Cold and damp as a Westcoast Clam (BC to Baja 2)

We woke before sunrise from our chilly slumber, a toe and finger-numbing 2 degrees. Much too cold to be sleeping in a tent. There we were, bundled up like little babies in a sleep sack, carrying that afflictive thought that we need to get out of this warm cocoon we’ve created for ourselves and brave the morning chill.

The campsite had showers so we thought we’d use the hot water to warm up. Unfortunately for us, hot meant ‘kinda’ warm. We huddled in and hugged each other until we were brave enough to step out of the shower, towel off and put the same not-so-clean clothing back on.

Motorcycle camping poses its own unique set of challenges.

Packing our belongings didn’t take long, however, I’m learning very quickly that motorcycle packing is not as easy as packing a suitcase with all your shit scattered everywhere, and then moving on. Everything needs to be well thought out and packed in a certain order. If it rains, you want your rain gear easily accessible. If you’re camping, you want camping gear to be in the same general area, and preferably packed in the order you use it. It’s a skill, and I’m learning. 

We finished up our packing and were rolling before 9:00 am in search of breakfast. We stopped at a diner in Forks, the food was mediocre at best and overpriced for what you got. After filling our bellies and lightening our wallets, we headed south out of town.

It’s way too cold to take my gear off, so we’re going with the body armour and breakfast combo.
Hot sauce in the eye makes the next leg of our motorcycle ride to Baja a blurry one.
Even the seating here in Forks is intricately and lovingly infused with National pride

The road was bitterly cold and long. My legs were frozen and our fingers and toes were numb. We pulled over briefly to try to relieve the chill by breaking the wind with rain gear. It helped a little.

Don’t leave any gaps or the cold will bite you hard.

The rain started at about 2:00 pm and it was on and off for a while. We were getting tired and miserable so I thought we’d stop in the next town and stay there for the night.

Motorcycle adventures aren’t about looking cool, because you can’t. Just stay dry.
I ain’t prrrty, and I’m proud of it.

The next town was too small, the one after that was closed, literally the whole town, tired and cold we eventually rode into a little town called South Bend, Washington. The roadside sign for the ‘Seaquest Inn’ shone brightly out of the gloom, the place was motel-styled but with character, a series of little cabins and cul-de-sacs that looked clean, warm and inviting.

The friendly host asked us if we wanted a standard room, which in her opinion was small, the other choice was deluxe.

Our choice, the standard room, was beautiful, clean, had a full kitchen, living room, hot shower, everything we needed. It wasn’t standard, nor small, and far exceeded our expectations. 

After 8 hours riding a KTM 1090 Adventure R south along the pacific coast highway (PCH) I’m making the most of this comfy couch.

After unpacking our things, we headed down the road to the infamous ‘Chesters Oyster Tavern’ to eat and have a drink. We ordered two pints of IPA, and our response was a weird look which translated to “What the fuck is a pint?” Umm, we continued “the biggest beer you have?” The pub had only a couple of people in it. We started chatting with the locals and that ‘eat and drink’ lasted about 4 hours. I started to drink wine which they pour to the rim, in case you’re ever in the area. It was getting late, we left and walked back to our pretty motel room, hit the sheets and then we were out for the evening.

Chester’s Oyster Tavern’s infamous cooler covered in very well thought out bumper stickers
Neil excited to get out of the cold into the Chester Oyster Tavern to enjoy a ‘pounder’ of beer
If you’ve ever had a bad day and you want to fix it with a good-sized glass of wine. Then I suggest you head down to Chester’s Oyster Tavern and get yourself a ‘fill to the rim’ Chardonnay.
Stage 2. Forks, Washington (WA) to South Bend, Washington (WA). Stage total: 182 miles, ride total: 239 miles
BC to Baja Motorcycle Trip

We woke up in our room early, it was cold outside, but the sky was blue and the sun was shining. We showered, packed up and left around 9:00 am

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Keeping the motorcycles safe with cable locks
BC to Baja Motorcycle Trip

We awoke to the numbing chill, once again. Mornings have been unpleasant in our tent these past few days. The combination of sleeping on the ground, cold temperatures and legs

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  1. Carol Barnes

    Wow Karen, I am going to really enjoy reading about your adventure! You have a good way of making me feel like I’m right there with you!

  2. Mark Edwards

    Nice one guys looks like your having fun, I’m so jealous, I’ll keep watching

    • Karen Willis

      I’m happy you’re reading them, Mark. You should come out next year! We’ll do Europe! Hah! Xx

  3. Katie Finn

    I love your riding stories, the writing really makes me feel like I’m there with you. I can’t wait to hear about the rest of your journey.

  4. James

    Following, what a journey. Always new lessons to be learned along the way. Cold camping being one, I’ve corrected this with better gear from Nemo. Really a huge help. Alternate at hotels/motels for showers.

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