BrandonoBrien.com

Brandon O'Brien

Travel and Adventure Journal

I wanted a place to journal all my travels and adventures around the world. I always enjoy going back and reflecting on my past travels and getting to relive them through my words and photos.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Aspen to Denver - Day 15 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Aspen to Denver - Day 15 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Saturday, July 28, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride

We woke up again today to more rain. We finally were able to drag ourselves out of our tents around 7 so we could get everything packed up again and set out. We didn't even eat this morning because sitting around for an extra half hour in the rain didn't sound to appealing.

We headed out of our campsite around 7:50am and got back on 82 and headed toward Independence Pass. It immediately started dropping in temperature as we gained elevation. Ryan said at the coldest point it reached 48 degrees which is quite the difference from high 90's and low 100's we experienced over the last few days. We made it over Independence Pass and down toward Leadville. The temps started slowly warming up and by the time we made it to I-70 things were tolerable again.

Being Saturday, there wasn't really too much traffic and we made it to Denver quickly. We made it back to Ryan's place where we both took showers and then went out to eat. The rest of the night will be filled with editing photos that we will upload to our ride reports.

I head back to Albuquerque tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to being off of my bike for a while.

Teaser photos:

Back at Ryan's
Back at Ryan's

View Entire Photo Gallery

Tags: motorcycle

Posted from: United States

More rain in Aspen - Day 14 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

More rain in Aspen - Day 14 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Friday, July 27, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride

We had been sleeping with our rain flies off our tents since it's been so hot. Last night we were woken up in the middle of the night by rain drops coming through our tents and hitting us. We got up and put the rain flies on our tents and heard other people doing the same. We couldn't believe that even being in the middle of the desert we still couldn't get away from the rain.

We woke up around 7, ate and got our bikes and set off so we could try to beat some of the heat on the way to Aspen. It started heating up really quick. By the time we stopped for fuel and food in Grand Junction we were ready for the day to be over. We checked the weather and saw that it was supposed to be thunder storming around Aspen and the exit we needed off of I-70.

We got back on the road and sure enough, right around the time we reached our exit off of I-70 it started to rain. We pulled into a gas station to fuel up and get some gatorade to mix our booze with later tonight. As soon as we headed out of Glenwood Springs on 82 the skies opened up and it poured on us for about a half hour.

Eventually we made it to the Difficult Campground and pulled up to the host campsite to figure out where we were supposed to go. The guy who was in the RV didn't know anything about what was going on and told us to find a lady riding around on a golf cart and she could check us in. We did a loop of the campground and finally found the lady but she couldn't find our reservation anywhere in her little notebook. Ryan told her he had a reservation number so she looked through her book again and found us. We had to fill out a bunch of information we had already filled out online and finally made it to our site.

When we got to the site, we quickly set up our tents before the rain started too hard. We threw all of our stuff in the bear box so it wouldn't get wet in the rain. After that we started mixing the gatorade with the remaining vodka we had. The Svedka Clementine flavored vodka mixed with orange gatorade tastes really really good we found out. After drinking for a bit we had dinner. Almost immediately after finishing dinner it started to rain so we decided just to head into our tents. It was about 8:15pm at this point so we figured that wasn't too bad. Also, it isn't about 90 degrees out like it had been the last couple of nights in Moab. This is the last night of camping and of course it had to be in the rain. At least tomorrow we head back to Denver where we can take a real shower and sleep in real beds again.

Teaser photos:

Back in Colorado
Back in Colorado
Campsite in Aspen
Campsite in Aspen

View Entire Photo Gallery

Tags: motorcycle

Posted from: United States

Adventures in Moab - Day 13 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Adventures in Moab - Day 13 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride

We were hoping to sleep in a bit this morning but between crows squawking, the sun blasting into our tents and other people getting up we woke up around 7. We tried to quickly eat and get ready while it was still a little cooler outside.

We set off to see some of the sights in Arches. The first stop was Landscape Arch. We weren't sure how far away it was from the parking spot so we set off with our full gear on (aside from helmets and gloves) and immediately started to regret that decision. Turns out the arch is a 1.6 mile round trip. It was cool to see it though. We made it back to the bikes and set off to see Delicate Arch. Instead of hiking the distance up to it we opted for the lower viewing area where we could see it from a distance.

While there we ran into another biker and his passenger who had a Victoria, BC patch on his riding vest. We got to talking and it sounded like they were doing a really similar loop to ours, as they were just in Albuquerque a few days ago.

Next to the parking lot for the Delicate Arch viewing area we saw an unmaintained road that said 4x4's only and decided we should go and explore it. The trail was a mix of sandy spots and rocky areas. After a mile or so we decided this isn't the kind of riding we were looking for and turned around. It was a little too rough for our bikes, especially mine with relatively smooth tires.

We headed down into Moab to fuel up and find some food and figure out where to ride next. The couple on the motorcycle we ran into at Delicate Arch had mentioned the Blue Pig as a good BBQ place to eat at so we figured we would try that. We got there and found out they were only open for dinner so we ended up at the Moab Grill instead. The service and food were really good. Both of us got Patty Melts on Texas Toast. We took our time drinking as much water and tea as we could before setting out into the extreme heat again and exploring some dirt roads.

We decided our route would be Cotter Mine Road to Blue Hills road and ride that all the way back to 191. When we got onto Cotter Mine Road we immediately started climbing some really steep and rocky hills. We both looked at each other and though… not this again. Things got better after that initial climb though and we had fun riding around. All in all we spent about 2 hours out there riding around. Neither of us dropped our bikes but both of us had some close calls. Ryan almost went over his handle bars when riding pretty quickly through a dip in the road and hit a hole larger than he was expecting. I had some close calls going through some sand. I also started having issues again with my bike overheating. It seems like when this happens it won't idle and instead the engine simply cuts off. It made it pretty annoying trying to navigate some of the trails to get back to 191. I'll have to look into it when I get home to see what the deal is.

We eventually made it back to 191 and then stopped at a Shell station for something cold to drink and to relax in the shade before heading back to our campsite. We talked to the cashier for a bit about some of his journeys on an old BMW and told him about our ride so far. We finished our drinks and set off for the campground. Riding through the park took a lot longer this time because we got stuck behind an RV that simply wouldn't pull over. We were stuck behind them all the way to our campsite.

We got back and doused ourselves with water and are now just relaxing in the shade waiting for it to cool down. All of our booze is extremely hot so we'll probably pass on that tonight and wait until tomorrow night in Aspen where it's supposed to be a lot colder.

Teaser photos:

Landscape Arch in Devil's Garden
Landscape Arch in Devil's Garden
In the middle of nowhere outside Moab
In the middle of nowhere outside Moab
Riding through Arches National Park
Riding through Arches National Park

View Entire Photo Gallery

Tags: motorcycle

Posted from: United States

SLC to Moab - Day 12 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

SLC to Moab - Day 12 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride

The plan this morning was to wake up whenever we wanted to and take our time since the ride down to Arches National Park was only going to be about 250 miles. Ryan ended up waking up at the crack of dawn and I got up around 7, so we didn't really get to sleep in much. We did take our time getting ready though. After eating we packed up and headed out for some roads we thought were going to be dirt/gravel before hitting Heber, UT.

We ended up getting stopped for one-way construction traffic and had to wait for about 5 minutes for our turn to go. After a few miles we turned off onto some really nice and tight roads that gained quite a bit of elevation. Eventually the road turned to gravel and then eventually some really nasty hardpack that was being worked on. The road turned into some extremely unmaintained asphalt before we finally arrived in Heber.

We made our way through Provo to Highway 6 which we were on all the way until I-70. Another 45 miles or so and we were at Arches National Park. We used Ryan's park pass to get us both in and then went into the visitor center so I could get my national parks passport stamped and we could buy some stickers.

The ride through Arches NP was really nice. The rock formations and sights you can see simply while riding through the park are amazing. There wasn't too much traffic when we were going through which was nice.

It took another 45 minutes or so and we finally made it to our campsite at Devils Garden. By now it was around 3:15 and extremely hot. We quickly set up our tents and tried to stay in what little shade we could find. After relaxing for a bit we decided to have some vodka and go exploring around the campsite.

A little later we saw this big Ryder rental truck pull up to one of the group sites. We couldn't quite tell what was going on but guessed that they were probably setting up stuff for a big group. Sure enough, about an hour or so later this huge tour bus showed up full of high school aged looking kids. We figured they were going to be really loud all night but we lucked out. They did however create quite the line at the water station and restrooms.

Eventually it got dark and we were cool enough that we could finally start dinner. I had the Natural High Spicy Sausage Pasta and Ryan had the Chicken Enchilada. Both of us thought our meals were dull and lacking some flavor so we added a few packets of Taco Bell hot sauce.

We had a little fire and decided we'd head to bed. We were still kinda playing catch up from the last several long days. Tomorrow the plan is to explore Arches and try to do some off road exploring around Moab.

Teaser photos:

We started a fire in the morning for a little bit of warmth
We started a fire in the morning for a little bit of warmth
Some of the nice views near Heber, UT
Some of the nice views near Heber, UT
The bikes at our campsite
The bikes at our campsite
The view of our campsite from a big rock behind it. I ended up having to move my tent due to all the dripping sap.
The view of our campsite from a big rock behind it. I ended up having to move my tent due to all the dripping sap.

View Entire Photo Gallery

Tags: motorcycle

Posted from: United States

Across the desert - Day 11 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Across the desert - Day 11 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride

Today we woke up around 6am so we could get packed, eat and fuel up before starting the long haul to our campsite east of Salt Lake City. We were on the road around 7:15 and immediately jumped on I-80 East. We would be on this for about 500 miles today in total.

The day started off with nice weather but by the time we stopped for lunch in Elko it was really heating up. We resorted to pouring water into our riding gear in order to cool off while we rode. The water would evaporate pretty quickly which was a shame.

About a half hour west of Wendover the clouds started darkening quickly and it looked like rain. We stopped and zipped up our riding gear and took off. Not 30 seconds later the rain started. It wasn't too heavy and only lasted a little while but this would make it the 10th day in a row we hit some sort of precipitation. We hit a break in the rain when we got to Wendover and had just enough time to fuel up and find a liquor store before the rain hit. If we had been another minute slower we would have been drenched. Fortunately by the time we made it to the salt flats the rain was getting farther and farther behind us.

The last 80 miles or so of the ride seemed to take forever. We finally hit I-215 and made our way to Exit 6 where we would get off and make our way to the campground. We were happy when we rolled into our campsite and it was still daylight. Our long day of riding was complete and the temperatures were quite pleasant. It might not have been our longest distance day, but it was definitely the most monotonous day of the trip so far.

After setting up camp we looked around for some fire wood so we could get a fire going. Some of the empty campsites still had some laying around that we were able to take back to our site. Unfortunately they had some really heavy rains there earlier in the day so everything was wet and hard to start. We tried a few things and finally resorted to dousing it all with some gasoline. That did the trick and we had a nice fire the rest of the night.

For dinner I had some of the Natural High Chicken Pot Pie with Mashed Potatoes and I was blown away with how good it was. Ryan had the Honey Mustard Chicken and said it was pretty good too. We're both extremely exhausted so we're going to head off to bed now. Tomorrow takes us down to Arches National Park where we'll be staying for two nights. The ride is only 250 miles which seems like an extremely short day compared to what we've been doing.

Teaser photos:

The seemingly everpresent rain we run into all the time
The seemingly everpresent rain we run into all the time
Finally off the interstate and onto 190
Finally off the interstate and onto 190
The campsite at Spruces Campground
The campsite at Spruces Campground
Cooling our booze and drinks in the creek. The water was so cold it actually cooled everything down really well.
Cooling our booze and drinks in the creek. The water was so cold it actually cooled everything down really well.

View Entire Photo Gallery

Tags: motorcycle

Posted from: United States

Heading West - Day 10 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Heading West - Day 10 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Monday, July 23, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride

Soon after we fell asleep last night it seemed like everyone decided to start running around doing stuff and making as much noise as possible. I put some ear plugs in and eventually fell asleep.

I had my alarm set for 6:10am so we could get started early. There was a cool mist surrounding the campground when we woke up. Once again our normal routine of packing up and eating took place. We were on our bikes by about 7:15 and headed out. The original plan was to skirt Redwoods on and ride some gravel and dirt roads and eventually catch up with 299 toward Redding. Since Ryan's tire was essentially shot, we decided to head to Eureka where we found a KTM dealer and try to get Ryan a new tire.

The ride there was extremely cold and foggy. We unfortunately didn't get to see too much of the coast or trees because of the fog. Eventually we made it to Eureka and found the KTM dealer just after they opened at 9am. Fortunately they had a tire that fit the bike and set about replacing it. It didn't take too long and before too long we were out on our way to Redding and eventually Reno.

The cold and fog continued until we finally crossed a high pass on 299 and it seemed like the temperature immediately went up by about 20 degrees. We had been complaining the last week about how cold and damp it had been during the journey and getting blasted with this hot dry heat for an hour or so made us realize that both extremes can be equally bad.

We pulled into Redding and decided to get Wendy's for lunch so we could get some Frosties as well. We decided to go ahead and call ahead and see if we could book a hotel room without just aimlessly riding around Reno trying to find somewhere to stay. I was looking at a map for an REI so we could buy more freeze dried meals and saw there was a Comfort Inn & Suites just around the corner so we called them and got a room. We then drenched ourselves in water to try and cool us down while riding. This helped for a bit until it evaporated and we were stuck sweating in our riding suits again.

By the time we reached Highway 44 it looked like we might hit some rain and sure enough within a few minutes it started to lightly rain on us again. The rain quickly went away for a while and we had more nice riding on 44 then 36 and 395. We fueled up again in Susanville, CA and took a little rest. Ryan's debit card ended up getting declined due to overuse which we thought was strange since we had been using our cards for the last 8 days several times each day. He got it cleared up and we got on our way. There was about 86 miles to go before we reached our hotel. As soon as we got out of Susanville the winds kicked up like crazy. We were riding with side gusts of 30 or 40 miles per hour and we saw some rain off in the distance. For the remainder of the ride into Reno we were either getting blown all over the road by wind or rained on.

Eventually we made it into Reno around 7 and went to REI so we could get more food. We then checked into our hotel, showered, started our laundry and then went to find something to eat. The closest thing was Denny's so we just went there. We were so exhausted we didn't feel like venturing out any further.

We came back and threw our stuff into the dryer and relaxed for a while and worked on this ride report. Our laundry finished and now we're getting ready for bed. Tomorrow is the day we've least been looking forward to the entire trip. Reno to SLC. About 540 miles through a hot dry desert. Additionally we're also going to lose an hour which makes things even worse. We'll see how it goes! We're off to bed now so we can get up early and get going before it's too hot.

Teaser photos:

One of my favorite shots from the whole ride so far
One of my favorite shots from the whole ride so far
Finally taking a break to remove our rain gear and open all the vents on our riding gear
Finally taking a break to remove our rain gear and open all the vents on our riding gear
What's this in the distance? Could it be? More rain? No..... Yes. It's more rain we're getting ready to ride through.
What's this in the distance? Could it be? More rain? No..... Yes. It's more rain we're getting ready to ride through.
Getting past the rain; bonus rainbow in the distance
Getting past the rain; bonus rainbow in the distance

View Entire Photo Gallery

Tags: motorcycle

Posted from: United States

A really really long day - Day 9 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

A really really long day - Day 9 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Sunday, July 22, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride

Last night we drank most of the booze and had some dinner and got our fire going pretty well. I think we both slept pretty well and fortunately it didn't rain on us through the night.

We woke up and did our daily routine of eating, tearing down camp and packing up our bikes. We were on the road by 6:45am. We had to carry our trash out of the park and find the nearest trash can. Next up was fueling up. We still had quite a few miles on the current tank so we wanted to fill up sooner rather than later. We didn't see any gas stations near the park so we had to go about 4 miles out of the way to get some gas. After that we were finally on our way down the coast on Highway 101.

The plan was to head town the 101 until we got to Highway 26 and then take that to Portland where we would ride through the Columbia River Gorge and see some of the sights along the way. When we neared our exit for 26 I saw that Cannon Beach was just a few miles away and wanted to go see it. It had been really foggy and cold and when we pulled up to the beach the view was a little obstructed but it was still cool.

We set off on 26 and after some more rain/fog we finally started to make it to Portland. Riding 30 along the gorge was awesome. There were some highly trafficked spots since it was the weekend, but overall it was a nice pleasant ride. We got to see some cool waterfalls along the way. We both got some stickers of the Multnomah Falls for our panniers.

After seeing those falls we headed out to find lunch. We decided on some Taco Bell and ate that. After filling up we still had a long way to go. The original plan was to head back to the coast and ride 101 all the way down to Redwoods. Since the weather had been holding us back and we were pretty sore, we decided just to take I-5 down to 199 and take that into the park. We were on I-5 for over 200 miles and it was pretty boring. Once we got to 199 things started changing for the better. The weather cleared up and the roads got really twisty. We continued on that for 90 miles until it connected back with 101 and we headed into the park. Ryan had to take the twists pretty slowly since his rear tire was almost bare. We really have to take care of that tomorrow.

We made it to camp around 9:00 and fortunately still had a bit of light to set up our tents. We got to see some of the Redwoods on our way to the campsite which was really cool. The campsite attendant told us there were bears in the area and whatever had any kind of scent needed to be put in the bear box. We both ate and then quickly decided to head off to bed after another long day, about 14 hours in total.

Teaser photos:

Crossing the bridge into Oregon
Crossing the bridge into Oregon
Vista House along 30
Vista House along 30
View from Vista House
View from Vista House
Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls

View Entire Photo Gallery

Tags: motorcycle

Posted from: United States

Pacific Coast - Day 8 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Pacific Coast - Day 8 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride

We woke up around 7 this morning to some very wet tents and gear. I'm not sure if it actually rained last night or if it was just the fog/mist coming in off the ocean. Either way it was yet another cold wet morning which we've had more mornings than we would like. We tore down camp, packed up and ate and then took a quick tour of the beach. We were soon on our way for Cape Disappointment at the very south western tip of Washington.

We had to backtrack about 15 miles to Port Angeles so we could fuel up. We weren't sure where the next town was and didn't want to have to resort to the Rotopax again. After fueling up we started our journey down the 101. The ride was really nice, although it stayed cold for the majority of the day and the mist/fog was essentially rain and kept us equally as wet.

We stopped at Ruby Beach in the Olympic National Forest and were greeted with some really nice views of the pacific ocean. This is also the first time one of our bikes went down this trip. I was trying to turn my bike around in the parking lot so I could get my kickstand down in a reasonable spot and didn't release my clutch enough and tipped over. The SW-Motech panniers held up amazingly well and we quickly righted my bike and carried on. I did start to have a few idling issues for a short while after this though. Instead of idling my engine would just shut off. We pulled over a few times and couldn't figure out what the problem was. We thought it might be a spark plug issue but then it went back to normal and the problem hasn't appeared since. We're still not sure what it was.

We eventually made it to Aberdeen where we stopped for some lunch about 70 miles away from our final destination. Ryan's rear tire has been causing him some concern so he started looking for KTM dealers nearby that he can hopefully get a new rear tire from. He found one near Astoria, OR and decided he'd call them when we got to the campground.

Some nice scenic roads later we made it to our campground and got set up and found out there's no cell service here. We'll try to find a KTM shop some time tomorrow when we get reception back. We walked around the beach and took some shots. The sand was very black and also nice and warm. The water however was freezing cold.

After getting back from the beach we decided we needed some more booze and set off on a walk to the nearest general store. What we thought would be a quick walk turned into a walk that was a little over a mile each way. It took us about 30 minutes to walk each way. They didn't have any hard alcohol so we ended up getting some beers and walked back to the campsite. We cracked open the beers and started a fire and that puts us to where we are now. We've still got a couple hours of daylight and will probably eat soon and then head off to bed. We've got a really long day already planned for tomorrow and if we do try to get Ryan's tire changed it'll just add that much more time to it.

We're hoping we don't get rained on tonight which would be nice for a change. We'll see how it goes though!

Teaser photos:

The beach that was about 50 yards from our campsite
The beach that was about 50 yards from our campsite
Some nice riding on 101
Some nice riding on 101
Rudy Beach in the Olympic National Park
Rudy Beach in the Olympic National Park
Our campsite for the night
Our campsite for the night

View Entire Photo Gallery

Tags: motorcycle

Posted from: United States

Vancouver Island pt. 2 - Day 7 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Vancouver Island pt. 2 - Day 7 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Friday, July 20, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride

Ryan woke up around 5:45 and couldn't fall back to sleep so he took a shower and got everything packed up. I ended up waking up around 6:30 and quickly got all my stuff good to go. The plan was to head down to Victoria to our campground. The ride started off a little cool and stayed that way for an hour or so. By the time we hit Woss it had started to rain and continued that way until we reached Nanaimo.

