What do you see when riding on the back of a BMW?

Not a blog about beading for a change, but fun non the less!!
Mike & Me on our BMW K1200GT aka "The Dragon"

Recently my husband and I completed a three week trip on his BMW motorcycle AKA "The Dragon".  I love to ride on the back but I have a hard time with balancing (nicknamed appropriately Tippy! by my loving husband) so would never ride solo.  We decided that since The Dragon was a grand touring bike that it needed to be tested out and hence we planned this three week ride down the coastal 101 highway to San Francisco via the Red Woods Forests then to Las Vegas via Bakersfield and the Mohave Desert, then San Diego and back on the coastal highway to Vancouver. 


K & T on their K1200LT BMW

My sister Karen and my bother-in-law Terry (always are refered as K&T) were to join us on this adventure.  They left their home town of Regina, Sask on Friday and arrived in Vancouver late Saturday evening.  Our trip began on Sunday morning as we headed out under cloudy and cooler temperatures from Aldergrove, BC to cross into the US and the Olympic Pennisula where we took the ferry from Whitby Island to Olympia and Tumwater, Washington.  Our first day we did not really cover very much distance towards our ultimate destination of Las Vegas, but we rode all around Washington for many hours and ended the first day in Tumwater just outside of Olympia.

The second day we started out early (6 am) and headed for Astoria in Oregon, we wanted to ride across the Columbia River bridge and along the Oregon coast 101 highway, had lunch at Tillamuck Cheese factory and rode a very nice twisty highway back toward Salem, Oregon.  At this point I am thinking that I have been riding on the back of the bike for what seems like hours, days and we don't seem to be getting any where.  We had a week to get to Vegas for our time share booking so everyone wanted to take in the sights. You sure do get to see the country side from the back of a bike.

On the Road to Crescent City
Leaving Salem, we once again head for the coast via Grants Pass, stopping for coffee at Peggy's Cafe along the I5 and eventually reaching the start of the Red Wood forest ride and Crescent City in the fog.  These first few days we were on the bikes from early morning to early evening and I was looking forward to stopping.  My butt just was not used to riding for more than a couple of hours and by now I had spent several days riding for a min 8 hours - 9 hours each day.


Terry in Tree

Mike in Tree

We left Crescent City in the morning and once again it was very foggy so we could not see the ocean from the bikes.  We entered the "Path of the Giants" just outside of Eureka and spent several hours riding the old highway, stopping to take pictures and riding though the "Drive Through" tree.  That evening was spent in the hot tub at the hotel, what a refreshing release after a long day of riding.


Mike & I crossing Golden Gate
 Thursday we got up early and headed into San Francisco along highway 101, we heard on the weather that the Golden Gate bridge was covered in fog and when we arrived around 1:00 it was still covered in fog and there was a cross wind that made K&T nerveous so we headed into Saulsalito for lunch and some shopping, hopping that the wind would die down and the fog would clear.  Mike and I remembered that there was this really great burger joint just along the water front not far from the Saulsalito Yacht club where we had moored Angelique of Vancouver back in 2008.  The burgers were as remembered and the No Name Bar was also as remembered.  We ate our burgers, drank our beer and rememinced about our 2008 sailing adventure with Angelique of Vancouver down this same coast just traveled by bike.   Once we finished our lunch we got back on the bikes and rode across the Golden Gate bridge, the wind and the fog did not really decrease but if we were ever going to get into San Francisco we needed to cross.  In Salsalito I had put on my riding pants and a sweater under my jacket because when we first arrived I was just wearing my jacket and a light pair of paints and nearly froze.  Friday was spent as a tourist in San Francisco, we visited Fishermans's warf and Peer 39, Chinatown and the downtown shopping core, rode the old trolleys, and hiked up and down the famous Streets of San Francisco.

Karen & Jacquie (Two sisters)
Saturday we were off to Vegas to check into our time share and along the way we stopped in several BMW dealerships.  K&T were looking for riding clothing and other BMW accessories. We arrived in Vegas to tempertures in the 100's.  Let me tell you that this is a shock to the system especially when you still have all your riding gear on and you are now waiting in traffic and everyone is out to kill you.  Drivers in Vegas really don't pay much attention to who or what is around them.  Mike and I nearly go hit by a taxi driver as we crossed an intersection, K&T did get hit by a woman in a Mercedes that "just did not see them"  Lucky or unlucky for them the woman only tagged the small trailer that K&T were towing behind their bike.  Terry held it together and did not kill the woman, because the trailer was brand new and bought for this trip.  We got to the resort without further mishap, check in, check out the damage to the trailer, changed, headed to the pool and relaxed.

Dinner in Venice aka "The Venitian"
After a week in Vegas we spent our 18th anniversay with K&T with dinner at one of our favorite restaruants in Venice some gambling at our favorite casino in Paris and a trip up the Effiel Tower.  OK not the real Venice or the real Paris or the real Effiel Tower but it worked for us.

The Mohave Desert
Sunday had us back on the bikes riding though the Mohave Desert with temps over 100, K&T's bike over heating, my brain overheating and endless desert.  We arrived at our other time share booking in Carlsbad and spent the next 5 days touring Oceanside, Carlsbad, San Diego, Encinitas, and surrounding area.Carlsbad is only about 45 mins outside of San Diego , we took the Coaster into town and visited the Lampwork district, Old Town and Little Italy.  Lunch was at our favorite Italian restaurant in Little Itally.


K&T on the Coaster

After our time in Carlsbad it was time to head back home, K&T had 4 days to travel 3100 KM to Regina and we had 2700 KM to travel back to Vancouver.  K&T headed out back through the Mohave and Mike and I headed back up the 101 highway for San Francisco.  We timed our trip home perfectly as we hit morning rush hour traffic in LA on the the Friday of the Labor day weekend and San Francisco for the afternoon rush hour the same day.  We spent 11 hours riding covering the same distance we had done in two days on the way down.  The next day was another grueling 11 hours from San Francisco to Grants Pass in Oregon, 8 hours on the 3rd day from Grants Pass to Olympia, WA and 3 hours on the 4th day from Olympia to Vancouver, BC.

Comments

Rosita P. said…
Wow, what an adventure!. I loved reading about it. So now is time for a well deserved rest.
AsteropeBC said…
Wow, what an ambitious trip! Riding on a motorcycle is a lot more demanding than driving a car. It sounds like you had a great time! My father in law rode his motocycle out to Yellowstone several years ago. We drove the support vehicle (ie, the RV). He had a lot of fun, but I could see it was tiring for him. He really felt a sense of accomplishment after the trip was over.
Thankd for the comments Rosita and Connie. The trip was a lot of fun and it was my first long trip on the bike. We normally ride to Nanaimo because the bike will always get on the ferry when cars have to wait for several sailings. We ride up and get on even if the ferry is loading. This trip was a test of my indurance and I think that we may do a few more trips before we ultimately head out with the boat again.
Sounds like an awesome trip! I find the bridge over the Columbia really amazing, can't imagine it on a bike. And the desert must have been brutal. Glad you are back safe and sound!
The Columbia River bridge was pretty amazing as was riding over the Golden Gate. The last time I was in San Fran we where crossing under the bridge a few days before my birthday with Angelique of Vancouver our 34' Coast sailboat.

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