I woke up together with the sun to a perfect morning atop a cliff of the Sunset Bay State Park in Oregon. One could not wish for a better way to start the day. I packed up my camp, strapped everything onto Pegasus and off we went back through the hiking trail and out of the park before it even opened. They never knew :) No Harm, No foul - not man can claim the coast for himseld. Russeau said it best:
“The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, "Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”
My destination for the day was famed metropolis of Portland. There I had arranged to couchsurf with Eric and Deborah Wager, I young couple whom I got in touch with a few weeks earlier. Eric is an adventure rider himself, having ridden to Alaska on his orange KTM 990 on a few different occasions. He is also a micro brewer, a knowledgeable connoisseur, to say the least, of the whole process and its result. And Deb is a lovely woman who adores concerts - something I was going to witness first hand. But before that there were miles of beautiful Pacific coast I would first have to be acquainted with.
I rode back through the town of Coos Bay and passing a diner I recognized two bikers who had just pulled up - it was the two BMW riders whom I had seen on a few occasions during the day before. I turned around and went to say hello.
Jeff and Doug are middle-aged professionals with kids close to my age who decided to invest in top of the line adventure touring motorcycles decked out with the
most advanced gear, and ride for a week wherever they felt like, roughly due North, but not necessarily. I admired their beautiful machines ready for Armageddon with all of their shiny aluminum luggage and accessories, and they in turn admired the rugged look of my proletarian Pegasus, appreciating my "minimalist" approach to motorcycle touring. We discussed our machines and routes, typical of any biker crowd, and they then invited me to join them inside for breakfast. "It's on us", Jeff said. "We admire what you're doing and the way you are doing it and we'd like to treat you to breakfast." What a great beginning to the day; sunny, warm and great people already crossing my path spreading the positive energy.
Well rested and fed, and in high spirits I thanked them and we parted ways. I diligently hit the road, riding straight north just like the day before. The Oregon coast really is a sight to behold; I can't imagine why anyone would choose Interstate 5 over Highway 101. Finally though at Waldport I waved goodbye to the beautiful Pacific and headed inland, knowing that in a few days’ time I would begin my long return journey east towards Michigan again.
From there it was a few hours of sexy, fast curves of highway 34 through beautiful Siuslaw National Forest toward Portland, which by the way is not the State's capital!
Arriving in the early afternoon at my destination I was greeted by Eric and Deborah like family - they were such incredibly welcoming hosts that I feel myself simply fortunate to have crossed paths with them. I only stayed there for a day but we had such a great time; first Deb and Eric made an amazing meal to accompany one of Eric's favorite beers - and being that the guy is a micro-brewing genius you know the selection was good; even to someone like me who is rather ignorant of the art of beer genesis. They then took me out to a lovely concert featuring the wonderful, beautiful Jill Andrews, a country girl from none other than Nashville performing at the old Aladdin Theater that used to show adult films back in the day.
"God gave you your eyes, and made them blue, made the blue and your daddy's too!"
We then went to a really cool local biergarten where I got schooled a bit more about the divine nature of this liquid gold. The selection of locally brewed beers of all sorts was a dizzying list of 47 choices with such obscure names like Boulder Kinda Blue Blueberry Wheat, Stone Sublimey Self Righteous Lucky Lab Crazy Ludwig... my good host's love for the art of brewing, it seems, only trails his love for Deb. You got to appreciate that in a man!
Eric was such a fan of his KTM that he planted the seed - many year slater I would find myself riding orange too. (SXC 625, then 690 Enduro R, and presently 790 Adventure).
Enjoy some great music: