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Old 05-04-2009, 07:06 PM   #4
whitham_wannabe OP
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Mukilteo, WA
Oddometer: 1,098
Day One - Of geese and bunny rabbits ...

As I do most of my motorcycling in Washington, the plan for the first day was to clear the state down to Oregon as fast as possible, and then enjoy some new roads from there on out. 8am we were packed, the fish was fed and I even remembered to lock the front door.

First order of business was to go and see Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Museum in McMinnville. The Spruce Goose was Hughes' answer to the aluminium and steel shortage during the early years of the war, and is a very impressive work of carpentry indeed. Unfortunately, it was a rather less impressive airplane, soaking up 17 million government dollars and 7 million of Hughes' own funds for a total time airborne of 90 seconds. It is a fascinating thing to see in person, though - I work for Boeing and we make some big airplanes here, but they are nothing compared to the bulk and elephantile proportions of the Goose.

The museum has many excellent aero exhibits, and is a TMR Top Recommendation, if you are into that sort of thing.

I managed to find a vehicle with a more prominent proboscis than the 800 ....

... while Chris was more interested in schemes to improve the performance of the 1150 ...

Back on the road and we are heading for an overnight in Bend, OR. Relying on the GPS to navigate is not always the best plan, the fastest route rarely being the most interesting, but in this case we need not have worried. Soon we were climbing through the woods on Highway 22, through Detroit (a little different to the Detroit we are used to!). What a great road, just cruise up in 5th and 6th, wind on wind off through sweeping turns, hardly any traffic and no rozzers, constantly climbing until we are above the snow line and into the sunshine. Brilliant!

We stop in Bend, grab some beer and find our first State Park campground. The beauty of travelling off season is that we never had any problems finding a site, and had this whole campground to ourselves.

Well almost. This little fellow turned up and seemed very interested in my tent. If he'd been 20 minutes earlier, he'd have been in time for dinner ...

First of many evenings sat around staring into the flames, enjoying a refreshing cocktail and telling tall tales that we both know aren't true.

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