Our time on the ferry came to an early morning end requiring we expeditiously transfer our belongings back onto the bikes. Since my spare fuel cans were stored in the "paint locker" I was delayed completing my load up by needing to find a helpful crewman to access the paint locker. I had made arrangement via my dealer Ural of New England to have my bike serviced by Pacific Northwest Motorcycles in Bellingham as multi-brand shop . My son and the other riders left the ferry upon docking belatedly followed by my now loaded machine. As you may recall, my son is an active duty officer in the US Army who was going to be transferred overseas at the end of our trip, because of this he needed to get back to New Mexico in 4 days after docking. My son with this mandate said goodbye and left me on the ferry. I stopped to reorient myself at the ferry dock to the dealership when my phone rings, with my son announcing his GS has a major oil leak.We met up a few blocks from the ferry dock and headed north to the dealership which also is a BMW shop. We were greeted well and due to my son'e time constraints I asked the shop to address his bike's needs first and being a dad I put my AMEX card on the counter and asked them to do a major service on the bike too. After his machine was completed and mine was wheeled into the shop,we bid goodbye and he rode off for Albuquerque. While my bike was being serviced a friend met me for lunch and a tour of Bellingham, which was interrupted by another call from my son reporting a major loss of tire tread from his rear tire. I regained my machine and discovered him about 20 miles south at a Mom & Pop gas station his bike propped up on milk cases. It was decided he would visit some of the local bike tire shops while I babysat his machine.
By now we are burning daylight into the mid-afternoon and my son returned successful in his search for a rear tire for his GS. You may recall the search for a like tire on the ride westward after the Detroit area BMW shop's failure to order the promised rear tire and the Montana sojourn to Helena for the sole rear we located in the state. We again said our farewells as he was heading for I-90 eastward ,while my chosen route was to be US #2 with Coulee City, WA as my destination to visit a classmate from PA School, who operates a bar and RV Park! Perfect for the Uralista out on the road. I can only ask that should the opportunity arise ,readers ride US #2 across the Northwestern US specifically, Washington, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota. The road takes you across some of the most scenic areas and is perfect for traveling at "Ural Speed" plenty of lodging, good eats, fuel and services.As I motored eastward I found myself in the early stages of rush hour for the northernmost reaches of the Seattle commute into Snohomish County, which wasn't the most enjoyable ride. Luckily, I soon put this commuter traffic behind me as I approached Steven's Pass, which can be treacherous anytime of the year. This serpentine ascending stretch of road while beautiful demands your close attention, due to rockfalls, speeders, logging trucks and crappy weather. To keep in tradition the clear day became cloudy cooler and raining as I approached the summit where road construction was taking place! My trusty "Stitch" kept me warm and dry during this bit of inclement weather. Riding out of the rain into clear skies on the eastern side of Stevens Pass , I soon rolled into the faux Bavarian town of Leavenworth, Washington which was over run with "tourist". Not being hungry or needing fuel I demurred on stopping to partake of the excellent German cuisine offered in many establishments, I rolled on towards Coulligan's Bar in Coulee City about 100 miles eastward with the now setting sun to my back. Once you have ridden the pitch blackness Pallouse area of Eastern Washington you will appreciate ambient lighting or really good auxiliary lights on your bike.The many small and getting smaller farming communities along the road were nice respites from the black emptiness of the ride. I arrived at my destination to discover my buddy was out of town, but his wife graciously set me up for the night in his RV as my home away from home.
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SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence