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Seas the Day (BC to Baja 3)

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 on our hunt for breakfast.

South Bend, it seems, is entirely closed on a Monday. Shops, cafes, everything. We had no choice but to get back on the 101 and keep riding south, our next stop being Long Beach, Washington. Named after it’s incredibly long white sandy beach, and never to be confused with Long Beach, California. It seems that’s a thing, because while taking a mini break from our food search we stopped at the beach to admire it and began chatting with a local couple who told us a story. The story of a lady from out-of-town who turned up one day looking for the boarding terminal to head on her cruise to Alaska. After very confused couple of minutes realized with horror that she was in the wrong state. The there is a very big difference between Long Beach, OR and Long Beach, CA.

Our Long Beach had a stunning view, a massive white sandy expanse of beach, incredibly wide and one that stretched out as far as the eye could see.

Long Beach, Oregon is big and beautiful. Again, do not mistake it for Long Beach, California
Long Beach, Oregon is big and beautiful. Again, do not mistake it for Long Beach, California
The Lamplighter was a lifesaver, feeding us before our ride continued south
The Lamplighter was a lifesaver, feeding us before our ride continued south

Huge waves crashed on the sand, people rode their horses along the shoreline, and dogs ran free, playing in the dunes. After some time taking in this beauty our bellies began to rumble so we left the beach and resumed our hunt for food. To our dismay we noticed the same old theme, it seems most restaurants in Long Beach were ‘also’ closed on a Monday morning. Is Monday a special day in the USA? Anyways, breakfast wasn’t easy to find! We’d almost given up when the last junction before the end of town yielded a place called the ‘Lamplighter Pub’. They had a full breakfast menu and very strong coffee, we were sold. Neil had great pancakes, eggs and the biggest bacon slices I’ve ever seen, and I had the ‘special’ which was a delicious meat and veggie hash. After getting gas and now all fueled up; bellies and bikes, we started on our journey south once again. 

We headed down the 101, stopping briefly along the way to take in a couple of beautiful beaches. The best being Cannon beach, it was gorgeous! We also stopped at Meahkahnie Mountain viewpoint and again, a breathtaking view. 

 

I dropped my motorcycle! We took a wrong turn while headed toward our campground at Cape Lookout.

We spun around the way we came and took a sharper right hand turn than we would have going the other way. The right was off camber, acute and sprinkled in gravel. Neil was in front of me and he whipped up onto the gravel to turn right on his knobby KTM, no issue. Me watching him do this had me assuming I could do it too. I was very, very wrong. I started turning and quickly lost control of my bike on the gravel, but it was uphill too and uneven. It was all sorts of wrong for my little Honda Rebel with street tires.  I quickly stopped it but couldn’t keep my bike upright and dropped it. I managed to not hurt myself as I jumped off my bike quickly.

I tried to lift my bike up off the gravel but couldn’t. Neil was already a fair way down the windy mountain road assuming I was right behind him when his Cardo Packtalk intercom screamed “fuck! shit! ballocks! Where are you?” into his ears. In the minute it took for him to spin around and get back to me, three cars passed by me trying to lift my bike up off the road, no intention of stopping to help and I was clearly struggling.

Eventually a guy did stop to help, but Neil had arrived. He picked my bike up, tried starting it and it wouldn’t start. I was crying, frustrated and worried. We pushed my Honda to the side of the road, I shut it off and decided to breath for a minute. Neil hugged me and made sure I wasn’t hurt and we waited a bit for me to calm down. I decided to try and start my bike again and it started with no issue. It must have emptied the carburetor when it fell over on its side. 

Shortly after my bike drop drama we arrived at ‘Cape Lookout State Park’. We setup our camp before grabbing groceries to avoid doing it later in the dark, then headed back out to the previous town to find food and camp drinks. 

We brought back some spicy sausages, lamb steak, salad and eggs for breakfast. We built the customary camp fire and cooked up our dinner on the fire. 

He makes us a campfire, and I make us food. Campfire menu: lamb steak and spicy sausage

We were then presented with a problem. What to do with our breakfast food? Motorcycles aren’t sealed, there’s nowhere to hide the food. Back in Canada the best thing to do is to leave your food outside of the tent, ideally in your car, or pull it up a tree out of the reach of any lazy bear that comes sniffing around. We weren’t exactly in the middle of the Rockies, so we decided to leave the food out rather than in our tent. It seemed to be the best choice of two shitty options. 

It seems that night the crows had the feast of their lives! We woke up to all of our food gone completely. Packages were picked open with little beaks and they wiped us clean. Meat, eggs, egg shells, every last crumb had gone, and we were hungry, you win crows!

So far I’ve been navigating on our trip but Neil says I’m a shit navigator, so he took over. Ahh well, what do you do? I kind of prefer he navigates anyways, as I’m a bit free spirited and he’s not so much. I’m better off enjoying the ride.

We rode down the Oregon coast some more and I swear each beach we saw became even more beautiful then the last! Stunning coastlines that I’d no idea I’ve been missing out on my whole life.

A few of the Oceanside towns we passed through, such as Pacific Beach, had sand covering the roadsides and scattered across the streets, super cool. And not something you’d see back home in BC. 

At the end of a long day we finally reached Coos Bay, Oregon after riding 250 kms through some of the most stunning coastline we’ve seen yet. It was 5 pm before we snagged the last campsite, a meagre corner spot none of the other people wanted, but it was just enough for us to pitch our 2-person tent and grab a much deserved, and very hot shower. Let’s hope this night is warmer than the last few we’ve had. 

We stopped to have a quick look at the sand dunes in Oregon. Oregon is literally covered in sand.

Orange and pink skies never get old. ‘Cape Lookout State Park’ has a mesmerizing beach and very pretty sunsets.

 

 

Stage 3. South Bend, Washington (WA) to Cape Lookout, Oregon (OR). Stage total: 134 miles, ride total: 373 miles

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6 Comments

  1. Carol Barnes

    It’s so nice of you to feed the birds on your travels, sounds like you’re having a great time. I don’t know how you find time to write such an interesting description of your journey but I’m glad you do. I look forward to your next post.

    • Karen Willis

      Thank you! The birds are happy too! Hah! It’s hard to find the time. We got caught up yesterday as we took a full day off from riding so we will be posting more later. I’m hsppy you’re reading them. Much love! Xx

  2. Jamie

    I’m enjoying reading your posts as I’m planning on doing the same trip eventually (was going to be this spring, but life happened… maybe next year, or the year after). I too find food is challenging when touring by bike… crows are evil!!! 😉 Maybe you could use a tank bag or one of your waterproof duffels for overnight food storage/crow protection? Good luck on your continued travels!!!

    • Karen Willis

      Hey Jamie, I hope you get to do it sooner then later. And when you do, I’d love to follow your trip if you plan on writing about it. As for the food, we’ve been emptying more of our saddlebags to fit out food in them while we sleep. I woke up one morning with muddy racoon footprints all over my bike! Hah! I took photos and we’ll share them in a post soon. Thank you for reading.

  3. Maureen Barnes

    Love this blog 🙂
    Is it possible to put the photos right-side-up?

    • Karen Willis

      They should be upright, hah. I will look into it! And thank you! Love!

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