Day 1 : The Ride Begins
August 31st, Saturday morning the setup for the ride began. Around this time I did not have the habit of waking up early. So time would have been around 8 : 30 am when I started mounting the bags on NineT. After making sure everything is in order, I got on to I-5 South. It was an exciting route because the route past Olympia was completely new to me.
The plan for Day 1 was simple. I had 4 places that I wanted to go to – Long Beach along US 101, Ecola State Park, OR, Cannon Beach, OR and then ‘The Resort at The Mountain’, OR which was my stay for the night. The estimated distance for day 1 was 347 miles (558 Kms). The distance kept worrying me as this was the first big motorcycle trip, but I felt I can manage it somehow. I will push through. I have to.
The first way point on the route for me was Long Beach – the world’s longest beach (I don’t think that is the case though) and it is around 180 miles (289 kms) from home. The ride till Montesano, WA was uneventful. I was still getting used to the motorcycle’s GPS unit at the time, so I ended up taking some wrong exits and wrong turns on the way, which ate up some time. Near Montesano, WA I took the exit toward WA-107 and a short while on WA-17 later, I was on US 101 South.
I rolled into Raymond, WA at around 10:30 in the morning. I needed to use the restroom and stretch my body a bit and soon came up on the sign board for a park nearby – Riverfront park and decided to stop here. The park was empty at the time and after freshening up, I walked around a bit to warm up . The water in the river at the Riverfront park was completely dried up at the time though. Not exactly sure why, could have been a low tide?
From Riverfront park, Long beach is another 60 miles (~ 95 kms). I expected the route from here on out to be scenic and carried a lot of expectations for US 101. And with these expectations, I started the ride on US 101 and was not disappointed. Soon after Raymond, WA the road starts to follow the curves of Willapa River. It is not the most scenic rides I have been to, but it is a soothing one. The speed limits are not high and there was not much traffic on the road. So I took it easy and soaked in the view.
After a couple of miles I arrived at South Bend, WA and I stopped at Helen Davis Memorial Park for a bit. I decided to take the GoPro out at this point to start recording, took some photos and moved on.
After South Bend, the road moves away from the river side for a bit and then joins back with Willapa Bay at around Bruceport, WA. From here on, I really started enjoying the ride with water on the right and forest on the left. The road curved along nicely and I was happy to lean on those curves on the nineT. It drizzled a bit on the way as well, which was refreshing.