Epilogue

If you haven’t yet read the post for Day 14, please read it first, and come back to the epilogue when you’re done.

As the trip was coming to a close, we began to discuss what we would do next year.  We’ve covered a majority of the western United States, and any other trips of interest would either require higher mileage days or a longer trip.  We are uneasy with either option.

After a bit of thought, we came up with the idea of a Colorado 4X4 road journey.  The original intent of these adventures had been to explore the backcountry, roads not typically seen in a car.  Given our personal limitations, this isn’t possible on motorcycles, but it is on four wheels.  So, we made the decision to do a Jeep trip next year.

There was only one problem, I didn’t own a Jeep, and dad’s CJ-5 wouldn’t make it to Colorado let alone get us through the trip.  This is not an insurmountable problem, but a solution had to be found.

Since we returned a day early, Saturday was free.  So, after washing the bikes and enjoying breakfast at Einstein Bagels, we made our way to the local Jeep dealer.  It took four hours, but we left the Subaru Outback with the Jeep dealer and drove home in a new Wrangler.  I had no choice really, right?

This Jeep is a base upon which to build, and it may take me most of the year to get it where it needs to be for our trip.  We’ll be sticking to proper 4X4 roads, but we will be in the backcountry, so the Jeep needs to be capable surmounting basic obstacles and have the necessary implements for extraction.  Equipping the jeep for these capabilities will be a fun project.

Next year’s adventure will include a dog (Einstein), camping, cooking, jeeping and hiking.  I guarantee it will be different, but I know there will be a story to tell.

As an aside, we did a 4X4 trip in 1999 or 2000.  It was short, and it included a dog, camping and cooking.  From that experience, we can share a tip.  Watch what your dog eats if he’s sleeping in a three person tent with two people.  Eating the wrong thing can make for a very unpleasant tent experience.   Don’t even ask about the Dinty Moore Stew…

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Day 14 – Ogden, UT to Arvada, CO

The Comfort Inn in North Ogden, UT (actually it was Farr West) provides a substantial breakfast, and we enjoyed our share.  With our bellies full and the bikes packed, we pulled out of the parking lot at 7:30. 

I planned the route for the day on our GPS the night before, and in order to get the recalcitrant GPS to do what I wanted, I had to select the shortest route option.  This made for an interesting route out of Ogden.  We had ample opportunity to view the sites while sitting at more traffic lights than I could count.  While our hotel had a fantastic view of I-84, it was more than fifteen miles and thirty minutes before we actually entered the freeway.

As we entered I-84, somebody must have turned on the world’s largest fan.  We were both struggling to maintain speed and direction against this amazing force.  As we struggled with the wind and began to climb, the temperatures rapidly dropped.  It was 70 degrees F when we departed the hotel so dad soaked his cool vest in water and opened the vents on his riding gear.  We were now experiencing temperatures closer to 58 degrees F, and he became a Popsicle.

After several miles of wind, cold and construction, we exited the freeway.  Before going any further, we took advantage of a parking area to warm up and suit ourselves for the cooler temperatures.   A little warmer, we began our back road journey for the day.

UT Hwy 35 is scenic road that follows a river before beginning to ascend.  Given the amount of corners, the 40 and 45 mile an hour speed limits aren’t terribly restrictive.  As I approached a 15-mile an hour corner, an animal caught my eye.  I continued forward at a much reduced pace.  As the animal became clearer, I could see it was a sheep; as a matter of fact, it became a herd of sheep.  They were all over the road.  More incredible, however, were the dogs that were lying on the side of the road keeping a watch on things, and carefully watching me as I rode along.  Maybe this had something to do with me asking if Bah Bah Black Sheep was anywhere to be found.

Getting closer to Duchesne, UT, the GPS chose to route us on a dirt road.  We declined this recommendation as dirt was not in the plan, and we entered Duchesne on asphalt where we turned west onto US Hwy 40.  We followed 40 to Vernal, UT where we spent the first night of last year’s trip. Our plan had been to spend the night in Grand Junction, CO.  At this point, we were less than 150 miles from Grand Junction, and it was only noon.  While enjoying lunch, we made the decision to cancel the reservation and head west on US 40 until we needed to stop or found my house.

It was 3:00 PM when we refueled in Steamboat Springs, and it didn’t look like we could find a room if we wanted to.  People were everywhere, so we made the decision to shoot for home.  We followed US 40 to CO 9 and took that down to I-70. I’ve only seen trick riders do so much dancing on a motorcycle; we were both struggling to stay seated.

We made it home right at 6:00 PM with rears that were happy they wouldn’t be on a motorcycle the next day.  It had been a long day, and our route wasn’t optimized for time.  But we were very happy to be home safely after an adventurous two weeks on the road.

Everywhere you go there are interesting people to meet and new sites to see.  This country has a lot to offer in the form of diversity and wonder.  Meeting new people not only gives me the opportunity to get to know them, but to also see a different side of myself.  I hope everybody has the opportunity to experience life outside of his or her bubble, and to learn what makes this country unique.

Stay tuned for the epilogue that will be published soon…

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Day 13 – Baker City, OR to North Ogden, UT

Given our knowledge of the motel’s breakfast options and our need for sustenance that sustain us during our long journey, we chose to avail ourselves of the McDonalds next door.  At 6 AM as the doors opened, I walked in, placed our order and returned to the hotel by 6:10.  After consuming egg mcmuffins, orange juice and coffee, we loaded the bikes and miraculously left the motel at 7:15.

After 70 miles we waved goodbye to Oregon and accelerated to the more reasonable speed Idaho allows.  As we entered Nampa, we decided to surprise a friend with a visit.   If you remember Dennis from last year’s journey, he is still doing well and was happy to see us.  After a short one-hour visit, we made our way southeast on Hwy 78 eventually rejoining I-84 in eastern Idaho.

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Our bellies and our bikes needed energy, so we availed ourselves of the first exit with food and fuel.  Glenn’s Ferry is a small town, but their sole restaurant is staffed with friendly waitresses who serve a wide selection of good food.  I wouldn’t hesitate to stop there again.

When we rejoined I-84, we didn’t stop until we reached our destination, which was over 240 miles later.  With sore rears and achy limbs, we pulled into North Ogden’s Comfort Inn.  We chose convenience over quality for dinner and picked up a Dominos pizza.

Tomorrow’s journey to Grand Junction is 333 miles via the northern route.

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Day 12 – Hells Canyon

This morning came as many others have, too quickly.  I got up at 5:45 and shaved.  Dad followed shortly behind.  The breakfast selection this morning provided for the least choice we’ve seen on the trip.  If you like cereal and toast, you’re in luck.  The cereal dispensers were adorned with signs admonishing guests to pull the lever slowly.  Dad pulled the lever slowly, but his Raisin Bran wound up all over the counter regardless.  With the assistance of the desk clerk, a significant portion of the cereal went back into the dispenser.

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It was 8:30 when we left the motel parking lot in search of Hells Canyon.  The temperature was moderate, and the roads were relatively clear.  We continued to struggle with the 55 MPH speed limit on the wide-open, newly paved and wide-lane roads found in eastern Oregon.

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After a little more than sixty miles, we turned on the road that ascended through the canyon.  While there were missing chunks of asphalt the size of Volkswagen bugs, this road was also posted at 55 miles an hour.  For fear of accidentally finding one of these “pot holes” with our motorcycles and descending to the canyon’s namesake, we kept our speeds well below 55.

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We stopped at the Hells Canyon overlook to take in the grandeur.   This is an area worth coming back to explore.  The canyon itself descends over 7000 feet to the Snake River below.  The recreational opportunities are endless, but our time was limited.

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We stopped in Joseph, which unbeknownst to us is quite the tourist town, for lunch.  The salads and French dip were worth the stop.  From Joseph it was another 100 miles back to Baker City.

After doing laundry, we celebrated our last evening in Oregon with sandwiches from Safeway.  We’re looking forward to making our way home beginning tomorrow when we travel to Ogden, UT over 400 miles away.

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Day 11 – Madras, OR to Baker City, OR

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Neither of us was anxious to get up this morning, but at 5:45, I successfully made the effort.  After shaving, I woke dad, and we continued to prepare for the day.  It was 9:00 when we began the fourteen-mile journey back to the Museum at Warm Springs.

As we were descending from the plateau and just before we entered Warm Springs, a very large buck darted across the road at high speed.  When I first saw the buck enter the road, I thought, “Wow, that is a huge dog.”  Then, my thoughts turned to, “Holy cow, that is one fast buck.”  I’ve never seen a deer move so quickly.  Fortunately, he made it across the road without incident.  He must have had a hot date.

