Rockaway!

I was fed up with the weather. Marv and I hadn’t been on a long motorcycle ride since late September, and I was tired of waiting. We’d had a miserable, cold, wet winter and, though the weather had warmed a little, the rain hasn’t lessened one bit. There had been almost no opportunities to get out for a day or two of motorcycle riding. Marv was recovering from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, and that had complicated things. He was feeling confident enough to ride now, so we were ready to go.

We had hoped to get away to Manzanita on the Oregon Coast, but the motels there were filling, and the prices were rising. I got online and secured an inexpensive room in Rockaway Beach, so we made plans to ride south Saturday, and return Sunday.

We left on Saturday morning with the plan to ride south through the Kent valley, and then work our way around some back roads in the Morton vicinity. There was a little rain around the Mount Rainier area, and it was still quite cool in those higher elevations. It was around 11 am that I was regretting not bringing my heated liner. I hadn’t expected so much cloud cover, and it hadn’t warmed as I’d hoped.  I borrowed a fleece from Marv to add a layer, and that did the trick. I was comfortable for the rest of the day.

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We cut a path south and west to Castle Rock, and then took a set of well-worn roads through the Longview area to cross the Columbia into Oregon. After continuing southwest on Apiary and Fishhawk Falls roads, we made another cut west on Highway 26 for a few miles to get to Highway 53 that would carry us nearly to Rockaway Beach. Then, after about 10 miles on Highway 101, we made it to our destination.

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The motel at Rockaway Beach was okay. It was right at the standard for motorcycle trips, although it did have an impressive view. The motel is right on the beach, and the second-floor room had a nice wide window open to the ocean.

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Rockaway Beach didn’t offer much in the way of restaurants, and we ended up at the Old Oregon Smokehouse, a crappy little deep-fryer place with only outdoor seating. The fish & chips was passable, but completely unremarkable, so I can’t recommend it.

I took a very nice, long walk on the beach.

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Sunday morning we packed our gear, and retraced our path back up to Highway 26. Then we tacked west to pick up the Lewis and Clark Road, which took us all the way up to Astoria where we crossed the Columbia back into Washington. We noticed that our civil employees were hard at work in all the areas, keeping motorists safe.

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We followed Highways 101 and 107 up to Montesano, and then turned north to work our way up through the Satsop area. We picked up Highway 101 and followed it all the way along the Hood Canal. At the Highway 104 turn-off, Marv turned towards Kingston to catch the ferry over to Edmonds, while I continued north towards Port Townsend to catch the ferry over to Keystone. From Keystone, I headed north on Whidbey Island, arriving home around 5 pm. I got word from Marv a short time later that he had made it home.

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Marv and I had ordered Becca Coolwear last fall.  They’re full-length one-piece garments designed to help keep one cool when worn beneath full riding gear.  We haven’t yet worn them in hot weather, so that feature will remain untested for the time being, but I’ve found the suit works well as a layer to help keep me warm in cool weather. I’ve worn it for short rides, and it works well on my commute to work. It fits snugly, is comfortable, and provides a layer of fabric between me and my Roadcrafter.

We both enjoyed being out on a ride. It was a good trip for getting back in the swing of riding. It had been too long.