Last night we were involved in a race. When we left Ketchikan, there were two cruise ships in port. Several hours later, we saw what looked to be a ghost ship approaching in the fog on our stern.
It was one of the cruise ships trying to get ahead of us before we both reached the Narrows, a channel where only one ship at a time can pass. Their Captain must have burnt some serious fuel because they quickly caught up and passed us.
Was fun and sober to watch the events unfold as the ship disappeared into then reappeared from the fog before passing us.
Awake at 4:30, can't sleep, too warm. We must be getting close to Bellingham. The fog is too thick to see anything. Our ferry/boat periodically blows the fog horn to let other vessels know we are there.
Finally we ease into the docking position and the announcement we are waiting for comes: "Passengers may go to your vehicles". It is a mad scramble with people lugging multiple packs, bundles and bags down the five flights of stairs they had climbed just four days earlier. With everything finally loaded back on Da'mit, we are ready to ride off. Oh, oh, the motorcycle in front of me has a flat tire.
In the parking lot, Tony, Keith and I say our goodbyes. It has been an enjoyable relaxing time with them, but each of us is ready to get back on the road, at our own pace, speed, destination and machine.
They head for the interstate, Da'mit and I take a leisurely Route 11 along the Washington coast. We are heading for Everett to meet Mr Cob/Dave of Ural fame. He has built several custom off-road Ural rigs as well as ridden around the USA on a Ural. Together we are going to visit the headquarters of IMZ-URAL, the north American importer of Urals.
Da'mit meets Mr Cob's Predator, an off-road rugged boulder-climbing beast.
Route 11 was a very pleasant surprise.... a twisting, winding, undulating narrow two lane road that hugs the Pacific coast, snaking its way south through the coastal rainforest. Canopies of giant green trees cover the roadway, allowing little sunlight to penetrate. One knows the Pacific is off to the right, glimpses through the trees would be beautiful if not for the heavy fog blocking the view.
Washington's Coastal Route 11
Arrive at the Buzz Inn Steakhouse early. Park out front. Da'mit sure gets peoples attention. Already today have had four different persons approach me to comment on or ask questions about Da'mit. Can't travel quietly and unnoticed with Da'mit. Good thing she loves the attention.
I spot the Predator first, as Dave wheels in with his friend "Dave" on Mr Cob's other Ural rig. The one he rode around the USA on. The three of us ride over to the IMZ-URAL headquarters. We get the grand tour, meet all the staff and workers. There are several rigs in R&D, trying on new developments and advancements for future releases. No photos allowed. Da'mit makes an impression even on these folks who see numerous modified Urals roll through here every month. Sometimes it is the simple and functional which attracts the most attention. Not the flashy, not the high tech, but the a simple uncomplicated solution to meet a need.
Madina, the VP of Marketing, poses with Da'mit.
Mr Cob/Dave congratulates CCjon/Jan for riding a Ural from the Southeast corner of the US to northwest corner; CCjon/Jan congratulates Mr Cob/Dave for riding a Ural all around the lower 48 states.
Very nice to put faces with names, people you have communicated with over the past six months but never met. Thank you Dave and Thank you Madina for a very pleasant and informative afternoon.
After later buying a replacement helmet, decided to retire early tonight and get an early start tomorrow. Texas is still a long way away. Checking the weather, discover the Midwest is having a heat wave. Decide to ride east for a couple of states while before turning south.
Nite Da'mit. Nite all. Nice to be back in the lower 48.