Honda Twins banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So before coronavirus hit and about three months before I turned 68, I headed out on my 450CL in 2019 for a two week ride around Washington. I had been putting off the trip for awhile but two of my old fraternity brothers and I had rented a condo for three days at Westport which does a big business in charter fishing. Another fraternity brother had terminal cancer nearby so I decided to call on him too. All told, I took in seven fraternity brothers in the trip.

My 1974 450CL has 11,000 miles on it, street tire on the front and a universal knobby on the back for old logging roads and forest roads. I had a one man tent, insulated mattress, and mummy sleeping on the rear factory luggage rack (you never want to put anything heavy over the rear tire) held in place with bungee cords and one cargo tiedown (Which broke, first day.). In addition, I had a pair of horse saddlebags I bought on Ebay thrown over the passenger seat. One side of the bags contained stuff for the bike when stopping for gas. There's a plastic bottle that contains a solution I premixed of octane boost (Out in farm country they only sell 87 octane gas), fuel cleaners (to keep the carbs clean), and artificial lead to lubricate the top end. There's also half a quart of oil, a can of flat repair, etc. The other side contains ready to grab food (a dozen eggs, a pound of bacon, beef jerky) with room for a can of pop and two Arby's burgers (They had two for $ 5 then.).

I had a very comfortable Italian embassy courier backpack for carrying clothing, hygiene, camp stove, stove fuel, collapsible fishing pole, tacklebox, proto-tool, cookware, etc. with a cellphone pocket and another for the Walkman). In the bike's toolbox I have extra sparkplugs and fuses. I also had a horse canteen designed for saddle use with two quarts of fine sipping whiskey. Gerber tool on my left belt and wearing a fishing vest with bait, powdered tea mix, sunglasses, etc. I sleep in my helmet as a pillow. Boot wise, I wear Wolverine Wellingtons. Here is the bike loaded:
313863


Between my sleeping bag and the grey bedroll and under my gloves is my tent. It uses very little space. The horse saddlebags are in black and over the raised pipes. The bike has antique collector plates.

I left Eastern Washington headed west to take White Pass. I started at a leisurely pace as I pick up road vibration in my hands at over 60mph. I previously replaced the handlebar dampeners but no change. Changed the factory grips to JC Whitney barrel grips but they have no "cush" to them all. (They worked great on my 1970 Honda 350 CL though as those had flex.). Will probably pour lead birdshot into the handlebars someday. However, the pass (highway 12) was smooth as glass. It was GREAT! (The only day of the trip that happened. Otherwise, crappy pavement.). I took this picture on the way over:

313864


Passed a couple of good fishing lakes on the way as I planned to camp on a creek. Because Seattle is so packed with people I picked out a washed out forest road and climbed clear to the top where no Seattle camper or 4x4 could go. The bike handled it easy. I didn't. The potholes were bone jarring. No wonder 4x4's didn't try it. Got to the top and no one is around but the snow had just recently melted, the firewood wet, and I had unknowingly lost my sleeping bag on the way up with all those ungodly impacts which broke the cargo strap. Had to go back down and get it. There's no fish in the creek. Not a one. To get a fire going, I had to shave off the wet wood to reach the dry with the proto tool:

313865


The Seattle boys had apparently made it up sometime before me, leaving this mess:
313866


Those boys don't even know how to dig out a windbreak. You can see my proto tool I used for digging it out. No. The garbage is not mine. It took a while to get a fire going:

313867


I had a sirloin steak with a stuffed baked potato with The Outback's "shrimp on the barbie" as an appetizer. Just put the baked potato wrapped in aluminum foil under the fire but not in it.

Went to bed at sunset but woke up at 11:30 with a paw on me. A bear? No. He'd be at the picnic table with my cookware. It turns out it was a cougar - about 125 pounds. They do attack.
Got up in the morning and promptly looked for another place to camp where they don't have cougars. The broken cable would not let me put my sleeping bag on my bike for the ride down so I had to ride to Packwood to buy a bungee cord leaving my gear behind. Asked about another campground while there. Only one site left, three miles from my own. I figured I'd still be within the cougar's hunting range. I was told I could sleep in Packwood's city park behind the library. So I checked it out and ran into a homeless person who, seeing me with a pack on my back, mistook me for a homeless person too (It would happen two more times on the trip,). We talked and drank "Hurricane" 8% alcohol beers. I still remember the price: $ 1.89 a can. Homeless people aren't just short one card in their deck. They're pretty much short the entire deck. The guy was holding the two of clubs. So we talked about the JFK assassination, the secret gov't insect that had been created in a lab with "a stinger on both ends" just to get him, how doctors, when he took two bullets to the brain planted a GPS system in his head ("Works perfect", he told me), and he could talk to birds. He told me he wasn't homeless. He could just not remember his address.

