After hitching a helicopter ride from Vancouver Island to Seattle, a short taxi ride brought me to my new (old) bike, an R100GS in immaculate condition that I had bought off an inmate earlier in the year. I'd been waiting 6 months for this day. The chopper ride is irrelevant to the story, but hey, how often can you start a ride report like that. Sometimes the planets just align. I'd had 5 weeks of brilliant holiday touring Canada with my wife. Now it was time to enjoy a few weeks taking my new bike through some dirt in Washington, Oregon and California before putting it in a container to be sent back to Australia. That was the plan anyway. As you will see, the best laid plans... First I needed to check out the bike. Mark, the previous owner, had told me the clutch slipped under heavy load, and also now the front tyre had a slow leak. So I needed to be happy with the bike before heading out into the back blocks. Tyre first, found a local mechanic who knew nothing about motorbike tyres but knew how to throw black goop on the rim to slow the leak (it was coming out around the bead). Mark's pristine bike had already gone down a notch and I'd only had it 2 hours. Stefan, my riding mate for the trip, arrived later that day on his R1200GS, and we decided to do a loop to Olympic National Park the next day for me to get used to the bike (having only ever ridden one before for 5 minutes in the Simpson Desert, hardly typical) and to see if the clutch would be a problem. Me ready to roll. and a few hours later admiring the cloudy views around Hurricane Ridge. Verdict? The clutch only slipped under very heavy load, ie full throttle, and the tyre leak had slowed a lot. So it was worth risking the WABDR. And I was starting to get comfortable with the bike. The plan was to head east and start the WABDR at Cashmere, then head south doing segments 6 to 1 ending up at Stevenson. We almost made it... So, on 30th August, we headed out on the tar to Leavensworth, where Stefan had to reconnect with his roots by finding the most authentic German restaurant there and sampling their cuisine. but not before he had configured a new Porsche 911 for his wife. Don't ask. Next day the WABDR begins for us.