San Diego to Skaqway

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May/June 2007 "Ride to Skagway" - Ilwaco to Garberville
Day 19 - 20

Oregon Coast

Redwood National Park
Avenue of the Giants

Ilwaco, WA
Florence, OR

Florence, OR
Garberville, CA


Day 19, Friday, June 17, 2007 - Father's Day

We awoke early and called Craig's Dad at 7:45 a.m. to wish him a happy Father's Day. We knew he'd be awake, since he is an early riser. Then, we had a breakfast bar and coffee (our usual at this point – quick breakfast places were hard to come by...) and got on the road. We crossed a few small bridges before we spanned the Columbia River into Oregon. The Oregon coastline is so amazing! Just as I remember it from my childhood! Rugged is hardly an adequate word for the islands and rocks that skirt the mainland coast.

We stopped at "Rosanne's" in Oceanside for lunch. It was a cozy little restaurant with huge windows facing the cliff and ocean below, with a prime view of the beautiful rocks that dotted the waves. We ordered Clam Chowder (the best I've had in years) and grilled cheese on sourdough. It was perfect for lunch on a gray day! This was just like the restaurant that my Dad and Mom took me to with my sister and Grandparents, many years ago. We made a regular route from my Grandparents home in Portland to the Tillamook Cheese factory for a tour (boy has it changed since I was a kid - it's huge now) and then to what I thought was called Whale Bay for chowder and grilled cheese sandwiches. Only, this time was all the sweeter, because I arrived on the V-Strom with my Sweetheart and husband, Craig!

After a leisurely lunch, we returned to our adventure. We passed Whale Cove, but it was not the Whale Bay I remembered. There was a lot of development that had not been there last time I visited Oregon. Rather disappointing, because the coastline is so lovely when left natural. Can't stop time, however.

We stopped to see the ocean blowhole at Cook's Chasm at the base of Cape Perpetua – then up NF-5553 to an overlook that we rode up based on a recommendation from a man we met at the parking lot of the oceanfront parking lot. We took the road up, and it was, indeed, a great ride. Lots of twists and turns, and tree-lined curves.

We continued over another bridge, when IT happened: we got pulled over for speeding. However, Craig was in a passing lane, passing a vehicle, so it was simply a warning. Yikes! I just sat stone still on the back and didn't move while Craig said almost nothing and the police officer said that he was a motorcyclist too, so he knew how easy it was to get up to speed without thinking about it. Well, it was Father's Day, and we really could afford to slow down a bit.

We arrived in Florence and decided on a good place to spend the night. We found a cute room at the Silver Sands Motel. Really nice owners! They were interested in the motorcycle, and very accommodating all around. Double kudos. We went to have vege pizza at Pizza Hut, then to a movie – “Pirates of the Caribbean III”. What fun! It was so windy out that Craig had to hold onto me while we walked to and from the motel room. Great date night!


Day 20, Monday, June 18, 2007

We left the cute motel in Florence - the manager even waved good-bye as we left! Wonderful!

We saw more gorgeous views of the coastline. Lots of giant rocky islands and just below the surface rocks in the ocean. Not a great place for ships! We stopped at a restaurant for lunch. Again, I ordered clam chowder. It was more of bacon chowder than clam chowder. Nuts!

However, all was made better by the sight of the REDWOODS! I love these trees, and the Redwood forest is one of the most amazing and majestic things on earth. It reminds me again how truly, terribly small we people are. If you do this ride, do it at a slower pace. There are plenty of curvy roads elsewhere, but these forests are one of a kind. Also, if you miss and go into a tree here, the tree wins. Just so lovely!

We rode a dirt road called Cal-Barrel back into the forest. Beautiful, but kind of spooky fun with my dark face shield! 

The rest of the afternoon we took a road that parallels the 101 called the "Avenue of the Giants".

We pulled into Garberville, and Craig parked the V-Strom, and asked, "Do you want to stay there or there?" pointing both ways down the street. I said, "How about the one behind us" pointing directly behind the V-Strom. We were parked in front of an entrance sign that said "Sherwood Forest". How perfect! It has off street (way off street) parking, and the motel is built on a hillside, so all the rooms feel like cabins in the Redwoods. And, we were lucky again with the owners! The folks were so pleasant and nice, giving us advise on nice rides and even a room at the far end to make sure the V-Strom had a lot of privacy. The place had a Jacuzzi and pool, which we availed ourselves to, as well as being next door to a great Italian deli restaurant. We went for dinner, and listened to a folk singer that took us back in time to the 1960s. It was funny when we overheard a young patron telling his friends, "Let's go outside and watch the Hippies". That kind of quirky, wonderful town!

> Go to Day 21