Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Pac Nor-Wet, WA
Ok, onward with the quest!
After a Sunday morning filled with OSR SL350 awesomeness, I was on my way to my next stop, my Aunt's home in beautiful Yamhill county! If there's one thing I've learned about living in the PNW all of my life, it's that traveling down 101, and _not_ stopping at the Tillamook Cheese Factory is next to impossible!
So of course,I did, and man it was packed with not a parking spot to be found! I ran across a vacant flower bed and hopped the XT up onto it, went in, and was immediately confronted with something that I just couldn't walk away from:
Just like stopping to look at Harley XR750s on the side of the road, of course I was gonna get my picture taken in half a Vdub micro bus with full riding gear inside of a cheese factory... completely unavoidable.
Waiting 20 minutes in line for the aforementioned waffle cone of heaven was totally worth it, and filled with ice cream, I was ready to hit the road. I cruised down 101, the XT humming away content beneath me at 60mph with light rain drops peppering my goggles. I remedied my previous navigation problems at a service station and continued on down the line, turning to go east on HWY 130:
Then all of a sudden, after another hour of riding, something happened! The wet, coastal region of Oregon I know and love turned into something that reminded me a little bit of The Flint Hills in Kansas... Is that wheat? Hot damm!
HWY 130 turned into 22, and then into 18, and soon thereafter, I got distracted by gravel and decided to go as the crow flies for the last 15 miles or so to Amity:
I can't explain why, but I've always felt a connection with open spaces and especially farm land... Most of my family still lives in SE Kansas and NE South Dakota and I was fortunate to get to spend a lot of summers spending time with them as a kid. My first motorcycle ride at 8 years old was sitting in front of my cousin on a Honda XL185 chasing his cattle in a pasture in Day County, so being out here just seemed right...
I made it to my Aunt's in the early afternoon. It had been at least two years since I'd visited, which was much too long, and it was great to see her again!
I wish I had taken some photos, but she had some friends over for dinner and made the best Jamacian jerked chicken with fresh from the garden tomatos and a whole bunch of other really good stuff! I had a great time that night sitting around the living room catching up with my aunt and friends and having more then a few glasses of red wine, it was great!
Now, don't hear me wrong, I like an Imperial Stout, Porter or growler full of Irish Death just as much as the next guy, but that was some good wine!
I was planning to camp the whole trip, especially since I could pitch the 'ol half dome down by the creek on my aunt's land, but just as quick as the words were uttered out of my mouth, she said "Yeah right, sleep down in the guest room!" One look at that temperpedic mattress and my eyes glazed over and there was no further discussion :
I conked out and must have been asleep for about 13 hours or so, and was waken up the next morning by the unmistakeable smell of hillbilly bacon frying and homemade "blueberry buckle" coming out of the oven... Again no, photos, but trust me, it was just as good as it sounds! I love my Aunt!
After saying goodbyes, my (awesome!) Aunt sent me home with a bottle of her homemade BBQ sauce, and pointed me to the scenic route out of Yamhill... aka: the Wheatland Ferry!
I was a little concerned by the weight limits though... would the XT be acceptable? If I couldn't ride the ferry, would I be able to get the XT going fast enough to ride a wheelie across the river? Could I fill the Wolfman's with air and float the XT across? All good questions!!!
On the way down to the ferry landing, I saw this awesome 1970 Ford Econoline for sale and immediatly thought of Hayduke's "Vans!" thread!
A lot of fun roadtrips were had when I was a kid in our yellow and brown '79 Ford E250 Club Wagon, so this older brother of the family truckster definitely brought back some good memories... Contrary to popular belief, a mini van is far from ideal for a family road trip. What is ideal is a big ass 3/4 ton van with three bench seats: one for each of us kids to sleep on, and subsequently one for each of us to get knocked off of during panic stops!
Times were different and even in the first part of the '90s, songs like this still blared out of the 8-Track with a cassette adapter and the fact that the strait-six only got 10mpg with a strong tailwind didn't really matter, because gas was 89 cents a gallon :
Luckily, the ferry crew took the risk of letting me aboard and I happily payed my buck to ride the ferry:
Even though it's a quick trip, it's still a ton of fun, and we shoved off:
The Willamette was looking beautiful as always:
...and then I found myself distracted by trying to figure out the fine details of how exactly the cable-operated ferry worked. How many amps and volts did it take to power those motors? What kind of force was being applied to one side of the hull at all times while on the river? How many trips does this ferry cross the river in a year?
As you can tell, I have no problem keeping myself entertained...
Right off the boat, I came across some hop fields and my mind immeddiately went back to beer. Mmm... beer...
Never one to let busy roads get in the way of fun, I took the backroads headed east and was greeted with more beautiful countryside with each passing mile:
A cool Oak tree at a 4-way:
...and the great Mount in the distance:
The XT was running like a champ and doing everything I asked of it... It was at about this point that while starting from a stop after taking a picture, I realized it's real easy to pull a sweet wheelie with lots of stuff on the back!
That's all for tonight. Next installment: Spending a night at a secret government compound, cold cervezas with a buddy and all sorts of kick-ass stuff. Stay tuned!
"Remember, you may have to grow old, but you don't have to mature." - Red Green
TwinDuro screwed with this post 12-16-2012 at 03:52 AM