Portland Trip 2014: Epic Road

 

Looking back at this section of awesome, it was hard to stop to take these pictures.

Looking back at this section of awesome, it was hard to stop to take these pictures.

I know I said a couple of days ago that the camping was the my favorite part of the trip.
I lied.
What I really didn’t want to do is share this, since part of me wants to keep this road to myself, making sure as few people know about it as possible. The realist in me realizes that since no one really reads this blog there is no way that me talking about it here will ruin it. (It’s on butler maps anyway)
I”m talking about Hwy 36 heading west from Hwy 5 to 101. I really can’t say enough about this road. Riding it was the highlight of the trip, and that’s saying something with how great 96 was, and how much I enjoy stretches of Hwy 1.

If I wanted to test someones road riding skills I would send them to this road.
This road has everything.
Big sweepers?
Check.

Tight twisty goodness?

Great road! Just don't make a mistake... it's a long way down.

Great road! Just don’t make a mistake… it’s a long way down.

Check!

Rolling hills and curves?

Just beautiful

Just beautiful

Check!

And when you think it had it all, your reminded toward the end it does. One lane twisty bits?
Check!

It’s 120ish miles of joy. I have no idea how bad traffic is out there in the summer or how hot it gets, all I know that on a Monday in April 2014 I had some of the most fun I’ve had on a motorcycle.

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Portland Trip 2014: A story from the first day

When I got to Fort Bragg just after noon I was ready for a break. It had been a cold and damp morning riding up the coast in the fog. I was pleased to be on schedule and instead of going to the Mexican place I decided I wanted a warm drink and stopped at the Starbucks. My first impression as I walked in was that I felt like I recognized some of the people in there. Which is weird since I don’t get up to Fort Bragg that often, I just had this feeling like I’d seen them some of them before (some of the customers not employees). Feeling a bit surreal I grabbed a chair by a power outlet and immediately plugged stuff in to start charging since that was the other reason I chose Starbucks over real Mexican food. I then proceeded to peel off my many layers since it was warm in there and I was beginning to overheat. Doing this I ended up taking over a bit of the chair next to me, but I wasn’t too concerned as the place wasn’t crowded.

After ordering my drink and getting some food I was very happy to sit down, I’d been crouching for the last several hours and it felt good to get my feet up.

Just after I got comfortable a guy in his mid 50′s put his laptop in the chair next to me. My first reaction was one of annoyance since there were plenty of other seating options and my gear was all over the place between the two seats, I made an attempt after he went to order his drink to try and contain it a bit, but anyone who’s had a pile of gear knows this isn’t the easiest thing to do.

When he came back he looked at my “stuff” with a less than friendly eye which did not warm me to him much, but a few minutes later when he was digging out his power cord I helped him plug it in which earned me a very sincere “Thank you”.  This apparently was all I had needed to do to open the floodgates. He had apparently noticed my bike parked outside and complemented me on it asking me where I was going. I briefly told him about my plans of riding to Portland. The next thing I knew I was getting regaled with stories of his motorcycling youth (on a Triumph, which was unique, most of the time it’s Harleys).  He spent several minutes talking about all the work he had done on his bike and that he was part of a club and sounded like he like to race at the drop of hat.

Funny thing is he was plenty friendly, once he decided I wasn’t one of those “kids?” and we had a pleasant enough conversation. After the conversation I was reminded of another old timer I met up in Eureka a few years back telling me similar stories and I wondered if they knew each other or if that kind of craziness was just part of growing up in Northern California. If so there is no wonder motorcycles are seen as dangerous, honestly after hearing all of the crazy they did I’m surprise he was still in possession of all his limbs.

After lunch and right before Highway One cuts inland for the lost coast the sun came out and it was glorious.

After lunch and right before Highway One cuts inland for the lost coast the sun came out and it was glorious.

 

 

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Portland Trip 2014: Motorcycle Camping

So my Portland Trip was quite the excellent motorcycle adventure as a whole, but I’m breaking it down in to many pieces so I can actually post them with out them being a really long wordy post (that then no one will read).

Motorcycle Camping

I love camping and one of the things I was most excited about on this trip was the fact that I was going to get to do a little camping. It did not disappoint, and it pretty much was everything I was hoping it would be.
It’s been ages since I’ve been able to go camping, growing up my family used to camp every summer and as a teenager I was in the Boy Scouts and we would go backpacking nearly every month. So it’s definitely something that I have some experience with.

