01-28-2012, 05:06 PM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
November transit to Sacramento
So, get my bike down to Sacramento before snow becomes an issue, visit my Dad while I’m there and then head out to visit one of our daughters and her family. Predictions of snow before I was planning to leave encouraged me to move my start date up a couple of days. Still had a bit of snow on the ground that morning.
So, waited a couple of hours for it to soften up and headed for the border. At the border I had to pick up a couple of last minute items that I had ordered and carried on to Omak for the night.
Checked the weather the next morning to find it was -11C (12F) – man, I hate the cold! By about 10 OÇlock it was up to a balmy -4C and, much relieved, I headed out. It was such a beautiful sunny day and my gear was keeping me warm so I should be able to get in a full day. To stay out of the higher elevations I firstly wanted to avoid Blewett Pass near Ellensburg, so I headed east to Soap Lake and from there I can either head back to Hwy 97 or head south to Kennewick – I knew staying along the Columbia River would at least keep me at the lowest altitude. It looked like I wouldn’t have a problem on the small pass south of Yakima so headed over to Hwy 97 and continued to The Dalles, OR for the night.
The next morning I woke to -3C (27F) and a big storm on the horizon. Crap! So much for my theory of staying away from snow along the Columbia. As the roads were wet, I wasn’t keen on heading out until it had warmed up a bit and I was hoping the storm might warm things up a bit when it arrived – but it didn’t - started snowing instead. Well, either suck it up and get out of here or hunker down for the winter. Man, first frickin cold and now snow! Have I ever expressed my opinion about winter weather? Anyhow, this stuff just stuck to the visor – visibility was worse than rain. Took about 45 minutes travelling towards Portland for the snow to turn to rain. Was actually happy to see rain. Rode the rest of the day in the rain to Springfield next to Eugene. Had dinner at a local Brew Pub, Hop Valley Brewing which has an outstanding IPA.
The rest of the trip to Sacramento was pretty uneventful. I’ve done this route so many times now, I think I could do it in my sleep but I always seem to find the odd new road to make it interesting.
Did have one great lunch stop – the Samoa Cookhouse. The little town of Samoa is an old logging town next to Eureka, CA.
Over a hundred years ago, the loggers were fed in the cookhouse which has been now been resurrected as a restaurant that still serves in the same manner as they used to feed the loggers. Apparently they could look after as many as 500 loggers for 3 meals a day.
You still walk in to long tables all set up.
Lady comes around and starts going through a long list of food, pauses and asks “would you like that?” Um, OK. A mixing bowl of soup is the first thing to come out and you ladle out however much you want. Then a couple of salads, then beans, vegetables, barbeque pork, potatoes and cake . . . this is lunch. At this point I’m concerned if my bike’s suspension will accommodate my now much larger ass. Then the lady comes back and asks if I want seconds. Uh, no thank you. Cool old place and great experience. Good food to boot.
Arrived in Sacramento visited my Dad, visited my son, put the bike away for two months and headed to Australia to visit one of my daughters and her family. Whew!