A camp-out with no camping!

I had such a great time at Babes Ride Out East Coast last year, that I decided I would bookend the summer with similar events on each coast:  Babes Ride out on the East Coast in June, and the Dream Roll on the West Coast in August.  Similar to Babes, the Dream Roll is billed as a “womxn’s only motorcycle camp retreat” on the Olympic peninsula in WA.  

Should be a good time, except for one detail.  It’s hard to camp without a camper or camping equipment!

No worries!  Bunk-a-Biker (BaB) to the rescue!!

As luck would have it, Spencer and Gillian had a BaB pin in the same town where the Dream Roll event was happening!  So, I contacted them a week out from the event, and they agreed to take me in for the weekend. When I rolled up to their house, I couldn’t help but feel at ease when I saw the “Navy Veteran” sign at the door. We’re everywhere!  

I picked up US-101 from Sol duc Hot Springs in Olympic National Park and followed it along the upper Olympic peninsula.  I rode eastward towards Discovery Bay, then southbound as the route hugged the shore of Hood Canal for the majority of the ride to the event campground.  At a gas and ice cream stop along the way (you know there’s always an ice cream stop!), I met up with two gals from Canada who were also headed to the event.  I was really impressed with how light they were traveling and how well-packed their bikes were, so after chatting for a bit, I asked them if they’d mind me tagging along behind them for the remainder of the way to the event (I’m usually leery of riding with folks I don’t know).  They graciously agreed, and we enjoyed a nice half hour roll down the shoreline until we queued up in the long registration line upon arrival.

We were grateful that we got there early- the registration/check-in line was already backed up by the time we rolled in.
Hanging out with Dani and Marisa at their campsite at the Dream Roll.

As I rolled through the camping area after checking in for the event, I was relieved that I had a place to stay off site.  I’m obviously getting too old for this, because I took one look at the open field, and envisioned the hundreds of bikes lined up at the gate vying for a piece of real estate for the night, and knew that I would not be able to sleep in this setting.  And for me, at this stage in my life, no sleep means no fun :-/

Camping set-up at the Dream Roll.

So, by staying with Spencer and Gillian, I had the best of both worlds.  I hung out in the evenings with them, talking bikes and rides, and just sharing stories in general, and during the day, I went to the Dream Roll site to eat and check out the vendors and events.

Once again, the Bunk-a-Biker community proved that it’s so much more than a place to rest your head.  Spencer and Gillian are just downright awesome people, who have traveled all around the US and Canada, and are such gracious hosts.  They made sure I was able to find a local Harley-Davidson dealer to get my 1000-mile service done and Gillian even helped me secure ferry tickets for my onward travel.  I genuinely enjoyed my stay with them and look forward to hosting them in NC some day!
The Dream Roll event was held at the Panhandle Lake 4-H Camp in Shelton, WA.  Lot’s of space for lake activities and bike shenanigans.
There were lots of moto themed vendors on site during the weekend.  I got an awesome new leather thigh-bag from Black Stitch Label.
Biker games are always a hoot to watch.  In the “slow races,” whoever crosses the finish line last, without putting their feet on the ground, wins.  The bike handling skills on display, for the most part 😉 were pretty impressive.
More bike handling skills during the egg game.  The passenger had to place the egg on the cones on the first pass, then pick them up on the return.

At the end of the weekend, I bid adu my new friends and made my way back up US-101 to catch the ferry at Port Townsend to Coupefille on Whidbey Island.  Although we all arrived in separate groups, it was fun to be a part of so many female riders catching the ferry at one time.  One of the women I met on the ferry, Kam, was a local, so I asked her about places to ride and eat on the island.  Before I knew it, she became my tour guide and led me off the ferry for a fun afternoon of checking out Coupeville and Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve!

Kam rides and works on her own classic bikes- she’s the real deal!  Well-traveled, and a bit of a renaissance woman, it was so awesome to meet yet another interesting female biker.
I love riding with locals!  Kam led me on a ride that, done in the opposite direction (which I would’ve done if she would’ve just told me the roads to ride), would’ve been a lot less spectacular.  Right before we made the downhill hairpin turn on Ebey Road at the edge of Ebey State Park along Admiralty Inlet, I thought we were going to ride into the water!  The view was magnificent!

After a little riding, we had some great food at Toby’s Tavern, then checked out the local history at Island County Museum. Of course, an ice cream stop is always mandatory, so we ducked into Kapaw’s Iskreme, which is located in one of the historic buildings on the waterfront.

Penn Cove Water Festival Commemorative Carving by Roger Purdue called “Spirits of the Salmon.”  “Known as the Salmon Whorl, the design features the five salmon species native to the Pacific Coast, on a spindle whorl to represent the tension and cyclical nature of all life.  The carving is mounted so that it may be turned by viewers as an interactive form of play and viewing.  Purdue, who’s ancestry includes the Tsimshian tribe from the Ketchikan area, focuses on Northwest Native American designs.” (All info from placard accompanying the artwork exhibit at the Island County Museum)
The building where we got our ice creams was built in 1890 and later served as the original home of Seattle’s Best Coffee.

Kam and I said good-bye and parted ways, but hopefully we’ll ride together again some day, maybe even in North Carolina!

Next up: One last jaunt to the north.

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