It’s hard to believe how fast the time goes. It’s now time to return home for real. I need to leave today to make it to San Jose by Thursday. I’d like a few days to chill out before heading back to work. Like the other days I’m headed out for a major adventure, the weather is not cooperating. It’s thickly overcast as well as cold. I’d like to see the Columbia River Gorge as well as Mount Ranier.
Andy and Raissa took the day off so I got to hang out with them in the morning. The weather is better in the afternoon anyway :)! I pack the bike as well as a few boxes to send back via the mail. Andy and I make one last run to Safeway for old times sake and to get food for the road.
The traffic czars go light on me this time as it’s pretty smooth sailing on the 5 through Seattle, Tacoma, Pulyallup, and out to Olympia. Once getting out of town I try to find some clean air between the trucks. Out of the corner of my eye I see some of Washington’s finest behind the truck. The cop pulls out onto the road and immediately a sense of "oh no" comes over me. He follows me from a few cars back. We go about 10 miles and he then pulls off. Phew.
When I get to the exit for Mount Ranier I can’t see it (it’s huge) so I decide to bypass that stop and make a note to go see it the next time I see the Scheniders. I pass by the state capitol. It’s cool. It’s an old looking, but traditional building nestled in the west side of the freeway. I tried to get a good pic of it and did a loop on the freeway to try to hit it again, but no dice. It wasn’t cool enough for a third round.
Washington for the most part a good job on keeping the roads in good shape. Before each construction zone they have the "Motorcycles use extreme caution" which inspires a whole lot of confidence on the road ahead. The first time I saw one of those I freaked out a bit.
Now it just meant construction ahead. By the time I got to the Gorge, I decide I’ve seen enough rivers and trees and bypass the trip.
I hit Portland at 5 and find the Oregon traffic czars aren’t so kind. It’s slow chugging through the town. It’s cool though to be back here since I know my way around and take some surface streets through. Salem is another 50 miles. It’s an easy drive and I make Salem by 7. I splurge a bit on the room tonight (10% :)) and stay at the Phoenix Grand Hotel. For as nice and reasonable the place is, I’m surprised how empty it was. Guess not that many folks are headed off to Salem!