It was a lovely little site.

It was a lovely little site.

I didn’t go hard core I decided early on that I wouldn’t be cooking at my campsite, not because I’d forgotten all those years of scouting experience of how to cook while backpacking, but because I didn’t have the space to pack all the stuff that would make it possible.

Ranger told me to put my receipt in my windscreen... or something like that.

Ranger told me to put my receipt in my windscreen… or something like that.

The tent went up quickly and I'm still very pleased about it.

The tent went up quickly and I’m still very pleased about it.

Had to get Firewood at the nearest town, sadly it was a bit green and did not work well.

Had to get Firewood at the nearest town, sadly it was a bit green and did not work well.

So I ate before getting to the campground and both nights had a bottle of wine to make getting to sleep a bit easier.

In my mind all the ingredients for a prefect night.

In my mind all the ingredients for a prefect night.

The fire did not last long, but that was the only disappointment of the night.

The fire did not last long, but that was the only disappointment of the night.

I haven’t been camping on my own in ages if ever and while I missed my Lovely Wife, it was very nice to be completely by myself with no distractions. Plenty of time to think and catch up on some reading.
I did learn (or relearn) somethings about lighting fires, and next time I’ll bring a hatchet or larger knife for making kindling since the wood did not come with enough (though I’m not sure I’d be able to find room for it in my luggage).

This was by far the thing I was happiest I remembered to pack.

This was by far the thing I was happiest I remembered to pack.

Thankfully all those years of backpacking means that I wasn’t caught out needing anything else besides that. Like I said, it was a great time, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it again.

Bike was Full

A short break along Hwy 1

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Happy Easter (belated)

Happy Easter from the MotoCynic and his Peeps!

Happy Easter from the MotoCynic and his Peeps!

I took this to post to the blog yesterday wishing everyone a Happy Easter. Unfortunately I got distracted by all my Peeps and Family…

I am still working on getting the details of my Portland adventure up, just trying to figure out how to do it. There is a lot to tell, but I don’t want to bore anyone.

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Portland Trip 2014: Day One Pictures

I took the most pictures this day. Lots of reasons why, but mostly because it was so cold I was stopping more, and it was a light day for travel so I had the time to stop.

All Packed up and ready to go.

All Packed up and ready to go.

A short break along Hwy 1

A short break along Hwy 1

Stopping in the sunshine in Jenner to warm up a bit.

Stopping in the sunshine in Jenner to warm up a bit.

I might have stopped more if this wasn't all I could see for nearly all of the morning.

I might have stopped more if this wasn’t all I could see for nearly all of the morning.

After lunch and right before Highway One cuts inland for the lost coast the sun came out and it was glorious.

After lunch and right before Highway One cuts inland for the lost coast the sun came out and it was glorious.

I dropped down off of 101 to follow the Avenue of the Giants. I have video, I'll share later.

I dropped down off of 101 to follow the Avenue of the Giants. I have video, I’ll share later.

Couldn't stay for the full sunset, I was getting hungry.

Couldn’t stay for the full sunset, I was getting hungry.

Not a normal use for a Ducati Monster, but it did the job.

Not a normal use for a Ducati Monster, but it did the job.

 

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Target Portland: Total Miles

On 299 looking back on where I'd been.

On 299 looking back on where I’d been.

I’m still sorting through the pictures and my notes and thoughts from my amazing ride to and from Portland. Over all it was a fantastic journey with some great roads. I was curious how many miles I had covered so I did some maps on Google tracing my actual routes traveled and I came up with the following.

Day One was 350 Miles
Day Two was 562 Miles
Day Three was spent in Portland with Family, I did run some errands, but no real miles traveled.
Day Four was 513 Miles
Final day was 565

It’ totals up like this:
912 miles San Bruno to Portland
1078 miles Portland to San Bruno
Total 1990 miles

My mechanics must love it when I do 1/3 of the miles for my next service in 5 days…

 

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Safely Home

I’m back and working on getting my thoughts and pictures together.

For now you can find 12 or so pictures on Instagram:

http://instagram.com/motocynic

I was almost home yesterday evening, but I had to stop and get this picture.

I was almost home yesterday evening, but I had to stop and get this picture.

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