We fueled up in Campbell River and continued on to Nanaimo for lunch. By the time we reached Nanaimo for lunch the rain had started to subside. We went into Subway for lunch and both ordered a 6" sub and the chicken noodle soup. We wouldn't recommend getting that again because the broth was watery and there was hardly any chicken in it. After that we headed over to Starbucks to use their Wifi and try to track the weather and figure a few things out. We had been talking and thought maybe just getting on a ferry and heading to the States would be the better choice instead of spending another night in Victoria. The ferry schedule said there was a departure at 3 and another at 7:30 so we were going to try and get there for the 3:00 ferry.

We hit quite a bit of traffic which slowed us down a lot. We pulled into Victoria right around 3 and went to the ferry terminal. When we pulled in we had obviously missed the ferry but figured we'd get situated and ready for the 7:30 launch. We parked our bikes and went up and got our tickets. They told us we needed to be there 90 minutes before departure for customs checking. This made us feel better because no matter how much we sped, there's no way we would have made it in time for the 3:00 ferry.

With a few hours to kill we decided to head into Victoria and check it out. The Black Ball ferry terminal is pretty much right in the center of it all. We just had to walk up some stairs and we were in all the action. We went into a few touristy souvenir shops looking for some stickers or something else cool to put on our bikes. We were really disappointed with what they had to offer. Eventually we made it down to Sasquatch Trading Ltd. and were blown away with their offerings. All of their items for sale are hand made instead of the mass produced stuff made in china we found elsewhere. We both bought some really cool stickers for our panniers. I was debating getting a totem of some kind but couldn't justify the several hundred dollars. I might check to see if they have a website and order something later.

After that we started looking for some dinner. We saw a few pubs along the main drag and went into Irish Times. The service was pretty crappy and the food was just so-so. We tried to find some wifi so we could look up campgrounds once we crossed back to Port Angeles. We found a Starbucks around the corner and used theirs. We found the Elwan Dam RV Park and decided that's where we would go. It looked close to the port and had some decent reviews.

We headed back to the ferry and started talking to another motorcyclist and his wife. They were from Gibbons, BC and on the way to Washington to visit their grandkids. They had a lot of information for us for future trips up there and we talked for a while about motorcycling and other random stuff. Eventually 6:00 rolled around and they locked all the gates and started the customs process. It was extremely simple and didn't take very long. Soon after the ferry pulled up and everyone started unloading from it. We were blown away with just how many vehicles they had crammed into this thing. RV's, double length semis, trucks towing boats, etc. We waited and waited and eventually were able to roll on board. The motorcycles were first on and we tied them up against a wall and used come blocks to keep them from swaying around.

We headed up to the deck to get some photos and try to find some more information about camping. We hung out up there for a bit then when we crossed into US waters we turned on our phones and got updated on everything we missed for the last couple of days.

The ferry finally arrived in Port Angeles around 9:15pm. Fortunately we were the first ones off and were able to start looking for the campground. We made it there only to find the office closed down and what seemed like 20-30 drunk people playing basketball right near the tent camping area. We debated for a bit and then decided we would try to find a hotel. We had seen a few on our way in and went to check them out. The first one was a really small sketchy looking motel that wanted $130 per night. We quickly declined that and ended up calling a few other motels which were all sold out for the night. About this time the cashier from the gas station we were at told us about some free camping that was about a half hour away. By now it was around 10 and we thought what the heck and headed off for it. We finally made it only to find out we needed some kind of Discover Pass for all Washington parks and could face a huge fine if we didn't have it.

Discouraged we pulled out our phones and found out there was an RV/tent camping area about 10 minutes away and headed out to it. We were finally able to test our Dually headlights at this time since these roads were completely dead. They work wonders and made riding these wet back country roads much more pleasant. We made it to the Crescent Beach RV park and had to fill out a late registration slip and pay $40. By now it was around 11:30 and we were exhausted. This has been our longest day so far and we just wanted to sleep. There was no map telling us where tent camping was and the campground wasn't very well marked. We ended up finding an open spot in what we think was supposed to be a parking lot and just set up camp there and set off for bed.

