Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tree-Hugger, day 1, mile 363, Brookings, Oregon.

One well-guarded secret we Pacific Northwesterners keep to ourselves is phenonmenom known as the 'February Fakeout'. Typically, every year around February we get a short break in the rainy, cold winter weather with a few days of sunshine and temperatures in the upper 50's, (a heat wave for us this time of year). The February Fakeout is always amusing to us because most people are lulled into believing Spring has returned, only to be disappointed by the return of the rain and cold temperatures. I've been following the weather forecasts for the past week or so, and learned that this weekend we could expect three contiguous rain-free days and temperatures nearing the 60's. I immediately started planning another motorcycle ride to capitalize on the nice weather. I chose to ride a 1,000-mile trip through Oregon and down into the Redwood Forest of Northern California over three days to visit the giant Redwoods I saw briefly during my trip down to Baja, Mexico last December.

I departed Beaverton, OR this morning at 8:00am to a frosty, foggy highway heading westward toward the Oregon Coast with the intent of following coastal route Hwy. 101 all the way down into the Redwoods.

I crossed over the coastal mountain range west of Beaverton to see lots of snow still on the highway.

After enduring an hour or so of numb fingers and toes, I rolled into Tillamook, OR about 10am with the temperature climbing up to a tolerable 45 degrees. That early in the morning, the coast was still a bit overcast, but the sun was starting to break through the cloud cover, so I was hopeful I'd have a sunnier, warmer day to ride. I was rewarded...

The farther south I rode on Hwy. 101, the sunnier and warmer it did get! By mid-afternoon I was bathed in full sunshine and 55-degree temperature. Needless to say, I was tooling along Hwy. 101 with a very large grin on my face which I'm sure was even obvious under the full-face helmet.

After a few pit stops and necessary refuelings, (both the motorcycle, and myself as seen below), I took advantage of the favorable weather to burn up a lot of miles down the Oregon coast.

Many of us Pacific Northwesterners take this for granted, but most of us forget how nice it is to live in a region of the US where you can always find green plantlife, even in the dead of Winter. I can't remember any time when my trips through the Oregon coast weren't beautiful.

I made it as far as Brookings, OR on the California border today. Tomorrow, I cross into California and down into the Redwoods to see those gigantic trees again! More posts coming...

No comments: