Day Two: 120 miles
Total Distance: 307 Miles
Day two ended up being a lesson in time management.
I left Vancouver around noon, after waking up early to write and then being treated to a lumberjack breakfast by Evan. I hit the road, and quickly became annoyed by freeways. Too many people, not enough curves.
I dropped the bike. Again. I was hasty to make a turn, didn’t see the Suburban coming around the corner, jerked my front brake like a fool and came down on my clutch lever. I hoisted the bike back up, & pulled into a gas stop to lick my wounds. The lever was bent, useable but its reach shortened. Fortunately I brought a spare, and replaced it. I needed more chain lube, and I decided to look into aluminum hand guards, in case I dropped the bike again. I had also planned on changing the oil again somewhere between here & Tucson, and since I was itching to stray from civilization I decided to take care of all of them in one stop. The hand guards are great, & will prevent me from needing to replace either of the controls.
By the time I finished all my projects and got off I-5 at Albany, OR, it was around 6. I had less than two hours till dark, but I was determined to try my hand at using a “found camp”. What that means is finding somewhere no one will have a problem with you staying (or where no one knows), and setting up camp. As I took Highway 20 towards the coast, between Corvallis and Newport I picked a group of hills and set about climbing one in search of a temporary home.
This is why I chose a KLR. So I can point to a hill and get to the top of it. I haven’t done much off roading (ever), and I’m learning with a full load. It took me about 40 minutes to find a spot, a few false tries, but I eventually found a gravel road that led up one of the hills I was aiming at. I pulled off a side path, found a place I could tuck the bike out of sight, and set up my tent just as darkness fell.
Laugh if you will, but prior to leaving I spent a few nights sleeping in the backyard, to get adjusted. I’m happy I did. I wasn’t as uncomfortable with the woods as I thought I’d be. As I was about to lay out my air mattress, I felt a thorn come through the bottom of the tent. It was too late to move the tent, and I was too tired. I saved myself the patching trouble and just slept on the ground, as I planned on getting up before sunrise anyways.
I had tree cover, so I just set up the internal screen of the tent and called it good. Fall made itself present. In the darkness, every few minutes a big leaf would fall, making a trail of noises as it dropped through the canopy. After an hour or so I learned to distinguish these several seconds of noise from the other things that disturbed the silence. I am due for a shower, so tonight I’ll be staying in a maintained campsite. For being my second night, I am proud of myself for pulling it off in such a short time.
I’m starting to get behind on blogging, and that is to be expected. I’ve made it worth the time though. I’ve been learning how to edit video. Here’s a quick, on-the-road edit of me finding a camp. The rest of the videos will have to wait, they’ll be worth it though.
Day 3: 110 Miles
Total Distance: 417 Miles
I spent a lot of time on the third day in a coffee shop in Florence, OR, uploading, converting, and editing video. From now on I’m going to have to stick to filming and writing, and save the sharing for later. After waking up in the woods, I was more rested than I thought I’d be. I made it to the coast, and had breakfast in Newport.
I kept on down 101, not having the foresight to avoid the busy highway on a Sunday. While following a ridiculous amount of RV traffic, I got a lot of great coastal footage. I stopped in Florence and kicked it around some of the old town area, exploring a bit before settling into the coffee shop.
I got back on the road, and took a couple of detours, which I’m beginning to take more and more of. I think this is a good thing. I am not on the road just to get to New Orleans. This is one of the sights I found just off the beaten path.
I decided to spend the night at Sunset Bay campgrounds, since I was due for a shower. It was nice to be in a maintained space, and have a chance to really set up camp and do some cooking. I made some rice & veggie stir fry, and have plenty leftover for the next few days. Before I got to cooking though, I had to catch the end of the sunset.
Right now I’m on Day 4, but I’ll wait till the day is over before I put it in polaroid print. I can tell you though, it started with roses =)