So, how to followup our first grand motorcycle trip down 101 to the redwoods in 2014, well Flip really had a good time in Depoe Bay and he’s the boss of us, so there we go.
The ’08 Club’s new member rides an ’04 Road King, so he is in the club as an ’08 minus 4. All good. We’re sharing a condo just across from the ocean, and after our planning meetings at the Big O Saloon (Thanks, Barbarella (Kathy), we had no clue about where we were going, other than the condo.
Flip is a decider, though. So we hit a wayside, Wanda’s in Nehalem, the Cheese Factory, Pacific City and then GOALLLLLLL!!!!
Beautiful city, people, condo-mates. It’s great to be in Flip’s fan club.
We decided to make our goodbyes Saturday night so we would not be too teary-eyed, but Shawn still came out early to help pack up and send us on our way. We probably blasted Kim and Jana with our revving.
For Laura, this was the best road day, with not only fun highways, but also most excellent views and beautiful ponies all along the way.
Our only real hurdle, other than my parking in Creston, B.C. (another story for another day) was our border crossing. Here are some words for the wise, or wizened. At the border:
• Just proceed to the stop sign, even if there is no vehicle in front of you and the sign says stop here until the vehicle in front moves ahead.
• Do not, under any circumstances have your Nexus card ready on a motorcycle if it means holding it in your teeth . If you are on a motorcycle, you can’t hold them in your hands and shift, so at some point, Carl put our cards in his mouth. DO NOT DO THIS.
• Canadian border patrol do NOT approve of things with possible spit on them. Not even a little bit. He even impugned our Oregon traffic laws as we deigned to move forward since there was no car in front of us. In any case, we were in the wrong, and although he was ticked at us, he was Canadian nice (in a passive-aggressive way) asking if we had stop signs in Oregon, etc.
• So, even though we had prepared for the crossing, we wound up digging for driver’s licenses and answering a bunch of questions. So much for smooth.
Now we are on the poutine trail. Head’s up, U.S. restaurants: You need to offer this Canadian delicacy, but make sure it has bacon attached.
We did have a dandy poutine in Creston, B.C., trying as Kim suggested, pulled-pork poutine. Other spots along the poutine trail failed a little as there was no bacon. We really thought this was one of the four basic ingredients: French fries, gravy, cheese curds and BACON.
In any case, we rolled on, eschewing the ferry trip for a pleasant roll through the mountains to Castlegar. Our Super 8 had a great room with our view was the super slide to the pool. Very entertaining.
We had an emotional day Friday, with much laughter, hugs, tears and more hugs. Ten years is far too long to not lay eyes on those you love and share your memories with. At times it was overwhelming.
Day 2 in Whitefish was highlighted by a helicopter tour over Glacier National Park. It was stunningly beautiful … and for some of us terrifying or “head between the knees time.” I wouldn’t trade the experience, but as someone who felt already tested by our motorcycle ride for my MMA (Masters of Motorcycle Administration), I thought this was at least worth an honorary doctorate.
And, did you know they expect the remaining glaciers to melt in 25-30 years? So get your groove on now and see these before they are gone for good.
After touchdown (Dave Matthews’ “Crash” was playing as we landed, just saying) and kissing the ground (kidding, really wanted to) half of us went to downtown Whitefish to shop while the remainder headed to nap, drink, contact the authorities about our awesome knee-knocking adventure.
Before heading downtown, the intrepid shoppers headed to the Whitefish Emergency Services building, which is way swankier than the Whitfish Police Department storefront downtown in the 70s. Our hope was to nab patches to add to our scrapbooks from Marilyn (awesome!). No humans were in residence, but Jana persisted and dispatch sent a fine young officer to hear our plight. Not only was our dad chief of police in the town, but I had designed the patch the most recent design was based on. The officer tried to dig some up, but then gave us names and numbers to maybe get the job done.
Later, there was jet-skiing and hanging out talking and then another amazing dinner.
A beautiful day, a beautiful family. I am so lucky. Fliptastic.
Ten years ago today, Howard L. Sellers checked out. It’s horrible that this loss of such a force in our lives becomes so apparent in its absence.
At the funeral, only sister Kim had the presence of mind to speak with such a powerful tribute. I’ve admired her, even more, ever since,
A decade later, we gather as the guests of Marilyn and Jim Parke to have a more realistic parting with someone who changed and molded all our lives beyond measure.
We all traveled from afar: Kim’s family from Canada; Jana’s from South Carolina; Marilyn and Jim from Utah; Shawn hauling tail over the highways from Texas (um, South Texas). Carl, Flip and I undertook our longest motorcycle ride (The Howard L. Sellers Memorial Ride) to meet at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake.
We will add more later as we get photos and videos from the others, but this was an emotional, fun, staggering day. At the end, is a poem for Dad.
So, can Missoula top Coeur d’Alene. Darn close, mainly because we met up with good Associated Press Media Editors Board alum Peggy Kuhr and very cool sister, Barbara Kuhr at Caffe Dolce. We split lamb burgers and sparkling fun and had a great time. Then, brother Shawn hit town and started the family party going.
Carl needs help being properly scared about selfies on the road. Nuff said.
Carl found the perfect place to stay in Missoula, the Wingate, across from the Harley dealership and the Big Sky Brewing Co. Unfortunately, neither served food, so we wound up with convenience-store corny dogs and some poppers. Culinary mecca? Not yet.
So, these things called ground squirrels or prairie dogs, they bear a faint resemblance to a certain Flipster, if you squint your eyes. However, they would not answer the doorbell for a second look.
Going to the source.
Horns are very cool!
Clean clothes are cooler.
Hanging out with Peggy and Barbara Kuhr at Caffe Dolce. What great fun!
Let’s hit the road and see how the new converts do.
On the road by about 9:30 after stopping at the Astoria Police/Fire Department to get an official HOG alphabet pose for our trip (A, check). Then we wended our way to Longview for grub a the Indy Diner. On up a blustery I-5 with lots of semis (not Laura’s favorite). Over on state Highway 12 through some tight curves, steep drop-offs and cute towns. Beautiful scenery when I’m not eyeballing the yellow line. Pitstop at Yakima Harley, dinner at the Buzz Inn in Ellensburg. Jacuzzie for Carl and Flip. Done and done. On to Coeur d’Alene tomorrow.
Stopping for breakfast at the Indy Diner in Longview Wash. Flip has his leash around his ankles, but is already enjoying the trip. Montana or bust!
Our intrepid explorer Flip is fulfilling a dream today. He went via motorcycle with pal Carl to Marsh’s Free Museum in Long Beach, Wash., to meet an idol and likely distant relative, Jake the Alligator Man. Getting huge eyeball to huge eyeball with the legend checks a big box on Flipster’s bucket list. I bet he won’t shut up about it all night. Later, he hung out with the Stanoviches and Mike and Ramel Wilson at the Big O Saloon, boosting the bean-bag-throwing game to a new level. Thank you, Kathy (Barbarella), for egging us on.