Earlier in the day I recall offering up a bit of Johnny Cash’s song advice, to no one in particular. The words go something like this; Sometimes you need to know when to hold’em, when to fold’em, when to speed up and when to slow down.
And today, I sped way way up at times while leading the Mexico City contingent of riders on our Olympic peninsula ride. “Yoda Ralph in your future are you now?”
Later I even apologized to Andres and Estella for interrupting their normal intermittent naps. You see, Andres from Mexico City is a spirited rider. After a while of riding down a corridor of nothing but trees, and at a sedative pace, guys like him and I start wishing for nothing more than say, a large bull moose or elk to cross the road in front of us, for a little excitement or to end the speed limiter misery in us.
Not even the constant rain, right after our seafood lunch slowed “us “ down. An amazing couple Andre and Estella. They flew in from Mexico City to Portland, then picked up a Motoquest rental BMW GSA 1250 motorcycle, and joined the gpskevin riders. Both met us on day one in Eureka, Washington.
Our lunch stop today called for fresh seafood. Aberdeen was suppose to be our lunch stop but, we found a freshly caught and processing seafood place on an island along the way.
When I walked into the place the couple told me that they’re not a restaurant. No problema I say in the most accented Mexican Spanish I can now muster up.
Roberto just stood there by me with his usual large cheshire cat smile; pretending he doesn’t speak a word of English.
Oh, you’re not from around here, are you? No Madam I say, we’re all the way from Mexico City and came up for your warm hospitality, your wonderful rain, and hopefully some fresh caught seafood. Oh, the woman now says, we have a nice picnic table out back, why don’t you friendly people have a seat out back and I’ll start warming up this fresh made smoked seafood chowder up.
And then Roberto and I proceed to grab everything from calamari to eel grass to halibut containers and place it on the counter. We caught ourselves speaking just a little too much English for her comfort as she calmly said; your English has gotten better already. Roberto goes Si! Thank you Brady’s Oysters Seafood and Clams.
At the world’s longest beach we (me) rode on the beach, while everyone watched from a safe distance away. Something about not wanting to quickly rust away the metal or ?
Yesterday is history and today is now nearly a blur. Our riding group of nine is now at the end of day three of our planned seven days. The rain continues on.
The rain intensified somewhat through the Quinault area and then something magical begins. The rain now turned into what we call “misters “, I’ve got sixty feet of these on my home pergola where the weather is now probably 100 degrees outside. Here in Quinault the entire sky is one large mister.
Here they call it “misty rain”. Apparently this us normal for the Olympic national forest.
All our rooms (thank you Yoda Jane) all face beautiful Quinault Lake in Quinault, Washington. What’s so special about Quinault you might ask? Well, in 1975, they received 170.50 inches of rain. They’ve been tracking their rainfall since 1933 when it was only 169 inches.
Good bye depressed Ilwaco, Washington city. My most memorable memories of yesterday now includes sleeping on the top bed of a home built bunk bed. I can still feel the bump on my head, thankfully it’s gone down considerably since I smacked it sitting up. Yes, that was my allocated lodgings at the Salt Hotel in Ilwacco, Washington.
Earlier in the day we rode all over, up and around Mt Saint Helens. This is the mountain in Washington state that blew in May 1980; most of it’s side is gone as it spewed ash around the world.
Memories are still fuzzy but, I now remember climbing up to my assigned top bunk spot and then quickly fell asleep. Soon afterwards it felt like the mountain was moving from under me. And then an even louder explosion takes place; is the mountain about to erupt again? I wonder.
And then I startled myself into waking up, and as I sit up I smacked my head on the ceiling.
It turns out that all the noise rumblings I was hearing were coming from the guy in the lower bunk. His name is Dave, aka Superman.
The previous night in Packwood, Washington, the accommodations were much better as in woods like. Most of our group walked into town from the hotel lodge after a picnic table happy hour sponsored by Yoda Mike. The elk were nearby but failed to show themselves.
Earlier on the ride into town we saw the elk population that probably outnumbered the locals by four to one.
Our dinner food options in Packwood, just like Ilwaco were very limited. In Ilwaco there was one open restaurant with no clam chowder available. In the next town there were at least twelve restaurants serving every thing from wood fired pizza to salmon. But, nobody wanted to ride after a full day of riding.
In Packwood, we could’ve cooked our own; never gonna happen with this group; visited a pizza place or a saloon place.
Tom chose the saloon and left the group to walk across the street. The rest of the group stayed and waited in a pizza line. We smelled the air. Nothing. Where’s the pizza smell? Then someone made an important discovery. They were microwaving their pizzas so, there’s no wood pizza smells, like we all expected. We all left, crossed the street and joined Tom at the saloon.
Day two ride brought us lots and lots of elk to see. Today I even saw one riding in the back of a pickup truck. True story. The guy could barely fit the huge animal in the back of his Ford pickup. The huge antlers is what caught my eyes as I passed him up.
The weather was 51 degrees today but, thankfully, no rain for the rest of the day; unlike day one where it stayed with us for a while.
The ride today brought us into Mt St. Helens, (day 2) at least what survived since the May 1980 eruption. This was a beautiful twisties type of road through a wonderful tree mossy covered forest.
Today day three memorables include breakfast, lunch and sandy beach motorcycle-riding.
Too many WiFi or lack of to post earlier as we are now at the end of day four.