I headed inland through Portland, which seemed to me an overwhelming network of highways, interstates and horrendous traffic. The interstate was backed up for miles. I patiently sat in traffic and duck walked the bike along inch by inch while contemplating the risks and benefits of lane splitting in a state where it was illegal. A group of guys in a truck with a dirt bike in the back and Fox logo decals on the windows gave me a thumbs up as they inched by.
Then my bike began to overheat.
I pulled off the road and let it sit for a few minutes, but it was scorching hot and the traffic still wasn’t moving. As I was debating my next move, an older couple on a Goldwing rolled up next to me. I explained my dilemma and they convinced me to follow them up the side around traffic. “Don’t worry.” the man said “If we get pulled over, I’ll talk our way out of it!” and off we went, passing the cars inching along the tarmac. The previously friendly truck people all gave me the finger as we chugged past. “But it was overheating!” I pleaded apologetically. Oh well.
Eventually we were freed from the jam and I made a beeline for Eugene, Oregon where an old friend had moved for grad school. He kindly let me crash his couch for a couple nights and took me out around the town.
They have an amazing bakery there called Voodoo Donut, where they make all kinds of crazy confections.
I consumed this lovely maple bacon donut:
Tastes like pancakes with syrup and bacon!
Since it is always good to replace your helmet after a crash (especially one where the bike lands on your head) I went seeking a shop to purchase one. I ran around to a few stores with little luck and then was directed to this place:
The owner was extremely helpful and I found everything I needed. Old and filter, a shiny new mirror and a white flip up helmet with built in sun shades (I’m very picky about my helmets…)
I set about doing an oil change in my friends carport, catching oil in an old turkey pan and disposing of it in spaghetti sauce jars. There was an insane amount of oil and it seemed really thin and smelled like fuel. My bike had stopped leaking puddles (remember that carb isue up in Canada I never really fixed?) but it seemed to be hemorraging internally.
I decided to finish up my oil change and make a run for San Francisco, a city I had visited once before and become quite enamored with. If I could choose to get stuck in one place for days awaiting repairs, the bay area is a fine choice…and I was lucky enough to have a good friend who just moved there and wouldn’t mind the company.
Off we go!
I opted to head coastward via the Redwood Hwy. I had heard about a motorcycle campground called Sparkplug’s down that way and thought it sounded like a great place to rest my head.
I couldn’t have made a better choice!
I got to stay in this neat teepee for 10 bucks!
Sparkplug and his wife were welcoming hosts. She even let me use their laundry (and folded my clothes neatly and gave me some snacks for the road too!)
There were a few guys with cruisers camping out as well.
This night blooming flowers pop open with a bang, I should have gotten video…
The camp ground has many old junk yard relics made into art and seating areas.
Laundry and shower facility
I had a great time camping there and would love to go back, it’s a perfect setting for rallies!
Sparkplug recommended some roads for me to check out on my way out.
Tree framed twisties
Over the little bridge and down to a dirt road…
big freaking trees
A little further down the dirt road turned to muck and I was chased out by a construction crew. Oh well. Back to the tarmac!
I did pop in for the cheesy drive-through tree tourist trap.
I just really wanted a picture of myself riding through a tree…also it was insanely hot and I was ready for an ice cream break. Soon I would reach the cool California coast!