Northwest Adventure 2014… Day 5

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ July 1, 2014/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, Northwest Adventure 2014, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: fort Bragg

Time:7:20am

Weather Conditions:56 degrees

Daily High Temperature: 98

Destination: Grants Pass, OR

Daily Miles Logged:313

Today began with a crispness to the morning air that seemed somewhat otherworldly. Most of us elected to layer up and pull out the heated liners for the brisk morning run along the coast. This was something that we appreciated until we reached Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park Campground, along U.S. 199 where the temperatures soared to the upper nineties. More on that later…

Our gaol today was to take in as much of PCH1 as possible and to move along in our trek north. Our first real stop of interest was at Chandelier Tree located in Leggett, CA. We met a few interesting travelers there including a couple in a honda that drove in the wrong direction and a group of Asian tourists that were very interested in our bikes and practicing their English. They were great sports and help us take a group photo that I hope to get from Jon at some point.

We were soon on our way continuing north along the coast and we encountered some of the most breathtakingly spectacular views where the ocean and beach were to our left and the mountains were to our right! I suppose God was practicing everywhere else before perfecting the right combination of views in California.

The countryside had livestock ranging from goats and cows to a few oddly placed “elk-like” animals that were on display in an attempt to lure unsuspecting passersby into the gift shop that was surely lurking just around the bend.

Our lunch destination was Eureka California. All I knew of this town was from the tv show (sherif Jack Carter, Jo, nor any of the global dynamics team we’re anywhere to be found by the way….) and that my good friend and youth evangelist Rich Gibbs originally hailed from there. Lunch was at a beautiful spot called Bayfront One. This restaurant was posing as a “seafood restaurant” but was actually a Japanese/ Italian joint that was quite good. (My grandfather would have been over the moon with this place as it melded his two favorite cuisines!). I dined on a salmon roll and a tempura plate whilst most others seemed to opt for teriyaki plates of one sort or another. Their loose Brownrice green tea was also notable. With a quick ice cream cone for a sweet fix, (I had a kids scoop of maple syrup with bacon ice cream which was delectable) we were soon back on our way.

Comical sidebar of lunch… I was asking Siri what the distance was from eureka to Eugene, OR and she lovingly replied as she always does.. “Here are your search recommendation my master…” Everyone got a kick out of my Barbara Eden crush…

We made our way from the coast towards the valley via HWY 109. With each passing mile, the temperatures climbed from the high seventies to the upper nineties! We elected to pull off and remove a few layers of riding gear to be better suited for the higher temps. We delayed our arrival to the stretch just past this particular pullout by approximately five minutes. As we rounded the first corner, Randall and Elizabeth were in the the lead and immediately pulled over to reveal a motorcycle laying in the middle of the roadway with no rider in sight. We all seemed to spring off of our bikes and jump into action. Jon was an example of calm and cool under pressure and seemed to be able to delegate a few immediate necessary courses of action at that moment.

It was initially unclear as to which direction the bike was traveling in upon our first assessment, so we began scanning the cliff side for any evidence of a downed rider that we could see. Matt and I removed the downed bike from the middle of the roadway, Trent helped control Trafic flow around the site to alert the oncoming traffic to stop, Elizabeth and Randall spotter the fallen rider and scaled the side of the embankment to assess his condition. I started flagging down cars to see if anyone had cell coverage as not a single one of our groups phones had a lick of coverage at that precise area. I found a bohemian girl that had cell coverage and she immediately called 911. Meanwhile, the man, who we later found out was named Bob, cellphone started to ring. Jon answered and started to find our who was calling and what their relationship to the rider was. His coverage too was poor and we finally were able to get her phone number after three attempts. The young bohemian started to interface with the caller on her cellphone and tried to calmly advise them as to Bob’s condition. Before long, another passerby stopped to help as he was an emergency medical rescue person with training in the coastguard. Search and rescue showed up shortly thereafter and we were asked to be on our way.

(Added 7/2/14: Here is an article about the rider and the incident)

Elizabeth commented that she was going to rename our trip “Devine appointments” which seems quite appropriate to me. We will likely never know how this plays out for Bob, but for us, it was a very sobering reality check for our passion for riding. We all pray for Bob and his family that this experience be one that touches him for the glory of God and I for one, and grateful to have been used as part of his rescue.

As we got back underway, our tempo seemed a little more subdued and it gave us all an opportunity to reflect on what we are doing here, individually and collectively. We also saw a great hand painted sign for something that must be indigenous to the Oregon region as this place claimed to have the very best… “Fresh Cron”… Give it a minute…

We arrived at the hotel just last 7:30 and had dinner at the restaurant next door which came highly recommended by the hotel staff. We later discovered that the owners of the hotel and restaurant were one and the same. The meal seemed acceptable to most, however, some crazy law in Oregon prohibits a restaurant from serving salmon at a temperature befitting such a delicate fish. I specifically ordered it rare and even advised the waitress that I would not eat it if it was overcooked. It was delivered overcooked, dry and unpalatable. They were nice enough about the whole thing, but they should take it off the menu or put a warning to their clients along these lines: ” you can order it anyway you please, however, please be advised that our ridiculous state laws prevent us from serving it to you in a fashion that will be edible…” Or something like that…

I believe but cannot confirm at this time that our route tomorrow will have us continuing north a bit more into Washington state before we begin our turn back east. So many miles covered already, so many more to go… What will tomorrow hold…?20140701-001307-787968.jpg

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