What’s in Lincoln City?

Not much. Except that it is often where my friends find rental houses for the weekends when we get together on the coast.

Lincoln City, March 2014

Lincoln City, March 2014

I had this trip marked on my calendar long time ago. When was it going to happen again?  Those dates arrived in a hurry – I was coming back from Massachusetts Friday afternoon, and the original plan was to get home, unpack one bag and then pack another, and head to Lincoln City and there still Friday evening.

View of Manhattan on flight DC to Hartford, CT

View of Manhattan on flight from DC to Hartford, CT, Marc 2014

But I had caught a cold in Massachusetts and I was still on the mend so I thought about giving up on the idea of going to the coast and stay at home and rest.  But the weekend was clearly a Spring weekend, very sunny to the point I had not seen yet this year around here.  And the Ducati was calling my name.

The blue skies and the Ducati

The blue skies and the Ducati

I managed to  go, and I’m glad I did.  But instead of sticking to the Friday afternoon plan for the trip, I decided to take my time to rest and recover and go Saturday afternoon. Saturday morning I woke up feeling better and even gathered enough energy to do some house work.  Or at least I got started on it.

Saw dust, finishing the arbor on top of the front gate

Saw dust, finishing the arbor on top of the front gate

Eventually I organized the bike for the trip. Put the panniers on it, which were still with dirt from my trip to the California Sierras last June, the last and only time I had these guys on the bike, I believe, besides when I got it home from the dealer the first time. The bike just doesn’t look the same with them.  I like it when it is light and streamlined, like so many other things in life.

Making eye contact with a black angus cattle. When will they rebel?

Making eye contact with black Angus cattle. Uncomfortable.  When will they rebel?

It was well past 2pm when I go on the road. I started by going north through the Willamette valley and I would then cross over the Coastal range at some point.  I was surprised by how cold it felt while riding. Maybe it was my cold lingering, negating its demise. But in fact, it was chilly out there, despite being sunny, and probably my lingering cold had something to do with it as well.

Black Angus young bulls.

Black Angus young bulls.

I topped the tank off in Philomath and got on 20 towards the coast, the shortest route from there to my destination.  The plan was to get to Lincoln City at around beer time.

Non-ethanol gasoline is your bike's friend

Non-ethanol gasoline is your bike’s friend

Before getting to 101 where I would encounter the traffic of Newport, Depot Bay and Lincoln City itself before I would get to the house, the clever GPS suggested I took 229, going north just after passing by Toledo a few miles from Newport. I expanded the view on the GPS and noticed how the road connected to 101 right on top of Lincoln City, and how it had many curves. Why not?

229, connecting Toledo to Lincoln City

229, connecting Toledo to Lincoln City

It turned out to be quite a nice road, going by Siletz, no traffic and plenty of nice curves here and there. How long has it been since I last said what a nice motorcycle this Ducati is?

The Ducati on 229

The Ducati on 229

I got to the beach house at a good time, and it seemed any time was a good time as all who were there were having a great time. Coincidentally the house was just 200 yards or so from another house we had rented a couple of years ago.  I parked the bike on the gravel driveway and could see the bike straight from above, from a balcony on the third floor where the kitchen and the living room were. Nice view of the bike, weird house.  But such set ups are not uncommon on the coast, where they often design houses taking into account where you spend the most time to be where you have the best views of the ocean. Hence the bedrooms on the first and second floors, and the kitchen and living room on the third floor.

Seeing the bike from above

Seeing the bike from above

Soon I was enjoying barbecued oysters and beer, a nice appetizer.

Oysters and Beer

Oysters and Beer

At some point a couple was driving by the road in front of the house on a Jaguar sedan and waved and shouted something at us with smiling, friendly faces. We talked to them and learned they had rented this house for this coming June. They were going to get married in this house, could they take a look at the house? But of course, come in!  They came up, got a tour of the house, gave us business cards and a promise of half rental price on a condo they own in Cabo San Lucas. Well, what about a week in Cabo San Lucas in the winter? Great place to go riding. And to top it off they took our picture!

21 people, 5 different countries, an Ohio connection

21 people, 5 different countries, an Ohio connection

As you can see, it was quite a group of people.  Some were there just for the day. The core of them I’ve met 20+ years ago in Columbus, OH. I think all of them in this picture had a connection with Columbus, either they were born there, or went to the Ohio State University, like was my case.  Others are their children! None on this crowd lives in Columbus anymore, but Columbus is our connecting point. And eight of us (seven on this picture) moved from Ohio to Oregon in 2005. An exodus of biblical proportions, almost to Oklahoma standards. There you go, the three O states in a couple of sentences that almost made sense.

