Oregon is now one of my favorites. I had never set foot there and it was a mistake.
We think the American West Coast is California and Seattle. We are wrong, the West Coast is also Oregon.
Not very populated, 4.2 million inhabitants concentrated in the greater Portland metropolitan area, in Salem, the capital, and in a myriad of small and medium-sized cities.
Filled with forests. Unless I'm riding in the Amazon or the Rain Forest in Puerto Rico, I've never been through so many forests per square kilometer in my life. And what forests! Eucalyptus trees scenting the morning air, 100-foot pines lush and green like a Prismacolor, forests we walked through in the shade of trees so tall they hid the sun, Oregon was a marvelous discovery. every hour that passed.
Crater Lake in Oregon
We came down from the mountains with our heads full of images of Crater Lake, this lake, the deepest in the United States, created by a volcanic eruption that caused a lava plug in the depths of the crater. The waters of the streams have been retained by the plug and for 7700 years, it has been a lake to make you cry so much the water is blue. So clear that you can see an object up to 37 meters deep.
AND THE PACIFIC ON THE LEFT
Route 101 offers breathtaking scenery.
Then we arrived in Florence, on the Pacific. Then, we forgot the mountains as we drove north on the 101. It's a two-lane road, just twisty enough to handle the big bikes and hugs the Pacific with poignant scenery.
We cross small towns reminiscent of Chandler, Gaspé or Percé, breathing in the spray and offering a surprise every ten minutes. There's always a view of the ocean to dazzle you.
That's true all the way to Seattle. There, we enter another world. The Seahawks, the Mariners, the Sounders, the Kraken, the 45 buildings of Amazon, those of Microsoft, those of UPS, the first Starbucks in the public market a few dozen meters from the city center…
We visit the city and we understand why the Nordiques are not yet back in Quebec.
San Fancisco for a song
“I left my heart in San Francisco
Perched on the hill, she speaks to me
Find me where the cable cars climb halfway to the stars
The morning fog can chill the air, I don't care
My love is waiting for me in San Francisco
Above the windy blue sea…»
There are songs that mark cities. Or maybe it's the opposite. Tony Bennett sings San Francisco, Frank Sinatra celebrates New York, New York, we sing La fille d'Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro or Sous les ponts de Paris in Paris and those who have had the pleasure of traveling through these cities see plenty of images .
Even when driving between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe we pass in front of the Folsom prison. Yes, the Johnny Cash song, Folsom Prison Blues.
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
But it's in I Left my heart in San FranciscoI find the lyrics most evocative. The trams going up the hill, they're still there. The damn fog that sticks on the bridge until 11 a.m. seems like it's forever. I've always walked through the Golden Gate in that heavy cloud as I left town.
The hills, they're real. You have to be in good shape to take a short walk to a restaurant. It could be 500 meters away… but three hills to climb further.
If you understand English and want to visit San Francisco in your head, just listen to Tony Bennett. This is by far the best version of this great American classic.
A few observations
I don't know if it's the pandemic, but we paid a crazy price for renting motorcycles in San Francisco. It must be said that we left them in Seattle and that the return costs must have been astronomical. Yet the same dealer rented Doris Tremblay, of St-Jérôme Harley, motorcycles in Las Vegas for $625 for five days. We must have missed something.
- Personally, I recommend that real bikers have their motorcycle transported by Amerik@Moto in Candiac. Or another specialized carrier if they find one. Did it in Austin TX with a return from Phoenix.
- When we did the 66 from Los Angeles to Sainte-Adèle, we had the motorcycles delivered to Las Vegas… It was impeccable and we rode on our motorcycle and not on a rental Harley which already had 40,000 km on the clock. meter.
For long motorcycle tours in the United States, you can usually book a hotel room near 2 p.m. We pretty much know where we'll be at around 4:30 p.m.
- This time, we booked in advance at Best Westerns for the entire trip and it was the right decision. Pandemic and lack of staff no doubt, but hotels were often full due to a lack of room supply.
Those traveling through the region on motorcycles should pack for the extremes. morning in the mountain at Lake Tahoe. And every morning in the mountains or along the ocean has been chilly.
Dress up in the morning as if you were riding at the festival of colors in October… < /li>