Day 20 Continued: Seaside, Oregon to Bandon, Oregon; 240 miles. Mo’s restaurant; Kerouac; Your Vision.

Day 20 Continued: Seaside, Oregon to Bandon, Oregon; 240 miles. Mo’s restaurant; Kerouac. Your Vision.

 

Jack Kerouac:

And I said, “God, I love you” and looked to the sky and really meant it. “I have fallen in love with you, God. Take care of us all, one way or the other.” To the children and the innocent it’s all the same. – Dharma Bums

I feel this so often when I’m driving down many of the roads in this USA. Especially today, while Big Red and I made our way down the coast of Oregon. Last night, before leaving Seaside, I had a walk around the town, a drink at the Irish pub and went by the beach. I spotted at least 17 small fires flickering in the sand and the rolling waves illuminated by the moon. Then there was the scent of the sea and the fantastic aroma from the wood burning fires. All of this made it hard to leave this morning.

The ride down the coast was filled with small towns like Rockabay and Garibaldi, views of the Pacific and white beaches, and curvy roads through fir scented forests. It was fun to lean and slalom into the curves. I stopped at Newport and ate at Mo’s, a rightly famous seafood restaurant. I had the chowder, and steamed oysters which were the biggest I’d ever eaten.

Back on the road I started checking out motels. For some reason in Oregon on Memorial Day weekend everyone goes to the beaches. Everywhere had a no vacancy sign. I finally rolled into Bandon and saw a vacancy sign at the Lamplighter Motel. I’m really not going to say anything bad about the motel because (lowering my voice) I think the room is listening.

Kerouac wrote about traveling the USA in his books Dharma Bums and On the Road; Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I’m not a Kerouac, nor a Robert Pirsig by a long shot; neither are you. But I am here to tell you that the roads can be discovered again by anyone; their beauty, wackiness, and their healing powers. You just have to trust, believe that your vision, though unclear, is as good as anyone’s, and let go.

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Day 18 Continued; Seaside, Oregon; Zen Rediscovered (It was here all the time!); I Discovered the Pacific Ocean!!!

Day 18 Continued; Seaside, Oregon; Zen Rediscovered (It was here all the time!) I Discovered the Pacific Ocean!!!

Strange ride today. I felt better after writing this morning about my melancholy. Today, I slowed down, meditated some, and smiled at everyone I saw. People are always stopping to ask me about my trip. An older guy at McDonalds who was from Poland came out and spoke to me. He used to ride motorcycles so that’s what we talked about. I told him the only word of Polish I knew was “gen dobry”, which means “good day.” He asked me how I knew it and I told him about the time I took 14 Irish kids to Kutno, Poland to play little league baseball for a week. My son Rory came along and we all had a great time.

The ride to Seaside, Oregon was confusing for me, as usual. One of these days I need to start using GPS. But I’m old school. The temperature dropped into the 50’s and the rain began to fall. I stopped at a place and had some oysters and some seafood chowder. It was good. Made me think of my mother who used to bring a tiny bottle of sherry with her to pour into her seafood soups. For some reason, she felt she needed to pour it in when the restaurant staff weren’t looking.

Finally, getting to Seaside I thought it would be easy to find my hotel. I was wrong. I rode all around the town looking for it. My phone had died so I stopped at a restaurant and plugged it in to check my hotel reservation. Turned out I was only .4 of a mile from the place. Turn right and turn left. It turned out to be a great place – The Ashore Motel. My favorite motel so far. And on this trip I’ve stayed in some real doozies (As Hazel used to say.) I checked in, dumped my stuff, grabbed a cigar and headed down to the beach. Damn, if there wasn’t an ocean there! Good place to keep it.

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Day 18: Hope to Lynnwood, Washington; Melancholy and Motorcycling; Lost Zen; Onto the Pacific Ocean! Trip Total: 4593 miles (7391 kilometers) so far.

Day 18: Hope, BC to Lynnwood, Washington; Melancholy and Motorcycling; Lost Zen; Onto the Pacific Ocean! Trip Total: 4593 miles (7391 kilometers) so far.

Hope, British Columbia really was a nice town. Great town center with a park, shops and restaurants. I liked it. Until the three buses of tourists showed up. They are certainly welcome to do that but it changed the ambiance of the town quickly. I had a nice breakfast at Sharon’s Diner and then Big Red and I skedaddled.

But I felt road weary. I wasn’t as happy. Big Red wasn’t as happy. My lovingkindness was getting harder to conjure up. I had flat out lost my Zen. These 18 days have been the longest continuous ride I’ve had without a layover somewhere. Two years ago I rode to California (you can read about it in this blog) but the whole trip was 18 days, I did less miles, and I took a day off in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Yesterday, I only managed about 150 miles because I felt I needed to stop more. I’ve got another 1200 miles to go until I get to LA.

But for today, I’m heading for the Pacific Ocean. I’ve been known to get lost but even I can’t miss the Pacific Ocean! So I set a modest goal of getting to a little town called Seaside, Oregon; 200 miles down the road. I’ve already booked a room one block from the ocean. If I like it there, I may take a day off. Try to get my Zen back. And Big Red’s.