“The dream of the 90′s is still alive in Portland”…and I freakin love it! Portland is such a groovy city. It has the funky vibe of hip lil college town, while also being a mid sized city.
Being mid way, an hour and change either way, between the ocean and the mountains, we’ve got my two favorite activities within reach inside of a day trip. The surf, while really cold, is pretty decent at Cannon Beach and there are plenty of fun runs to ride up at Mt Hood. In addition to the surf and snow, there is epic mountain biking, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, and river kayaking. Plenty of fun keep one busy all the time if you wish.
While in Portland I was so fortunate to be hosted by a wonderful family and was set up to do a cooking class for there for my friend Kim and her friends.
Stirring the pot
After teaching the cooking class and several trips to the mountain to ride, I left Portland behind and headed west to the coast. The Oregon coast is stunningly beautiful…and really cold. I had unsuccessfully tried to surf is Washington and fared no better in Oregon. It was surfable, and sizeable, but without another surfer to be seen,the cold, windy, rainy conditions, and too many tales of big Great white sharks around just added up to too brutal a conditions to put on a thick wetsuit and charge out there all alone. Maybe California will be more inviting….or I’ll toughen up a bit ,one.
From the coast I hauled ass towards Bend to try and get a powder day at Mt Bachelor. I only made it to Eugene and had to stop for the night with a heavy snowstorm in my path. The next morning I made my way over the pass, had a fun day on the mountain, and took off south to Ashland to cook a dinner.
Good bye Oregon..thanks for all the good times…
and the mild case of frostbite.
While exploring the Olympic Peninsula, I came across the Quinault rain forest. You really take a leap back in time once you take a few steps down the trail. I had my eyes open for a giant Sloth or saber tooth tiger to pounce from between the towering trees.
The forest is full of giant Hemlock, Douglas fir and Western Cedar trees. The thick moss covered, old growth trees create an eerie setting. You might feel as if you dozed off and awoke in the dream world of a Tim Burton movie.
I would highly recommend to anyone to check this place out. Take a stroll, and a step back in time.
Over the past couple weeks I have been riding Mt Baker a lot, took a loooong drive, looking for waves on the Olympic Peninsula, worked a shift an Spencer’s restaurant, The Prospect Cafe, and went on an amazing hike in the old growth rain forest.
Things are progressing quickly on the snowboard, though the better I get the more severe the consequences for mistakes become…but it sure is fun. Hitting the little jumps is awesome as long as manage to not land ass first, though I think I am learing my lesson.
I tried to ride on Saturday but it was soooo crowded at Baker, I had to split. I got the idea to haul ass to the coast and try and surf. I drove 4 hours south and then west to Aberdeen and spend the night at my more often than not, home lately, a walmart parking lot. Aberdeen seems to be a dying town. As I drove around the downtown, looking for a coffee, I noticed that more of the shops were abandoned than not. There was a profound melancholy present and I was eager to move on down the road.
Well to surf in Westport wasn’t much to write about, at least not with the 47 degree water temp, so I decided to just head up the coast and explore a bit.
The natural beauty of the Olympic peninsula is striking but with overcast, rainy weather, ominous as well. Some of the towns I passed through were as far from prosperous as I have ever seen in this country.
The town LaPush is a tiny fishing village and part of the Quileute Reservation. There is a small bay with some decent surf if your there at the right time. The contrast between the awe-inspiring natural beauty and the depressing poverty is eerie, with hardly a person on the streets and the most ramshackle of dwellings.
After LaPush, was an rainy windy drive thru the mountains to Neah bay. I was getting pretty dark at this point but as the road come out along the Strait of Juan de Fuca it was undeniably a breathtaking drive.
Arriving in Neah Bay I began searching for a place to sleep. In the dark I didn’t look to be the most welcoming place, so I drove around scoping for an out of the way spot, and came across a little campground right on the beach.
So I have started the trip, and so far so good. I am in Glacier, WA camped up an old mountain road back behind Grahams restaurant. I’ve got a nice fire going but its still freakin cold.
So I arrived in Seattle last Tuesday evening to near freezing temps and rain, to then realize that I have no shoes. My dogs were shivering after a midnight run up to Jack in the Box for dinner. Picking up my truck in the morning was easy enough, then over to my friends house to start getting my shit together. My friend Courtney and her new baby boy Sam welcomed me with open arms and her husband Loyd joined us later. It was a real blessing to have a friend to stay with for a few days to regain my bearings.
On Sunday afternoon I skipped all the superbowl parties and made my way to Bellingham, and slept in a Walmart parking lot. There is bad things said about Walmart as a company but I appreciated that they allow travelers to sleep in the parking lot. Being a homeless vagabond is a new thing for me so it was nice break myself in knowing I wasn’t going to be bothered or run off. It got down to around 30 that night be I slept pretty comfortably.
Monday morning, hauling ass up to Mt Baker I had to slow down a bit to take in stunning beauty everywhere. The trees are enveloped in this thick green moss looking like they were from a Dr Suess book.
My first day of riding was amazing. The snow, while not the best to those who know better, was great for me. Got to work on my turns and then just pointing straight to the bottom and hauling ass. Alot of the guys who are good make going straight look easy, but when you been catching edges as easily as me, all that speed is scary.
Here are a few pics to start with more to come
Hello out there. This is the start of preparations for an amazing road trip. The plan is to ship my truck to Seattle from Kauai and for starters work my way south, snowboarding thru Washington, Oregon, and California…maybe some surf too. Then drive cross-country to my hometown, Savannah, Ga. to visit my family and outfit my truck to house me and my toys for a journey back across the USA then down thru Baja, Mainland Mexico, and Central America. The goal is to surf my way down the coast and while doing so, explore the local cuisine and ingredients. I plan to write about my experiences along the way, include some photographs, and film cooking videos of dishes I prepare using local ingredients , out of my tailgate kitchen.
Well, that is the general idea, but I hope for it to become much more. This is but a first baby step in the direction that could lead to so many possibilities.