WIW 04.16-22 San Fransisco motorcycle trip edition

Finally finished the trip collages, whew! Overall, it was very cold, wet, and foggy; 40-50F with mountain passes colder, San Fransisco warmer. But we made the best of it and had fun! I took photos when I could, hope you all enjoy them :) Each day's photos has my WIW as the last in its series, though as far as riding goes I was in #4's gear pretty much the whole time. Each day was also a FULL day on the road, except day 6 and 7 which we split into two days so we could hang out in Portland for a night. (More details in next post for those who feel like reading a novel, feel free to skip!)

Quick trip info:

  • Photo #1, day 1: Everett, WA to Coos Bay, OR ~450 miles
  • Photos #2-4, day 2: Coos Bay, OR to Fort Bragg, CA ~375 miles
  • Photos #5-8, day 3: Fort Bragg, CA to San Fransisco, CA ~200 miles
  • Photos #9-12, day 4: San Fransisco, CA
  • Photos #13-16, day 5: San Fransisco, CA to Grants Pass, OR ~400 miles
  • Photos #17-19, day 6: Grants Pass, OR to Portland, OR ~275 miles
  • Photos #20-22, day 7: Portland, OR to Everett, WA ~200 miles

TOTAL: ~1900 miles
AVG TEMP: 40-50F & raining

* Bonus photo #23: What I usually look like, much more goofy than my WIW photos ;)
* Bonus photo #24: Saddlebag packing list: 3 riding tees, 2 button-ups, 1 sweatshirt (unused), 1 jeans, 1 trench, 1 boots, 1 flats (unused), 2 belts, 2 necklaces, socks/underwear.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Some quick notes about temperature: Being fully exposed on a motorcycle, you're much more sensitive to temperature (and weather) changes than in a car, and I find that 3F degree increments affect how I feel noticibly. My gear is ALL summer gear, and designed for 65F+ temps, so with the severity of the cold we experienced being unexpected I had to layer a TON and even then was still cold most of the time; I'm honestly amazed I didn't get sick! Bottom layers: long johns, knee high socks, mid-calf leather boots, kevlar lined jeans, thick work pants OR waterproof ski pants depending on amount of rain. Top layers: camisole, long sleeve riding tee (or two), fleece ski sweater, perforated leather jacket (summer -_-), windbreaker, leather armored gloves, scarf around head, helmet. You know that scene in the movie "A Christmas Story" where Randy is all bundled up and is crying, "I can't move my arms!"? I felt that that in my full layers :)

    Photo #1, day 1: Everett, WA to Coos Bay, OR ~450 miles
    We started the trip with rain right off the bat (#1 left). Had to wear rain gear for most of the day (#1 middle, sans rain coat), and unfortunately couldn't see much of the coast through the bad weather. I was too nervous to have the camera out with the rain, but after the full day passed and I had no photos, I decided I really wanted pictures and I could always replace the camera :) For dinner (#1 right) we had yummy steaks and deep fried pickle slices which are now, officially, my absolute favorite fried food ever!

    Photos #2-4, day 2: Coos Bay, OR to Fort Bragg, CA ~375 miles
    Another wet and cold day, with added fog. Temps were between 40-50F all day, and full rain gear was again required (#4 center). We hit some pretty awesome twisty roads which we had all to ourselves (#3 right top, middle), actually saw peeks of ocean (#2 right), passed through a cool small redwood forest (#3 left), and drove the bike through a giant redwood tree (#3 right bottom). In the evening (#4 right) we had a delicious seafood dinner.

    Photos #5-8, day 3: Fort Bragg, CA to San Fransisco, CA ~200 miles
    Hubby's b-day, the reason for the trip! Started the day off with a great breakfast in a small coastal town (#8 far left, left). SUPER foggy and cold with intermittent rain, temps again 40-50F. Stopped at a lighthouse (#5 right), went up a mountain so foggy we could barely see (#6), then abandoned the coast (#5 left) and took the freeway to SF (#7). It was so foggy we couldn't see the whole Goldengate Bridge WHILE crossing it! After checking in (#8 right top) we had dinner, got candy (#8 right bottom), went to Rogue, then lounged at the Occidental Cigar Club.

    Photos #9-12, day 4: San Fransisco, CA
    Spent the full day in SF, decided to do touristy things to get them out of the way since it was my first time there :) We stayed in North Beach (#12 left), so after breakfast we walked through Chinatown where we stopped for tea (#9), walked through the retail shops (no time/space to shop this trip but I did pop in H&M for my first time and alas, no red blazer, but I did get a cute gray shrunken blazer!), took the trolly to Fisherman's Wharf and had crab for lunch (#10), then walked to Lombardi street and enjoyed the hills (#11, #12 right bottom). Had a delicious pizza for dinner, followed by gelatto and coffee for desert.

    Photos #13-16, day 5: San Fransisco, CA to Grants Pass, OR ~400 miles
    Well. This day was bloody cold, wet, long, and ROUGH. We left SF (#13) at 67F and drove through agriculture (#14), then hit mountain passes where the temps plummeted to the low 40s and continued to drop until 34F (#15 right top, middle). Even though I layered most of my riding tees (#16 left top) + the fleece sweater I'd been wearing all trip it was not nearly enough. Luckily we managed to ..barely.. make it to Grants Pass and found a great lodge to stay at, which offered us wine and cheese before dinner (#16 right top, bottom, #15 right bottom).

    Photos #17-19, day 6: Grants Pass, OR to Portland, OR ~275 miles
    Started with a hearty breakfast at the lodge (#19 left) Had some more mountain passes to get through but happily it was warmer, "only" in the low 40s; later it warmed up to 50F and we even caught some sun breaks, as well as a few minutes of totally random hail (#17). Made it to Portland (#18 left) while there was still daylight (#19 right)! Had dinner at Little Big Burger (#18 right top, YUMMM) then hit Ground Kontrol and played arcade games for an hour+ (#18 right bottom). After that had drinks at the hotel bar while watching cute YouTube kitty videos :)

    Photos #20-22, day 7: Portland, OR to Everett, WA ~200 miles
    Short trip to home, definitely glad we decided to split up this day and the previous one! After breakfast (#20 right, #22) we took I-5 all the way home (#21 left), and hit some pretty monsterous Friday rush hour traffic starting in Olympia that lasted all the way to Everett. Bonus shots of my views heading to my home off the freeway (#21 right), just as pretty as much of the scenery we saw on the trip :)

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 8 years ago

    You and hubby are such a cute couple. It looks like you had a great vacation despite the cold weather.

  • qfbrenda replied 8 years ago

    Looks like a beautiful trip! Thanks for sharing.

  • taylor replied 8 years ago

    oh, WOW!! Beautiful photographs and you look really pulled together each day!! It might be hard for most of us to look that polished on the back of a bike all day, but you look fabulous!

  • replied 8 years ago

    Welcome back, I've missed seeing your outfits. You and your husband look amazing together!

  • thimblelina replied 8 years ago

    Welcome home Aida! What great photos, and what a great trip! And so stylish... I am impressed. You were down in our stomping grounds... my husband still does his NPS work out of Ft. Mason & we started out in a North Beach flat. You took a great route and it looks like you saw everything there is to see along the way. Glad you had fun. I missed your posts, too. L

  • nicoleb replied 8 years ago

    Wow! What great photos! Did you take all of these? I'm really impressed! What kind of camera do you have (i'm asking because i'm in the market for a new one and I am overwhelmed with all the choices).

    It looks like you had a really fun time and made a lot of new memories!!

  • chouette22 replied 8 years ago

    What fantastic photos and great account of your trip. I enjoyed reading what you did each day. What a pity that the weather didn't cooperate; I shudder just thinking about sitting on a motorbike in the rain at those temperatures for that long. Was this a hobby of yours before meeting your husband or did you take it up along with him?

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Thanks ladies ^^ Glad you're enjoying the photos :D

    Taylor, L - It wasn't easy to feel put together, but I've found you REALLY have to just roll with it on adventures like this :) Planning/trying on stuff before you go helps a lot too!

    Nicole - I took all the photos except non-me-in-the-mirror self portraits :) My camera is a Canon PowerShot S95, which I really love and would recommend; its full auto setting is quite intelligent and I used that setting while on the bike. It depends on what you want out of the camera, though. "Travel" cameras have a high optical (not digital) zoom; others have more photography/size options. I don't consider mine a "travel camera" because the zoom is quite limited; I got this one because it's a point-and-shoot that can record RAW (!), shoots HD video, and has full manual controls like a DSLR. But smaller :)

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Chouette - It was pretty harsh, but we couldn't do anything about the weather so just tried to enjoy it for the experience that it was. Certainly makes for good stories, and some of the photos are quite dramatic :) I have little interest in motorcycles (I love cars though!) but it's one of the few passions my husband has; he's been riding 2/4-wheelers since he was 5 (used to race) and our closest friends also ride, so it's an interest-by-association for me. I JUST started sitting on the back last year when he got this touring bike, normally he's on a sports bike and actually commutes to work daily by motorcycle (even though it's nearly always raining here).

    EDIT: Our friends and I joke that my husband is a Terminator. He seems to be able to withstand any weather/temperature/obstacles/road condition and stay cool. And drive well. And have energy. It's pretty amazing!

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    How fun!!! And how beautifully presented !!! KILLER.

    The close up of you in picture #12 is divine, divine, divine! Anyway, I'm impressed at how well you roughed it and am glad you are back safe and sound. Glad it was a fab trip:)

    We missed you.

  • tarzy replied 8 years ago

    That looks like such a fun trip! Thanks for sharing those pics. I can't imagine being on a bike for seven days and looking even halfway as good as you do.

  • Anh replied 8 years ago

    Beautiful pictures. So nice of you to share. You both look great in them :)

  • Kristine replied 8 years ago

    What a great trip! I really enjoyed the photos, very creative. I'm glad you had fun!

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    Amazing trip and photos! Reminds me of when I rode on the back of my dad's bike up the CA coast. Good times. :) I especially love the photos of you with your hubby. So glad you are back in one piece after all that riding -- and that you didn't even get sick!

  • krishnidoux replied 8 years ago

    Thank you for posting these beautiful, happy and stylish pics Aida. You exude style.

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Thanks everyone, happy to share the photos with you all!

    Angie - Couldn't resist getting my photo taken with some Banksy street art!! I missed you guys too, happy to be back from the trip AND a super busy work week, whew!

    Tarzy - How I survive: sleep well, eat really tasty food and lots of it, view the scenery as a moving photograph, and be in Awesome Adventure Mode at all times :D (And remember that you're technically in gear, so once off the bike for the day change into something great!) Hmm now that I read that back, this is how I approach life most of the time :)

    Rae - It's surely a beautiful drive, we'll probably do it again sometime when we know we'll have better weather.

  • modgrl replied 8 years ago

    Great trip! Thanks for sharing your travel diary with us!

  • san replied 8 years ago

    You are a fantastic photographer, and so beautiful. How can a gal look that good on a motorcycle trip? Your packing sense and ability to be stylish in such conditions amazes me.
    Your man is a hunka hunka too!
    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful pictures. You are a brave soul for taking a trip like this. And all the while looking so happy and vibrant. You are no shrinking violet that's for sure, you are a beautiful long stemmed rose!

  • cheryl replied 8 years ago

    Aida, your pics are just wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing them. Sorry you had such cold wet weather but so glad you had a great time and made the most of it :)

  • sarah replied 8 years ago

    I wondered where you were ; ).

    Sounds like a great trip and it brings me back to my northern California days! (Although I never experienced it on a motorcycle ; ) ). Thanks for sharing.

  • chouette22 replied 8 years ago

    Oh, it's an interest-by-association. You look totally credible in your gear! Wow, amazing how enduring your husband is - that is true passion! He might have few but goes all out on this one.

  • sophiespal replied 8 years ago

    great photos!

  • Patty replied 8 years ago

    Wow you two are incredibly resistant to helmet head!!!
    Thanks so much for the collage--what fun and beautiful sites! I have to say that the wet roads sure added to those shots!

  • MsMary replied 8 years ago

    Wow, thank you so much for these fab photos! You, your hubby, and the scenery all look fantastically amazing!!! :)

  • Jonesy replied 8 years ago

    Ditto what MaryK said! The pics are absolutely beautiful, and I love seeing you in your gear--what a blast you must have had. Thanks for taking the time to put all of these together for our enjoyment :).

  • Heather replied 8 years ago

    Aida, WOW! This was a brilliant recap.

    Welcome back! I missed you very much!

  • kellygirl replied 8 years ago

    I missed you too, Aida! It looks like a great time was had by all! California weather has been wacky this year but you guys certainly made the best of it. You two are an amazingly adorable couple : ) Thanks for taking the time to make the wonderful collages. It was a treat to read and view!

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for the comments ladies! Glad everyone is enjoying the photo collages, they were fun to put together :D

    San - You're so sweet, thank you very much!! I didn't plan as well on my first long motorcycle trip this past summer, and it was very hard to feel good and keep my spirits up. This time I made sure to have different shoes/tops to change into when not riding and it helped tremendously! Plus any vacation where I'm hugging my hubby for 8+ hours a day is OK in my book ;)

    Patty - Helmet head is so hard to deal with, especially with thin hair! Every time we stopped I'd fluff up my hair as much as possible :) My husband, on the other hand, has luscious thick hair and magically resists it.

    Kelly - Our weather has been wacky too, seems to be the whole west coast :(

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