Saturday, September 16, 2017


First ride on the Yamaha Super Tenere

It is a gift to live in an area where within a half-day’s ride, one can view among the world’s most scenic of wonders.  Like some grand candy store for motorcyclists, the west coast offers mountains, deserts, croplands and the coast itself. 

The initial adventure on the new Yamaha Super Tenere was slated to be a run up to Grants Pass, Oregon followed by a circum-navigation of Crater Lake, but smoke from the late summer’s horrendous fires prompted a change in plans.

No problem.  There are so many options.  My riding buddy from Seattle would travel south; I would travel north and we’d meet in Bandon, a delightful coastal village about a hundred miles up the Oregon coast.

Sans panniers, which are ordered from my local Yamaha dealer, I strapped a duffel on the back of my new mount and headed into the fog.

A few years back, I’d trekked to California’s northeast corner in search of the Von Schmidt marker posted where the California-Nevada border Ts into Oregon.  Details are recounted here:  and it was a good little adventure.

Finding the western end of California’s northern border, something on my bucket list, proved to be less of a trek…

…one made easier with the use of the mapping program on my iPhone.

There is no Von Schmidt marker – there’s no marker at all, but this post at 42.00013 degrees north is about sixteen feet into Oregon.

The folks in Oregon have done a fine job preserving access to their dramatic coastline, thanks in no small measure to the efforts of Samuel Boardman who’s life and work is outlined on this wayside plaque.

A thirteen-mile (dog-friendly) trail parallels US 101…

… affording breath-taking views of the Pacific and her work against the timeless shore.

Lunch would be in Gold Beach where the bridge crossing the Rogue proves to be art you can use…

… and a half-sunk vessel reminds us that the Pacific isn’t always passive.

The Inn at Face Rock is a Best Western affiliate located near the bluffs a couple of miles southwest of Bandon – I suspect on the old highway.  Though not on the water, within earshot of the surf, the oceanic lullaby it provides is perfect after a long day of riding and sight-seeing.

The Yamaha Tenere and the Triumph Trophy pose in the parking lot.

Walking distance is Lord Bennett's Restaurant and Lounge where the seafood combination, when paired with a nice Sauv Blanc is something to text home about.

Face Rock is named after a rock that… well… looks like a face.  At dusk, this particular evening, perhaps 140 folks were in position with cameras on tripods eagerly seeking a shot at sunset. 

“What is this,” I asked one young woman, “another eclipse?” prompting a courtesy giggle.

Bandon, itself, is a sweet little town located at the mouth of the Coquille River.  Its rustic business district and picturesque wharf invite strolls and stops for suds, but I left my camera back at the room.

The misty morning prompts this view of the cliffs.

Heading south, stops along the way made the two hundred mile route to Eureka a full day’s ride. 

The bluffs demand to be photographed…

… particularly the arched ones …

… and the beaches on the California side offer a nice place to stretch one’s legs and catch a gentle slap of salt air to the face.

Eureka is a favorite for over-nighting.  The harbor supports a fascinating collection of working sea vessels…

… the Old Town area transports one back in time …

… and the historic Eureka Inn offers accommodations once enjoyed by presidents and Hollywood personalities. 

We celebrate the day’s travel out in the courtyard.

Breakfast is a couple of blocks away at the Black Lightning Motorcycle Café where one can dine …

… elbow to muffler with their favorite classic two-wheeler.

The final leg of the journey involves the Avenue of the Giants, a road that gloriously celebrates the ancient and mystical redwoods that once dominated California’s north coast.

The Yamaha seems ready for this relaxed 30 mile stretch, softly offering a tenor exhaust note that does not drown out the spirits that whisper in the woods.

So a successful initial trip on the new machine mated the Tenere’s honey-smooth riding characteristics with a wonderful couple of days exploring both the natural and human history of our Pacific shore, leaving me with the desire to do it all over again ...

... tomorrow.

© 2017
Church of the Open Road Press.

1 comment:

  1. Now that is a maiden voyage. Beautiful scenery, good company, and the roads are fabulous in that area.

    Good to see the smoke from the Chetco fire near Brookings wasn't hampering the view near Bandon.