The last day came.
Iím not sure exactly why, but I didnít take too many pictures along the way that morning so Iím glad Todd got a few. He made the mistake of listening to me at an intersection or two and I got us lost pretty good, but the roads we were lost on were a lot of fun. In some areas we were under the canopy and deep enough in the valleys to lose satellite reception, so I guess it is no wonder that the gps got a little confused.
We had been very lucky so far suffering from no mechanical issues whatsoever and no flat tires. However, in the last day or so my bike would not start with the magic button intermittently, and I had to kick it a few times. That got progressively worse on this day, but I didnít take the time to research the problem. The bike came with a lifetime guarantee from the previous owner, so I figured I would drop it off in Nashville on the way home to get it repaired ;-) For short stops, I just left it running.
It started looking like we were going to get wet while we were on one of my wild goose chases down a logging road.
The temperature started dropping a bit too as we worked our way further west. We kept expecting to see the ocean way off in the distance, but the further west we went the cloudier it got and eventually a light but steady rain began.
Finally we could see the ocean on the gps when I zoomed out a bit. We plodded along and before long found ourselves leaving the dirt behind for the last time.
As we came in to Port Orford, we noticed those big license plates again on the side of the road. The NZ guys had gotten the obligatory photos and stopped for lunch on their way back from the beach. We stopped and said goodbye as they headed north to Coos Bay for fresh tires. Then it was off to the beach in the rain for our photo session. We had done it, WOOHOO!
I thought the beach would be larger here after seeing pictures others had posted. The rain put a little damper on things, but it did feel good to get here.
Todd looked cold, and it seemed like the rain was picking up a little.
A gust of wind came up and blew my bike over about the time Todd dropped his camera. My helmet landed on itís top and was now covered with sand. Sadly it was time to get out of there. Too bad the weather wasnít a little nicer, but we canít complain. We hit a gas station for fuel and to rinse some of the sand off of ourselves and the bikes. Then we had 60 miles of fairly hard steady rain to Coos Bay to begin the journey home. Thanks to Big T for being such a good travel companion and inviting me along. What a trip it was!
A word about ride tales.
For years I have read tales on this board and on advrider that have cultivated a desire to get off the couch and get out there. There are many. One that caught my eye early on was David and Billís Mexican adventure here. I remember reading that and thinking I would probably never get to experience anything like that. A year or so later David invited me along on a similar trip to Copper Canyon, this time on dual sport bikes. I fear I have since become addicted to these types of rides.
One of the highlights of these rides is the documentation of the vacation in this kind of tale, which allows one to relive the ride in a way that for me is better than a photo album mostly because it can be shared with family and friends more easily.
Another friend wrote a tale on adv a few years ago about traveling the tat. It really got me interested in doing this trip and others. I read it again several times in preparation for this trip and even while we were on it. It really enhanced the experience and gave me an idea of what to expect in the desert.
Thanks again to those of you who have taken the time to read and/or comment on the tale. It is gratifying to know that some have enjoyed our ramblings. Maybe some wanderlust will spread as a result. I know Iím ready to go again.