We arrived at Agi & Eugene's place
and got a warm welcome. Eugene allowed us to stay in the flat of his
parents. Wow – this was really
really kind of you! Thanks a lot!
It got even better since the flat was rather
central and plenty of vegan places, restaurant etc. nearby ...
Portland – the vegan Mecca was calling us :D
Agi and Eugene led us to this place on our first night together. Heavenly!
Those were sooo delicious! And we got all the tasting samples for free plus some choco-pretzels.
The weather was most of the time very warm and we could walk around in shorts and T-shirts.
A nice change compared to the rather chilly past few days. When we had a few chilly and rainy days in Portland it did not ruin our mood.
View from the apartment.
Evening walk along the river and the moon was shining bright.
Fascinating moon over Portland skyline.
Wolfi made a vegan cake - kind of "Marmorkuchen".
We did not have any hard agenda for Portland. Bike maintenance was all done and no required visits to a doc and/or vet. The only real issue was where we will stay during winter as our permission to stay in the US expired soon. It became quite a story so that I will post the background and the options separately.
In the meantime Agi got me hooked up
with See See Motor Coffee and I was able to give a
presentation and tell a few stories. I love telling stories so I was
happy. We also hoped to raise some money for our journey. Even with
this short notice we were able to get a bit over 10 people interested
to watch the video I made and listen to me. It was really
fun for me ... and I came to realize during the preparation how much
we already have been through and also that we are “only” about
1/3 into the journey.
The audience liked our stories and they had a
lot of questions. I also told a little bit about veganism and how easy it is to be cruelty-free on the road though I am not sure how much that was received. That was nice ... much better this way then to have
no questions at all. I took some learning's for the next time ... I
hope it would get even better then ;)
Great coffee (I loved their soya latte) and an interesting helmet collection.
Dillon - the manager of the coffee shop - sponsored me with a bag of their
house brand coffee -Stumptown- really tasty stuff! Agi & Eugene invited us after the
session to have dinner at the Dove Vivi for some vegan pizza ... oh I
loved it ... really good. Thank you guys! You were sooo kind :) (BEAR HUG to you).
Another thing to re-think was what we do about camping and our gear. We have been freezing
too much and something must change if we wanted to continue camping in order to keep our budget. Then on that Sunday morning I was able to lure Skippy
into REI to check out my future sleeping bag. Once in the shop, we
checked other ones for her and we got lucky. They had one where
Skippy felt more comfortable and which had a much better temperature
rating than her old one. Now the job was once more to find out a way
to get them as cheap as possible.
The view from our living room: Mount St. Helens Volcano.
Neighbors got ready to observe the ongoing fashion show (Biggest on west coast).
All the sudden there were those noises at the window, girls went all ape and barked as much as they could ... window cleaning was coming :D
Police on horses - folks how about bicycles? More healthy for you, less stress for the animals and LESS SHIT ON THE STREET!
Skippy was able to arrange a photo shoot
and "earn some money" in order to pay for her next tattoo. She could not resist as
Portland is home to a vegan tattoo studio, just besides a vegan
supermarket, a vegan cloth shop and a vegan bakery ... Portland was
(better say is) a heaven for vegans :) So tattoo for Skippy, coffee
and cake for me :D
Vegan mini mall at corner Stark and 12th.
The downside of shooting nude pictures
in October was that Skippy was freezing her tail off and as a result
she got a cold. That tattoo was paid dearly!
Portland is widely considered to have
more strip clubs per capita than Las
Vegas or San Francisco (source wikipedia) and why not to combine
Striptease and veganism? Those were the thoughts of the owner of Casa
Diablo (House of the devil) and of course we had to go in there :D
The Diablo burger was excellent, the
nachos delicious and the girls were a delight for our eyes. We met
one other lady (NO - she was a guest as well and not working there) ;) Cannot remember her
name but she was from the UK, rode the TAT across US on a KLR650 and visited
the local MC club. Hello to you!
Casa Diablo - VEGAN striptease club in Portland.
Boobs became bigger and more artificial after 8pm, so if you prefer natural ones go there earlier! ;)
We had a great time in Portland, were able to get our blog up-to-date, relaxed a lot and I am pretty sure we will visit there again.
Skippy made some delicious raw vegan food. Follow her on Facebook: Raw on the Road.
to vacate our apartment a few days earlier as planned, as the owners
came back earlier, and I did not feel sorry at all. My road fever had been rising already!
