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Feb 2, 2003
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Cheshire ....somewhere on my bike
Sunday 28th March

Left hotel early and drove 140+ miles to meet my new best pal Monty who has just sold me his rather mint 95 1100GS. Met near Woodland just north of Portland. Monty is going to buy a KTM and hopes to meet with me later in the trip.

25k on the clock and just run in with a couple of very smart extras. Namely a large MRA screen with extra panels that help keep the weather off your legs AND a large backrest as seen on HDs which really does help you stay in the saddle when you nail it. It also has a v'large black alloy rack on which my Ortleib will sit perfectly. Bad news ? It has a plastic tank and I brought a magnetic tank bag with me!

The weather was amazing today , 19c and clear blue skies all day. Perfect for the 100mile detour to see Mount St Helens!

Jeeeesus was it purdy! All covered in snow but set in a barren landscape caused by the eruption. It shrunk by 1350ft that day in May 1980!! I was told that " you never get a view of it like this at this time of year". You climb to 4000ft and just above the snow line on a road that was built specifically so that you can get to see the mountain, which is now an official monument.

Have some ace digi pictures. The only bad bit was having to do the drive in the car and not on the bike as money has not exchanged hands yet so I cant take delivery until next weekend. The 502 is a great biking road and loads of locals were taking advantage of the weather to get up there on their bikes.

Had to rush back to meet my good friend Bryan, who flew in late afternoon, so didn't get to spend anytime in the visitors centre. A great excuse to go back again only on the bike next time!! Bryan, as of today, is now a permanent resident of Seattle and plans to buy the GS off me when I finish my trip.

Rounded off the day with a few beers and the BEST pizza I have ever tasted . A long day (its midnight now) with just over 400 miles covered but well worth it.

Also caught my first proper view of Mt Rainier which is much closer to Seattle and just seems to rise majestically out of the surrounding landscape, again completely covered in snow at present . I think it remains that way for most of the year. Will visit it and the surrounding National Park later this week.

Best bit though was getting out on two wheels for a short test ride. It really was a taste of whats to come. Travelling the US on 2 wheels and getting to be a part of the scenery not just pass thru it in a metal and glass capsule.

Loving every minute of it.....................who wouldn't??


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