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September 29th, 2009 - Washington State

I know it’s been a long time since my last update but I’ve been sick ever since my last post battling a bad case of influenza.

I got to Ferndale rather early on the 23rd, and had to wait around for Ted to get off of work. I bought some oil and another tube of epoxy for later patch works and waited at the library for Ted to call. I arrived at his house around 6pm and we got to work, changing the oil and drilling a hole in my front box for a camera mount. One of Ted’s friends named Carter showed up on an another old GS bike and we got to talking for a good long time. When Carter left, Ted and I talked about skiing for another 2 hours and finally I hit the hay after midnight in the “Man Cave.” There’s nothing like waking up to a fresh cup of coffee, two big smoked salmon steaks and a box of crackers. I said my goodbyes to Ted and got on the road for Seattle early in the morning.

If you have a choice between driving in Downtown Seattle on a loaded bike with no map or giving birth to a flaming walrus, look into the second option. Seattle is a city of agony. I rode around downtown for hours without finding a single parking spot that was safe or cheap. 0-2 hours of parking goes for $8 and more than 2 hours for $16. There are cheaper places to park, but most likely the bike would get stripped as soon as I turned my head.

After a long day of cursing and swearing, I finally hooked up with my host, Natalie and hunkered down at her house. Natalie and Christy were my hosts in Seattle and they were so nice and cool I didn’t want to leave. I got sick the first night and was no good after that but I managed to make some chicken marsala for them as a show of appreciation. Thank you guys.

Between the antibiotics and fever reducers I have no recollection of the small details but I got out of Seattle on Sunday and went to Chris Mathews’ house in Buckley, WA. It was 2 years since I saw Chris and the reunion was great. I stayed at Chris’s for the night and as much as I would have loved to stay longer, I had to leave the next morning. There is a big storm coming over the northwest that could be pretty nasty, plus it’s no fun riding in rain, nor while being sick either.

After a great breakfast of sausage and eggs at Chris’s, I bid Chris and his hospitable and cool girlfriend farewell and headed south again.

I was almost dozing off on the highway when I heard metal scraping the road and to my horror, one of the front boxes was hanging by a thread of aluminum and scraping the ground at 70mph. I slowed down but couldn’t stop since I was in the fast lane and Hwy 5 is a 10 lane highway. By the time I made my way closer to the shoulder, the box finally came off and started bouncing down the road at high speed. Miraculously, it did not hit any cars and it came to stop right on the shoulder of the highway.

I picked up the box and lashed it to my rear pannier and got back on the highway again, bound for Portland, Oregon. I will be staying at Wade’s house with a garage tonight so I’ll put on a new rack and will adjust the load so this doesn’t happen again.

I’m still pretty sick, so bear with me here. I will write more as soon as I can.

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There are 4 Comments

  1. Ted
    September 25, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Met Chris at my place last night. Got his oil & fliter changed, BS’ed for awhile over beers in the man-cave.

    This AM, hit him with a big cuppa joe, and some fresh home-smoked salmon for road snackin’, bid him farewell then I headed for work. Wish I could have ridden with him a bit.

    He was planning to hit Seattle sometime today. Piece of cake.

    Nice meeting you Chris. Good Luck!

    – Ted

  2. Dogma
    September 29, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I guess those bicycle racks had a weight limit, huh? That could have been scary if it had just rolled up under the highway bar.

  3. Tom
    September 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    My dream is far less ambitious, however, I have equipped a GS850 for self sufficient travel in the Americas, and I will be following you with great interest! More to follow perhaps as I dig into your thread and site. Not sure if I can be of assistance to you along the way, perhaps my extensive research into the bike may be useful. Anyway, Good Stuff !
    Tom

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