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Ride to Seattle: March 28 - April 1, 2007

Cupertino, CA. 7:55am, 3/28/07
Yep, kids, it's time for another installment of "blog entries by city, state" as I ride to Seattle for a work presentation on Friday.

It occurs to me that I never take trips when the weather is hospitable. It was 36F when I left the garage this morning. Thank goodness for heated gear!

The weather is already making me rethink my intended route. It's 17F at the place I was thinking of staying tonight. I may have to stick close to the 5 after all and save Hwy 97 and anything else east of the Cascades for later in the season.

Isleton, CA. 11:02am, 3/28/07
One of my favorite buildings in the Bay Area, the Bing Kong Tong Society Building (1927).

Knights Landing, CA. 1:19pm, 3/28/07
I liked this little old lighthouse on the Sacramento River.

It's windy as heck today....sort of strange to see whitecaps in the delta.

Colusa, CA. 2:01pm, 3/28/07
I almost literally stumbled upon this small shrine tucked away in a grove of Juniper trees. Grand Island Shrine was built from hand kilned bricks in 1863 to preserve the spot where the first Catholic mass was said in Colusa county (1856).

Weed, CA. 6:38pm, 3/28/07
If insanity is the act of doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results, then that damn vista point near Lakeshead on I-5 proves that I'm crazy. I *know* that vista point not only has a bad view of Mt Shasta (odd for a vista point, no?) but the lighting is always such that photos can't make out the part of the mountain that *is* visible.

But yet I stop there and take a futile photo, every time. Ah well.

Ashland, OR. 9:41pm, 3/28/07
Ha, I got a pic with Mt Shasta. Take that, useless vista point!

I'm snuggled in at the Standing Stone Brewery in Ashland, about to walk back to my hotel.

Today wiped me out more than 450 miles should have...I think the wind early on in the day really affected me more than I realized.

Zzzz. Bedtime.

Medford, OR. 7:12am, 3/29/07
I wonder if I've managed to give myself some sort of motorcycle-induced frostbite over the years. The 10-mile ride from Ashland to Medford left me pretty much unable to use my hands, and it's not *that* cold out (25F in Ashland). Hrm. Maybe I'll get a pair of those TourMaster Winter Elite gloves with the wind breaker barrier.

Sunny Valley, OR. 8:58am, 3/29/07
Neat covered bridge over Grave Creek. The name of this town is false advertising; I initially stopped to put on my raingear as wind protection. It could really warm up any minute now.

Roseburg, OR. 10:10am, 3/29/07
No great scenery with the photo this time, but I thought you guys might also enjoy seeing a bit of sunshine.

I've had five people in Roseburg so far tell me "wow, it's cold today," which makes me feel a bit better....always good to hear that I'm not just a wussy Californian. ;) :)

The little espresso stand next to the gas station gave me chocolate covered espresso beans with my mocha, making me think of Yosh.

Bellevue, WA. 10:43am, 3/30/07
My quintessential Seattle experience.

This is the Starbucks at Loehmann's Plaza on 128th Ave SW (well, one of the Starbucks in the strip mall, at least), with a T-Mobile HQ building looming in the background.

Yep, this is what I rode 930 miles for. Starbucks and TMO.

Snoqualmie Pass, WA. 9:54am, 3/31/07
The weather is here, wish you were beautiful!

Toppenish, WA. 1:42pm, 3/31/07
Unfortunately, the hops museum is still closed for the season, but like any good beer-lover, at least I got a photo. ;)

WA-OR border. 3:11pm, 3/31/07
From today's "wtf" files....Stonehenge.

La Pine, OR. 7:44pm, 3/31/07
I pushed on a bit past Bend tonight and am glad I did. I had a nice conversation with the hotel desk clerk, who lived in Fairbanks for a while in the 60s and 70s...he was disappointed to hear that the Alcan was paved now. ;)

I'm confusing the waitresses at the Sugar Pine Cafe by only wanting one of the three optional side dished with dinner. It is pretty cold out; I guess people want hearty warm meals at night in the woods here.

Dinner's here....more in a bit.

Chemult, OR. 8:54am, 4/1/07
I had been worried about the weather this morning, but it actually turned out to be 27F -- no worse than Ashland. ;)

In fact, it's much more pleasant a ride because I started the day out with my rain gear on, which really blocks the wind and keeps the warmth from the heated gear in.

Colleen also gave me some large stiff fabric handguards that velcro onto the handlebars, which was a godsend. The Beemer does have nice plastic handguards but they have slots in them for spoilers, which lets cold air through. You can see the larger fabric handguards in the photo.

I stopped for breakfast at the Wheel Cafe here in Chemult and am having fun chatting with the waitress. She grew up in the southern Santa Cruz mountains, so we've been swapping stories of Loma Prieta and Los Gatos and mountain lions in the hills. This region of Hwy 97 feels very culturally similar to the southern Santa Cruz mountains. People are a little bit hippie and a lot bit hardy, with a strong territorial undertone.

They're friendlier to strangers here in Chemult, probably because the closest big cities are Bend and Klamath Falls, both about 70 miles of forest wilderness away. In the Santa Cruz mountains, the locals always look at us South Bay riders like we're going to run over their dogs with our dualsports and pour gasoline on their houses. Which, I suppose metaphorically, we are.

Collier State Park Logging Museum, Chiloquin, OR. 9:56am, 4/1/07
I really like this little state park. No time to explore today, sadly, but it's a great stretch break between Chemult and Klamath Falls. A must-stop for history nerds!

OR-CA border, Hwy 97. 11:04am, 4/1/07
Woot, home state!

Oh look, I'm back at work. 10:28am, 4/2/07
Just a quick note to say that I made it back last night. I was immediately whisked away to dinner and then went to bed before I could update. ;)

I didn't post much yesterday because, frankly, I was on I-5 and it was boring.

The most interesting thing that happened all day was that, outside of Benicia, I was riding behind a Miata, who was in turn behind one of those 8000 year old camper trailers that might have once been white but has turned nicotine yellow over the years. Anyway, the Miata and I were stuck behind the camper in the righthand lane because we were both waiting to take the next exit.

And then the camper exploded.

The best I can figure is that the high gusty winds caught a piece of siding and ripped it free. All I know is that suddenly a door and siding and wood shards and insulation was flying back at me.

The camper pulled over right at the exit and the Miata and I made our planned stop at a gas station. "Wow, that was exciting", the Miata driver commented to me as we got out of/off of our respective vehicles. Neither car nor motorcycle were harmed at all; I think we both were far enough behind the camper that we just ran over some insulation and wood pieces.

So that was about it.

Trip stats:
1866 miles
33 hours moving time
0 tickets, 0 tipovers, 0 puckers, 1 exploding camper