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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Brown

Leg One-The Quest

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

The Idea!

In the early whispers of dawn, an inspiration manifested itself, dancing through the ancient firs on the vineyard's eastern horizon. It was that ethereal hour, too early to fully awaken, yet too late to surrender to dreams. In the midst of this natural symphony, a vision unfolded: a grand journey, an epic pilgrimage astride the regal **Royal Enfield Classic 350**. From the mystical Pacific Northwest, fondly known as PNW, to the sun-drenched expanse of Baja, Mexico, and perhaps beyond, to the southernmost realms of Panama City. Envisioned as a tapestry woven with the threads of familial bonds, a father-son escapade was destined to be born.

The motorcycle bug had seized my imagination, but not just any mechanical marvel would suffice. It was the enchanting allure of the **Royal Enfield** Classic, a time-traveling companion adorned with vintage elegance. Riding it became a visceral experience, akin to taming the winds of nostalgia. The previous winters spent traversing the landscapes of South America on a 2022 Classic 350 had kindled a passion for exploration.

As the curtains rose on the year 2023, a redesigned Classic 350 emerged, promising new adventures on the horizon. The idea took shape, and the time had come to unfold this dream before my wife. The anticipation lingered; how would she respond to this audacious plot twist? To my delight, she not only endorsed the idea but eagerly volunteered to join. And so, our odyssey commenced: a journey from the evergreen embrace of Washington State to the sunlit shores of Baja, Mexico, carried forth on the back of the 2023 **Royal Enfield Classic 350 Reborn**.


**Chapter One: The Quest's Commencement**

For four lunar cycles, we gathered provisions and mapped out our trajectory, fully aware that plans were but sketches in the ever-changing breeze. The Classic, now bedecked with canvas panniers, rain covers, extra gas containers, and a fortuitously acquired road master motorcycle bag, stood as a steadfast ally. As we loaded it with the weight of anticipation, there was a sense of half-expecting a spectacle, perhaps a wheelie-induced drama in our own driveway. To our surprise, the Classic embraced its cargo with an unexpected grace, offering a mere glimpse of the adventures awaiting us.

Setting forth at the brink of October, we sought a break in the unpredictable autumn weather. October 30th beckoned with two crisp, sunlit days, a perfect prelude to our journey. The directive was clear: evade the monotonous freeways, opt for the serpentine allure of two-lane roads, and circumvent the imposing mountain pass between Oregon and California. The coastal route awaited, a dance with the rhythmic waves of the Pacific and a confrontation with the capricious coastal range.

The initial leg unfolded with a chill that nibbled through our layers, yet the thrill of the impending adventure kept us warm. Navigating country roads and reluctantly traversing sections of the interstate, we meandered through a verdant tapestry. Tillamook, enchanting in summer, revealed its icy countenance, challenging our resolve. As we wound our way along the coastline, the Pacific, a dark expanse of brilliance, mirrored the azure sky, blurring the boundaries between sea and sky.

Passing through towns like Pacific City, Lincoln City, Newport, and Florence, each a vignette in our unfolding story, we succumbed to the allure of the coastal dunes in Dune City. Fuel stops punctuated the rhythm of our journey, the Classic purring through the cool air. As Coos Bay embraced us with hues of dusky pink, we knew our goal for leg one was Bandon, a mystical 332 miles away, an odyssey spanning 7 hours and 30 minutes.

As we hurtled south on Highway 101, the sun, a hissing celestial entity, dove into the distant ocean, casting a kaleidoscope of hues. Twilight engulfed us as we navigated the sinuous roads, flanked by towering pines. Darkness descended like a curtain, revealing a tunnel of trees, the barcodes of a marathon etched in shadows. Our turn-off loomed, and as we ascended, the dark expanse metamorphosed into the Coquille River. Crossing the green steel bridge, Bandon materialized, a welcome sign under the glow of the stars. The B-side Hotel and RV, with its whimsical icons perched high, greeted weary travelers. A surreal check-in via the phone unfolded, and within the retro haven of our room adorned with pink stripes, our first chapter concluded. The Classic, now at rest on its center stand, bore witness to the end of a day, wrapped in the hush of nostalgia and the promise of tomorrow's journey.

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