The Olympic Peninsula loop… WA

Friday, July 27th, 2007

We were in for a long day, 335 miles is a long one for us, meaning many stops to let Spirit stretch, that is the excuse to stop often anyhow. Do you notice anything on the rig?… or off the rig? Spirit has been bumping his nose constantly against the windshield, for a while now, damaging that sensitive and thin nose skin. Yesterday I tied the windshield a bit straighter to get it away from him, it felt like a giant hand holding us back. So today… there goes the windshield! He has his Doggles, anything over 40mph or so… he lays down, same if he gets cold! But, the beauty of it all is that I gained about 5 miles to the gallon and about 10mph in the speed department specially around the curves… I could not believe it took me that long to figure this one out…

I was excited! This road has become familiar for the few miles leading north, I knew some stretches where I could not get in 5th gear easily… I now can, this is a totally new riding experience… anyone that has a Ural sidecar, if you can, take your windshield off. It will not only increase your speed and gas mileage but give such a better handling. I don’t quite yet know why, but there is some physics involved here definitely: no windshield = better handling…

It was the same 101 going north we had ridden a few times by now, we are going all the way to the coast today. Passing Discovery Bay, Sequim, Port Angeles, Crescent Lake which was covered by fog the last time, and finally to Forks, where 110 splits off taking us to La Push on the Ocean. This is Quileute Indian Reservation Land.

Small town, a couple cars passing by, a few tourists from out of State walking on the beach, pretty much deserted to me, but talking to a local Quileute Indian… this is busy! You need to come back in the fall he says, when no one is around, when the winds are up a bit and the clouds pass by quickly for ever quickly changing the images in the sky.

This Island is a burial ground he goes on explaining. The surf can be so strong that they can taste the salt in the downtown air, about a quarter away. He is working on a path for senor citizens with some heavy duty machinery, but the engine is stopped and we talk for quite a while. Time does not seem to have a meaning here, and why should it? The town exists, there is nothing going on, no one is going anywhere.

A bit further is the harbor filled with the fishing boats that also have not gone out today. A couple more locals come out of a building and they have a smile on their face when they see Spirit sitting there with his Doggles on. We are grilled with questions, the usual ones about our Journey’s origin and future. This land here is on the total opposite side of Florida and they have never been there, but they are familiar with names of other Indian lands. I had never realized how many Tribes exists. This coast alone from the furthest northern point to the Oregon border has the Makah Tribe, Ozette Tribe a but further south, just a few miles, the Quileute tribe in La Push, the Quinault Tribe and the Hoh Tribe who also have named the near by Rain Forest.

You might say that there is nothing spectacular to all this… just another beach… The feel itself however is spectacular as we feel transported into years past. The School building is still there standing, a bus is it’s modern touch, everyone just seems to let the day go by without much hurrying of any kind! The kind of little town where you could pull up a chair by the dock and just sit there for hours starring at your surrounding.

By mid afternoon it was time to start thinking about the route back. We were pretty much in the middle of the loop. Go back the same way or to go ahead and finish the loop? I decided on the later, new roads are always welcomed. Back to Forks, the road back is still 101 south, inland for most of its parts, only following the coast line for about 10 miles or so. The low tide being present, the beaches exposed their best side, a couple campsites along the way, but for most part not a trace of any human beings.

And south we rode, Aberdeen, the next town to cross was an old town, a large town, seeming a bit run down, we did not stop, the evening traffic was present and we just kept up with the flow of the commuters. What a quick change that was! From Aberdeen it was Highway 12 eastbound, in Elma 8, Mc Cleary 108, which took us back to 101 northbound through Shelton and back here… our campsite by the water! The Hood Canal.

Today was good! I look forward to much more riding now that the rig has changed its behavior, it feel much more like being on two wheels than anything else… Spirit had a great day, we paced ourselves real well with many stops… I do think that he is still wondering what happened to the windshield! It did not take him too long to start snoring after his dinner tonight. The weather? Perfect… sunny and cool, we still have to experience the heat of summer on a daily basis, maybe in the Oregon Deserts which will be our next destination via the Columbia River? Who knows! Come and do the loop if you have a chance, you will not regret it.

Till next time… you be well as always.

And yes, again, I must say that your contributions have helped and will help this site. PayPal above… snail mail below…

Ara Gureghian

853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245

Naples Fl 34108

Ara & Spirit

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One Response to “The Olympic Peninsula loop… WA”

  1. Michael Says:

    I really admire the way you ignore the weather! I know the Pacific Northwest and your photos remind me of the beuaty that I miss because I “need” to stay in the keys! Great stuff.

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