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The museum was interesting and educational.  It’s definitely worth the visit if you’re in the area.  The three tribes that make up the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation all relied heavily on the Columbia, Deschutes and John Day rivers along with the surrounding lands for sustenance.  They were forced into a very small reservation in the mid 1800s, and this drastically changed their way of lives.  A large portion of the museum is dedicated to maintaining and remembering their native culture through language and dance.

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We departed the museum at 11:30, and began our 240-mile trek toward Baker City, OR.  About an hour later we stopped for fuel and food.  The temperature for most of the journey was above 90 degrees with a maximum of 101.  I never knew 88 degrees could feel so refreshing.

For some reason we can’t figure out, Oregon has a ridiculously low speed limit.  We haven’t seen a speed limit above 55 MPH the entire time we’ve been here.  Let’s just say we’re not respecting their recommendation.  I would fall asleep at 55, and as Sammy Hagar so eloquently sang, “I can’t drive 55!”

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We made it to Baker City just before 5:00, and we did confirm that there is a Mexican restaurant across the street.  Fortunately, there is a Safeway one block down, so we opted to microwave our dinner tonight.

Tomorrow we’ll explore the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway.

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Day 10 – Tillamook, OR to Madras, OR

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The Red Apple Inn doesn’t provide a continental breakfast so Jimmy Dean came to our rescue this morning.  We each had two bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches to start the day.

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It was close to 9:00 when we began our four-mile journey to the Tillamook Air Museum.  The museum is located in blimp hangar at the Naval Air Station Tillamook.  Hangar “B” was built along with Hangar “A” to house the blimps used by the Navy to patrol the northern Pacific Coast during World War II.  Hangar “A” burned to the ground in 1992 leaving Hangar “B” as the sole remaining structure..  These blimp Hangars are the largest wooden framed structures in the word, and they are huge!

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The Tillamook Air Museum has over thirty airplanes on display and almost every one of them still flies.  We were the first to arrive, but by noon, there were quite a few guests visiting the museum.  It was around this time we headed for the café to enjoy lunch.  Dad wanted to remove his suit liners before we left, and he decided to do so in the restaurant.  Sitting in a booth, he removed his riding trousers, removed the liners and then put the trousers back on.  He did ask the couple sitting next to us if they would be offended, but what about me?  It’s not often you see a man strip to his underwear in the middle of a restaurant, thank goodness.  I’m sure more than one person has a new story to tell about a crazy old guy at the Tillamook Air Museum Café.

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It was close to 12:30 when we left Tillamook and began making our way toward Madras.  The ride took us through Portland and the Mount Hood National Forest.  We had spectacular views of Mount Hood and comfortable temperatures most of the way.  As Madras drew closer, we descended into the desert, and the temperatures began to rise.  The motorcycle’s thermometer registered 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit at one point.  We had one minor delay for construction, and one missed turn in Portland, but we made good time nonetheless.

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At 4:45, we pulled into the Madras Econolodge, checked in and sorted the bikes.  After a bit of relaxing and washing up, we enjoyed Mazatlan, a Mexican restaurant for dinner.   Why is it there is always a Mexican restaurant adjacent to our motels?

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Tomorrow we’re visiting an Indian museum before heading to Baker City, OR.

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Day 9 – Hoquiam, WA to Tillamook, OR

It was another slow start to a slow day.  Our destination for the day was only 150 miles to the south, so there was no need to rush.  And the chilly gray foggy morning didn’t seem all that welcoming.

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I can’t remember the last time I had Fruit Loops for breakfast, but at forty years old, they were my choice this morning.  Continental breakfasts at chain motels are, as Forrest Gump would say, like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.  It keeps breakfast experience fresh and exciting.

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It was close to 9:45 when we pulled back onto 101 to continue our southbound journey.  The temperature hovered around 59 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the morning with intermittent misty rain.  As we entered the town of Seaview, WA, I noticed a sign for a crab restaurant.  In the hopes of finding good seafood and warmth, we followed 104 into town.

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We wound up at a very small café called the Loose Caboose.  This is a five-table restaurant with one waitress and one chef who is also the owner. Dad had a mixed seafood soup with salad, and I had crab cakes with clam chowder.  The meal was really quite good, and the coffee gave us much needed warmth.  After a little more than an hour at the Caboose, we continued south.

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Shortly after crossing the Columbia River into Oregon, we stopped at a tourist info center.  There we learned of the nearby Lewis and Clark National Historic Park.   My father has a big interest in the Lewis and Clark Discovery Mission, so we took a short detour to visit the park.

