July 4th (Update from July 3rd)
In Portland, we connected with one of my Jewish motorcycle friends, Barry and Harriet NewDelman, who recently moved to Portland. We went out to dinner in a beautiful area of town, similar in style to Chicago’s Lincoln Park. All I can say is, if you are in your 20’s or early 30’s this is the place to be, lots of people and action. Barry and Harriet then took us up to Council Crest Park, which is the highest location in Portland at 1,073′ above sea level. It overlooks 5 mountain peaks in the Cascade Range including Mt. St. Helen, Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainer. We arrived just as the sun was setting and the park was filled with people taking in the magnificent sunset.
On July 4th we decided that we didn’t want to take the back roads, so we rode directly to Seattle via Interstate 5. It’s about 180 miles and is one of the more beautiful interstates roads I’ve ridden. Interesting fact, Portland and Seattle both have around 600,000 people in each city.
We booked a hotel room in the heart of the city because we wanted to be within easy walking distance to Seattle’s waterfront. It is extremely hilly and we didn’t want to have to find parking on what could be “challenging” locations for a motorcycle. Did you know that “Skid Row” got its name here in Seattle. In the downtown area, at the top of the hill, they used to send the logs skidding down the hill into the bay, thereby coining the name “Skid Row”.
A good friend of mine and fellow co-worker at Corporate Realty Advisors moved out here 20 years ago. For the past two years I’ve been telling him about this proposed trip. He gave me bits and pieces of advise based upon his own travels. Twenty one years ago, he and his wife, Andrea, rented out their Wilmette house, packed up an RV and spent 18 months and 36,000 miles on the road touring all over the United States. Their plan was to find a location that both captured their interests and their hearts. They landed in Seattle and now have a home overlooking the mountains and Puget Sound. Not bad!! We went out for dinner at Elliott’s on the wharf. The wharf is an interesting place, to say the least. It is an eclectic mixture of street people, vacationeers, and people on the fringe.
Today is the day to “touch” the 3rd corner! Judi and I hopped on the bike and drove straight north for 130 miles to arrive at Blaine, WA. Blaine is a very cute, small town that literally sits on the border of Canada. To quote a not so famous person, “I could see Canada from my lunch table”. One of the obligatory things to do on this four corner tour is to take your picture in front of the town’s Post Office. As we were driving through town, I saw another bike, just like mine, fully loaded and driving slowly. I told Judi, that guy is probably doing a four corners tour. About two minutes after we pulled up to the Post Office and took off our helmets, this guy pulls up and asks if he could park next to us. It turns out, he was in fact doing the four corners tour, with his dog! (see picture) I think if I tried that with my dog, Zoe, (a 50 lb. golden retriever), she’d have a heart attack. He was from Temecula, CA and this was his 3rd corner, his fourth corner is San Ysidro, CA. We had a great conversation about our bikes, the tour, and of course his dog. We wished one another well and he rode south to see his son and we went back to Seattle for dinner.
Barry, Harriett, Judi and I
Judi and I at the Seattle Wharf
The third corner – Blaine, WA.
The dog, notice the shades!!
Lastly, Judi and I at the Blaine Post Office
John, Andrea, Judi and I