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Published: June 22nd 2017
Greetings from Astoria Oregon! Today was a great day for riding, a mediocre day for food and a questionable day for humans.
I left Arcata at 7:00 AM and headed north on US 101. You may have noticed that quite a bit of this trip is on the 101. There is a reason for that. I've always wanted to ride this particular highway from it's southernmost point (East Los Angeles, CA) To it's northernmost point (Tumwater, WA). Hence the reason for the first several days of this trip.
I stopped for breakfast in Orrick, CA at the only coffee shop that was open. The folks were nice and the coffee was hot, so I decided to order a cheese omelet. This is where things get strange. The omelet arrived just barely cooked enough to hold it's shape. Once you broke through the fragile outer layer, it was pretty much just raw egg and unmelted cheese. Gross. The hash browns though, were the absolute best hash browns that I have ever eaten. They were absolute perfection. I call that a draw.
After breakfast, I continued north. There's something about riding through the Redwoods early on a misty morning. Looking
around you, it's easy to see what the world would have been like had people not come along. It would undoubtedly been better, but since there would be no motorcycles or bacon, I'm calling that a draw as well. Wait. There would still be pigs. A pig could
end up getting slow smoked in a forest fire. The same pig could
then me struck by lightning, flash frying it. So bacon is still a viable possibility without people. Still no motorcycles though. I'll give the edge to Earth on this one after all, but just barely.
Crossing into Oregon, the highway became less of a highway and more of a country road. It meanders through many many small towns, becoming the town's de facto main street. This means that the speed limit changes about every 15 minutes with an average of 40MPH through the vast majority of Oregon. Hence the reason why it took me 13 hours to go less than 500 miles. Still, it was some of the most beautiful riding that I have ever had the pleasure of doing. Below are a couple of videos of today's ride.
I stopped at an overlook to
stretch my legs and grab a picture. It was a nice spot and the cliff extended about 8 feet beyond the guardrail. I did what anyone would do, I stepped over the rail, walked to the edge and began taking pictures. When I turned to head back to the bike, there was a police officer staring at me from the other side of the rail. He asked what I was doing out on the cliff and when I said that I was taking pictures, he seemed very relieved and politely suggested that I never do such a stupid dangerous thing again and helpfully informed me that my camera was equipped with a zoom lens for just such an occasion. After securing a promise not to repeat my quest for a Pulitzer worthy cliff photo, he wished me well, and we parted ways. I wonder if he thought I was going to jump.
Now the human part. Ugh. In Oregon, you are not allowed to pump your own gas. That being said, if you have a motorcycle, they will generally take your card, run it through the pump then supervise you as you fill your own bike. Ok, then. So,
here's what happened: It was my 3rd or 4th fuel stop of the day. I followed the same routine that I always do when getting off the bike - Come to a stop, bike in neutral, engine off, kickstand down, bike on the stand, dismount. All of this went smoothly and I then stood in front of the pump waiting for the attendant to supervise my fueling. All of a sudden, I see the attendant walk up behind my bike and push it forward. For you nmon riding folks, here's what happens when you push a parked motorcycle forward - the kickstand folds up and the bike falls over. Yep. Luckily, something was there to stop my beloved Mothership from crashing to the ground. Yay! Unfortunately that "something was me. Boo. As the bike tipped over, it pinned me between itself and the gas pump. I wrestles the huge motorcycle back upright, kicked the stand down and when In looked up, I saw the attendant standing a few feet away with his back turned to me. I angrily stomped around the now safely parked (again) bike and seething, strode over to the attendant with the solid intention of DOING GREAT
AND TERRIBLE DEEDS. I called out to him as I walked toward him but he did not turn around. As I walked around him to achieve target acquisition, I noticed two things. First, he was smiling. Second, he was about six hundred years old. Well, that took the wind out of my sails. I just shook my head, handed him my card and went about my merry way. Ugh.
Tomorrow, I will be going far enough north to see Canada, then I'll be making a right. There may even be a boat involved. Stay tuned.
See you on the road,
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