Since we are talking about Ohio, here is my move in 2005. Everything I owned in one truck and one trailer.

Since we are talking about Ohio, here is my move in 2005. Everything I owned in one truck and one trailer.

This trip had a special meaning to me. Just this last couple of weeks my office received notification that we will be consolidating our efforts. Instead of the current setup that we have six offices spread around the country, we will have only one office, starting at some point this fall. Who knows where I will end up after all is said and done.  I already have some options in draft mode to stay in the region. Change can be good, but I hope I don’t need to move. Bottom line, these are stressful times for me and my colleagues, and also for my clients across the region.  So it was good to see some old friends from my Ohio connection at this time. It could be that in the future I will be part of the annual visitors group, coming to the Oregon coast once a year for these reunions with the core people who lived Ohio in 2005.

Soon dinner happened. I’m not sure how it came together, it was a real mess int he kitchen.  I found a plate, silverware, found some food and found a corner of the room, as far from the chaos as I could be, and enjoyed my dinner in as much peace and quiet as I could get.

Something got cooked

Something got cooked

Then there was the sunset.  I could not zoom the electric post out of the picture to only have the sun on the frame without getting the roof of a house to the left. So I decided to work with the post.

The sunset and the electric post

The sunset and the electric post

Eventually I went downstairs and placed a tarp on top of the bike.

I think I need to get a real bike cover

I think I need to get a real bike cover

Some of my friends have long forgotten about old cars and their need to use keys to unlock doors. What an ancient concept when you unlock keys with remote controls, right? Well, my Ducati does not even have an ignition lock, just a button and a proximity “key”.  So what happened is that one of the guys borrowed Chris’ keys to go to the Suburban and pick something that was in the Suburban and well… to make this story really short, he broke the ignition key on the passenger’s door lock. Now they were talking about going to a hardware store and wiring a “start” button on the dash with the ignition wires and all sorts of contraptions to solve the missing/broken ignition key. I suggested we remove the broken key from the lock and make a copy of the ignition key. What a brilliant idea! Successive groups of guys (I was in one of these groups, of course) with flash lights went to the Suburban to “fix” it, and at some point I mentioned we should do that when we were all sobered up and caffeinated in the morning. No, one last group had to go there to fix it now. In the end they managed to push what was left of the key further inside the core.

Morning at roads end, Lincoln City

Morning at roads end, Lincoln City

But in the morning, 90 dollars and 10 minutes later, the broken part of the key was out of the lock and a locksmith had a new key made, actually not one, but two keys, since before that Chris had only one ignition key. The guy said he would show up at 10:30am, he was there at 10:24!

Minute three of the process

Minute three of the process, broken key had been removed from the lock

Of course, we gathered around the van and asked stupid questions about his job, his prices, and his business ethics. After all, he had the tools and know how to open any lock he wanted.  He simply sad he was out of the AAA circuit, where 24/7 was the way to go. He now picks clients how he picks locks.

Around minute 9, second key being finalized

Around minute 9, second key being finalized

This Suburban, you should note, was on my first trip to the Steens, when the Suburban still belonged to Sierk, and Sierk & his wife, and Chris and a few others brought the beer, my tent, and food on my first adventure into the high desert of Oregon.  All I did was ride my motorcycle there.  Now the Suburban is burning one distributor after another, and short of spending big dollars to diagnose the problem to find the solution, it will be sold.  A “new,” as in about 10 years old or so, Suburban will be the replacement.

The Suburban at the Alvord desert/lake.  June 2006

The Suburban at the Alvord desert/lake. June 2006

Once the Suburban’s broken key was resolved, kitchen cleaned, the cars loaded, it was still morning and the party was over. They were going to hang out at the beach for a little while with the kids, I wanted to be on my own.  I had a lot on my mind and decided to just ride back home via 101, following the procession of cars and RVs. Not a time to be on the moment, just a time to be with my thoughts, and following cars gives you just that opportunity. But I did made some of my typical stops and some different ones this time. A different one was Depoe Bay, world’s smallest harbor.

Depot Bay, March 2014

Depoe Bay, March 2014

It really is a small harbor.  This is it.

The harbor.

The harbor.

And the real challenge is the connection between the harbor and the ocean. Boats have to go through a channel between walls of rocks, not on a straight line, with waves at the ocean side to make things interesting.  Must be quite the experience.

The channel

The channel

Lots of whale watching and fishing boats come and go full with tourists and paying fishermen on weekends, maybe on week days as well.

