Today was the event I’d been waiting for all week: the PNW Motovlogger Meetup. This is why I chased cell service and put up with marginal data rates just to stay in the area for as long as I did.
Since I was camped just two miles from the park where we met, I was among the first there. Already on the scene was Amanda Zito, a.k.a. As the Magpie Flies, who helped coordinate the meet. I’ve been following her for years, and she’s been one of my big inspirations to, as her catchphrase says, “Get out and do the thing.” We’ve been corresponding for a while, starting after I featured one of her articles on RideApart when I was writing for them, and have kept in touch ever since. It was so good to finally meet her, especially after a few missed attempts.
The other guy I was looking forward to meeting was Circus Bear Moto, who I know from Shadetree Surgeon’s Discord server. We’ve already talked and even exchanged stickers. It was great to meet yet another member of #ShadetreeArmy.
I had no idea whatsoever that Dork In the Road, who I’ve also been following for years, was going to be there. But he was, and it was great to meet him as well. There were also 12 or so others who I’d never met or knew about, but we became fast friends and soon began following each other’s adventures online.
What I loved most about this meetup is that it didn’t matter whether we had 10 subscribers or 100,000. We were all equals. We’re all doing the same thing, and nobody believed we were any better than anyone else there. I even got some advice from Amanda on a camera mount for my helmet. She’s used the same helmet as me in the past, and I like her setup better. She didn’t hesitate to share all the details on exactly what mount she used, where to get it, and how to set it up.
I was a little bit sad that the planned group ride to an overlook of Mt. Rainier didn’t happen, since the guy who was going to lead it couldn’t make it. But considering the cold rainy weather, I wasn’t all that sad. That just left more time for socializing, which I very much enjoyed. Sure, I made a video, but I put the camera away most of the time and just enjoyed the conversation and company. It was well worth the minor hardships I’ve gone through this week to be able to attend.
Since there was no ride, things ended earlier than expected. I decided to put some miles behind me and make my way west toward I-5, where a shower at Love’s was waiting for me. This will also make tomorrow’s trip to Portland much shorter. Yes, I’m heading back to Oregon and will say goodbye to Washington tomorrow. Since both my Plan A and Plan B for the summer have been thwarted, I’ve come up with a Plan C, which I’m beginning to implement now.