Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fun in Portland!

All bitterness over drivers dissolved once I hit the Avenue of The Giants and saw the Redwood forests. I was suddenly the slowest thing on the road. Luckily the road was empty.

 I finally got to see the Pacific under the sunlight. The views during my two day ride from San Fran to Portland, OR were pretty amazing and I hadn't even seen the amazing redwood forests yet.

 When I did I was pretty shocked at the size of the trees. I don't know what else to say about that. They're stunning. Luckily for us other enterprising individuals have drilled car-sized holes in some of the larger ones and we can now pay a nominal fee to pass through one. Always a sucker for bearing witness to stupid things I paid my $3 and joined the party. To add some reference marker as to the size of this tree, the branches about 30' up that are growing straight into the air are larger than any tree you will see over most of the east coast.

This is the only time I can imagine driving through a tree would be a positive experience. I looked up as I was slowly passing through and notice some advancing heart rot making it's way up into the core of this giant. I am sure it will get the better of the tree sometime in the next 1000 years. This tree was estimated to be over 2100 years old! It was neat to see. After this I headed up the coast with the intention of finishing my day passing through a grove of trees that blacked out the setting sun. While sitting still in this forest I was amazed at the quiet that is created when this many enormous trees grow together. I sat still for awhile absorbing the quiet. Then it was time to go find some place to sleep for the night.

 After some more tree porn.

Elk on the town line of Orick, CA
From this point to Orick, CA I was intent on non-stop riding. I wanted to stop for the day in a position that would leave me less than 5 hours ride from Portland. I finally gave in when I saw a cheap looking hotel and stopped for the night. Of course these days cheap looking hotels seem to coast as much as any other so you're better off staying at a nicer place. I went across the street to hit a small Mexican diner. The food was great and the beers were cheap. The quality of food and service made up for being over charged for my room. I went to bed as happy as I could be. The plan was to start out at 4:45 the next morning.

The diner attached to the hotel was supposed to open at 5am. As opening time came and went and my hunger, and need for coffee, grew I decided to leave and hope for breakfast down the road somewhere. I found a nice breakfast in Klamath at the Klamath River Cafe. It opens at 4am and the prices are reasonable. The food is perfect and they have a large hot sauce selection. I left overjoyed and pumped to ride to PDX and meet up with Katie. We were planning a weekend of fun in Portland, OR. I used highway 101 until I determined the freeway would be my best course of action. If I weren't so excited to meet Katie the ride would have sapped me of all enthusiasm and left me ruined but there was a reason to ride this stretch of super slab and it kept me from despair.

 The free motorcycle parking at PDX is a breath of fresh air. I hope the rest of America wakes up soon and realizes it is time to make allowances like this in all cities and highly populated areas. Cars should be phased out almost entirely. But I digress.........

Katie expertly packed all of her necessary gear and all the clothes she needed in that little orange bag! Unfortunately I was so shattered from riding the highway into Portland I rushed us to the bike and we missed the chance for her to put pants on. Since there was nowhere to hide outside and we were both ready to begin our fun weekend she rode in shorts to our Hotel. In another mental lapse I locked my gloves in the topcase under the orange bag; this left me gloveless for the ride into center city. Oh well.

Vagabonds without danger pants.

 The rest of the weekend was a pleasant blur and is best summed up in photos. On Monday I hit Cascade Barrel House.

 Top left to bottom right: Green Dragon, white whale in street, Some dive bar where we played pool and pinball and bullied the jukebox, The Horse Brass Pub - Scotch egg, Brie apple and bread plate.

                                                                   A slug on the path to the Japanese garden, Katie with $7 Thai pork with rice, lettuce, and kimchi. Admiration of VD (voodoo donuts) and our friendly server at that establishment.


A cool older Honda that I freaked out over. luckily for me the rider was cool about it.

Next up is Cascade.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ray, if you are still in Portland you should check out Upright Brewing Co. A friend just brought me a couple bottles and it seems like a pretty cool brewery. Lots of delicious spontaneous fermentation.