Many years ago whilst travelling, we found ourselves without a home for the night on a busy long weekend in Kelowna. It was late in the afternoon and we started driving south and checking every small town along the way
Richard in Joseph, Oregon
Another time we found ourselves in Ellensburg and we found ourselves backtracking to every town along the way back toward Seattle when we were lucky to grab a room in Snohomish. It was late afternoon and we finally found a place in Snoqualmie Pass after sunset, but we were prepared to drive to Seattle if we needed to.
Ever since then I preferred to book a room ahead of time so we knew where we would be staying for the night when on a road trip. I would usually check the maps and figure out where we would end up each day and book accordingly. You would plan your day accordingly rushing or relaxing so that you would end up where you thought you wanted to be.
Trobairitz & Troubadour, playing with their cameras in Joseph, Oregon
Rewind to the iMBC2010 a couple of years ago. I thought I had everything planned out and on our return to Canada with my riding buddy Sonja we spent too much time dilly dallying on the Oregon coast, traffic was heavy and we had too many miles to travel but we had booked our rooms in Tumwater, WA. Needless to say we were running out of daylight, we were tired but not wanting to forfeit our room and have to pay the daily rate for not cancelling our bookings in advance we trudge on and arrived where we thought we wanted to be BUT in retrospect it would have been better to book a room farther south where we ran out of energy.
This same scenario happened last year on our return from Montana. There were three of us, Bluekat & Ron, and myself. We left Orofino, ID early had a quick lunch in Lewiston and rode the Spiral Highway, relaxed had a few rest breaks. We even had a great lunch in Entprise at that great Mexican restaurant but we didn't realize how many miles we had to travel as we had booked our rooms in John Day, OR.
Karen & Erik looking for new footware, Joseph, Oregon
Our day started at 8am when we left our Motel and we barely made it to John Day around 7:30p and the restaurant was closing at 8pm so we just made it in time to have a meal. It was a long day and we were tired. I was thinking that IF we didn't have our rooms booked we would have stopped somewhere else instead.
This year for our iMBC2012 it was decided that we book our rooms for the weekend as rooms were in short supply, it was going to be HOT so having our own room with showers was the preferred option. I booked my rooms for the weekend but for the first time in many years I decided to "wing it" for the rest of the week and see how things went. I wasn't sure where I was heading after our iMBC2012 weekend so this was also the first time that I did not have a planned destination except for my last day on the road where I had graciously accepted the offer of a room later in the week, with FREE WiFi.
Trobairitz, the coffee addict
This was also the first time that I was determined to ride solo for a few days, and also the first time that I was prepared to Camp and find out if I liked it. There were going to be a lot of firsts for me this year. I am preparing for life as a retired person where funds will be in less abundance.
I am learning to relax and take things slower. My plan was find a place for the night and then look at my maps to figure out which way I was going to go the next day and meander my way doing what I want to do, which is often not possible within a group. With no timetable and no defined plan I was free to roam, or to stop, or to ride but I didn't realize how to do this nor have a plan to find a place for the night wherever I ended up. In my mind I was homeless until I found a spot to call home for the night.
Karen (I know what I'm thinking)
This is different than touring across the Country where you are making your way in one direction until you reach a destination, such as the Atlantic Ocean, or the Lobster Shack somewhere near Portland, Maine. In this instance you actually have a plan.
On this trip I decided to look at maps in the evening to figure out what to do the next day and sort of where I would end up at the end of the day. I have never had to figure out things "on the fly" before so after I left Troubadour & Trobairitz on Monday afternoon in Redmond, OR I decided to head south to Bend and find the REI. I was aware that I was still homeless and this was on mind as I was struggling to find a place to stay. I decided to find a Campsite but I am not good to figure out where they are. The two I found catered to RV's which had hookups for water and electricity, there were no facilities for washrooms or showers.
Trobairitz, an artsy reflection shot
On Tuesday I was much better with my planning. I rode Hwy 242 and the Aufderheide and it was late when I found myself near Eugene, OR where I decided to spend the night. I decided to find free WiFi at McD and with my phone apps; Priceline, Kayak among others I managed to find something on the lower price scale. I also managed to read a few reviews so I could discount some of the places I rode past. When I originally entered the downtown area I rode past quite a few places but was undecided as to which one I should pick. So I feel that I will get better with this with more practice.
Karen, my last glimpse of her (this trip)- so sad for me
Wednesday I managed to test out my Camping equipment for the 2nd time on this trip. I found out that if I can have some facilities, I rather like Camping. I found a nice KOA in Waldport and I only wished that the weather was warmer. I would have liked to sit on the beach and watch the sunset. I spend one day at the campsite in Baker City and if it weren't for the fact that I had previously booked a room at the hotel, would have gladly gone back to the Campsite for another night. I'm looking for a sleeping bag with a lower temperature rating and another excuse to go camping again before the summer ends.
A couple of weeks ago on my way home from Corvallis I wanted to arrive home on the same day and I also made a two hour stop near Marysville to meet someone. I was trying to keep occupied by recording video with my GoPro. I had the idea to show you the Express Lanes as you approach Seattle. Seattle is a maze of freeway overpasses with numerous lanes and there are also Express lanes which bypass the City. There are not that many entrances to access the Express lanes and once inside, you are not allowed to exit until you are far north of the city, near Northgate.
Sometimes it is better NOT to use these lanes, as if there is an accident, you are Trapped, unable to exit to the regular I-5 freeway lanes. When I edit my videos I usually show short clips to make them more interesting, however this video I have left long sections intact so you can see how it is to ride in Seattle Traffic. The Express lanes heading South are on the TOP Level which starts around Northgate. The northbound lanes are on the second level so it appears that you are in a tunnel without much daylight. I am not sure how many lanes there are but I think there are 8 lanes each direction. 4 are Express lanes and 4 are regular I-5 freeway lanes.
I hope you enjoy riding with me in this Seattle traffic