It was surprising to me that the visitor’s center was quite crowded.  We wondered through their small museum, watched a thirty-minute film and visited the Fort Clatsop recreation.  Dad really enjoyed our time there, and I was reminded that our adventure is nothing compared to that of Lewis and Clark’s.

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It was after 3:30 PM when we rejoined Hwy 101 and continued our journey to Tillamook.  The traffic was much heavier than we had previously seen, so the final sixty miles weren’t swift.  We passed the cheese factory as we entered Tillamook and found our motel shortly thereafter.

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As we entered the office of the Apple Motel, a very friendly South Korean woman greeted us by exclaiming she loves motorcyclists.  She did take care of us.  We have a room directly across from the office, and our bikes are parked under a portico.

After a shower, I walked to Safeway and bought a chicken, bread and sundries for dinner.  Tomorrow for breakfast we’ll be having Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches cooked in our circa 1902 microwave.

Dad spent the evening puttering around outside in what he considers his formal attire, long underwear.  He was cleaning the motorcycles and chatting with or waving to everyone who came into the motel.  We are eight feet from the office door.  For some reason, who can imagine why, a few people seemed to look at him askance.

After breakfast and a visit to the Tillamook Air Museum, we’ll be making our way east to Madras, OR.

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Day 8 – Everett, WA to Hoquiam, WA

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At 5:30 this morning, my alarm went off, and I was forced to find the courage to remove my head from the covers and expose it to the freezer our room had become.  Dad arose not long after I finished shaving, and he began to get ready.  After enjoying another continental breakfast we’ve come to expect, we departed the Quality Inn a little after 8:00.

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Our plan was to catch the Mukiteo Ferry to Whidbey Island.  You would think it would be simple enough to find a ferry, but we managed to get lost in the fog.  With a bit of backtracking and good luck, we finally made it to the dock.  Loading was simple and quick, the crossing was smooth, and unloading on Whidbey was uneventful.  Our first ferry crossing on motorcycles was a success.  We followed 525 north to our next ferry in Coupeville which would take us off the island.  When we arrived at the ferry terminal in Coupeville, we were told our passage on the first ferry wasn’t guaranteed.  After that ferry sailed into the distance without us, we were told we might make the next ferry, or we might not.  In fact, it was said, we may not make any ferry today.

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There were several other motorcyclists in the same boat, pardon the pun.  Through our common bond and growing hatred of the Washington ferry system, we became fast friends.  While I was chatting with Bob, an ex-hippie with a Jesse James custom, dad came up and introduced himself.  The conversation quickly turned to the military, hippies, war and soldiers.  It was interesting to observe this clash of cultures.  They found some common ground and ignored the differences, so all is fair in love and war.

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Somewhere in this conversation, dad defined the acronym FUBAR, and that got the attention of everybody within earshot. Oddly nobody seemed to know the acronym; they must live a sheltered life on the Pacific coast.  When dad walked away, Bob said, “I really like your dad.”  Two more opposite people couldn’t exist, but they were stuck waiting for a ferry together, and it gave them a common ground on which to build.

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We were lucky; we made it on the next ferry.  After close to three hours of waiting, we were on our way back to the main land and 101 south.  Once on 101, it wasn’t long until we ran into another minor issue; the lavender festival in the town Sequim had drawn a large crowd, and the traffic was heavily constrained.  I would love to know what happens at a lavender festival to draw such a crowd, but we had miles to make.  We worked our way west through Port Angeles where we stopped for a bite to eat at Subway.  Somehow, someway, dad lost one of his $35 earplugs at the Subway.  He looked in the bathroom twice, the parking lot, and the under the table.  Did I mention he looked in the bathroom twice?  Finally, he remarked that when you lose enough stuff there’s relief that there is nothing left to lose, and I guess Kristofferson agrees as he wrote the lyrics, “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”  I handed him a pack of my $0.20 earplugs, and we continued on.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon in pursuit of our hotel in Hoquiam, 150 miles away.  We had brief vignettes of the ocean as it briefly appeared through trees at 80 MPH.  It was 5:30 when we pulled into the Econo Lodge parking lot.

After showers, we dined at the Mexican restaurant across the street.  The chicken fajitas weren’t bad.

Tomorrow we head for Tillamook, WA.

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Day 7 – Rockport, WA to Everett, WA

The day was off to a slow start; it was a little after seven when we broke the inertia of sleep.  The motel provided coffee in the room, but breakfast would have to be sourced elsewhere.  Unfortunately, it was two and a half hours before we hit the road.

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We continued west, looking for the first restaurant that came into view.  An hour and half later (where do these people eat?), we found the Blue Bird Café in Arlington, WA.  The Blue Bird Café does a brisk business at 11:00 AM on a Friday morning.  The food is good, quantities are ample and the prices are commensurate.

Our next task was to return the wallet dad had found the previous day.  David lives in Kirkland, WA with his wife, son and two daughters.  We had his address in the GPS and after winding our way through the northwestern Seattle area we arrived at their abode.  David and the kids were home along with their Australian Kelpie, Daphne.  They were all quite grateful to see us especially Daphne who became my fast friend.  If I had a doggy helmet with me, she would have been a welcome addition to the trip.  We chatted for thirty minutes and exchanged contact info before dad and I went to visit David’s wife Stephanie.

Stephanie was working today at a QFC in downtown Kirkland.  I misunderstood David when he gave us the address, so we quickly found the wrong QFC, asked for Stephanie and were met with a confused response.  A woman who was shopping at the store was very helpful and sent us in the right direction.  Even with that help though, we managed to have difficulty finding the correct location.  I’m actually wondering if they’re trying to maintain a level of exclusivity by hiding their store.  With the way we look, I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t try a little harder in the future.  We overcame the obfuscation and managed to briefly meet Stephanie.  She was quite effusive, and we are both better off for having met her along with the whole family.

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We next headed for our hotel.  I was told the hotel was in downtown Seattle not far from the Space Needle.  This would provide a great base from which to explore the city by foot.  Well, the closer we came to the hotel, the more concerned I became.  It was looking like a better neighborhood to buy a used car or second-hand twenty-dollar pistol.  I could see downtown Seattle, but I could also see Vancouver, B.C.  We were in luck!  The hotel had overbooked, and they had no room for us.  They gave us a complimentary night at a Quality Inn in Everett, WA and told us they did have a room for us on Saturday night.  I took the complimentary room, told them I wasn’t interested in Saturday night, and we headed north to find our room.

A lovely rush-hour drive seventeen miles up I-5 brought us to our accommodation for the evening.  After checking in and unloading, I went in search of a liquor store to get dad some Dewar’s.  An hour later and having learned way more than I ever wanted about Everett, WA, I returned.  Here’s a tip, if you’re ever in Washington, never go to a liquor store.  The grocery stores have a much grander selection.  I’ve never seen a liquor store boast of their six six-packs of beer as a large selection.  What do I know I’m from Colorado?

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The evening was topped off with a lackluster dinner at an “Irish Pub” that is neither Irish nor a pub.  I guess if you serve Guinness, that’s close enough.  I’m beginning to think my culinary desires are not going to be fulfilled on this trip.

Since dad really isn’t interested in the city, we made the decision to leave the Seattle area a day early.  I have enough SWA FF miles to get back here with all my friends, so I’ll make that another trip.  Tomorrow, we’ll be catching two ferries to get to 101, the Pacific Coast Highway, and begin our trek along the shore.  There has to be some decent seafood somewhere along the way, right?

As an aside… It seems my father is incapable of replying to a question with a concise response.  As he was packing his bike this morning, our neighbors at the motel were being polite and asked him a simple question.  The question was similar to where are you from?  He started with Carlisle, PA and ended with Cuchara, CO.  For those of you who don’t know, that spans seventy years and more than a dozen locations.  And he wonders why we never leave on time…  At dinner he pointed out, with some surprise, how social I was with David and his family.  I told him I’m quite social, but when I’m with him I can’t be social, somebody needs to keep moving forward if we’re ever going to get anywhere.

Sorry for the dearth of pictures; this was not a good day for photography.  I should have gotten a picture of Daphne though.

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Day 6 – Omak, WA to Rockport, WA

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My father’s snoring and the over-worked mattress under me lead to a 0530 morning.  I looked out the window to ensure the bikes were safe and they were, but I also noticed a traffic cone and “speed bumps” I didn’t remember from the previous evening.  After shaving and dressing, I made my way out the door to find the “speed bumps” were sticks with spikes, and the opposite side of the drive was blocked with a pallet and again, boards with spikes.  This did seem like a strange deterrent for the motel to employ, but this was a strange town.

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I grabbed my camera to document this sight when the women in the room adjacent to ours came out.  She told me she had some trouble last night, and the deterrents were her doing.  I told her I hope all is well and continued on trying to mind my own business.

