Ryan and I recently took a mini-vacation! It came at the right time — I was getting antsy to get away for a couple days and enjoy life from somewhere other than behind my computer screen.
We headed to Seattle to get a custom seat made for our motorcycle — the old one wasn’t comfortable for Ryan, and it was a joke for me (I couldn’t ride a half hour before my tailbone started going numb). Ryan did a lot of research and settled on Rich’s Custom Motorcycle Seats in Kingston, WA — the perfect opportunity for us to take a trip up to the PNW, one of our favorite places.
Ryan left the Sacramento area on Thursday to ride to Corvallis, Oregon where he stayed with a friend. On Friday he headed up to Seattle, and I caught a quick flight north. He picked me up at the airport and we stayed in Lynnwood, WA that night.
The next morning, we got up early and caught the Edmonds-to-Kingston ferry. Riding the ferry with our motorcycle was wonderfully reminiscent of our honeymoon, which included many ferry crossings on a motorcycle in Norway.
We arrived at Rich’s around 8:30 and were pleased to see how quickly they got to work — Rich runs an efficient shop!
They used the old seat but added WAY more padding. We did some test rides and were able to tell them what was comfortable and what needed to change. We chatted with a few other couples — the fun thing about riding motorcycles is that almost everyone loves to chat about their bikes and the different rides they’ve done.
We crossed the road for lunch and I had to steal this guy’s ice cream.
And Ryan did…this:
I have no idea.
Around 4pm, our new seat was finished!
I don’t even have words to describe how much better it is now. For the rest of the trip, my rear end was quite happy!
We headed down the Olympic Peninsula, down Hwy 101 into Olympia. That part of the world is just gorgeous — so green and vibrant. Also, so filled with allergens. Both Ryan and I were kind of a mess, but at least we were a mess together. Misery loves company, eh?
We stopped for a visit with our friends Kari and Jarrod and their two adorable girls in Olympia — a quick dinner and we had to say goodbye too soon. A few hours later we were in Vancouver, staying with our friends Ricky and Kelly. We’ve stayed with them before, and they are such nice hosts — they both laugh easily, their kids are great, and they provide coffee. Triple win!
The next morning, after visiting with Ricky and Kelly for a while, we headed west, from Vancouver to the coast. We stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory for lunch. Pretty much the best grilled cheese ever, as was to be expected.
We ended up eating with a couple guys we met, Jerry and Terry, who were headed to Alaska for a two-month motorcycle trip! You can read more about them on their Facebook page, The Long Way Home.
We also had a small-world moment when we ran into my friends Nick and Stacey from back in Sacramento while we were in line for ice cream! So very random.
After the cheese factory, we headed down 101 again. I loved the quilt blocks on the sides of the Tillamook County buildings.
We also stopped by the giant hangar that used to hold zeppelins — photos can’t do justice to the size and scale of this building!
From then on, it was just gorgeous coastline. I love the PNW coast so much more than the SoCal coast — it’s wild, gorgeous, and not covered in tourists.
That night we stayed in Coos Bay, Oregon at a hotel with a beautiful little view and the least water-saving shower ever. It was glorious. I justified it by assuming Coos Bay was in less of a drought than Sacramento. No idea if that’s actually true, but there you go.
We left Coos Bay and headed down 101. There were dinosaurs.
My parents told us to visit some of the Oregon lighthouses, but we didn’t stop at one until Crescent City, CA. This one was out on a little piece of land that’s only accessible during low tide. We probably could have made it out there, but we weren’t sure if we’d make it back! So we just admired it from afar.
Jerry and Terry had suggested we stop at the Klamath River Overlook — they’d seen whales the day before! Unfortunately, all we saw was a marine layer. Wah waaaah.
As we drove, we kept seeing signs for the Trees of Mystery (I feel like you have to say it in a dramatic voice: Trees! Of! Mysterrrry!), and knew we had to stop when we got to the GIANT Paul Bunyan and Babe statues. Paul Bunyan talks! And waves! We didn’t have the time or proper footwear to take the tour, but we had a nice time walking around a bit.
At some point, we saw some cars parked by the side of the road, and holy elk, batman! There were probably thirty elk, just lounging by the side of the highway. We didn’t get too close, but we watched them for a while and Ryan got a few great photos. So cool.
We had a choice to make — did we want to head down the coast on Highway 1? Or continue on Highway 101 through the redwoods and then home through wine country. We opted for the redwoods and weren’t disappointed!
We both love the redwoods — we got married in them, for goodness sake! We loved our drive down the Avenue of the Giants. We figured it was probably the best time to do this drive — the weekend after Memorial Day, but before people really started summer vacation. And it was a Monday. Which meant we pretty much had the forest to ourselves. It was amazing.
We even drove through a tree!
That night, we stayed in the best little motel in Miranda, CA called Miranda Gardens. We both wanted to come back and stay for a longer visit, exploring the peaceful redwoods. Our little room was perfect, the restaurant across the street had great food, and the people who ran the motel and the guests we chatted with the next morning were super nice. We will definitely be back!
The next morning, we knew we had a long drive home down 101 to Highway 128 through wine country and by Lake Berryessa. Somehow I ended up with zero photos from our last day — we were pushing hard to get home and it was a warm day so stopping while wearing all of our motorcycle gear made it even warmer.
It was a lovely trip, through a lovely part of the world, made even lovelier because I was with my favorite guy!
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