Heat, cold and fog, from sea level to rivers to mountain high. The last two days of the Peaks to Pacific Tour saw so much variety as we crammed in as much diverse terrain and weather as we could before it was all over for another year.
And if that were not enough, after lunch in a funky downtown Astoria, Oregon, restaurant we encountered record-setting heat. Even riding along the Columbia River did not cool us down. To say sweltering would have been an understatement (39 C = 102 F), especially with the all black, waterproof, mandatory motorcycle gear we wore at all times. We decided several years ago to forgo comfort for safety. This meant black leather boots to mid-calf, with black Kevlar padded pants with a waterproof liner made of synthetic material. It felt like I had crawled into a black padded sleeping bag, lined with a black garbage bag and then lying in the sun to cook. The jacket was also black and lined with the protective Kevlar, making it quite heavy. Add black non-breathing leather gloves and a full face helmet and you have the package; a sweating black Michelin man.
We managed about 250 miles before hitting the showers at Gregg's and Debi's home in Vancouver, Washington, which has served as an extremely pleasant stopover for tired and smelly bikers before.