Many years ago a guy called "Limp Lee" and a few friends rode to a
small tavern in Marysville called the California
rode there to eat Oysters. The next few years they made the same
ride with more riders joining each year. It wasn't long and the
number of riders was over 200. Limp Lee searched for a new location
that would be able to handle the crew. Anacortes board welcomed the
rally but with reservation. Most of the shops closed up for the
event. Those who stayed open reaped the dollars the riders were
there to spend. The following years the town stayed open with
one successful rally after another. The rally continued to grow and
has grown every year. I have heard rumors of bikers in the numbers
of between 7 and 15 thousand. This year would top last without a
doubt. I have ridden the Oyster Run since 2006. Each with
video. Last years video was featured on the Anacortes Now web site.
No one that I know of seems to know how Limp Lee got his name so I
guess we will leave it at that.
was my 3rd ride on the Oyster Run and the weather couldn't have been
any better. My ride started with a little low clouds and some minor
fog in the federal way area. I departed Tacoma at 7:40 AM. I left 30
minutes earlier then last year in hopes I would beat the bulk of the
herd to the Mukilteo Ferry terminal. The trip up I-5 went quickly as
traffic was light. There were several groups of riders heading north
as I was so I took several opportunities to pull in behind them or
pass them while rolling film. Or should I say digital tape. By
time I was riding through Seattle the sun had burnt off the thin
cloud layer and was working on warming things up. After a ride up
I-5 I took the hwy 525 exit and made my way down hwy 525 to the
Mukilteo Ferry Terminal. I was surprised at the number of bikes that
had already arrived. I ended up half way up row 9. I made a
mad rush to pay my fair both ways as the Ferry was loading. My haste
didn't pay off as the Ferry was soon full as the last bike from row
8 was boarded. No worries here. The Ferry service was running two
Ferry's so the wait wasn't long. As the next ferry docked and let
off those coming from Whidbey Island the bikers started their
engines. Soon the quiet morning was overwhelmed by the thunderous
roar of several hundred Harleys. I couldn't even hear my Goldwing
running. We soon boarded the vessel and I was positioned near the
front. The ride across was short and breezy. The morning air ob the
water was a bit chilly.
Once we docked on the other side, the sound of thunder began again
as several hundred bikes started their engines and began departing
the ferry. I pulled off at a nearby fuel station to fuel up and let
the herd go by. Others had the same idea. There were about 60 bikes
in the parking lot of the Chevron station. Once fueled, I headed up hwy 525 Behind a small group of bikers. hwy 525 stretched about 22
miles of Whidbey islands length before it tuned into to hwy 20. This
is where I took a it of a detour. I have done this each year and
found few riders go this way. I made my way down to Beach Rd. This
is a great 11.5 mile detour that runs along the shoreline producing
some awesome views of the water. I ended up turning back on to hwy
20 near the Whidbey Island Navel base sign. I had to stop and take
some pictures of the Jets they have sitting on giant pedestals. From
here it was a short 7.2 miles north bound on hwy 20 to the Deception
Pass Bridge. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to stop and take
photos. The view from the bridge looking east this time of the
morning is spectacular. The water had a green tint to it and Mt.
Baker was hover above the cliffs on the other side of the water.
back on the road I took the next left on the other side of the
bridge. This as usual separated me from the herd. I rode Rosario
until it turned into Marine and soon I was riding into Anacortes.
This is a great route as it brings you into Anacortes from the side
away from the thousands of bikes making their way down commercial
Ave. I made the left at the Safeway on to Commercial and headed into
the heart of Anacortes. I couldn't believe the amount of bikes. It
looked like much more then last year. I found a parking spot about
3/4 the way down and tuned off my wing. There were allot of folks! I
grabbed my camera gear and made my way through town snapping photo
after photo block by block. One thing I did notice there were less
Boss Hoss bikes this year. You know the ones with the V-8's in them.
They are crazy looking bikes.
The sun was really warming things up as I was making my way through
town. I ran into Gary from work as well as some folks that have
visited this site. When I pull up with a couple cameras mounted on
my wing folks just have to ask. As I stated earlier we couldn't have
asked for a better day. This year I went for the BBQ pulled pork
sandwich and it was really good. I also had the best Strawberry
Shortcake. As much as I hated to, I had to bypass the beer garden as
I had to ride home in a couple hours. One of these years I'm going
to get a room so I can partake in the festivities (Beer Gardens).
The day went well and I snapped over 239 & 800 MB of photos. As far
as video I used 3 DV camcorders. Two of which were mounted on the
bike at two different angle. The 3rd is a hard drive camcorder I use
for shooting off hand. Soon it was 2:30 PM and time for me to beat
the herd out of town. The trip home was quick and uneventful with
the exception of a small group of riders cutting across multiple
lanes only to cut right back. Man... It isnít worth it!
I keep hearing folks state that they are afraid
to make this ride due to the sheer number of riders. IF your reading
this and have the same concerns, I can offer this... Try it once!
You will find it is a very well organized rally. Once you get in to
town there are folks to guide you through town to a parking place.
You have to try it once! The folks of Whidbey Island and Anacortes
welcome you. Some stand at the roadside waving American flags. It is
really a great experience.
A special thanks goes out to those who donated
their time to plan and assist during the event. They did an
excellent job at keeping things safe for all who attended.