A very early start to the road trip saw us at the Coho ferry terminal in Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour at 4:45am. After clearing US Immigration we were finally loaded aboard and departed on time at 6:10am. As we backed away from the terminal, I took this very early morning photo of the Empress Hotel in all its splendor.
Ninety minutes later, after a bit of a bumpy trip across the Straight of Juan de Fuca, we arrived at Port Angeles. We were one of the first vehicles off the ferry but when we got to US Customs, we offered up our passports and the Carnet for the bike. (for those of you like me who have no idea what a Carnet is – it’s a Temporary Import document that allows the bike to travel into and out of multiple countries for a short period of time). All Customs agents are supposed to know what it is … but we got the one that didn’t. After he checked with another officer, we were told to pull over and park and bring the paperwork to their office. No problem … except then we had to wait until all other vehicles cleared before anyone was available to help us. Finally an officer who knew what the Carnet was came to assist and after much flipping of paper and questions on what we were doing with the bike and equipment, he stamped the document and we were legally imported into the US.
An absolutely stunning morning had us driving down Highway 101 towards Olympia on some of the greatest motorcycle roads you could imagine … unfortunately we weren’t riding but driving with a trailer. The almost total lack of traffic ensured a very relaxing drive until we hit the freeway at I-5. Luckily after a brief stretch on the busy Interstates we crossed the Columbia River into Oregon and followed the Columbia River Valley east. It’s quite a beautiful drive along the river with multiple dams and locks for the river tugs that are pushing barges up and down the river.
Once we pulled away from the river we drove in 40 C temperatures towards the Blue Mountains. Here’s a view looking back westward.
After almost 800km driving, we stopped overnight in a State Park and continued on our journey early in the morning. Here’s a view of the sunrise at the summit of the Blue Mountains.
We continued the drive through the rest of Oregon and into southern Idaho (note the speed limit – in mph):
In late afternoon we made it into Utah
and after fighting the incredibly busy roads through Salt Lake City, we arrived in Tooele to this sight.
Late on Tuesday evening, the Team Swift Crew got together for some introductions and planning for the next few days. We’re all here and ready for this crazy week to begin.