Archive for September, 2007

What a Great Time!

Monday, September 10th, 2007

A friend of mine had a collegue of his from Europe ask him why I posted all my personal stuff on my blog site. It got me thinking how different Americans are with the use of the internet to share our adventures and pictures with our friends and family. I have family and friends scattered all over the US that I do not get to see that often, and this is our way of sharing life’s experiences. Heck, even my mother is learning about the internet. There is nothing here that is confidential or secret here; it is what we do. If someone who is not a friend or family member discovers my web site and sets up an RSS feed..which by the way I get an email notification of…then so what. If they are that interested in my life and my family’s life…welcome.

What a great trip on the Harley’s! Who knew that the Pacific Northwest was so beautiful! Our trip started in Seattle, Bellevue actually, where the 13 of us rented 7 Harleys. We rode out of the dealership with excitement and prayers of safe travel. Our first adventure was taking the Kingston ferry out of Edmonds, with a ride on to Port Angeles and a dinner of Mexican food (surprisingly good). After a night’s sleep, we rode through the forest and to our final destination of Long Beach, Washington. The pines were so very straight and TALL, and smelled just like Christmas. What a pretty sunset in Long Beach, which found us traveling to Florence, Oregon the next day. The Oregon coast reminded me alot of the island of Maui, with steep drops off right into the Pacific. We so enjoyed seeing Tom who drove in from Vancouver, WA. How cool was it to be met by Tom greeting us with 2 bottles of wine, a loaf of French bread, and tales of the past years. He challenged Peg to swim in the ocean, but after the water skimmed over her ankles, she could no longer feel her feet, so she came out! How much wine did we drink?

Off to Diamond Lake, which is a very cool resort, both in the summer and winter. We rode alongside the calmest and most beautiful river which put us all at ease. We awoke to rain the next day, and after delaying our departure with a hearty breakfast, we ventured upto Crater Lake, at an elevation of about 7,000 feet. We reached the first summit with intentions of riding the entire perimeter of 33 miles, but changed our minds when our bike thermometer’s read 21 degrees with a blowing, howling wind. Down the summit we rode, on our way to Madras, Oregon.

Madras was a little town, and because we arrived early in the afternoon, it was time to do laundry. We found a laundromat about 4 blocks away, and got our wash going. We needed a snack, so Peg walked over to the little market, bought 2 bags of chips and a 32 oz Budweiser. We sat on the curb outside the laundromat munching on the chips & beer when the local Sheriff pulled up. You see, there was a dry cleaner right next door, and he jumped out to get his cleaning. Well, Peg panicked, and grabbed the beer and stashed it behind the outdoor Coke (ooops, Pepsi in this part of the country) machine. Walked to an Italian place for pizza & salad.

Ok, so we wanted to drive up Mt. Hood to meet Joe, Alice, Lou & Fran. Talk about COLD!! We got around Mt Hood, and drove toward Portland where we crossed the Columbia River on The Bridge of the Gods. Now, we thought we had seen pretty stuff so far, but the scenery along the Columbia River Gorge on the Washington side was breathtaking! We came out of one tunnel, and each bike experienced a tremendous side wind gust which caused each bike to lean severly. After driving through the Indian Reservation, we decided to stay in Yakima, although several folks told us not to. We stayed in the right part of town, and we enjoyed it! Of course, we had to visit the HD dealership.

The next day Lou & Fran rode off to Mt. Ranier, and the rest of us went on to Leavenworth. Riding into town, it looked just like a Bavarian Village in the Alps. So, we HAD to have a brat & a glass of German beer. Joe & Alice stayed in Leavenworth for a while, and the rest of us were off to Chelan! Now, this was the coolest place that we stayed. A HUGE lake with a gorgeous sunset was found there. There was an outside pub where we had drinks, then went to watch the sunset, and came back for a great fish & chips dinner. Ask me to tell you about the girl in the hottub after dark, hehe.

Reluctantly, we left Chelan. BTW, this region is the apple capital of the US, where we passed orchard after orchard of every type of apple! We went to a little cowboy town called Winthrop, where we had breakfast/lunch. Gassed up, and rode over the top of the Cascades, through the rain to Mt Vernon. Oh, after we left the rain, we had to stop to take off our raingear, so we pulled into the most redneck town yet – Concrete, WA. The bar that we stopped in was scary, and the guy who befreinded us was an ex-con, who was out of prison for about 6 months for armed robbery. We left there pretty quick, and headed off to Mt. Vernon.

We stayed at a Casino north of Mt. Vernon in an town called Skagit; no, not Bob Sagit. Had a nice quiet night and left the next day to return to Seatlle via Whitbey Island and another ferry. We stayed at the Moore hotel next to Pike’s Peak, and walked around to experience the area. We ended up at a great ocean front restaurant called Cutter’s, and had our pictures taken at the Space Needle.

It was an incredible ride, and gave me many opportunities to practice my riding skills. It is an experience that I will remember for many years to come. I only dropped the bike one time on a short turnaround when we were lost. Mike provided me many opportunities to practice my turnaround skills:) Thanks to all of our riders for a great time.