LA to Seattle


June 2017 I set out on a solo ride up the west coast on my 1978 BMW R80/7. The goal was to live minimally, sleeping next to the bike or out on the trail each night, and to experience what the seldom seen backroads of California, Oregon and Washington have to offer. Loaded with backpacking gear and enough spare parts to get me through 10,000 miles of open road, I headed out with my sights set on making it to the Sinkyone Wilderness in time for 4th of July. The perils of motorcycle travel hit hard that first night, having to pull off at a rest stop to catch some sleep in the grass before pulling into San Francisco the next morning for a rendezvous. See, the difference between backpacking/hitchhiking and overlanding on a motorcycle is that you can’t just walk off into the woods and sleep wherever you want with a bike. This quickly proved to be the biggest hurdle with riding two wheels solo.

The trip saw me through some sweet little mountain towns, past the lone standing Shasta, through the beautiful backwoods of Oregon, around the Olympic Peninsula, eventually to my northernmost destination and beer haven, Seattle. I’ve got to give it to the old BMW, for being 39 years old she still travels harder than I do.

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