Whale watching tours

Whale watching tours

I was about to leave when I saw two boats approaching. I had to wait and see the action.

Boats approaching the channel to the harbor

Boats approaching the channel to the harbor

The boats stay at the entrance of the channel, I guess the captain examines the wave action, makes calculations of some sort, wait for the right time to enter the channel.  Once they commit, they have no choice but got for it. And they go at speed on the first section, where waves pose a challenge, waves could easily throw a boat on the rocks.

Going fast!

Going fast!

By this time a crowd had gathered to see the action. Boat passengers celebrate the passage and wave at the crowds. Protagonists and witnesses interact.  Entertainment for all.

Boat watching.

Boat watching.

The next boat took a while to commit for the passage. They sure need a radio to know if no one is coming from the other end.  The boat was bobbing up and down, waiting.  I can only assume if someone has a tendency to be sea-sick, stay away from these trips.  This waiting time, with the boat being tossed by waves, this bobbing must be the ultimatum for a food reversal process.  Eventually they made it.

Second boat makes it to the channel.

Second boat makes it to the channel.

Once they clear the first few yards, then it is all good. Tacklebuster makes it into the harbor.

It's all good.

It’s all good.

And that was it. And that was Depoe Bay.

101 goes through Depot Bay

101 goes through Depoe Bay

Time to get back on the road.

The Ducati patiently waiting

The Ducati patiently waiting

I continued south, made a stop in Yachats.

Yachats and the Tsunami Warning

Yachats and the Tsunami Warning

This time I did not go to Ona.  I did not go to any restaurant, actually.  I just wanted to go home, finish my arbor project, and fire the grill. It would be a first barbecue this year.  But I first had to make a stop in Mapleton. This time I did a longer loop, and despite topping it off in Philomath I did not have enough gas to go home.  Also, I had the bags on the bike they add to the wind drag.  But it did 46 mpg and after it was all done, I realized I still had one gallon left in the tank. Yes, I could possibly had made it to the gas station close to my house, but at the expense of not having fun on 36.  I’m glad I filled it up.

At the Mapleton gas station.

At the Mapleton gas station.

Now it was time for me to forget the uncertainties of work and concentrate on my riding. Time to be in the moment, the true motorcycle therapy. And fun I had, I was home in no time.  Because I had that extra fun on the twisties she made only about 44 mpg on the last leg. The bike crossed the 5,000 miles mark right at the fun spot of my way back home. That made me happy.

5,000 miles and counting.

5,000 miles and counting.

Total for the weekend 280 miles, 450 Kms.

280 miles.

280 miles.

And I still arrived in time to complete my homework.

Homework completed!

Homework completed!

And another chapter on the Ducati adventure has been written.

Time for the bike to rest

Time for the bike to rest

Maybe I should move to some place sunnier and warmer… and with different roads. Maybe I can manage to stay here. Time will tell. Until then, I will enjoy my stay here as much as is possible.

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12 Responses to What’s in Lincoln City?

  1. Rick P. says:

    Ah, exploring some of my favorite places here! Recommendations, if you don’t already know:

    1. Pirate Coffee in Depoe Bay has friendly staff, great coffee and a display case of excellent scrimshaw pocket knives (I’ve bought 6 or so from them). http://www.piratecoffeecompany.com/
    2. There’s a small aquarium in town started by a local marine biologist who made a bit of a splash (sorry — had to!) when she discovered the reason why a pod of gray whales makes its residence in Depoe Bay; she was even featured in a documentary by the Cousteau Society, I believe.
    3. If you head back to Mapleton, there’s more great coffee in a friendly setting at the Mapleton Caffeination Station: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-mapleton-caffeination-station-mapleton. And they have quilt art for sale.

    I’m still a bit jealous about your gas mileage, but then, when I actually ride the Duc it’s meant to be ridden (i.e. not around town), my mileage goes up. Don’t know if you have this problem, but I’m still having major issues with the proximity key. It’s not a battery issue, since I’ve replaced both the key and the batteries a few times. I think it’s simply a matter that whatever system Ducati chose is too susceptible to interference. At this point, I’d rather have a physical key-into-ignition to avoid the frustration when the bike doesn’t turn on or when the ignition lock won’t engage.

    I feel your pain on the job front. Never fun when things are up in the air. I’ll send out positive vibes!

    • cesardagord says:

      I will definitely follow up on your suggestions for Depot Bay. And Mapleton is always on my route back to town, because I really enjoy 36 or the old Low Pass Highway that takes me back straight to my house.
      When I’m in traffic, like I was for periods of time on 101 on my way back, stop-and-go in Newport was one of those scenarios, the mileage really went down. It came back up to average 46mpg because I was following the car procession at 40-60 mph when the traffic was flowing.

