WASHINGTON TRIP 1999
We left Chico, CA on Thursday afternoon about 3:00pm, taking Hwy 99 to Red Bluff, CA then I-5 north. The weather was beautiful, even going over the pass in Weed, CA the temperature stayed in the 70's. Once we got into Oregon there was NO traffic. Before we knew it we were climbing Mt. Ashland. The temperature dropped 30 degree's from the base to the summit but picks right back up on the other side. After having dinner in Medford, OR we picked up the pace a little as to get thru as much deer country as possible while it was still light. We had to cut our speed back at about 7:45pm because there were a number of herds standing right along the road. Although we have deer whistles on both bikes, and have seen them work, it just doesn't pay to take chances. We rode north a total of 425 miles before calling it a day in Roseburg, OR. We stayed in the Best Western in Roseburg, but do not recommend it. It is located right on the main street and truck route, and one block from the train tracks and warning bells that went off all night long. Strange they didn't mention any of this when they checked us in.
Today started out clear but cool. We packed, ate, and were on the road by 9:30am. Once again we headed north on I-5. Being a Friday morning of a long weekend we encountered quite a bit of Motor Home and Travel Trailer traffic but we were able to maintain about a 75 mph average. By the time we reached the southern edge of Portland we were in T-shirts. I had decided to take Rt 26 west out of Portland so we could cross the 5 mile long bridge from Astoria, OR into Washington. We stopped for lunch at a Dairy Queen on Rt 26 about half way between Portland and Astoria and had some killer french fries!!!! Although long, the bridge was not worth the traffic we encountered along the coast. Once across the bridge it was beautiful, smooth, well maintained roads with no traffic the rest of the way to Bay Center. We arrived in Bay Center about 4:30 and after checking at the one and ONLY watering hole in the town we were given directions to Joe and Deb's house. Unfortunately no one mentioned the one and a half mile of gravel road we had to take to get there. I found it difficult, Lauren found it terrifying, but handled it. We had the first 700 miles of our trip done. You can meet the nicest people on the Internet, and Joe and Deb Moore prove it. Never knowing what to expect when you take someone, you have never met, up on an invitation to come and visit, we were pleased to find two Old Time Bikers with stories and friendship to share. The rest of the night was spent enjoying both.
On rising this morning we found it overcast and cold. We had breakfast and about 10:00am we headed out to the town of Oysterville. Located on the point of a peninsula in the heart of the largest oyster producing area on the west coast, Oysterville is a town right out of the 1800's. Each house has a plaque in front telling who originally lived there and what they did. They even have the Church (restored) where the towns people would gather to sit out major storms. Although the town is only 6 miles across the bay, as the crow flies, from Joe and Deb's house, it is a 35 mile drive around the coast line to get there. Add to that the fact it was a Holiday weekend, and most of the day was spent just making the ride over and back. We did stop in the small town of Seaside to go thru the local museum (awesome) and take a walk along the boardwalk. They have a 10 mile stretch of beach with a raised boardwalk about 100 yards from the surf. On arriving back at the house we waited about an hour for low tide and then waded out into the mud flats and collected our own fresh oysters. A few minutes on the barbeque and they opened up and I popped a fresh, hot oyster into my mouth. YUK!! , GOD I HATE OYSTERS. Later that evening we went to the only restaurant in Bay Center which just happens to be attached to the only watering hole in Bay Center and had a fantastic meal at an extremely reasonable price. It's not often I find a meal that I can't finish for under $15.00. Back to the house to make preparations to leave in the morning and in bed by 1:00 am.
BUMMER. It's raining. Let me rephrase that, it's pouring. Deb woke us to a great home cooked meal of fried eggs with homemade biscuits and gravy. We packed the bikes and waited until about 11:00am in hopes the rain would let up but it soon became apparent that wasn't going to happen. We said our good-byes and headed down that fearsome gravel road. The bikes were throwing 10 foot rooster tails behind us as we headed down Hwy 101 to Hwy 4 and back to Portland. I've been told that state Hwy 4 in Washington is a beautiful ride, maybe some day I will get to see it clearly, but not this trip. It poured for the first hour and a half and then began to let up as we got closer to Portland. By the time we passed thru Portland the temperature was rising and the skies were mostly just broken clouds. It continued to get warmer the further south we got and by the time we were south of Eugene I was back in a T-shirt. We pushed all the way to Medford, OR before we called it a day. We checked into a motel that was located right next door to an IHOP. We enjoyed a nice, dry dinner and were in bed by 11:00pm.
Up at 8:00am. We took some time to use the laundry room at the motel to dry all of our clothes out. Packed, ate, and we were on the road by 10:00am. We dressed warm because Ashland Pass is right outside of Medford. From the top of Ashland Pass it is all down hill back to Chico. We stopped in Weed, CA and put away all of our warm clothes. The temperature at the top of the pass was about 48 and in Weed it was 68, but we knew that it was going to be in the 90's by the time we reached Redding. We took it easy as there was quite a lot of traffic and all the forest fires in the Shasta Mountain Range made for poor visibility. There were something like 90 fires still burning of the 111 that started a week earlier. You can actually see them from the highway. We arrived home about 3:30pm. Hot, tired, and happy. A little over 1400 miles. Just another weekend on the bikes!!!!
If you are ever in the Washington coast area be sure to stop and see Joe and Deb Moore. It will just make your trip that much better.
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