riding buddies are close, either family members or lifetime friends. The pair or group already know how to meet the needs of others and know when to be extra patient when certain situation arise. Although, @large and I have known each other for 10 years, we haven't spent very much time just hanging out.

    We met 10 years ago at a job interview for a 5th grade teaching position. I was 28, newly married, and in search for a teaching job. He had a son enrolled in the school and was one of several on the search committee. I don't remember much from the interview except that they had a bottle of water for me. I grabbed it and held on to it like a security blanket. I find job interviews pretty nerve wracking.

    Since then I've been a teacher to both his son, who is going off to college this fall, and his daughter, who is starting her sophomore year of high school. Almost all of our interactions have been "school related," so one more part of this trip. One more aspect about "What's around the next corner?" is finding out how he and I will get along.

    So far it's been good:
    We both like planning 70 miles at a time.
    @large stops to take pictures when I think, "It'd be cool to take a picture of that."
    @large is taking most of the pictures.
    Our bladders are on the same schedule.
    Neither one of us are in a rush.

    So, we'll see what today has in store. Medford, Ashland, Bend, something else?
    #6
  7. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Today turned out to be a really fun day of riding. The weather was comfortable, the route was fun, and I'm really enjoying traveling with @large.

    The day started off pretty early for me. To kill some time I made a sign.

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    The idea came to last year as a way to interact with motorists and get some cool action photos at the same time. Unfortunately, no one took me up on my request, yet.

    As we were leaving Ft. Bragg, we decided to fill up before the first leg of our day - up the coast to Leggett, CA. The drive way into the 76 station we pulled into was like going back to my childhood.

    Analog dials on the pump.
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    A service bay with an attendant who knows how to fix cars.
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    Once on the road, we were greeted with sunshine tearing through the fog and exposing blue skies. The temperature was perfect for riding. The views were stunning, and the highway was free of traffic.

    Beaty and The Beast.
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    As the road turned east and up towards the Leggett, the temperature climbed 10 degrees every 5 miles or so. The route offered many fast straights, super fun sweeping turns, and several tight switchbacks (not too fond of switch backs).

    I believe most mph curve signage is meant for really high profile vehicles because I found that curves are most fun when I take the recommended speed, divide it in half, and then add that number to the stated speed. Basically, 50% faster. This works algorithm really works, and you should try it if you haven't already started.

    Just one warning: IT DOES NOT WORK WELL WHEN THE SIGN SAYS 10 MPH!. That was my first "moment" of the day.

    My second moment came when I came to a right-hander with 20 mph. As I was coming up to the turn, I down shifted into second and let the engine do the braking. As I watched @large disappear around the apex, I committed myself to my line knowing full well that I would have to use some serious lean angle (by this I mean not very much but it feels like a lot on my loaded bike, not super hot suspension, and rudimentary riding skills) to maintain my line. All was going really and then ... (*) my pucker moment. Just beyond the apex of the turn lay several pieces of rock the size of ice cubes from a tray.

    1st thought - Oh, no. GRAVEL.
    2nd thought - I wish I was going slower.
    3rd thought - DO NOT GRAB A HANDFUL OF FRONT BRAKE WHILE ENGAGED IN A TURN.
    4th thought - Please, please, please, front wheel, don't run over the gravel and slide out from underneath me.

    I'm sure we have all had the moments, and like most of them we all came out okay.

    Which brings me to another point. @large is my canary in a coal mine. When heavy braking is needed for a turn, I see his brake lights come on. When there's a big bump in the road which would really upset my silly, stock suspension, I see his GS eat it up before I get to it. When a logging truck comes around a blind curve, I hear its horn OOOOOONG at him before it gets to me.

    I also learned that @large as some serious travel spidey-senses. He knows how to read a town. He knows how to find the diamond in the rough eating places, as he proved in Crescent City, and he knows how to found very comfortable sleeping accommodations.

    Anyway, back to the pictures.

    Garberville, then.
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    Garberville, now,
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    Great food here, by the way. @large at a very tasty burger, and I had a light breakfast of 1 egg (over medium), 2 stripes of bacon, and wheat toast.