      Thank you for the positive vibes! Yes, the job situation is in jeopardy. An agency in the know of what is happening with our project already made me a job offer, which came to me without my asking. But it requires a move. I have to say I’m really thankful for that at this point, but I need to see what the reorg will look like first, and what my chances are within it, before I look at alternatives. And I could play a role in keeping others here in the office together as a team on the future of this organization.

  2. rpannemann says:

    WordPress is not my friend. I posted a comment, which apparently didn’t actually post. In any case…here it is again:

    Some recommendations if you head back to Depoe Bay:

    1. Pirate Coffee Company — friendly people, great coffee and a display case full of excellent scrimshaw pocket knives for sale.
    2. Aquarium in town run by a marine biologist who has done work with the Cousteau Society.
    3. In Mapleton, the Mapleton Caffeination Station — because, more coffee! And artistic quilts / quilt art.

    You’re still getting better mpg on your Duc than I am on mine. Plus, have you had any problems with the proximity key? Mine’s constantly not reading. Definitely not a battery thing. Any thoughts?

    • cesardagord says:

      Rick, I haven’t had problems with my proximity key yet. I have hard of these issues on the Ducati forums, and read about remedies to it, actually they are workarounds. I hope this doesn’t happen to mine.

  3. rpannemann says:

    It’s “Depoe” by the way, not “Depot.” I’m sure there’s a story behind that. :-)

  4. bob skoot says:

    Cesar:

    Is that cilantro I spied on the cutting board ? I love Cilantro. When I took my long trip last summer I carried a mini bike cover. It only went half way down the bike and not to the ground. It is nice to keep prying eyes away or also to keep rain and dew off the seat. You can also put your riding gear on the seat (but under the cover) as a place to store it.

    I’m surprised that your Company doesn’t let the key people know they have a place after they re-organize otherwise talent finds a way to find other jobs and the workforce becomes diluted. Either that or they are in worse shape than they are revealing and they don’t know themselves whether they will be viable to move into the future. Not good for you and I am sure this weighs heavily on your mind. Hard to make plans when the future is so uncertain. I hope it all works out for you and you and you don’t have to move at all.

    bob
    A weekend photographer
    or
    Riding the Wet Coast

    • cesardagord says:

      Yes, it was cilantro. Which is good. And I do like parsley as well.

      The problem with our company is that we live off of Federal grants. So with these changes they are taking the power of the small operators, like we are here at the U of O. Unless we decide to pursue it ourselves, the entire enchilada. :-)

      I’ve always been under that type of umbrella (grant work) and uncertainties are associated with it. This could be the time for me to hang my boots on grant work and move to a real job. But then it would be no more travel… no more working with clients in remote areas of the pacific. And I really enjoy working with the Polynesian and the Micronesian nations. I would miss that tremendously.

  5. Trobairitz says:

    I just have to say I really enjoy Hwy 229. it is usually the only way we take when heading to Lincoln City so we can avoid 101 between Newport and Lincoln City.

    It sounds like a weekend filled with a lot of different things. Wish life wasn’t in such a turmoil with your work. I am sure it will work itself out. In the meantime, riding is such good mental therapy.

    • cesardagord says:

      Thank you Brandy. Yes, riding is good therapy, and I look forward to what doors will be opened in the future. Nothing like a day after another, for now. Each day’s interactions with my colleagues who are all in the same situation brings a new set of ideas, possibilities, potential partnerships. We will see.

  6. rpannemann says:

    Hey, we could all get together and start a motorcycling-related business. That’d be just like working off of grants. Not sure how to tie in Micronesia, but I’m sure we could think of something!

    • cesardagord says:

      There you go. Well, I’ve seen two motorcycles in the entire Majuro atoll. One was an un-identifiable, from the distance, standard which was for sale and didn’t look like it had ran in the last 20 years, the other a scooter, which last I heard from the owner, was broken. They need more of that there. In Guam it is all about Harleys, they should know more about other fun motorcycles. Well, that is as far as I can imagine motorcycles in Micronesia. :-) I would go crazy riding in “circles” in Guam. But the Harley clubs are strong there. As they are in Juneau, AK, and they only have 46 miles of road and only about 13 dry days out of 365 days. Thirteen sounds like a funny number, but when you count days with no rain or snow, that’s about it for Juneau, give or take a day or so. And they are not Micronesian. I guess we need a different business model. :-)

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