Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Honeymoon Adventure Day 1

Day one of our honeymoon started early, 6am, as excitement for the journey overtook our better sense that sleep is what's needed to operate a motorcycle. We packed the bikes, threw our gear on, and headed to the first destination any caffeine addict would head, Starbucks!

It was then that I realized I didn't know where my Uclear earbuds and temporary vehicle registration were! We searched and searched the gear and it was nowhere to be found. We decided to go back to the house and start our journey over again after looking for these two items that without them, our bikes would not run.

After searching anywhere and everywhere the items were found inside the second set of pockets of my motorcycle jacket which were placed there by myself before the trip began. Doh!
From Vancouver we decided to ride down I-5 and head to 101 via hwy 20 in Albany, which Kris pronounced as the name Al then bunny (come to think of it, that sounds close to Al Bundy).

The drive down I-5 was uneventful, a bit boring, and uncomfortably windy. The KLR doesn't much care for going 70 plus mph with a cross wind. Tall bike, 38 hp (and all of it below 5k rpms) and only 5 gears. Kris is much more comfortable on her baby Ninja doing these speeds and maybe a little bit more.

Highway 20 was a nice change of pace from the misery of I-5. Stopping only to pee and for gas. I realized as we were riding through Philomath, which is a rustic little wild west town with it's own rodeo and old turn of the century buildings, that I had been through here before years ago. My daughter had been to a horse camp for Girl Scouts near this town.

As we continued on over the coastal range following a river and set of train tracks the scenery got more and more beautiful. Hills with thousands of Douglas fir trees set to eventually harvested as timber all around us. The road snaked through these hills, following the same river which I didn't catch the name of. We didn't stop for pictures. Kris was on a mission and that mission was speed! I've never seen that girl ride so fast!

We made it into Newport and our tummies were rumbling! Kris wanted fish and chips. I knew just the place to take her, Mo's! Mo's is a chain of seafood restaurants on the Oregon coast which serve the best clam chowder I've ever tasted! Kris isn't a clam chowder lover but man did she slurp that stuff down!

After lunch we had a nice walk around, checking out gift shops, quirky glass blowing shops, and snapped a few pictures of the bridge then hopped on our bikes to cross. Kris was overwhelmingly excited to cross it on her bike!

Next stop, sealion caves! The sealion cave is the largest ocean cave in North America and the only mainland habitat for the sealions. There are two places to view them from, we decided to do both. The first involves going down an elevator into a cave/viewing area that seemed like a part of a zoo. There was an old sealion skeleton from the 1800's and a small grouping of sealions way out on a rock in the middle of the cave. We took some pictures and videos then headed back up the elevator.

The other side was more interesting. You can see the sealions from atop a bluff looking down on them. They were quite a ways down there so binoculars are recommended. The sounds they make are kind of frog-like but they wriggle around like worms. Frog-worms!

Our next stop was the Florence dunes for some sight seeing. Kris was leading again and we were set to turn off at Dunes loop. We rode many miles and didn't see Dunes loop so we pulled off at the Oregon Dunes Day Use Area and skipped paying the $5 fee because we weren't going to be there for very long.

We hiked down the beach path about 1/2 mile. The path itself was beautiful. The trees and shrubs had made a natural tunnel as you walk along. We snapped a few pictures and read the sign that said it was another 1/2 mile hike to the beach. Tired, hot, and hungry, we decided to head back for dinner and then check into our first stay at Heceta Head Lighthouse.

Earlier, we had asked a local about dining in the area. She recommended a place in Newport Old Town called Restobar. It was a cute little Italian restaurant. The food was delicious, though it helped that we were both starving by this time! Kris had lamb shank and I had spaghetti with meatballs. We sat on the back patio which had a little indoor garden and stained glass windows lighting the room. It was really romantic. Well, it would have been if we weren't both tired and starving!

The ride back to the Heceta Head was confusing. The driveway to the Bed and Breakfast is only marked with "No tresspassing, $5,000 fine" and a gate that was swung open. After exploring any and all possible driveways we decided to risk the fine and found ourselves finally at our destination.
I was so tired. We unloaded the bikes, checked into our room, and I took a nap while Kris enjoyed a bath in the beautiful claw foot tub.

Nap over, we followed the innkeeper's advice and took an evening stroll up to the lighthouse. By this time, it was twilight and the waves were crashing in the distance. The lighthouse was locked but we were able to sit and enjoy the magical rainbow colored light it threw off in many directions. The lense on the lighthouse has 8 sides and all of them send out light as it spins around. It's both beautiful and eery as it lights up the tree trunks and bushes directly behind the lighthouse as it sweeps the horizon.

Kris found a path leading up the bluff behind the lighthouse. We trekked up the steep switchback trail, the lighthouse light blinding us a few times as we hiked with only one flashlight to illuminate our path. Some further exploring lead us only to dead ends overgrown with poison oak. Remembering Bonnie's story about poision oak (our host at the Selah Inn where we got married), we headed back down the trail, once again blinded by the lighthouse light, and headed for bed.

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