Life journey is a funny thing and serendipity plays a large role. Throughout the winter season, it seems that I've been preparing for this first long distance ride. Little things like finding comfortable rain gear (hosing down my leathers with scotch gard), heated clothing (complete head to toe Gerbings), setting up a mp3 music system that works (video Ipod with waterproof remote and seinheiser speaker inserts) and gaining enough riding experience in all weather conditions (Rain Riders club) to make the Cannon Beach ride safe. Even my saddlebags came in (special order) only a couple of days before. Unfortunately my special order Throttle Meiser did not make this trip with me.
We all think of a ride like Cannon Beach as simply a long endurance ride with beautiful twisties and scenery that would take your breath away. Fresh air and serene water that would revitalizes your old soul.
However as we began our journey, we found construction zones in many places that leaves hazardous debris, from gravel to uneven roads. Rain makes these obstacles even more squirly as we navigate through packed traffic.
Also our foldable GPS became wet with little to no information on the direction of travel since it was a print out from Google on the shortest distance between home and Cannon Beach; so we spent a lot of time visiting gas stations and "am pm" to get directions and to pick up lunch and supper.
By the time we got on 101, it was already dark, raining in some places, with an abundance of fog that hid the trees from the forest. It was a grueling length of travel at speeds of only 80 kph with a flashlight beam ahead of you. Riding in p3, I was closer to the edge where it was a lot more muddier then the center; it is best to go single file through those roads as there are a lot more gravel, mud on the edges.
A finger wiper (available at Pac Yam) or gloves that has built in wipers are needed as Fog and rain clings to your visor. It was a constant wiping of your visor as you navigate through twisting roads requiring you to ride with one throttle hand.
As the dark grew darker, I suggested that we fuel up a bit more often since I had no idea on how far my reserve will take us and I wasn't about to find out on a dark and lonely curve. My ride leader was chargrin everytime I fueled up even though we only traveled a hundred klicks from our last fuel stop. This is where we found out that even though the gas station store was closed, the pumps are still working as long as you have a credit card.
By the time we got to Cannon Beach (2 AM) after eating a full supper at the last gas station (2 corn dogs), all of the motels were closed for the night except for one which had night staff; which somehow miraculously Bluenote was able to find it with only a name. So if you wish to stay at any motels at Cannon Beach, be sure to arrive before 9pm.
The next day, after a good restful sleep, we did our quick photos shoot and a bit of shopping before heading out again. Seeing that our agenda was to make Butterchicken that night, we decided to take I5 which was a long and boring stretch of road. Traffic was heavy around Seattle and road spray with dirt/oil kept clouding up our visors; a visor wipe down was needed every so often and rest stops to keep us awake.
So I made it back safe and a bit more wiser. It was not the wonderful scenic ride that I had anticipated, but rather it was definitely something I could add to another notch to my riding experience.
Thanks for taking this journey with me..