Over here DockingPilot's RR detailed the crew's ride through the 'Forever West
' in 2010.
This RR documented another section of the west that is also near and dear to me.
Long story - considerably shortened.
Ancestors on my mother's side actually came west on the Oregon Trail in 1853. Dad's side weren't so adventurous and waited until the trains ran, arriving in Washington State in 1889.
Both sides of the family carved their homesteads out of the virgin forest in southwest Washington on benches along and above the North Fork of the Lewis River near Woodland Washington. Both places are now underwater behind PP&L's Merwin Dam. I spent my childhood in Woodland and teen years in Vancouver, 20 miles to the south.
After high school I left for the Navy and never returned to live in the area, opting instead for a job in Eastern Washington where I lived for 27 years in the area of Walla Walla.
First divorce happened in mid-90's. Met a lady that wanted to teach at university level. Once PhD attained she accepted a position at a school in San Antonio. We left Washington for Texas in 2001.
Divorce happened in early 2011. Survived. Layoff happened in early 2012. Survived. Sold almost everything in San Antonio, including house, and moved a few items to the Sacramento area to be near son and grands.
Met a German lady
(via the internet) that lives and works in Spain - here actually
. (I'm actually writing this from the roof terrace of the townhouse.
) Pics of our time in Texas.
And no wisecracks about the old dude if you please!
So... By June of 2012 I was in Sacramento at son's place. Bought a small travel trailer for a western tour. Had the cruiser style Suzuki in the back of the F150 and I set off to visit old friends, cousins and see some of the sights of my childhood.
After camping in the Sierra's with son and grands over July 4th I set off on my 'grand circle' trip of the west. The only schedule I had was to meet a friend in Port Townsend in early August and then Bridget was going to fly in to Denver in mid-august.
I traveled Hwy 1 from the Golden Gate north, turning right and missing 'the lost coast', opting instead for 101 north. I'd stop at a camp ground and unload the MC and ride to see some scenery and some twisties. Load up the bike and move a few hundred miles and do it again.
By the time I got to northwest Washington my left wrist was killing me - massive pain every time I rode the bike. So I stopped riding as much. (As an aside, I discovered that riding the GS this past winter that it was something to do with the ergonomics of the Suzuki that was hurting the wrist. Don't have any issues on the GS.)
Went on across Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming on the paved roads pulling the caravan, but stopping at some sights here and there.
Met Bridget in Denver in late August and we did a whirlwind tour - Denver to Yellowstone. Four days there touring on the MC. South to Grand Tetons. Both places so thick with smoke from forest fires in Idaho that all vistas were just grey.
Further south to Dinosaur and yet further south to Moab and Arches and Canyonlands NP's. Then across Central Colorado and back to Denver to see Bri off for her flight back to Spain.
Once I got back to Sacramento I stored everything and came here to Gran Canaria last fall.
Back home in the Sacto area in December I bought a 2001 1150 GS (Seen here)
and rode it in January and February in the greater Sacramento / Gold Country area. Now I'm back here in Spain and the bike is in storage. I'll return in late May to SMF.
These two RR's have inspired me to (sorta) repeat last summer's great western loop. I wanna see some more of the California coast. I want to ride in some of the mountains. I want to see what I missed last summer on the Olympic Peninsula. It's been 30 years since I went up Going to the Sun in Glacier on an MC. I went over Lolo Pass driving the PU & caravan - I want to do it on my GS. Out in Wyoming I want to stand in the actual ruts of the wagons when my ancestors passed 160 years ago. I want - more like I need - to experience that vast open plain and see the stars without any city lights interfering.
Then I'll mosey on down in to Colorado in late September and early October. By early October I'll be starting across southern Utah and back to Sacramento by late October or early November.
So thanks everyone for taking the time to do these RR's and inspire me to take this massive (for me) adventure trip.
Up until this time I'd been planing on messing about in NorCal and calling it good until I return here to GC in the late fall.
Thanks again for the inspiration!