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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jabroni, Jul 14, 2020.
Quite the journey, enjoying it, so far. When you gonna be in Vista?
I actually just left Vista. In Yuma AZ right now. I’m just writing up this ride report whenever I’m bored.
My rough itinerary from here is Scottsdale-Denver-Deadwood-Fargo (hometown)- then I’m unsure if I’ll take my same route from there to Michigan or go south.
Really looking forward to following your ride report, I dig the idea of long trips on small bikes!!
Totally the wrong time of year for Arizona .......... what roads are you taking ? Hwy 191 north ?
it is definitely the wrong time of year for Arizona. Even driving 55mph doesn’t give any relief, all day it feels like I’m standing next to a furnace.
I’m more or less doing a straight shot diagonally across from Scottsdale to Denver so I don’t believe I’ll ever really be on 191.
Dude if I knew you were holed up in Missoula that long I could of put ya up at my place in Victor (south of Missoula) I also work part time at Yamaha dealer in Hamilton so I have peeps for tires and what not. Enjoy your ride
Normally I’m the type of person who likes to keep my whereabouts vague or unknown, but I’ve definitely learned that how beneficial it can be to let people know where you’re going in advance. Already there’s been a few times that I was talking to a friend and saying “yeah I just left (insert town)” and they tell me that someone I know lives there now.
So many missed opportunities for showers and a place to stay...
Also, I forgot to mention I took a day trip down to Hamilton on the Eastside Highway. I loved that area and the mountain range just looks so terrifying and beautiful. I wish I went earlier in the day so I could have went further and spent more time.
After leaving Missoula, I took highway 12 all the way to Lewiston, ID. The entire ride was picturesque and I would be surprised if there was a more scenic route (I’m not familiar with Idaho so there very well may be). I got a late start due to the shop not getting the rear tire on until 1pm. It wasn’t a very long drive though so that wasn’t an issue. I arrived in Lewiston around 7pm and decided to camp at Hell’s Gate State Park which was a mistake. The park is nice but it seemed overran by screaming/crying kids and I wish I would have just stealthed it.
I met a girl in Missoula who lived in Portland and said I was welcome to stay at her place when I was in town. I only talked to her for maybe half an hour but when people make offers like that, I accept them. I don’t let people make polite offers that are expected to be refused.
The drive from Lewiston to Portland was my toughest day of riding. I took Highway 12 to Kennewick, Highway 14 to the Dalles, then cut down to take Dufur Valley Rd to Mt Hood and across to Portland. The route was great, but other than it being about 360 or so miles, I had a strong wind pushing against me nearly all day. One of my longest drives in a day and I probably averaged 40 miles an hour. I was no more than 45 on flat stretches and 35 up hill, sometimes I couldn’t even break 30. I spent a lot of time on the shoulder letting people pass.
It was mentally draining. I couldn’t enjoy the view of the hills and the Columbia River because I was entirely focused on traffic and hoping if I stare at my odometer hard enough it would motivate it to go faster.
Once I got to Mt Hood National Forest it got cold. I had been sweating all day but now I couldn’t stop shivering and almost lost feeling in my hands even wearing my insulated gloves.
The wind died down but now it was all up hill. Luckily on Highway 35/26, theres a lot of turn outs and two lanes sections (or is it all two-laned? I already forgot) so it alleviated the stress of pulling over for every car to pass me.
So no longer was it hot and windy, but rather cold and decided to start raining, hard. Learning my lesson from before, I pulled over right away and put on my rain gear. With that and my face shield the rain wasn’t bothersome at all. Once it turned in to a downhill stretch I realized how much more confident I had become with my bike than I was before the trip. I had been riding in strong enough winds that would blow a hat off anyone’s head without hope of recovering it and now Im bombing it downhill at 55mph in a downpour.
I arrived in Portland Close to 8pm and had been driving since 830 that morning only stopping for gas and an hour in Kennewick for food and a quick oil change.
I texted my new friend and she was at a friends house and said I could either come by there for some drinks or meet her at her place if I just wanted to sleep. I felt I deserved a few beers.
The next day me, her, and a friend went hiking near some lake and just sat on the beach for a few hours and it was a nice little break (even after my extended break in Missoula .)
I left my tarp, gas can, and rain clothes rolled up on my center rack for the two nights, fully expecting them to be stolen and my expectations were met. I’m surprised it took until the second night for them to go missing. I laughed it off and bought a new tarp and gas can outside of Portland, but still haven’t bought rain gear, as I sit here typing this under a tree waiting for a menacing rain cloud to pass above me.
(This section occurred from July 6-9)
I'm a million times more concerned about poison oak / ivy than I am about critters!!!
I can appreciate that
This is just so incredibly well put together epic adventure
thank you so much for sharing all with us
I live about an hour south of TC and was planning a U.P. trip for my 1st moto camping trip ever!! I have a 2001 kawasaki 250 super sherpa I recently purchased and plan to take her as far as she will take me! My question is how was crossing the bridge on the bike?! Must feel great cant wait to get the Kawa plated and take her North! Safe travels fellow Michigander!
A chair has become one of my most valuable items on long rides. I found one with a full reclined back that packs down to the size of a baguette. After a few hundred miles it's the best thing for my back short of a hotspring or a professional massage.
A buddy told me of his friend who rode from CA to NY and back on an old honda trail bike back in the 80's. And thousands have done it on bicycles and on foot. No such thing as too small of a bike. You got me inspired, I'm leaving for a rando trip in a few days. Enjoy your ride!
