Keep the Water on Your Right

Ever since we rode Old Route 66, the guys in our vintage-motorcycle club have been talking about riding the Pacific Coast from Washington back home to Southern California.  As with the 66 ride, time was not of the essence.  The essential element would be to hug the coastline, while moving southward at a leisurely pace, providing for stops at small towns and points of interest.  We decided that late August and early September would be the ideal time: The weather would probably be the least inclement, and there was the Pacific Northwest’s annual vintage-motorcycle show at the LeMay Museum in Tacoma on August 23.  Organizing our ride was club president Kevin Nerden, a plumbing contractor by day and motorcycle rider by both day and night whose enthusiasm is as unabashed as his Boston accent.

A week before the show we shipped our bikes north.  They went on display at the LeMay Family Collection museum, which is located in Spanaway about 12 miles south of Tacoma.  This is Harold LeMay’s original museum and today houses some 1,500 restored vehicles in three buildings.  LeMay was born in Yakima in 1919 and served in the Navy during World War II as a Seabee.  After the war he developed a trash-collection company into the fifth largest in the United States and by the 1960’s was indulging in his car-collecting passion.  Shortly before LeMay died in 2000, the Guinness Book of...

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