I bought him dinner at the "Blue Spruce" and ended up parking my Honda 450 next to a mint condition yellow Honda 90 trail bike with 2,000 miles on it. I expect when the owner came out he/she was just as amazed to find a Honda 450 with 11,000 miles on it parked beside his Honda 90. We must have looked like our own little collector bike show.

I bought Mr. homeless guy a prime rib dinner. He stared and stared at it like he didn't know what it was. Then he buried it under so much catsup you could not even see it. I could tell stories on this guy just inside that restaurant that would take half an hour. After awhile, I decided between sleeping in a park with him or up in the woods with a cougar, I'd take the cougar. I rode back up the mountain with my new bungee cord. I spent that night in my tent with my helmet on, visor down, my hatchet in one hand and my knife in the other.
Got up the next morning to bacon and eggs. For those that don't know, eggs will keep in the shell for two weeks without refrigeration. You can also make bacon last two weeks or even longer, by partly cooking it to kill the bacteria, and putting it in a plastic zip lock bag and squeezing the air out. Then finish cooking for the next breakfast. The person who told me this said bacon would last six months this way. Yeah. He probably thinks he can talk to birds too.

So off I go down the mountain to get back on 12 in search of I-5 which is easily found. You have to go northbound on I-5 for 19 miles to Grand Mound to get back on 12.

This is 19 miles of pure Hell. It took me an hour to cover it in traffic, every vehicle is a truck, and every truck is a diesel. I smelled like the back end of a city bus.

Finally got back on 12 to Elma and it's HOT. At Elma, I turn left for Aberdeen and, a few miles later the traffic comes to a complete stop. On a hot day, stopped in traffic with everyone's engine running on black pavement, you will swear it's 100 degrees. So I just rode through the middle of the all cars and hoped I didn't get arrested. Took me three hours to go 20 miles which was flying compared to everybody else. I never did see why they were stopped.

But I arrived at our ocean condo. Here's the view from the deck:
313868



We paid $ 300 a night. Apparently, that's a good deal. It was maybe three years old, two bedroom with a hid abed. I thought I was going to get to ride my bike on the beach at 100 mph but they won't let you. So we fished the jetty and crabbed for three days. One word of advice to the unknowledgeable. DO NOT CLEAN PERCH FISH IN A BATHTUB. It wasn't me that did that but it certainly ranks high on the list of STUPID. OTOH, the fish were great!

After three days here I rode north. The destination was Potlatch (two camping grounds there). You take 20 to 108 to 101. sounds simple. It isn't. Oddly. nobody lives out there. Here it's only miles away from Tacoma and nobody's there. It probably would be a really pleasant ride if I hadn't thought I was lost. You ride and ride into NOTHING. I was looking for houses to stop at for directions and there weren't any. After awhile, I was expecting the next sign to read "Gnome, Alaska, 2 miles" but I actually arrived in Potlach. The Skokomish Indian reservation was holding a car show when I arrived. Pretty cool. I attended. There's a state park to the right (With a ranger.). There's a little tiny creek about 100 yards past the ranger that salmon try and get up to spawn. There's so little water in it you can reach in and pull out a salmon. The state park was full but Potlatch wasn't . I think it's free but I stayed at the house of a fraternity brother who lives in Potlatch. Here's his house with my bike:
313869


His place is right on the beach:
313870



Next morning I'm headed north on 101. This is an awesome ride. You just have to take this ride. I have pics of this but have reached the site's limit. Will post more if anyone is interested.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,179 Posts
Thank you for sharing the ride with us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
what is it with these cats? seems like once THEY are up no one else is allowed to sleep. SMH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
What kept the saddle bags from melting on the muffler? Looks like you had a fun ride and thanks for posting.
The saddle bags are of leather and the exhaust pipe has a heat shield. The pack does get warm though. Thawed my frozen steak first day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
In 1972 my dad came up with the idea of using "asbestos" to wrap around the exhaust to keep my plastic bags from melting. Those were the days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
The saddle bags are of leather and the exhaust pipe has a heat shield. The pack does get warm though. Thawed my frozen steak first day.
IMAnonymous Just now reading your post, I live in Elma and have a cl450 as well, I have a log truck, we may have passed? your description of the roads Highway 12/ 101 are spot on. If you get over again let me know, your always welcome.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top