Last evening with Agi at the Apex biker bar - 50+ beers on draft. I enjoyed a Weizenbock ... cheers!
Agi & Eugene with Agi's 650
But where were we going now? Mexico? Canada? Our first idea was to go to Mexico because it would be warm there and we could see a few things along the road. On the other hand, we might get "stuck" there for a few months if US immigrations did not believe our story and we would need to wait for our new stamp. Canada on the other hand was on our list for next year and Vancouver Island should be pretty much freeze- and snow free area. Skippy found a huge bonus. Victoria (south Vancouver Island) is home to several Wadokai Karate clubs. At least Skippy's winter and time spending was settled. Canada - here we come!
From Bozeman we rode to Helena to meet
Kyle and do some maintenance work on the Suzi. The oil change did not
take very long and the rest was all fine so we had plenty of time to
talk about riding long-distance trips. Thanks a lot Kyle for
helping us! He has some side business and does tank bags.
They looked pretty good and functional to us. You find more here:
Somewhere between Bozeman and Helena.
Time for maintenance at the Suzi: oil change and other small things.
Kyle and his bike. We had a good chat and thanks a lot for your help!
Kyle manufactures these great tank bags.
We continued through the mountains to
Missoula. It was mostly sunny but still chilly. Skippy was freezing
and put almost all clothes on what she could find. I noted on one of
our breaks that my sidecar tire was already pretty much worn out. That went
fast ... too fast for my wallet!
We found one of the most
enjoyable roads in the US: Highway 12 from Lolo, Montana to Kooskia,
Idaho. 200km of curvy roads, low traffic and all the way through
forest and along the river. Beautiful! And Skippy told me later that this was: “Better than sex! If I die now, I die happy!”.
We also had good weather, dry and mostly sunny with a temperature of
about +15C, which certainly contributed to it. Since there was not much
to navigate Skippy went first and she enjoyed the curves with good
100km/h speed on her new tires.
Now THAT looked promising :)
On the first break she claimed that she
waited 15min for me (.... mmmh ... maybe somewhat exaggerated) while I had to wait quite a bit at the road
work. We were clearly off-season since all campgrounds were closed as
well as visitor info centers. Once more we learned some of the US
history as this road went along Lewis & Clark trail.
... and she waited and waited ... :D
Beautiful old dead tree besides a hot spring.
This little hoverfly came to sniff Skippy's bee :D
Old opera house at Kooskia.
Red carpet for the mice :)
The first kilometers from Kooskia to
Nezperce were nice and there was even a good piece of curvy gravel
road (was marked as asphalt in the map). Skippy took it very easy on
this stretch. Later on this beautiful side road “she paid it all
back” and waited nicely for me before we returned to Hwy 95 and
continued to Dayton.
Dayton was a cute small town and even
though it was small there was a cinema, a brewery and several
restaurants. Skippy was in the mood for some pampering so we went out
to a Mexican restaurant – big portions, so I took the left-overs
with me for the next day :)
The cinema was run by a non-profit
organization and we were able to watch the movie “A Most Wanted Man”. The cinema was nicely done from the inside and excellent
sound, too bad the movie itself was a little lame. At least the live piano music before the movie was excellent!
Skippy was not
doing so great and we decided to stay three nights there. We found
ripe bananas and organic lettuce in the shop opposite to the hotel –
that was enough for decent meals :). Interesting to see that the
liquor, wine and beer shelves were longer then the produce shelf :D
We saw this deer on our city walk through Dayton.
Liberty cinema in Dayton.
Excellent movie! Please watch it! (check from youtube! Official trailer) Great that they show it even in small towns!
Water heater :-o
The next leg to Packwood would be a bit
dull, mostly bigger highways. My big-scale map did not show that there
would be a rather curvy piece between Naches and Packwood. That road
was one of the highlights of that day! The other one was to see Mount
Rainier and Mount St. Helens from distance.
Mount St. Helens some 100km away.
Strict parking rules at the motel!
And the village was full of deer and elk...
Geese on their way south
Mt Rainier almost there.
Also many other animals to be seen.
I mean really everywhere ... and this dog does not bother at all :D
Nice and curvy street towards Portland
St. Helens - National Volcanic Monument
Lake below St. Helens.
All old trees around St. Helens were dead (we think because of the 1980 eruption).