Article & Photos by Lisa Cramervonclausbruch
The Oyster Run is a marker for the end of the summer riding here in the Northwest and the weather this year was yet another confirming factor that our warm sunny days are being numbered. I will have to respectively give a hand to all those who weathered the liquid sunshine for the 32nd Annual Oyster Run which is always held in The Northern port city of Anacortes.
This was my first time attending the Oyster Run and I believe that I was shown how to properly enjoy a Northwestern motorcycle event; lots of rain, wind, a few brave vendors but still an impressive display of bikers who would ride in anything just for the sake of meeting up with old friends, listening to some live music, swapping a few tall tales and most importantly, to suck on some oysters.
Taking advice from others as well as the weather man, we headed to Anacortes on Saturday, the day before this one day event, which is always held on the 4th Sunday of September. To avoid riding in the downpour that was sure to happen, we left early. Before checking into our hotel, the Fidalgo Country Inn, we opted for a short ride to see a bit of the area. I rode further down highway 20 towards Deception Pass State Park and was excited to see so many riders out enjoying what seemed like the last sunny day before two weeks of rainy weather were about to hit us.
At the hotel we met a few groups from both Washington and Canada that had braved the foretold forecast and rode in on their scoots. Some had been coming to the Oyster Run for the last 10 years and for a few others this was their first year. Even though a few people I met opted to bring the cage, I won’t hold that against them. In the parking lot, the gathering and drinking started with music pumping in the background as a couple of riders showed off some great burnouts. The rain held out until around 9:00pm, which was just about the time that many headed off to the dry indoors of the local bar; for me the warmth of the hot tub in my room was yelling my name.
The next morning we awoke to grey skies and gusty winds. Not feeling that the day was going to be a total wash out, mostly due to roaring engines racing down Hwy 20, I grabbed coffee, a bagel and a dry towel provided to us bikers by the hotel, I quickly wiped my seat down and followed the other riders into town. The streets of the old town are shut down to cage traffic and the main drag, Commercial Street, had the first few blocks, four lanes deep, filled with bikes of all sorts. The bikes ranged from gorgeous scoots obviously worth many thousands of dollars to bikes that, well, were held together with large amounts of duct tape. Brave souls a plenty, they rode here in the elements like most hearty Northwest riders. Arriving to Anacortes to see the sites, shop the vendors, taste the oysters and mingle with the crowd. After all that is was this event is really all about, getting friends together to enjoy the spoils of the area.
Vendors braved the rain, battled the winds and sold some product to those dedicated shoppers. Even though some vendors just gave in, gave up and packed up, others stuck it out and the spectators enjoyed the wares they offered. I believe that the vendors selling rain gear and warm clothing made out this year and the sunglasses and tank tops just hung around on the racks getting wet. Helmets, leathers, boots, clothing and bling were tucked under tents and tarps while shoppers browsed and ducked under awnings during the worst of it. Even though the side streets were not packed with vendors as in previous years, those that were there were much appreciated and they offered riders a chance to duck out of the elements for a bit underneath their vendor tents. Hats off to all of the vendors and dedicated sales staff for sticking it out.
By 2:30 the rain had decided to take permanent presence and the temps decided to go south so many of the vendors started to call it a day and pack up and move out. We on the other hand headed towards the end of town and found shelter in a tent rockin to Triple Shot. So we decided to stay for a few tunes and some snap shots when about 20 minutes into the show there was a break in the weather and we decided to make a run for it and say our good byes. We had started to suit up when the smell of warm bacon and firewood caught my nose. Right by the bike was a guy grilling bacon wrapped oysters and I could not pass up of skewer of them. I do believe that was the best $5 I have spent in a long while. Suited up and heading out of town I wished for a safe ride for all on their return home and I hoped to see again many of the people I met over the weekend. But most of all, I wished for warm weather and blue skies for next year’ 33rd Annual Oyster Run in Anacortes, WA.