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July, 2003 Sport Lap Around (Mt.) St. Helens (SPLASH) Trip Photos

First, a synopsis of the trip (or click on the right hand link to scroll down to the pictures). Tuesday (July 15), I left for Oregon (OR) at 6:20 am. Hugely enjoyed Highway (Hwy) 1 from 128 past Fort Bragg, to 101. Note: all Buellies should ride this newly paved piece of riding paradise! Took some pictures because the coast was clear. By serendipity, found Jim on his red S2 in Brookings, OR so we rode together to Paul’s place near Ophir, OR. Enjoyed beer, food, music, company, good conversation and shared passion for bikes.

Wednesday, we all continued up 101 to Reedsport, OR then went inland on some cool back roads through Lorane to McKenzie Bridge. Rediscovered how to ride on loose packed gravel (3 miles, to get around a road closure) without dropping the bike. Too much dust! Overnighted in Eugene. Had a great dinner in an old Victorian converted to a Mexican restaurant. Saw a head-on car accident on the street between our hotel and the restaurant just as we left for the restaurant!

Thursday, some of us headed up Hwy 126 to Hwy 20 / 22 to 46 and 224 into Estacada. Nice, well-maintained highways (true of most OR roads), off the beaten track. Unfortunately, we had trouble. Ferris bent both rims (luckily the tires still held air) on a clump of asphalt, Steve (?) picked up a nail AND a screw in the same tire within 20 miles of each. Paul’s ‘busa picked up an unrepairable hole in his brand new tire. Since it was so heavily loaded, we had it flatbed-trucked to Eugene. Jim dropped his S2 on road slime while turning it around to park it. Oh yeah, we also lost Tom when he got confused--he thought we were ahead, when we were all behind him (found him via cell phone). After having Paul’s tire replaced at a YamaKawaSusi dealership, we headed our separate ways to Portland lodgings.

Friday, I spent time with brother Chris and family. Washed gravel dust off the bike. Met neighbor Gary, a Honda racebike afficionado. Escaped to the party (food and lodgings) in Woodland, WA around 4pm. Took a few pictures. Canadians finally arrived, adding their brand of fun. Partied hardy. Shoulda gotten a picture of Debi’s new bra for her Triumph’ bug eye headlights! Ok, click on the link below all my photos--someone else got a picture of my handiwork for posterity ;-)

Saturday, Chris and I did the long Super SPLASH route together. All was well until Chris dropped his 1986 K100RS in a small section of gravel road. Saved by the engine guards, he was ok and bike suffered mostly cosmetic damage. Then we got lost about halfway around the loop. Decided we’d better beat it back (the long way) via Hwys 14, 5, and 12 into Packwood to hook up with the others. Found everyone at a hotel near Packwood, WA around 9pm. Partied into the wee hours again. Offical end of SPLASH 2003.

Sunday, since neither of us had seen it, Chris and I toured Mt. Rainier. Checked out the visitor center, hiked along a 1 hr. trail loop, had lunch. Took a bunch of pictures. On our way out, serendipity struck again--we found Ferris--rode together ‘til we went our separate ways (we headed back to Portland).

Monday, I left Portland on 99W and 18 (big mistake--boring and too many traffic lights), overnighted in Crescent City, CA. Tuesday (July 22), headed down 101 (and Hwy 1 and 128 again :-), avoiding the inland heat. 2625 miles in 8 days without tickets or accidents. T’was a good one. The easiest tour I’ve ever done. Thanks Erik, XB lite touring is THE way to go!

[thumbnail of CA Hwy 101 coastline, somewhere north of Eureka, CA.] [thumbnail of another shot of the Hwy 101 coastline, near Gold Beach, OR???] [thumbnail of Buellies at the SPLASH kickoff party in Woodland, WA.] [thumbnail of a halftrack, check out the hood sticker in the large picture.]
On the way up to my first night’s stay at Gold Beach, it was an uncommonly sunny day along the CA Hwy 101 coast. I just had to stop and take this picture somewhere north of Eureka, CA. Another shot of the beautiful coast farther north. A small inlet and secluded beach, south of Gold Beach, OR. Some of the Buellies at the SPLASH kickoff party in Woodland, WA. I hadn’t seen many of these folks since the 1998 SPLASH--Sharon & Gumby were good to go, Ferris was honored guest, and the girls were trash talkin’ & lookin’ good! “Different in Every Sense” takes on new meaning! A local (historic military vehicles) owner drove over with this nicely restored halftrack to check out our party. We stuck this Buell sticker on its hood as a welcoming gesture :-)
[thumbnail of the view from Paul's deck overlooking the coast near Ophir, OR.] [thumbnail of XB9R with touring gear, stopped to admire the Mt. Rainier countryside.] [thumbnail of my XB9R and Chris' K100RS at a road side overlook.] [thumbnail of ]
Sunset from Paul’s deck overlooking the Ophir, OR coast. Treated to fresh oysters, salmon, albacore, live band, fun rides, garaging for our bikes, and soft spots to catch some zzzz's after we’d had enough. Thanx Paul for your gracious hospitality! XB9R with my touring gear (minus large fanny pack). We had stopped to admire the countryside around Mt. Rainier. My XB9R and Chris’ K100RS at a scenic overlook. Chatted with an ex-Bueller on an Aprilia, who wanted to know more about the XB. Chris catching his breath after a small hike before Mt. Rainier. The clouds around the peak parted just in time for this shot.
[thumbnail of windsurfers at Windy Ridge along the Columbia River, OR.] [thumbnail of a receding glacier on Mt. Rainier.]
Windsurfers at Windy Ridge along the Columbia River, OR. Taken just before we got lost on the Super SPLASH route. A bank sign said 104 degrees F (!) in the next valley we rode through. A receding glacier on the visitor center side of Mt. Rainier. Check out the blue ice. How quickly the clouds moved back in, only minutes after the picture of Chris was taken!!!
More SPLASH 2003 photos, taken by our Canadian friends.

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