Tuesday, August 14, 2007

2007 Oregon Trip

Awesome Awesome Ride!!!!! almost 2000 miles in 8 days roundtrip from Sac up to Portland, Oregon and then back again down the central valley. We saw everything along the coast from Jenner, CA up to Astoria, OR and then we went inland to Portland, then Mt. Hood and headed south down the central valley of Oregon's High Desert country into California's Siskiyou, Modoc, Lassen and Tahoe National Forests and then back into the Sierra's and then home again.

Crater Lake!!!!! What an incredible site to see on a perfect day.

John and Vicki's new 2007 Victory Kingpin Tour!!!!....

Day 1 / So the trip up into Portland took us about 3 1/2 days and we stayed in Fort Bragg on first night out of Sacramento. The trip out to the coast that morning was up through Napa Valley via Hwy 128 from Davis, around Lake Berryessa and Lake Hennesey. From there we went into Calistoga and found Porter Creek Rd which would take us over the western mountains to Forestville and then to Hwy 116. This was a pretty nice route that I had never been on before, some traffic but not too bad for a Saturday. Hwy 116 would take us through Guerneville, Monte Rio and Duncan Mills which are all along the Russian River waterway. We stopped in at the Christian Brothers retreat (yes the ones that make the brandy) just for a look-see. We spoke with Brother Gus there and had a great view of the river where it comes down from the mountains into basically their backyard. From there we headed out to the seaside town of Jenner for lunch, then we had to put on the leathers cause the fog and overcast skies were setting in upon us.

View of the Russian River from the Christian Brothers retreat
After lunch, we set out on the famous Shoreline Hwy #1 headed north towards the town of Little River. With many places to see along the way and roads that twist and wind through the sculpted ravines of the norcal coastline it was actually a very pleasurable ride... for me anyway. I'm kinda like a 'cat in a bowl of cream' when it comes right down to two wheels and a twisty road, I love it!!! My wife is very trusting of my riding abilites (with good reason) and she enjoys it for the most part but I can sometimes feel her tension when she wraps her legs tightly around me going into a turn really hard. John and Vickie were mostly right behind us, but I know he was having problems with his bike handling abnormaly in turns. Even though it was a 1500cc he said it was still underpowered with two-up and weighted down with luggage. Not a good condition when you're trying to run through turns leaning on your pegs and being smooth at speed. He did just fine.

View of the California Coast near Mendocino

We made it into town and sat down at the Little River Inn bar to get a front row seat to watch the sun go down. We all had coffe drinks because we were all pretty cold at that point. It turned out that the sun was still pretty far up in the sky and we had alot more time to kill doing something more productive then sitting around a bar so we decided go on out and do some more riding. Fort Bragg was still another 20 miles away so we headed for our final destination of the day.

Norcal coast near Fort Bragg, CA

Day 2 / We ventured up Hwy 1 now north of Mendocino and the road heads inland to the Hwy 101 Interchange. This is a really extremely twisty section of road that lasts for probably about 30-40 miles and it was just incredible! We also finally caught the sunshine again after having alot of overcast skies since coming out on the coast in Jenner the day before. We rode into the "Avenue of the Giants" to get a glimpse of the most enourmous trees ever seen by man (or woman). Absolutely incredible is all I can say...

Avenue of the Giants

After wandering through the redwoods, taking lots more pics and video and then running into thousands of people at a Reggae Festival going on in Paradise (what better place to have it?) we headed back out onto Hwy 101 and went north to Ferndale which would be our stopping point for lunch. My sister and her family live there just outside of town so we met up with them to take in some sites and grab a bite at Curleys Grill at the Victorian Inn on Main St. It was real good, service was great and the sites were great too! Lots of old Victorian buildings and construction type stuff if you're into that and all the history behind it. (I am) After saying our goodbyes and stuff we headed off again down the road to find our way towards Eureka, McKinleyville and Crescent City and then cross the border into Oregon country...

Downtown Ferndale; all buildings are Victorian era

We made a quick pass across the border, I grabbed the camera out of my pocket a clicked a shot just as we passed the border sign, and then John and Vicki stopped to take some more 'professional' shots themselves with a little extra thrown in...

Underway again we passed into Brookings and then along some more coastal towns and came to the Thomas Creek Bridge which is the highest bridge in all of Oregon.

The View From the Bridge to the Pacific Ocean

We had originally set our sites on Port Orford for our stopping point for day 2 but it was getting dark and we were just coming into Gold Beach ready for some more fuel and ready to eat again. So we all decided to stop short and bed down for the night right there in Gold Beach which ended being only about 15-20 miles South of Port Orford and a great choice for places to stay and eat. We found a place called Jot's right on the Rogue River and our rooms looked out right over the river next to the city bridge. We had dinner that night at the Hotel Restaurant and it was perfection!, I had a Rib-eye steak and Alaskan King Crab legs....mmmm good! I dont remember what anyone else had I was so inthralled with my own food.

Day 3 / Bandon for breakfast anyone?... thats where we ended up...

Downtown Bandon

Bandon is a pretty cool little port side town that reminds me of Santa Cruz, CA a bit. Lots of little shops and touristy stuff, a few restaurants and a wharf with a bunch of boats all ready for their turn at sea.

We had breakfast here at local favorite obviously by the crowds there, we got in quickly though. Behind the bar there was a coffee cup rack with all the locals own private coffee cups hanging for whenever they came in to use them. Pretty cool idea. We ate and got onto the road again; saw a couple of nice lookin’Victory bikes there too.

From there on North it was Coos Bay, Reedsport, Dunes City, Florence and nothing but overcast skies for us all the way up the coast. We were hoping for some blue sky and sun to break through at some point along the way but we mostly just got clouds and drizzle here and there. I always remember the coast being hit or miss this time of year and we just missed it.

We ended up stopping finally in Waldport for lunch, but not before having another funny moment. We were just cruising along at a pretty good clip along the two lane and came into a small town, it may have been Yachats and I was pondering my own thoughts (as I mostly do while riding), my wife on the back and our friends on their bike behind us. Out of the corner of my eye I see this guy on a little scooter, maybe a Vespa or something along those lines coming from the other direction. I really wasn’t paying much attention to him or anything on that side of the street and all of a sudden he is waving one arm full swing over his head and jumping up and down on the floorboards of the scoot. I glanced over and kinda caught a glimpse of this and just kept on riding without a response… My wife says “did you see that guy?” I replied… “Yup! I think I believe what I saw” We giggled a bit and went on. Anyway we get into Waldport and go into a Burger King for a quick hamburger and we sit down. My buddy’s wife asks us “did you see that guy on the scooter” and we all start busting up laughing because it was like the first thing that came to mind. I said “yea, ya think he was trying to get our attention or something?” and the wives simply thought he was trying to get a couple of ‘bikers’ to wave back at him on his scooter… We just laughed because it was really funny that he was making so much effort to be seen and neither of us figured out that all he wanted was a wave possibly… It really didn’t occur to me at the time, because I was focused on the road ahead of me. Quite funny though.

Downed a Whopper and some O-Rings and then hit the road again!.. We went through Newport, Depoe Bay, Lincoln City and then into the Tillamook Cheese Factory just for a look and an R/R stop. Next stop would be Cannon Beach.

In Cannon Beach we shopped a little bit, I found a wine store and bought a couple bottles for the road ahead. We hoped to find a nice place to eat and a place to stay also. We did find a great place to eat, but didn’t, the staff there tried and tried to find us a of couple rooms in the local area while feeding us lots of appetisers and some good drinks, but everything was full so we had to go on into Astoria as that was the only place that had some rooms available and it was getting late. We stayed basically under the Astoria Bridge at the Holiday Inn Suites. Got a 2 bedroom suite for a ridiculous price! We found another nice local bar right there in front of the hotel and had dinner too… finally! Actually we met a generous gentleman that was having a big party there, he offerred to buy us a drink and sat down with us to hear our travel stories. He was so enamoured by our journey and adventures he offerred to buy our dinner too. We told him no and that he was welcome to our stories anytime without cost! He introduced all of us to his party going group of people and we had our dinner and then headed back to The Bridge Hotel...

Day 4 /Portland here we come

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