    No pics of food, because I keep forgetting to take a shot before I take a bite.

    Planning 70 miles at a time.
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    Rush hour on 199.
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    Most of Hwy 199 was fantastic, fast riding. If you are thinking of doing it. Do it! It runs the route of the Rogue River and offers incredible scenery and amusement park-like excitement.

    A room with a view in Grants Pass.
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    The mural at the Taprock in Grants Pass really got me thinking. "What is the bear running from?" I always see bears as strong and brave, so whatever has frightened this bear must be pretty scary.
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    After speaking with some locals, it looks like the destination for day 3 will be Bend, with a slight detour to Crater Lake.
    #7
  8. unshaken

    unshaken n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Castle Rock, CO
    Really enjoying the report and pics. I miss living in CA and riding with a friend who knows me.
    #8
  9. BBeck

    BBeck Adventurer to be

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    If you look closely, you can see the bear is running from a hornet's nest on the branch and the hornets are flying after the bear.

    ****************************************************

    The mural at the Taprock in Grants Pass really got me thinking. "What is the bear running from?" I always see bears as strong and brave, so whatever has frightened this bear must be pretty scary.
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    After speaking with some locals, it looks like the destination for day 3 will be Bend, with a slight detour to Crater Lake.[/quote]
    #9
  10. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    [/QUOTE]

    Thank you.
    #10
  11. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    A couple of days ago, I wasn't too sure what it what be like travelling with @large. Now that he and I have reached our destination - Carnation, Washington - I can assuredly say he's a 5 out of 5 on the Dude Scale. I give myself a 4.

    We left Grants Pass yesterday for Bend, Oregon, with a stop at Crater Lake in mind. The ride was out of this world. If you are thinking about doing it. DO IT.

    Euphoric riding is how I would describe it. My motor was purring. The road surface was smooth. Jerry and the band were jamming in my helmet

    Side note: With a windscreen, the Bonneville is a very suitable tourer (keep in mind I'm quite compact and light - built like a MotoGP racer :D ).

    Working our way through the forest to Crater Lake.
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    Mt. Mazama blew its top a few years back and what was left filled with water.
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    From Crater Lake, we made our way to Bend, Oregon. Throughout the whole trip we did an incredible job staying of the Slab and sticking to two lane highways.

    When we reached Bend, we discovered that there was bike race (criterion) zipping through town.
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    It was a pretty big deal. Floyd Landis was even there, and the town was hopping with energy.

    After watching the race for a while, we went for a walk and then had elk burgers at Deschutes Brewery.
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    Elk burgers medium rare = awesomely delicious.

    Our evening was spent having a slow dinner (a very good thing) at a new restaurant in town, Bourbon. Again, if ever thinking about going to Bend. GO! It is beautiful.

    Day 4

    It was the earliest morning of the trip. We were on the road at 6:30 to beat the heat. For the most part, mid-day temps had been over 95 degrees.

    We bee lined north out of Bend and then cut west on 26 to work our way to Mt. Hood. From there, we headed north on 35 towards Hood River. After a great breakfast the the Hood River Hotel, we crossed the Columbia into Washington and followed 14 along the river.

    Looking east.
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    @large has a good eye.
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    Looking west.
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    Pancho and Lefty.
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    "Living on the road, my friend, is gonna keep you free and clean."

    Then, we booked it north to Yakima and then over the Cascades to Carnation, Washington - our final destination, the house of @large's brother in law (a soon to be inmate).

    @large is leaving his bike here, flying back to SC on Tuesday, and then coming back up north to ride with his BIL in August; BIL rides a R1150R.

    BIL and his gracious wife opened their house to us (they have two awesome boys), fed us great food, and offered incredible views.

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    Tomorrow the three of us ride, locally. I can't wait to tool around the Bonnie without bags.
    #11
  12. sandgroper

    sandgroper Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,825
    Location:
    Wanneroo, Western Australia
    Good pictures and story, thank you
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    I'm surprised that it didn't work for you, good idea

    ed
    #12
  13. jagred

    jagred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Thanks for the great report. I'm glad you love your Bonnie.

