23. Henry’s 12th Street Tavern, Portland, OR

19 05 2014

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Day Four
At 6:30am I opened my eyes. I looked over at Scott, he looked back at me. I looked at Adam, his eyes were open. I said “let’s bounce,” and 15 minutes later we were on our bikes, headed for… Wait for it… The Golden Gate Bridge. Navigating through an unfamiliar place without gps, directions, or any real sense can be difficult, but we manage.

We crossed the bridge at first daylight, and it did not disappoint. Luckily Adam can drive a motorcycle with no hands so there are photos. I know a lot of people probably drive motorcycles across the Golden Gate Bridge every day, but it’s more about the act in context with the life than the other way around. In my mind it’s about the overall life experience, not just the specific achievements. It was a good moment and I’ll remember it for a long time.

What came next was probably the best possible day of motorcycling anyone could have. We took a left on the 1 and headed up the windy coast. The view was amazing, the roads were smooth, and we had loads of fun. We continued onto the 101 and into the redwoods. We drove through a tree, Scott said “I thought they’d be bigger.” Kids these days. A 350 foot tall tree doesn’t even impress them. It got better from the cheesy tourist trap though, and Scott was soon doing age appropriate things like taking selfies and texting about the trees.

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The trees are insane. It’s hard to explain the scale, and photos don’t do them justice. I don’t mean to break into song or anything, but they’re like driving through a fairy tale. Best thing ever. I’m not the most well travelled person in the world, but I’ve seen a few things, and the Pacific Northwest is pretty high on the list. Worth the trip.

We drove 300 or so miles and ended in Eureka, hitting the 1,000 mile mark for the trip in the redwoods. Lost Coast Brewing impressed me but not the boys, but everyone slept well. Also, Scott dumped his bike in the parking lot and Adam rescued him. Also again, we saw two people pushing empty baby carriages on skateboards. If I believed in anything, I would believe that meant something.

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Day five
Rain in the morning, rain scheduled for the day. It wasn’t rainy when we left, so I skipped the rain gear. Scott and Adam wore theirs. I gambled, and for 100 miles I won. We stopped for gas, Scott took off what was left of his rain gear – the parts that weren’t melted into his pipes. Having gotten nothing from the rain gear, we for rained on for the next 200 miles. Ok, not continuously, but mostly. Basically we would get rained on, then it would stop, we’d air dry, and it would rain again. For hours. We did cross what I imagine must have been a beautiful mountain pass, but I was blinded by hale so I could only see 5 feet in front of my face. Stopped again and pounded out the next 150 miles without too much rain. This day was the mission day, and we arrived at the Hilton Portland around 6:30, having completed 450 miles for the day. We went to Henrys 12th Street 5 Tavern for dinner, which was great, and called it a night. Mission accomplished!

Day Six

Whiskey and Burnside.

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