Anacortes Oyster Run 2008

I've been hearing about this Oyster Run for months. It's interesting, I see really no purpose for the whole thing except to "be there".

Rick has been doing this ride with his friends or family, at least once in his car, before he bought his Harley, since 2004 as far as I can tell. I've seen pictures so I had an idea of what to expect.

But it's like the Grand Canyon - pictures just can't capture it, they can't do it justice. Rick said in the past a fire ladder was set up at one end of the road to allow a person to climb and get an aerial view. The impressive thing was the shear number of bikes/bikers and the line of them coming into town that stretched as far as the eye could see. I just checked online to see if there was an estimate of the number - 30,000. This was expected to be the biggest event yet because of the gas prices prompting motorcycles sales to skyrocket. And here in the northwest - if you have a bike you MUST do the Oyster Run!

A month ago or so I questioned the plan and day of the event since I'd already attended the Spring Opener to Toppenish and had an idea of what to expect. The ride either to or from the event was planned and ridden together as a group, then the opposite direction was loose, everyone by themselves or a couple bikes riding together, etc. What he'd experienced in the past was the ride up was done early AM individually, straight up I-5 to get into town by 9 or 10. After milling around and having lunch, and visiting the vendors,etc, the group would leave together and take a relaxing ride back, taking ferries and enjoying the scenery. And the event is on Sunday. So I suggested that we go up on Saturday and spend the night, lessening the amount of time we had to spend on the road on one day.

A couple weeks ago Rick found out that his group was going to Reno for another event. They're Boeing workers and are currently on strike so I guess they figured they'd take advantage of the "free" vacation time. So we were on our own.

I don't know when he forgot about the idea of staying overnight. It was on my mind indelibly because the previous rides have been a bit excruciating, the seat I was riding on was really just a pad, 7" wide. He had a better, wider, softer seat I could use but it was thicker and put me a whole head above him. Well, Rick shelled out the big bucks and bought a new seat, a one piece that was both seats. It sat him higher as well so I still sat mostly behind him. He didn't care for the new seat when he first used it but it's just different, he just has to get used to it. The difference for me was gargantuan! I can ride anywhere now in comfort. The only pain I got was a cramp in my hip on the way back. The new seat is 14" wide and actually supports even my upper thighs, not just my bum.

Anyway, Friday I reminded him of the idea of staying overnight and eventually he decided that it would be a good idea so he found a deal on a room and booked it.

We putsed around Saturday AM and finally hit the road noonish. We went pretty much straight there, stopping only once at a rest area. We checked in at the motel and while he was parking the bike I went up to the room. It had been a smoking room that was freshly painted so the door was propped open. I glanced in and yelled down to Rick "You didn't pay an arm and a leg, did you?" This place was awesome! It had a kitchenette, 2 baths and the bedroom was upstairs (2 tv's too).

After settling in we decided to go find some food. I've discovered that taverns have pretty good and inexpensive food so I suggested we find one. It took a while but eventually we ended up in old downtown Mt Vernon. They were having a craft sale street fair thing so we had to park and walk to find a place but we did and the food was excellent, Rick couldn't even finish his.

After eating we went back to the room - now what? Rick had mentioned Chuckanut drive in the past, that we should check it out on this ride if we had a chance. Besides, it was about 6PM and we were in a strange town, what else could we find to do? So after googling it we hit the road again. We found it without a hitch and it was indeed a beautiful ride. But Rick was just whizzing down the road and I was attempting to get some shots from the back of a moving motorcycle - not an easy thing to do. The hardest thing about it is that the helmet gets in the way and you can't easily look through the viewfinder. So we rode the whole thing and the sun was getting lower and lower. We ended up in Bellingham via the back door. We didn't know if the road dead-ended or what. We turned around and this time we stopped for some awesome shots. It turned out to be a perfect day for sunset shots of the San Juan Islands in the Strait of Juan De Fuca. The sunset lit up the whole sky and lasted for probably at least an hour.

We got up at 6:30 Sunday AM showered and hit the free breakfast most motels seem obligated to offer now. Not too bad, I had yogurt, half a chocolate muffin and biscuits and gravy. For once we got up and ready early enough to enjoy the full "menu".
Then we packed up and headed for the big event.

Being as early as we were we didn't really have an issue with traffic. It was pretty much what I imagined, based on the pictures I'd seen. We were parked in one of the diagonal rows that were set up in the middle of the main street. We wandered the streets looking at bikes, visited the vendors, looking for the "right" shirt to prove we'd been there. There was a marina nearby and I prodded Rick into walking down there and getting pics of boats, fish and a seagull in her nest. We were gonna have "taco in a bag" for lunch but opted for the wraps they offered instead. Then we watched a couple motorcycle "drill teams" of sorts, the first one looked like cops and rode quiet Hondas. The next one were noisy, old Harleys, 1930's and 40's and they did quite a nice job of stunt riding. Known as the Seattle Cossacks, they wore Russian-looking maroon and white uniforms.

There were lots of interesting sights. People brought their dogs with goggles. I enjoyed seeing big, bad bikers with their tattoos and their little
foo-foo dogs. They were also enjoying the outdoor latte cafe, again, with their tattoos and leather. There were fantastic and expensive paint jobs, we found one bike decoupaged. There were antique bikes, old gnarley bikers in their worn out leather, fashion biker chicks in their color coordinated (other than black) leathers with lots of fringe. Helmets were personalized with hair and horns. But the best sight of all was on the freeway on the way home, after I'd put the camera away - darn! There was a bike that passed us with a small, pink pet carrier bungied to the back. I didn't get to see what was inside but we caught up with them and I made sure to check it out. It was a duck! Just laying peacefully in it's little box - AFLACK!! Too many pictures to put in this blog - go check out our smugmug site with the link ("my and rix pix") at the upper left section of this page. (You can also click on any of the pictures in my blogs to see larger versions)

It was 3 when we hit the road but Rick wanted to be sure to let me see Deception Pass, since we were so near and I had never seen it in all my 23 years living here. It was beautiful but I would sure have loved to have spent more time, walking down to the water and exploring a little. Some other time.

We weren't so fortunate in missing the traffic on the way home. We were in the thick of it. It was rather grueling. We just came straight home and Rick collapsed when he got inside, right on the floor. We got a little too much sun for his delicate nature. I was just cramped up a little and cold. I was shocked to see the temp signs saying 65º, I was COLD! Not freezing, just colder than I like and for longer than I like. But we made it back.

An interesting weekend to say the least. Very full. Maybe too much for a couple in their 50's, eh?

0 cats hacked up hairballs:

About Me

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After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.