Saturday, September 20, 2008

Destination Bandon: The First Day--Seattle To Pacific City, OR

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We rode down to Bandon, Oregon to visit my aunt. It was the first long trip for both of us. We had luggage on Dave's Victory that strapped to the back rest. It worked very well and held everything we needed that wouldn't fit in the saddlebags.

We finally left on Sunday around 10am. The weather promised to be sunny and clear, with temps around 70. We headed down interstate 5 as far as Olympia, the state capitol. It was pretty quiet on a Sunday around noon.

At Olympia we cut over towards the coast. Now these were lovely wooded highways with almost no traffic. There were smooth, fast and slightly curvy roads that I really enjoyed. They followed along small inlets and bays where oysters are raised. This area claims to produce the most oysters in the world. The aromas you smell as you ride along are amazing. The ocean air is cool but clears your head.

We finally arrived at the Astoria Bridge, which crosses the mouth of the Columbia River. This large expanse of fresh water flows right out into the ocean. This bridge has always scared me when I crossed it in a car. It is extremely long and on the Oregon end there is a tall part that you climb up, up, up so that ships can go under it. It freaks me out. So I was not looking forward to crossing this bridge on a motorcycle. It turned out to be a lovely experience and quite enjoyable. The sensation was entirely different than I expected and I only wish I could have stopped and taken pictures.

We stopped for a break at Cannon Beach. This area is famous for its Haystack Rock and others scattered along the coastline. It is an artists mecca and, of course, a tourist trap. You can see why.......

Finally after riding for 7 hours, with a few short breaks in between, we arrived in Pacific City, Oregon. An old friend and her husband had driven a fully restored 1963 Austin Healey 3000 convertible on a British Car Rally and ended up in Pacific City that night. We met up and had a great time visiting, eating and drinking at the Pelican Pub and Brewery. Good beer and atmosphere, good food but just a little overpriced.

We got a room at a little motel in town called the Inn at Pacific City. It was inexpensive, clean, and quiet. It was perfect for a night of much needed rest and a welcome hot shower. In the morning we walked up a block and found the tiniest cafe with bang-up breakfasts. The biscuits and gravy were the perfect thing to get me ready for the road.

On the first day we rode for 7 hours, and 296 miles. Once you are in Oregon, the roads are narrow and very rough in some places. There are passing lanes once in a while, so you can get around the guy you've been following at 25 mph. for 10 winding miles. For me, it was physically challenging to ride so long, but it was worth it. I already felt like I had accomplished something riding so far and as fast as we could go to keep up with traffic. So many images had already been recorded in my memory that I will think back on and reflect fondly for the rest of my life.


B.B. said...

Beautiful pics. Sounds like a great start to your trip. I hope the rest went as well, can't wait to hear it.

Sangfroid said...

wow! tempting pics and a great trip log. Looking forward to more of it :-)

FLHX_Dave said...

Awesome pict! I have a couple of friends who are trying to tempt me with this route. Now I am going to have to say "hell yeah!"

"Joker" said...

Being that I recently came back from quite a long road trip, I can totally relate to your feelings here. I don't know about you, but as those images from the road go through my mind, I find myself wishing I could go back again.

Until going to Milwaukee, the longest trip I'd taken before on a bike was about 250 miles, this past July 4th weekend. Don't you feel great about yourself and your bike when you take such a journey? It's just awesome!

The pictures you put up are just beautiful, bordering on breathtaking. I'm sure they don't do the the actual experience of being there justice. Who knows how long it'll be or if I ever do get out that way, but I'd LOVE to ride those roads! I also love riding over big bridges on a bike - it's very cool.