It wasn’t comfortable but also not terrible. It was really windy but you’re going slow enough that it’s not much of an issue. Also your tire wants to follow the lines built into the bridge (not sure what you’d call them). The UP was nice and I’m sure you could make a week trip out of it if you wanted, the only thing for me was that in early June it was still cold, especially near the water.
That’s my attitude about it, what I’m doing is nothing compared to thousands and thousands of other people who are a bit more brave and adventurous than I. At the end of the day I know that if things get bad (such as total my bike) I know I can always catch a flight home the next day.
I shot across to the coast and ended up north of Newport OR and had a scenic bit uneventful ride down to south of Port Orford where I found a place to stealth camp. I’m not very skilled or patient when it comes to finding places to stealth it, and I ended up right off the highway, hidden by trees, but firmly in a bed of rock. Couldn’t even get a stake to hold. There was no wind so it didn’t seem much of an issue, plus it was dark and I was tired so I made due. It was uncomfortable and I was awake more than I slept.
I felt like I was in a rush because I wanted to make it to Lompoc in time to spend a weekend with an old friend, so the next day I pushed it as far as I could. I believe it was about 425+ miles to San Francisco and I already decided I would just get a hotel since I would be arriving late.
I stopped for a quick breakfast I think in Eureka, but I don’t remember. It was foggy all morning so I didn’t stop for any sightseeing and was mostly just concentrating on the distance I wanted to cover. I was making good time with a tail wind and had to ease off the throttle so the little engine wasn’t screaming.
After Leggett, I unwittingly stayed on 101 instead of Highway 1 and it was the first time I took the bike on the freeway. There wasn’t much traffic so it wasn’t a problem, but compared to the coast there wasn’t much to look at, so once again I felt like I was in racing mode.
Eventually I got hungry and stopped in Geyserville at a place called Geyserville Grille. I was expecting a bar but it was a little higher end but because I’m a sucker for good food and my stomach was yelling at me decided it would do. I sat out on the patio and thirstily drank a carafe of water and a beer while enjoying my $25 chicken-something. Great restaurant if you’re into that sort of thing.
Side note, if there’s one area I’d do things better is food. I don’t have a camp stove and not much room to pack anything but some snacks, so I’d say food has been the bulk of my budget by far. But it’s probably a mistake I’ve intentionally made. I’ll typically eat a late breakfast and then eat again once I’m near where I plan on staying.
I arrived in (or near) San Francisco after dark and got the cheapest hotel I could find, which was still way to expensive and made me feel disgusted with myself for not camping. But it was late, and I’m not going to drive who knows how long to find a place in the dark.
The next morning I set out at 8am. I got coffee at a small shop in Montara where I experienced some strange hospitality. The moment I stepped through the door the owner and the barista started chatting to me like they knew me and I felt like I was just playing along to save any embarrassment. As I she gave me a pastry for free and said “just since you’ve never been here before” which means it wasn’t a case of mistaken identity. Isn’t it strange when people are genuinely friendly for no reason?
Outside the shop I finished my coffee and was getting ready to take off when I noticed a guy taking pictures of me and the bike. I said hello and he explained that it was such a beautiful day with a nice classic looking bike and that I looked to be in a good mood so he had to get my picture. Then he said I needed one with my phone as well, so I got my photo taken a few more times and I was on my way.
Down the pacific coast highway it was picturesque the entire way. A cool ocean breeze but not cold enough to be uncomfortable. I really don’t feel as though I need to say more other than this time I stayed on Highway 1 the entire time.
I arrived in Lompoc around 7pm. I texted my friend for his address. Vista. That must be a mistake? “I thought you said you lived in Lompoc now” “No fool, I was IN Lompoc when you called me that day.” Damn, modelo time has to wait.
I decided to push it to Santa Barbara where I would stealth camp that night. I got there as the sun was going down, got gas and a sandwich and headed to the mountains. It was dark, could find a trail to pull off. Admitted defeat and got another motel room for too much money.
Woke up early and changed oil. I wanted to be in Vista at a reasonable time so I took freeway to LA and when it got too hectic I would turn off for backroads. It got hectic. I fishtailed multiple times after people abruptly hit the breaks and was close to wrecking myself enough times to make me nervous.
I can’t really say my route because of so many street changes but I ended up in Corona and went south, mostly staying on the west side of Interstate 15. Between Lakeland and Vista it was unexpectedly a great drive, but I was in a hurry simply because it was 105 degrees and I wanted my riding day to be over. It was the first time I had to take off my jacket and was still pouring sweat. I arrived in Vista in time for my friends birthday and I spent three nights there. I cleaned up some internal areas of the bike (I don’t mind the rugged outside look) and got a new chain put in by a Honda dealer.
Over the border into Idaho
On the Oregon coast. A girl gave me a Waldo that you can see above my flannel.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge
Outside the generous coffee shop
California Coast (somewhere)
Searching for a campsite above Santa Barbara
You may be kicking yourself now for spending a few extra bucks on fancy chicken sandwiches and hotel rooms, but in the grand scheme of things all of this is irrelevant; later in life you'll look back on your trip and it will make you happy and you'll be really glad to have had the experience and the money you spent won't even cross your mind.
Thanks for sharing.
You are doing it your way. I only do things my way as well.
That said , I cringe a bit when you seem to rush through what I think of as the "Good Stuff". I've ridden the length of the Columbia River valley and found it as beautiful as the mountains. I still look forward one day to the coast between mid-Oregon and San Francisco that you just bombed through. I have ridden a couple of times between Monterey and Malibu and like to savor that section too.
But , it's your ride and you're doing it well.