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Breakfast was, well, what I’ve come to expect at a Rodeway Inn, bad.  The scrambled eggs were hard and cold, the coffee was bitter luke-warm water, and the selection was miniscule.  As usual the breakfast room resembled a combined WWF and MME event.  It’s a good day if you make it through breakfast unscathed.

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On my way back from breakfast, the woman next door chose to elaborate on her dilemma.  Apparently, she’s a good girl from the big city who moved to the small town and dated someone whose family has been there for generations.  The relationship went sour, and now his friends, mainly police officers, are harassing her.  She and her friends came up with the spiked board idea after becoming annoyed with their repeated disruptions.  Again, I politely nodded, wished her well and continued about my business.  My father, however, spent fifteen minutes discussing her situation as he was returning from breakfast.  I’m not sure he learned much more than I did, but he spent ten times as long doing it.

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It was a little after 8:30 when we moved the spike strip to one side and bid adieu to Omak, WA.  Our original plan had been to stay in Omak for two nights, but that didn’t seem to be the wisest choice given the sketchy neighborhood and troubled neighbor.  So, we checked out with plans to stay at the Blue Spruce Inn in Twisp, WA.

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The ride on Hwy 155 toward Grand Coulee was quite nice.  We rose out of the desert and ascended to a moderate altitude giving us cooler temperatures and a pine filled view.  Not long after the subsequent descent, we followed the Columbia River to the Grand Coulee Dam visitor’s center.

From the visitor’s center we rode back to the other side of the Columbia River to begin a tour.  I think we spent more time going through security prior to the tour than we actually spent engaged in the tour.  It was informative; the Grand Coulee Dam is much, much larger than Hoover Dam for instance, but it was relatively shallow in depth.

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After our dam immersion, in search of lunch, we found Pepper Jack’s.  This is a restaurant that was build and furnished in the 1950s and apparently hasn’t been in need of an update since.  The décor is replete with B-movie posters, leatherette covered chairs and wood paneling.  It seems the patrons are of the same vintage.  I believe I was the youngest aside from the waitress by more than thirty years.  The cheeseburger was good, and dad said the salad bar was adequate.  As we were discussing our intended route for the afternoon, we began to get a bit loud.  This happens when one can’t hear and the other does get a bit impatient.  The very nice group of geriatrics dining at a table not far from us began to get a bit concerned.  We assured them this was normal and they had no reason to fear.  Once they realized we were a father and son duo on motorcycles, their understanding seemed to grow immeasurably.

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As we travelled away from Grand Coulee, I spotted a sign for a dam overlook.  I’d been trying to get a decent overview shot, and I was hoping this might give it to me.  We pulled into the parking lot, I jumped off my bike in search of the best location, and dad found a wallet lying on the ground.  He spent a good deal of time trying to find a phone number for the wallet’s owner.  After two calls to AAA, he found Janette who agreed to call the owner and give him my father’s cell phone number.  So, encumbered with another man’s wallet, we proceeded west toward Twisp.

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Just as an aside, there is a significant desert in Washington, and we spent a good deal of time in it today.  The temperatures hovered between 90 and 95 for a good deal of today’s ride.

We pulled into the Blue Spruce in Twisp, WA a little after 3 PM.  Upon seeing the motel and the temperature gauge on my computer, I suggested we continue west.  Dad agreed, and we told the owner, who was quite disappointed, that we would not need the room for the evening.  A tin roof on a motel makes me a bit nervous; for that matter, a motel owner sporting a prominent beer belly without a shirt does as well.

The map indicated there would be a town of significant size no more than fifty or sixty miles ahead.  Well, it didn’t say anything about accommodations.  We crossed the majority of the Cascades and travelled over 100 miles before we found anything resembling a motel.  However, the road was fun, and the views were gorgeous.

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The Totem Trail Motel just east of Rockport, WA with a total of eight rooms is our abode for the evening.  Sonja, the owner, housekeeper and welcome wagon is very friendly and gave us a room with one double bed and two twins.  Our room is missing a refrigerator and microwave, but not to worry, there’s a communal fridge outside and a communal microwave in an adjacent building.  Pine trees and quiet surround us, and there’s very little chance we’ll wake up to spiked 2X4s, cones and pallets blocking the way.

Actually, this is the first hotel since Coeur d’Alene that has usable Internet.  I don’t have a mobile signal, but at least I can post.

Dinner was a microwaved frozen burrito, pork rinds, pretzels and chocolate chip cookies.  I’m hoping for a slightly better culinary experience in Seattle.

Tomorrow we head for Seattle!

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