Introduction - Tearing Down the Coast - CycleBlaze


Archeology and old West Coast English


This story took place a long, long time ago in a far and distant land that was disappearing before our eyes as we rode the highway from Canada to Mexico.  Like a glass fishing float dashed on the rocky shore, this story is made up of shards scattered across the shifting beach of my memory and worn smooth by the sands of time.  But it was such a pivotal point in my life that many the details of these distant events still remains sharp and clear fifty five years afterwards.  However many of the place names and exact dates are forgotten and are really of little importance to the telling of this tale of a vanished time and realm.

I have added quotes to the special vocabulary of the day.  Just what was a "coaster bike?"  I leave it to the reader's imagination to create contextual definitions, or to search the web.  I think the unvarnished vernacular of the day flavors the story in ways that more academic English would leave events clear and polished but lacking in flavor and texture.  Some of the words and phrases are politically (socially) incorrect, and well they should be, but they were part of the vocabulary of the day and allude to world in 1963.  The song "Louie Louie" was investigated by the FBI for being sexist and obscene in 1963. 

Instead of making a journal divided day by day it is made up of geographical regions.  Ed, my riding partner, kept a log during the ride, but it was lost along with far more important items near and dear to him shortly after his mother's passing years later. While I can still place many events accurately and deduce the dates, other events happened some place and time on the "Oregon Coast," or other regions of the trip.

I hope the notes and website links will color the story more vividly for readers who grew up after 1963.  Some citations to heroic and less than heroic events past and present, real and mythical and are meant to give the reader a glimpse into the minds and world of these teenage Odyssians.

I have very little in the way of photographs and clippings to document the ride.  There were a few more photos and newspaper clippings that may appear at some future time as I dig into my archival vaults (the attic).  Like the pre-Kodak adventurers of old I have used flowery descriptions to paint the scenes as vividly as I can.  I have borrowed photos from other rides I have taken and a few from public domain.

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