Now is the time to prove everyone wrong.  It IS possible to carry everything you need to survive in the dirt on a motorcycle.  This is how the experience went down.

We rolled into South Beach State Park, just south of downtown Newport, after about 4 hours in the saddle.  Not sure what the weather was going to bring, we took a gamble and decided against another night in a hotel.  Aside from room service, the whole hotel experience tends to be quite overrated.  We’d been checking in with for days now, knowing that there was a storm that brought showers to the region, but knew better than to succumb to another Best Western.   Every time we rolled past a puddle, we kept trying to determine if it was a “fresh” puddle or standing water from days past.

We literally got the last space in the entire park!  Timing is everything.  To bewildered stares, we rolled in and I immediately began setting up camp.  While pulling the tents out of their sausage casings, I was met by a family on bicycles.  The mom was completely astonished and said, “You really rode here on motorcycles?  From where?  Sacramento?  That’s SO AWESOME!”  We try.  And thanks for the kudos – helps us realize we’re not completely out of our minds.   Terry, list in hand, set off for town in search of dinner fixin’s.  It took 3 stores, but he was successful.  Good on ya.  It always seems so much easier when I have full control of the set-up, but you all know there’s a very eager 7 year old waiting in the wings to help as much as possible.  Fortunately, no blood was shed and no tantrums were thrown as Borden Tent City rose among the trailers and motorhomes.  With some nice dry wood and the local newspaper, I was able to get the fire going (thankfully since that was going to cook the gourmet hot dogs purchased at the local grocery store).  And what kid doesn’t like charring his own speared hot dog over an open fire?  I know I still dig it.

While setting things up, I chatted with Frank, one of the camp host’s.  He used to ride for many years until he struck and killed a deer.  He was able to continue riding his Gold Wing, but admits he was never the same after that.  He and his wife would ride all over the U.S.  And they really enjoyed it!  I always feel bad for those who just can’t recover from a bad experience.  Not to worry, though, as I think he enjoys riding around in his camp cart, selling firewood and chatting with all the travelers.

Here’s a nice little diddy about the storm we had been just missing.  I had just finished setting up the tents when a mom and her young daughter strode up along the restroom path (last spot in park means you camp near the shitter) talking about the previous nights storm.  “Mommy, the rain woke me up last night, it was so loud.”  To which the mom replied, “No, honey.  It was the thunder and lightening that woke you up.”  I froze, stared at the tents, and began to mentally prepare myself for a long night of huddling under the eaves of the restroom.  But when traveling by motorcycle, you know there’s always a chance of getting wet.  You just have to roll with it.

After our healthy meal and a few nips off the Jack Daniel’s, we set off on a walk to the playground.  Mr. Jack needed some kid time and a chance to get his ya-ya’s out.  On the walk over, we spotted a 1200GS nestled into the back of a pickup.  That poor thing needs to be released back into the wild so it can play!  We scratched our heads and looked around for the owner.  No where to be found.  Maybe later.

Remember camping as a kid and hanging out at the playground, trying to make friends with those who had been their longer than you?  Jack’s fortunate in that he can jump right into any game of tag or sword fighting and make a friend.  He ran and played, just squeeling with glee, while Terry and I caught up on travel plans, aches and pains and the need for a good nights sleep.  At o’dark hundred, we pried little man from the game area and headed back to camp.  We were all wiped, some of us in need of one last nip before hittin’ the sack.  On our way back, we ran into the bicycling family.  Stella, the mom, was more than enthusiastic about our travels.  We commiserated about families that lose themselves after having kids, finding life to be too hard to live and choosing only to exist.  It was a fabulous conversation with a like-minded individual.  With promises to check our site for travel updates, we bid the family adieu and trudged back to camp.  Sleepy time.  Honestly, I don’t even remember climbing into my sleeping bag.

The morning brought a painful awakening to the sounds of those f*@#ing early morning speed walkers chatting about their, oh, I don’t even know what!  Time – 5:57AM.  Ew.  I was so tired I didn’t even have it in me to shush them.  Couldn’t even purse my lips.  Now I was awake.  Fine.  I slowly crawled out of my cocoon and rolled outside to find a nice layer of dew spread across our tents and motorcycles.  Did it rain?  Nope.  I just forgot how much moisture comes with a night of heavy fog.  I miss it.

With each Borden that awoke, I began packing up their stuff.  But Terry and I had to stop and chat with Wally, a Coast Guard chief who was being transferred to Monterey from Newport.  Nice guy!  And remember that 1200GS in the back of the truck?  It was Wally’s!  Trust me, he would’ve rather been riding but he and his wife were hauling all their belongings down to California to report for duty.  It was a long, great conversation with promises to check the site and visit him whenever we were in Monterey.  “Just come to the post and ask for Wally – there’s only about 45 of us.  We’ll grab a cup of free coffee.”  Dig that guy.  Totally genuine.

We continued on our “drying everything and repacking the loot” to the amazement of our next door neighbor.  I heard him say to his wife, “They have more stuff on those bikes than I have in my PT Cruiser!”  He eventually shuffled on over to check out the scene and compliment us on our “abilities”.  He totally understood our desire to travel and bring Jack along for the ride.  “You guys are out doing it.   You’re experiencing it.  You’re not just sitting around.  Wow.  That’s great.”  Again, always makes you feel good when someone shakes your hand, gives you a genuine smile and wishes you safe travels.  Golden.

So north we head along the 101 to 5, heading into Washington.  Why 5?  Didn’t we say we wouldn’t ride that stretch?  Well, we need to make up some time and that’s the only route.  Besides, someone was kind enough to recommend Great Wolf Lodge, a hotel and indoor water park.  Thanks, Steve!  This outta be good!

To all our readers, many thanks for the positive feedback and kind words.  Share it with those you feel could benefit from what we’re doing and what we have to say.  Even if only one person a day decides to throw in the usual in exchange for the unexpected, we’ve done our job.