09-12-2013, 09:59 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Somewhere in Latin America
I’m really interested in heading South and seeing Latin America, so my bike is pointed in that direction now. My only restriction is my wallet which will eventually run dry. Other than that I’m in no rush and have not made nor excluded any future plans. I’m just going day by day and playing everything by ear. In my previous ride report (Tanning A Ginger Tip-to-Tip) I spent a lot of effort planning schedules and working out logistics. I learned that for me this level of planning saps the fun right out of it and now I am just going to roll with it. In essence, everything is an option. Lets get started.
I had my last day of work on Friday September 30th, got dubiously inebriated Friday night with friends at our place to celebrate, recovered on Saturday, and then loaded up the bike and headed out on Sunday for the west coast of Washington. It was labor day weekend so a couple friends came along to camp out on the coast Sunday night and continue the festivities.
We got the coast in good time and spent the afternoon lounging on the beach, getting bashed around swimming out in the ocean, and kicking back some cold ones as the sun set. The night carried on and we had a good time. Glad you guys could come kick it, couldn’t have had a better send-off without you.
I even got to ride on the beach which is always a favorite for me.
The next morning my friends headed back to Seattle and I headed south down the coast, destination Newport. If you followed my previous ride report (Tannin A Ginger Tip-to-Tip) you’ll remember Sophie. She was now living in more habitable climates doing her graduate work in Newport OR.
En route at a stoplight a big orange truck pulled up, Scraper Joe was his name. “Ay you goin down all the way tuh Tillamook?”. “Fallah me, you’ll love it on a bike”. I followed him to a couple off track roads before he pulled over, gave me the lead and said “get goin!”. Sure enough, it was a great road for a bike. So good I took no pictures, too busy riding. Here’s the route on the GPS though.
Thanks Scraper Joe.
Got to Sophies in the afternoon.
I had developed a rattle that I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. While riding I had earplugs in and couldn’t locate the sound. Found it though, spark arrestor had rattled loose. I’ll give it a fix tomorrow with new bolts and some loctite.
Soph showed me around her new digs, I’ve gone through Newport before but always just blowing by. As with most places, if you go slow enough there’s always more to see.
Scoped out the beach.
Further down the beach the wind had swept the sand into some planetary hill patterns. Running around I felt like I was a martian chasing the mars rover.
The next day we went for a hike. We found this stone lookout at the top.
(I lie, we drove straight to the top. Ain't nobody got time for that).
I tried to teach Soph how to ‘dougie’.
Soph thought I looked dumb and pushed me off the edge.
Was a pretty swell look-out though. The crew that built it did so in the middle of the winter?! For those that don’t know, this is summertime here on the Oregon coast. Come winter, this place would not be a pleasant location to be building on.
We looked around some more and then headed into town for some grub.
Diver was trying to escape being dinner.
There was a haul-out for juvenile male sea lions here too. These are the guys that can’t get any action yet. Probably because they stink pretty bad. They couldn’t have cared less though, this guy was ballin.
The next day it was time to head out, I’m sure I’ll be running into Soph again though, she always seems to move to cool places so we’ll see where she ends up next.
A few months ago I rode my bike down the coast in the winter time to get to some sun in Cali. I don’t like to go the same way twice so I was keen to head towards eastern Cali instead this time. Maybe hit up Yosemite and do some climbing on the way.
I ran into Doug (?) navigating his V-Ship Enterprise. He had a plethora of gadgets all mounted neatly up like a fighter pilot cockpit. Sweet rig Doug.
After Doug left I spoke to the guy at the gas station about places to sleep the night while incognito. I’m trying to stealth camp as much as possible. It physically hurts my brain to hand over $20 for a tent space that offers me nothing more than what any roadside pullout does. I prefer a rural dirt road to sleep near or an empty pasture any day to a KOA or other pay campsite. The guy at the gas station told me about a nice free camp space just a bit down the road so I headed there.
Crossed a set of tracks just in time for a good shot as a train came blowing by. There wasn’t any gate here, I think the conductor got worried as I hurriedly stopped the bike right as I crossed the tracks and jumped off the bike. He blasting his horn quite a bit.
This shit was $3.29 for 2 at the gas station. ‘Merica!
A good book, early campsite find, and a leisure beer. Nice evening.
The next day I packed up and got back on the road headed towards Yosemite, I wasn’t quite in California yet though so I probably had another days ride until I would get there. The weather was getting hotter though, and the landscape was showing the temps effects.
By the end of the day I made it into California and just near the tip of Lake Tahoe. I came in via the Mountain Rose hwy which winds up the pass just NE of Lake Tahoe coming from the Nevada side. It’s a nice little highway but the sun was setting so I pulled off near the summit where it would be nice and cool. Cooked some dinner on the camp stove and then called it a night.
Now that I’m in Cali, Yosemite should be obtainable for tomorrow. I could see a fair amount of what appeared to be smog in the air though. This made everything look foggy and I couldn’t figure out why. I totally forgot about the big fire that has been raging in the Yosemite valley. I remember from the news before I left that it was pretty bad, something like the worst fire in 10 years?? Hopefully the areas are still open… No interwebs though so we’ll just have to wait and see.
SeanPNW screwed with this post 09-17-2013 at 07:00 AM