    I hope there is more to come!
    #13
  14. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Oh, yeah: http://www.parklanesuites.com/


    Not much of an update yet because so many GOOD things happened today.

    It all started with a rainbow (covenent) at Snoqualmie Falls.

    My bike got 18000 mile service at Lakewood Moto. 5 star place. These people live, breath, and laugh Triumph. I hope to stop there again just to say, "Hi."

    In Portland now, more to come when I run out of gas and am ready to just sit down.

    :clap
    #14
  15. Jigo

    Jigo Westbound

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    Windy City
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    Great idea! I'll try this trick next time I go for a long ride :rofl
    #15
  16. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
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    My mom always said that my dad was happiest when he was travelling.

    I get it.

    When I'm on the road, with all of my responsibilities left behind, I'm open to all that the world as to offer. And, so much of it is good. Good people. Good food. Incredible scenery.

    Day 5 was a layover day with BIL and his boys. BIL's wife had to go to work in India (you think you have a bad commute) so the house became Dude Central.

    "So, what do you want to do?" said one.
    "Huh, I don't know," said the other.
    "LET'S GO RIDING," suggested the third.

    So, of we went to Leavenworth, WA, a former mill town on the decline that decided to boost its economy by bringing a bit of Bavaria to the shores of Icicle River.

    @large and BIL are riding the PNW or the Upper West or _________ later in August. The ride to Leavingworth was to be a "get your feet wet ride" for BIL.
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    "Hmmm...three different bikes"

    You know what that means - time to swap.

    It was my first time riding an airhead and it was really fun. The first thing that pleased me was the feeling of each cylinder punching out.

    Riding up to Leavenworth without bags gave me the opportunity to ride my bike the way she was meant to be ridden - big sweeping turns at entertaining rates of speed.

    Once we got to Leavenworth, we caught, killed, and deep fried a pig.
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    When we got back to BIL's house (it's nice when the kids are old enough to be left at home for the day, just don't tell their mom), we taught the boys how to lean properly into a turn.
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    Gotta start 'em young.
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    DAY 6 - Turning Point

    @large leaves his bike with BIL and will return for their ride. I turn around and start my solo ride home.

    ***

    So much happened on my ride from Carnation, WA, to PDX, and I'll have to tell the story later. It's getting close to 09:00, and I need to hit the road.
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    #16
  17. wamba

    wamba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Thanks for the post. Send me a PM if you're looking for a riding partner in Santa Cruz. :freaky

    wamba
    #17
  18. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I gotta finish my thought on BIL's boys. They are totally "Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails, and they are totally sweet. I pulled into the drive way and pried off my helmet. Both of them came up to me and gave me big hugs. I couldn't believe it.

    Have you seen me? I wouldn't hug me.

    So Carnation to PDX was filled with much so I'll let the pics do most of the speaking.

    [And the crowd roars]

    Casa de Williams
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    Too cool boys.
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    Yeii, action photo. Heading home feels very different than heading away.
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    Redundant pics of Snoqualmie Falls. I took the rainbow as a good sign.
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    After about 20 minutes on the highway, as I'm making my way up towards Tiger summit, I see a logging truck coming down the hill. It doesn't have a trunk load so it's piggy backing the tail end. I'm about 50 yds away, coming up on a Prius pretty darn fast, and locks it brakes. RRRWWWWW!!! Smoke!!!

    "Big green duck!!!" I exclaim, or something like that.

    I'm not saying I was in danger or anything, but that driver lost control. The rear end slid out. So I'm thinking to myself, 20 minutes into Lone Wolf mode (@large flew back home, left his bike with BIL, and will fly back up to ride), "Hmmm...Not only was he was my canary in a coal mine, he was my good luck charm."

    So, I make my way south and head towards Lakewood Motorcycles for my 18,000 mile service.

    This is sitting out front.
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    Sweet. Officer bike in front, this must be a good place, or they're cooking meth in the back.

    It's not a good place. They are not cooking meth.

    This place is totally righteous.
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    If you are within riding distance and need something motocycle, this place is the shizzle (did I use that right?).

