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2011 West Coast Trip

Saturday, August 20th, Jason Mohlman (JMAX), Quin Farmer (QFarmer), Ken Whetstone (Tombstone), and myself started our West Coast Trip. Our destination was Crescent City, CA, but we had decided to take quite the detour to get there-through Washington.

Leaving SLC, we took the most direct route to Pendleton, OR. If it wasn't for the 3 slight bends in the road, I think I could have set a cruise control and taken a nap. We blasted along I-15 and I-84, seldomly being passed by anyone and, in the early evening, we arrived at our destination, Pendleton.

We unloaded our bikes and then walked into town looking for a place to eat. After walking around and looking at all the mom and pop restaurants, we settled on Denny's.

After dinner we promptly returned to our motel and went to sleep in preparation for the next day.

Me taking off at 6:00AM
Quin Farmer-QFarmer
Jason Mohlman-JMAX
Ken Whetstone-Tombstone
The view from above Pendleton
We left Pendleton at 8:00 A.M. and continued up I-84. After just a short time, we started riding next to the Columbia River Gorge. The Columbia River is the borderline between Oregon and Washington. Its massive size and the cool, breezy air are welcoming after hours in the desert. We crossed the river near White Salmon and then continued on the river's northern shore until Carson, where we headed north on Wind River Road to ride around Mount Saint Helens.

The roads around St. Helens are amazing! Very twisty and scenic. However, they weren't amazingly marked and we got a little off track, but it was nice to see more and ride longer. St. Helens is an amazing site to see. It's incredible to see a massive crater in the side of a mountain and to read about those who witnessed it first hand.

After we got are share of St. Helens, we hopped on Hwy 5 and headed for our hotel near Portland.

Riding along the Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge
Mount Saint Helens
Ken, Jason, Quin, and me-Mount Saint Helens
The hike to the view point

We woke up to a bit of fog and expected it to get worse the closer we got to the shore, which it did. After just a short time on the road, Ken had to take off and continued on his own trip back home. When we arrived at the coastline in Lincoln City, most of the fog had dissipated. We had a blast slowly riding down Hwy 101, taking in the awe-inspiring scenery and stopping a lot for pictures. At about 3:00PM we realized that we were still only about half way to our destination!
We started to cruise at a quicker pace after that, still enjoying the scenery, but at 60MPH.

Me (Jared Gant)-Oregon Coast
Quin Farmer-Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast
Me (Jared Gant)-Oregon Coast
Not too sure what this was, but it kind of freaked me out when it started to crawl
Me (Jared Gant) on the Oregon Coast
Quin Farmer- Oregon Coast
Jason Mohlman- Oregon Coast
Catching a starfish
Our excuse to ride these roads again (Quin and I did this trip two years ago), was to attend the KawaNOW rally in Crescent City. KawaNOW (Kawasaki Nomad Owners Worldwide) is an organization with a website and forum that I participate a lot on.

On day four we rode through the Avenue of the Giants, which was incredible. These massive trees seem to climb forever, touching the clouds. group
Jason, Quin, and Jared-Avenue of the Redwoods
Quin pointing the the ring the represents his birth year
Motorcycling in the dark of the redwoods
Jared and Quin next to a hollowed out redwood
Coastal Redwood-tallest trees in the world
Jared and Quin-Avenue of the Giants
Jared, Quin, and Jason-Redwoods
At this point we had been on the road for several days traveling anywhere between 300-600 miles each day. So, on our fifth day, we decided to sleep-in, do some laundry, and see what Crescent City had to offer.
Crescent City Coast Line
Playing with the wildlife
Crescent City Coast Line
Quin Farmer-Crescent City Coast Line
For the last day of the rally, we had a lot scheduled. We started the day with a long ride through the northern part of California, including a long portion of Hwy 101, the Redwoods, and Hwy 199. The first part of the ride was scenic and relaxing and was especially enjoyable with a group of 20 or so Nomads. After lunch, a small group of us took off to finish the ride at our own pace, and we had an awesome time, throwing sparks through several turns of Hwy. 199.

After the ride, we headed over to the local casino for a rally banquet. After having an awesome dinner, we participated in a raffle where the proceeds went to the local little league association.
Quin Farmer
Joel Schneekloth, Teri Conrad, and Kris Olsen
Last year, on a whim, I rode to San Fran on my way to LA for the sole purpose of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, but because of unforeseen weather issues, I wasn't able to see it. Quin had also never seen the bridge so, for our route back to Utah, we decided to ride the coastline to San Fran and to cross the bridge. Along the way we saw a few different signs advertising the drive-through tree so we had to make a stop at the Chandelier tree as well. After seeing the bridge we jumped on I-80 and burnt as many miles as we could, finally stopping in Sacramento.

Quin and Jared barely fitting side-by-side
Chandelier tree
Finally making it to the bridge
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge
Our original plans were to take two days to get home, but we all had our own motivations to make the last 700-mile push in one day. Leaving Sacrimento at 4:00AM, to make up for the hour we would gain, we hopped on I-80, set our speedometers at 80MPH and only stopped every 150 miles. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted but happy to be able to sleep in our own beds.

Jared M. Gant


  1. THanks for sharing, always great to do a road trip with mates and have a good time.

  2. Wow! I have to go back for more! I love the pics, and I'm not through going through them, but I feel compelled to let you in on a secret. That porcupine looking thing you were holding in your hand, that "freaked me out when it started crawling"... is a sea urchin. (and they can make you sick if stung... or pricked) I lived in Puerto Rico for 3 years at the Navy base and would snorkel and see them everywhere. The locals ate the meat inside and tossed the shell. We would soak the shells in Clorox, making the spines fall off and you would be left with a very fragile white oval shaped ball that was absolutely beautiful! We made Christmas ornaments out of them. Thanks for shaking loose some memories of my own.

    Now... back to the gorgeous pics!

  3. Thanks for the tip about the purple porcupine. I'm glad I didn't get stung and have an allergic reaction while riding down the 101.

  4. Looks like you had a great time. Those trees are absoulutely huge if you can drive/ride through them.

  5. Great pictures and great trip. Brings back memories of my cross country trip last year. I have a picture by the Chandelier Tree and Paul Bunyan here:
    This was day 10 from Fort Bragg to Crescent City.
    I came to your blog from a link on Erik's blog here:
    How do I follow your blog since the "follow" link at the top of blogger is not there?

  6. Hey George,

    At the top right of the page there is a follow button.