Thursday, April 11, 2013

Uraling to Alaska - Day 6: Visiting Friends in the North-Wet

In Everett, Washington.  Arrived here last night after visiting with friends in Oregon and in Washington.

First, in the Lebanon/Portland Oregon area, I stayed with Ron K. who is the husband to fellow moto-blogger: Bluekat aka Kari.  I got to meet Kari and Ron's pets, Cookie the dog who I don't believe sat still the whole time I was there and their pet bird Zookie.  Thanks Ron for being such a great host!

Ron on his trusty steed, heading off to work

The next day, after having repairs done on Valencia due to a leaking rear main seal, I had the pleasure of briefly visiting with Kari and her daughter Rachel in Tigard, OR (near Portland).  Rachel is a leukemia cancer survivor (an apparently nasty version of the cancer) and she's in outpatient recovery for the next few weeks.  Such a trooper.  Kari has been her primary care provider since December when it all was discovered and treatment started and doing an outstanding job!

Doing something akin to the worthy efforts of Murph in his involvement with "Ride Away Cancer"; I
gave Rachel a brief ride in Valencia's sidecar.  Not very far but it was enough to bring a smile to Rachel's face and hopefully a few minutes of just enjoying the moment.

Rachel and I

Rachel told her mom she wants a URAL now.  :)  I left the ladies to their evening and I proceeded onwards towards Portland.

Kari and Rachel, thanks for letting me visit, it was a pleasure to meet you Rachel....wishing you the speediest recovery, and Kari: Martha and I are here to help if you need us.

I didn't go very far, managing to reach Woodland, Washington and checking into a Motel 6 for the night.  Bright and early the next day, yesterday, I rode up in pouring rain towards Enumclaw, WA to meet up with yet another friend.  This one was James P. who I knew from my days of Army ROTC at the University of Miami in Florida.  James has this great house he designed and oversaw the building of just outside Enumclaw, in the midst of a forested area on top of a hill.  Great property and a great house.

As my riding gear and gloves dried in James' drier, we walked the trails on his property, him pointing out to me the tracks to all the fauna that apparently roam the area.  A small herd of elk was even seen on his neighbor's fields!  James' dogs, all Labradors, were quite happy cavorting in the forest as we walked.

Yours truly and James P.

Later on, James led me in his car towards a restaurant in Lake Union, WA so we could meet with another college friend, Jerry W.  Jerry and I are of the same ROTC graduating class and along with his wife Kelly (also ROTC) have been friends ever since.

I was honored, actually, to be the God-Father to their first born daughter: Alexis.  James and Jerry and I had drinks and dinner and whiled the evening away talking and reminiscing.  It was past 9:30 PM before we left the restaurant and while James went home to Enumclaw, Jerry led me now to his home in Everett, WA.

Jerry W.

Today, I met with Moto-Blogger par excellance Gary France for lunch.  We chatted for a couple of hours of motorcycles and about life on the road.  Gary's own moto-journey through the USA was a major contributing factor to my being on the road now, thanks Gary for the inspiration.

Gary France and Valencia

I've truly been fortunate in the friends I've found both in college and through my moto-blogging activities.  My being able to visit with the above friends, some of whom I'd not seen in many years, is an early bonus to my emergent adventure ride to Alaska.

Previously: Uraling to Alaska - Day 5: Repairs and Upgrades for Valencia


SonjaM said...

I am so happy for you that you can connect / re-connect with friends along your journey.
What a coincidence that Gary happened to be around when you were in the area.

RichardM said...

When Spot showed you in Enumclaw, I had assumed you stopped to visit DMC. What an opportunity this trip is to renew friendships. And you planted the sidecar bug in someone else.

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM...thanks, it was pretty special how it all worked out so far. Oh, by the way, there's a URAL dealer in Langley, B.C. Just saying.....

RichardM...had I been riding Yoshie, it would have been a mandatory stop, as it was, all my time was spoken for...thanks for visiting.

Unknown said...


much of the traveling enjoyment is meeting longtime friends along the way, sharing stories and having a meal.

it breaks up the loneliness of a solo journey and gives you the opportunity to talk to someone else, besides yourself.

I'm glad you happened to meet up with Gary too. What luck he was there . . .

Riding the Wet Coast

Bob and Sharon said...

I've been following your ride and would like to invite you to a campout that a group of us with the USCA are going to be having in Talkeetna,Alaska over Memorial Day weekend

redlegsrides said...

Hi Bob, you are very correct in that part of the joy of traveling is the meeting of distant friends and renewing/remembering....however, am on this journey as well to do some soul-searching and some demon-tossing ....for that, solitude will be required. :)

redlegsrides said...

Bob and Sharon, thank you for the kind invitation, if I am still in the area, I'd be honored to attend. Email sent.

Bluekat said...

Thanks so much for giving Rachel a ride in the side car. It was the highlight of her day. And yes, she still wants a Ural. I don't think she'll ever forget that day!

redlegsrides said...

Bluekat, truly was my honor and pleasure!