    Bob's bike. Bob runs Lakewood Motorsports, a Triumph only shop, and his Tiger eats GS's for breakfast.
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    Bob runs a totally righteous place. I come in that hook me up with their service. The service tech, Lonnie, comes out to meet me. That's really important to me because my life is in his or her hands.

    The place is also just a "hang out" for riders. While I was there, I met Rob, an electrical project manager. I asked him about a cool ride from Lakewood to Portland. The shop offers up a computer (iMacs, good sign in my book) and Rob consults The Google.
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    After about 20 minutes or so, I got a local's route. I feel kinda bad, though. I didn't use it. It would have been a 7 hr ride and starting at 14:00. Next time.

    Then, there's Paul. Paul. If you take a Triumph and make it human, you get Paul. He won tons of motorbike races in the early 80's. Now, he teaches young guns the proper line on Daytona 675's.
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    When I asked him about Triumph's adventure bike, the upcoming F800GS eater, he just smiled. He knows something, but he's not telling.

    GO TO LAKEWOOD.

    After 3 well spent hours, I was back on my way.

    Now, time for The Quest.

    I have this silly goal of taking a picture of my and my bike in front of every state capitol. Last year I got 21 (see sig line). On this day, I got Olympia.
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    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men [and women] stand ready to do violence on their behalf. - George Orwell
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    From there, I booked it down 5. Ahh, miles on the Slab. Look at all the trucks. Look at all the drivers that unexpectedly change lanes. Ahh, the Slab.

    Four years ago, some friends and I moved a good buddy up to Portland. While I was there a stayed at a hostel on Glisan and around the upper 20s. NorthWestPortland. It was my goal to get there. I don't have GPS. Just spidey-senses.

    So, I miss the turn of to 405 (for all you Portlanders, you know this is necessary to get to where I want to go) and take the Broadway Bridge. I'll be across the river and find my way.

    What? Bridge closed. Detour?

    Whatever.

    So, I follow the black text on the orange sign. After crossing, I cruise downtown and head west. Feelings of familiarity bubble. I know I'm heading in the right direction. Without even trying I come across my intended destination.
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    Glisan and 21st NW

    When I'm on the road travelling alone, I am able to open myself to what the world has to offer. First was Nick. He's from Sac. In PDX to get his vocal chords checked-out. He's a singer, and the pipes aren't performing as they should. Hopefully, it'll all be straight soon.
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    The hostel was full so I shelled out a few more dollars for the Parkview Suites. Staying in the area was quite important to me. I didn't get a suite; it's just me.
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    Alex. He's got the four one one, yo.
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    Dinner?
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    Toshi. He's visiting from Tokyo. I asked him how the food was. His response gave me the green light.
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    It's like Japanese tapas.
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    What? You're giving me more? But, I'm just one person.
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    The final plate. Flavors exploded like a finale of fireworks on the Fourth of July. The salmon was caught locally, of course.
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    $36? You gotta be kidding me. I left what I felt was appropriate.
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    The place is run by two people. Chef is from Cleveland and server has a very cool squirrel tattoo. Neither want their picture taken.
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    These two run a 5 star place. When I sat down, I told the server, "I'm 4 on the 1-5 hungry scale. There's nothing I don't like to eat. Please, hook me up with the best you have to offer."

    GO HERE.

    From there I did some walking, then got hungry. So, I got a slice at the corner of... wait for it... Glisan and 21st NW.

    There, I met Avery and Joseph. Joseph moved from Albany, NY, to run the pizza tavern on NW 21st Ave and Glisan.
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    This place was good, and we chatted away to last call. I haven't done that in about a decade.

    Day 7 started off kinda grey.
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    Sweet...I'm almost caught up.
    #18
  19. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    When I open myself up to what the world has to offer, good things happen.
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    My helmet fills with thoughts as each mile rolls: Water runs the path of least resistance. I like river roads because I flow like water.
    #19
  20. @large

    @large Wheel Man

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, California
    Sounds like a fun day. I love Portland. Sorry I missed it.
    #20