|The next morning dawns sunny
but cold, and we are on the road by 8:30 a.m.† The lack of fog or
gray skies provides hope of better things to come.† The Oregon coast
is a visual treat, giving the rider a variety of things to look at.
After passing forestlands and more depression era, WPA bridges across
several rivers, we come to long sand beaches (photo 1) and
actual sand dunes, then back into the rugged cliffs again.
In about 20 minutes we make a quick stop to take a picture of the
bike with Heceta head Lighthouse in the background (photo 2).†
This is supposed to be one of the most photographed lighthouses on
the West Coast and I can see why.† The white lighthouse is crowned
with a red/orange roof surrounded by evergreen trees as it sits on
a point of land that stretches gently out into the sea.† We have seen
this lighthouse several times before and our reaction is almost always
the same, ďHey, stop so I can get a picture of that!Ē†
The trip past Heceta Head keeps us on the coast for the next thirty
miles or so before cutting in slightly to some broad, green valleys
as you get closer to Tillamook, Oregon.† We cannot go past the Tillamook
Cheese Factory (photo 3 & 4) without stopping, so we stop
so Linda can replenish the cookie jar.†† We usually buy an ice-cream
cone or some beef jerky and cheese.† Of course, Linda did a little
shopping in the gift shop and bought me a tiny bear dressed as a sailor.†
The good thing about traveling by motorcycle is that you donít have
room to carry anything large so anything you buy must be small.†
After leaving Tillamook, the road tends to straighten out so we pick
up the pace some.† Unfortunately the traffic also picks up but we
still did all right.† By 2:30 p.m. we were in Astoria, where I always
stop at the Columbia River Maritime Museum for a tee shirt.† The museum
was in the middle of an expansion project so construction forced us
to walk down the railroad tracks to the temporary entrance.† We bought
a shirt for Lou Bodiford, a good friend, and for our son, Brian, but
I couldnít find one to fit me.† Well, thereís always the next trip.
As we left Astoria, we had to cross the Astoria Bridge to get to Washington
State.† For some reason, this bridge made me more nervous than crossing
the Golden Gate Bridge yet itís not nearly as high.† The fact that
it is only two lanes may have something to do with it; Iím not sure.†
We got across without mishap.
In Washington we continue up Hwy. 101 towards Aberdeen but turn East
towards Shelton.† The road threads itself through several small towns
and the speed limit seldom climbs to more than 55.† Wouldnít you know
it, a Washington State Trooper falls in behind me for several miles
while the traffic in front of me slowly pulls away leaving just me
and the cop.†
Still, Iím not brave enough to break the speed limit so I finally
hook a right turn at a sign saying thereís a fish hatchery close.
Of course I donít actually go to the fish hatchery, I just want to
get the cop off my butt.
We finally hit a minor freeway in Hwy.12 before Shelton (WA) and are
quickly passed by a Harley riding two-up like us.† I fall in behind
them for the next 15 miles while we both break the speed limit by
about ten miles per hour. Iím not sure whatís gotten into me.† One
minute Iím Chicken Little and the next minute Easy Rider. I think
it had something to do with the fact that I didnít want the Harley
rider to think my Beemer couldnít keep up. I know, male ego. We finally
have to pull off to make connections with Hwy. 3, which will take
us all the way to Poulsbo.
Our original plan was to stop in Shelton, Washington for some dinner
but when we finally got there, there was nothing that looked promising.†
After a brief conference on the side of the road, we decide to head
for Poulsbo and eat at Mitzel's when we get there.
Now itís just a matter of putting in the last fifty miles trying to
go as fast as the law and common sense will allow.† We pull into the
Mitzelís parking lot almost at 7:00 p.m. exactly.† We call Brian and
Tami from the restaurant and invite them to join us.† Theyíve already
eaten so we take our time.† We pull into Brianís garage about 8:00
p.m., the end of our longest day so far, 359 miles.