Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 16- Dreams Sometimes Do Come True!

There is no blog entry for Day 15, as I was told to go to bed by Patrick's wife, Cindy. She did not have to twist my arm, and I was thankful for the port in this storm to recuperate!

Day 16... I call them by the day numbers because I have no idea what the actual day of the week is anymore. I think this is the true measure of being on vacation.

A little shakily, I loaded up the Dirty Girl once again, eager to get on the road. I knew that once I was moving, I would shake that having slept for 24 hours feeling. It was 7:15am, my earliest start since Day 1, so yes... I was eager to roll!

Today was THE day. As I rode away from Mt Ranier, my excitement about seeing the Pacific Ocean was heart would beat faster when I thought about it. One thing I did differently about this leg of the trip, was that I did not book a motel ahead of time. I was going to try the Free and Easy way... ride until I felt like stopping and see where I land. I figured there would be plenty of places along the coast and because I had a dream of hearing the waves while I slept, I felt I had to see the motel first. I discovered that I am not very good at this, I spent FAR too much time fussing about where to stop and I am sure I missed out on some good sights.

So anyway... back to ride. In quick time, I started seeing the landscape change to a seascape. The wet areas became marshy and tidal, the trees got scrubby. Soooo excited! I turned south on the coast highway and almost immediately saw a sea stack, a large rock formation looming not far off the beach. I had learned of these years ago and put them on my list to see. This is one of the only places in the world where they exist.

The road along the coast was sublime from a motorcyclist's point of view. Nicely kept, great winding curves and at times tight twists as it would climb a mountain. I was not expecting such mountains along the coast! I had the best of all my favorite situations... the ocean off to my side, peeking in amongst the trees, the road winding along with not too much traffic and the salt air. I could not get much better than this!

And then it did. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a sign that said, "Soup and Bread". This deserved investigation, so I turned around to find a funky place called the Art Cafe. I had a most delicious and hearty lunch of tomato basil soup, caesar salad and rosemary bread, served in such a way that I squealed with delight...

Onward toward Florence, the official end point for my coastal ride before turning eastward. I had decided that anything south of Newport would be a good place to land and the balance of the coast would be added to tomorrow's ride.

And so began the slowing waaaay down when riding by a motel... hmmmmm......nope. Riding for a few miles and doing it again.... nope. This was not going to be easy. Finally, around a corner, a motel sign popped up and I rode by it, going too fast to safely pull in. Turned around and went in to investigate. It was a simple motel, outside entrances to the rooms, I knew the ocean was on the other side. I asked how much, and it was in the 3 digit range. Dayum, that was more than I wanted to spend! But... it was probably the average for that area so I took the room.

Parked and unloaded, went upstairs and opened the door to the room of my dreams! I was looking at a sliding glass door with a balcony, overlooking the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. It just did not get any better than this :)

In short time, I was walking on the beach in my pjs, barefoot in the sand, picking up little beach rocks....tiny stones, worn smooth, the kind that feel really good when you idly play with them in your fingers.

Soon, I had a pocketful of little stones, one piece of yellow sea glass and a very worn piece of shell with orange stripes on it, my plan is to give one to each person that gave me a special token to travel with. The wind was wildly blowing and my hair was happily obliging. I surrendered control of it, and it felt wonderful! For the past two weeks, it has been tightly braided down my back. I felt completely in my element, in all its unkempt nature.

Sleep that night was magical. That is the best word.... I watched the sun set on the Pacific, while lying in bed, listening to the surf crash on the beach. It was my heaven, and now I felt as though I could turn home, completely satisfied. Those few hours were worth all the shivering and illness that I had been through the days prior.

I got a chuckle as I poked around the room, opened the notebook lying on the desk and saw instructions: "what to do if you feel an earthquake" and "what to do if you hear a tsunami siren".
Thankfully, it was a quiet night :)

Tomorrow I turn my wheels back toward the east.


  1. Have seen a lot of pictures of you over the years Kate, your silhouette against the Pacific ocean is now my favorite. Awsome job Bee, now head home knowing few out there could accomplish what you have.

  2. The smell and the sound of the ocean is partly what kept me in the Navy so long. Sooo good to hear your having a blast Kate!

  3. Kate,
    You look like you're feeling much better. I'm so happy that you've fulfilled a dream. That's what life's about. Spectacular photos of the ocean and a great shot of your smiling face. I hope your return trip is as much an adventure as the ride out.
    Be safe,

  4. Great to hear you are back in the saddle so to speak