Dirt Roads, Camp Fires and Cold Waves
Words & Photos by Samson “Rides with Wind” Hatae
Like most group texts, the banter and idea flinging ran our batteries low as we tried to pinpoint the destination of our late winter adventure. We decided a trip up to the Oregon coast would be just what we needed. The timing wasn’t the best for avoiding rain and mud, but nevertheless we needed to go. The plans were finalized and we accepted that we’d be along for mother nature’s ride. Off we went, leaving Ventura, California bound for the great wooded north. If all went well we’d be riding our dirt bikes down abandoned logging roads and surfing epic breaks along the way. As the story of the road goes, things happen, plans change and so long as you’ve got a smile on your face, the fun will be waiting.
It wasn’t long before our first hiccup occurred in the form of an overturned oil tanker truck. From then on we knew our “strict itinerary” was out the window and we’d be along for the ride.
TLW: What were you looking for?
SH: We headed north looking for empty logging roads and empty waves, big trees and places where the ocean met the forest.
TLW: What did you find?
SH: We found exactly what we were looking for.
TLW: What was the best moment of the trip?
SH: The highlight of the trip was taking off on our motorcycles from camp en route to the beach. We heard from some locals that it was legal to ride on the beach. Being from southern California where practically nothing is legal, we had to check it out. It was true! We blasted straight onto the sand and commenced to ripping up and down the coast. There were some people walking and I was sure they’d be bummed on us. Again my southern California mentality made me feel something this fun couldn’t be legal. They didn’t mind at all and just kept on walking. We had a sag van with surfboards and wetsuits and it appeared just in time to find some fun surf. It was a bit eery surfing in cold, new waters but we managed to have a lot of fun. A beach fire was lit and we all hung out and watched an epic sunset.
We heard from some locals that it was legal to ride on the beach. Being from southern California where practically nothing is legal, we had to check it out.
TLW: What sucked the most?
SH: On our way up Highway 1 we came to a road block late in the evening. A lot of people were pulled over and we asked what was wrong. An oil rig flipped and spilled on the road. It was going to be closed through the night for clean up. We had to take a big detour to find somewhere to sleep along the road. This killed some momentum heading north but it still worked out.
Or maybe it was sleeping in a new tent that leaked all night during a rainstorm…waking up in a puddle of water was pretty sucky.
TLW: If you had to go back again what would be one thing you’d take that you didn’t have this time?
SH: Water proof pants and boots. Riding in wet pants sucks!
TLW: Did you see Sasquatch?
SH: No Sasquatch this time, just some elk. May have seen some Sasquatch droppings but could have just been chocolate.
TLW: What was the stupidest thing someone did?
SH: This could have been me. Riding my motorcycle on a wet wood bridge and looking back for everyone. I tapped my rear breake, low sided and got stuck under my bike for a few minutes. Luckily I was wearing boots or my foot would have been smashed. Definitely not the best maneuver, but we laughed about it that night.
TLW: Did anything strange happen while you were there?
SH: At one of our sites the camp host came to collect money from us one morning and we had extra breakfast burritos so someone offered him one. We tossed it over to him, he caught it and ate the whole thing in about 15 seconds. They were hefty burritos. We couldn’t believe it and then he took off in his golf cart with out saying thank you and we never saw him again.
TLW: What did you learn?
SH: Check road conditions when getting to a fork in your route where there is only one way up or down. Also to use a solid tent when rain is in the forecast. Or a van, a van is always better.
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