Teaser photos:

Yay, more rain.  Who would have guessed...
Yay, more rain. Who would have guessed...
Parked at the ferry terminal after getting our tickets.
Parked at the ferry terminal after getting our tickets.
Ready to get to a campsite. Little did we know it was still going to be another 4 hours from this point, lol
Ready to get to a campsite. Little did we know it was still going to be another 4 hours from this point, lol
Our bikes all tied down on the ferry
Our bikes all tied down on the ferry

View Entire Photo Gallery

Tags: motorcycle

Posted from: United States

Vancouver Island - Day 6 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Vancouver Island - Day 6 - Epic Motorcycle Ride

Thursday, July 19, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride

Today we woke up in our hotel at 6:00am so we could eat, pack and head to the ferry terminal for the 7:45 departure to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Breakfast at the hotel was pretty weak. They had a selection of cereal, toast and some mass produced eggs and sausage. The waffle maker was out of mix which is a shame because those are usually really good.

We were on the road by 7am and made it to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal shortly afterwards. We were expecting some traffic getting there but the roads were empty. We purchased our tickets and got in line, only to find out we were looking at the wrong schedule and the ferry wasn't set to depart until 8:30. We had some time to kill so we lubed up our chains and then talked with some other motorcyclists that showed up a little later.

It was finally time to board the ferry and we were the first ones on. We blocked up our bikes so they wouldn't fall over then headed to the sun lounge at the top of the ferry so we could get some cool photos. They have a cafeteria on board with full hot breakfasts if you're running late and didn't have time to eat. The ride over to the island was nice. It cleared up and was sunny for the whole ride. After a while we went down to explore the rest of the ferry. We were hoping they had some stickers we could put on our panniers but they didn't. Also, I tried to get some cash from the ATM but my debit card kept getting declined. I probably should have called my bank and let them know I would be out of the country.

It was almost arrival time on Vancouver Island so we headed back down to our bikes and got ready to roll out. We got onto Highway 19 and started heading north. We decided to fuel up in Campbell River and also had lunch there. We found a place called River City Grill that had some really good food. We both ordered their take on a Philly Cheesesteak. Their rendition had bbq sauce on it with some onion, pepper and melted cheese. I got mine with a side of chicken noodle soup and Ryan got fries. They made everything to order which was really nice.

Over the course of the day we had talked to several people about where we were going and when we mentioned Port McNeil they all looked at us a little strange. At lunch we took the opportunity to try to find a campground up in Port Hardy which is where we originally planned on staying. We found the Port Hardy RV Park and decided to head there. There was still about 130 miles to go from lunch to our campsite so we set out. The highway turns into one lane around this point and almost entirely emptied out a few miles outside of Campbell River. We eventually pulled over to stretch our legs. The day's ride hasn't been too bad but I think we're both just getting tired of sitting on the bikes all day.

We eventually made it just south of Port McNeil and decided to fuel up before our final push to Port Hardy. We got to our campground and got a couple of spots. After that we immediately set up our tents and hung our still wet clothes from yesterdays washing attempt. Some other people tent camping came over and talked for a bit. They were up here on vacation from Port McNeil, which made us glad in our decision to skip it over.

The plan was to head into town to see it and try to find something to eat. We had pictured a decent sized port town but when we showed up it seemed like the entire city had died. There were about 5x the number of out of business shops than ones that were open and everything closed around 6pm. We walked around a bit and got some photos then decided to save our money and come back to the campsite for dinner.

We got a fire going with the free firewood provided and set about making dinner. We both decided on Chili Mac and Beef and also had some vodka before eating.

It's about 8:30pm as I type this and the sun's still up like it's 3 in the afternoon. The lady who checked us into the campsite said there were some bears spotted a while ago and that we should put all of our food away at night. We'll probably hang out by the fire a little longer, pack up our food and then take our clothes down off the hanging line and go to bed.

Tomorrow we're planning on leaving here around 7:30am to head down to Victoria. While there we need to find a Mountain Equipment Company (basically Canada's version of REI) and get Ryan another fuel tank for his stove. We also want to find some shops to go through so we can try to find something cool to buy and take home.

Teaser photos:

Waiting to get on the ferry to Vancouver Island
Waiting to get on the ferry to Vancouver Island
Leaving Horseshoe Bay
Leaving Horseshoe Bay
Highway 19 with some really nice scenery
Highway 19 with some really nice scenery
Our tents with all of our clothes drying in the background
Our tents with all of our clothes drying in the background

View Entire Photo Gallery

Tags: motorcycle

Posted from: United States

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30