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The Trinity Alps Adventure

by John Arnold and Dan Arnold

The following trip report was written following a small gathering of of 4 (or 5) Idiot IBMWR Prezzes in the Trinity Alps of No. California. (Attendees were Dan Arnold, Roozbeh Chubak, Chris Wenzel, me, and the ever-elusive Deiter Lipschiltz–an Austrian psychoanalyst and sometimes Idiot.) The bulk of the report (the “supplements”) was written by me and originally posted to the Village Idiots List in 3 parts as a addendum to an unfinished Trinity Alps trip report by Dan Arnold.

The “supplements” are titled “Trinity Alps–[Part I, II, & III] (Newbie Shibumi’s Supplement)” and are intended to be read in conjunction with Dan’s initial and unfinished report titled “Home from the Alps“. Thus, the report consists of 4 separate sectionss: Dan’s original and the 3 supplements of mine. It covers Dan and my departure from Kennewick, WA, our ride to the Trinities, our campout, and ride back to Kennewick.

If this report has any interest to other readers, it is probably due, at least in part, to the fact that it is written through eyes of someone who is essentially brand new to motorcycles, BMWs, and long-distance touring.

Best Regards,John Arnold

Dan Arnold
Home from the Alps

September 24, 1996

John arrived Thu in a timely fashion, butt we could not find hose clamps of the proper size before stores closed. Got the windshield on by modifying mounting brackets to accept wider hose clamps, butt at great cost of time. Fixed the gas cap with the approved method: drilling hole in outer cap to accomodate a screw to pin it to the inner cap. Went to sleep at sometime after midnight, still unpacked; therefore got a late (9:30 am) start Fri. These delays had me wondering aloud if we were supposed to go at all.

John Arnold & His R65

John kept up just fine as we leaned along the back roads down 207 to Heppner, Spray and Mitchell, OR. The gas station at Mitchell had an “out to lunch” sign, butt we thot we could just make it to Prineville, since the reserve on the R 65 had not been turned yet. Less than 27miles from Prineville, the reserve came on and only 7 miles from the next gas station – outta gas. Rocking the tank confirmed there was still fuel, about two tablespoons.

I went on and filled my tank and picked up a quart for John. Fellow customer looked at my bike and suggested if we had had Harleys, this would not have happened to us. Ha. Ha.

I replied, “Thank you. I will give your suggestion to my stranded friend waiting for me on his Sportster. Ha. Ha.”

Then over to 97 at Redmond. The entire time I am growing accutely aware that we really have to push it to make the campsite before dark; a campsite I had never seen and was on a narrow, remote road, AND I would have to link up with Rooz and Chris. Each delay was especially irritating.

Started raining on the boring 97 stretch to Klamath Falls, butt never hard enough or long enough to justify donning raingear as the sun was setting. Decided to take 66 to Ashland and I-5. This is a glorious road and was even fun despite the fact we were tired, the road was damp and the light was gone before we got thru.

John’s head light kept blinding me and so I stopped and “adjusted” it. Solved that problem completely, butt as John put it later, “Dan, I think I need a bit more than 4 feet of lighted road in front of me.” Anyway, when I quickly lost sight of his headlight, despite my effort to go slow, I knew there was another problem and needed to go back and find him. First chance I found, in utter blackness, was a side road on a banked portion of the roadway. Managed another R11GS infamous tipovers at the dreaded speed of .001mph. Picked up the bike just as john came roaring by, head light now properly adjusted. Scared the hell out of him, as he naturally thot the worst, seeing my bike on the road, 90 degrees from its proper orientation.

Got gas early in Ashland and then discovered the switch wire for my elec. vest was missing, presumably jerked loose during the tipover. More delay as I went back for a quick and fruitless search. At least John got a long smokebreak and checked for messages from Rooz on the MOA tel. #, and left one for him.

At about 10 pm. we turned off at Yreka and got whiskey and coffee (just the essentials) and headed for Ft. Jones and Indian Scotty, some 15 miles further; almost. Got out of the parking lot when John was nowhere to be seen again. “What NOW?,” I thot.

The shift lever on the world’s most reliable motorcycle had broked into two pieces. After John gave up wondering why he couldn’t find the shifter with his toe, he started to figger how to fix it. I was in no mood for more delay so cut the gordian knot (temporarily) by deciding he could get there in 3rd gear where wiser heads the next morning could turn their Rooz Goldbergian attention to it.

Somehow we went straight to Indian Scotty (thank you Bob Lawes) in the dark and found Roozbeh sound asleep, his R11GS parked in such a fashion as to get our attention at llpm. We woke him up, set up camp amid much laughter and mercifully fell asleep.

[Certain unimportant details have been altered or embellished for your reading enjoyment]

Trinity Alps Part I
by John Arnold

Well, I now have empirical evidence for something I’d only previously suspected:

y’all are crazy, as well as Idiots, and need your meds adjusted. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any effective drugs for personality disorders.

The night before we left Dan’s in Kennewick, I got on the R65 and managed to negotiate around the parking lot in 1st and 2nd gear. After nightfall later that evening, we travelled a few blocks thru a residential neighborhood to borrow a drill motor from a friend of Dan’s. I believe I acheived 3rd on that ride. However, within a few minutes after leaving Kennewick the following morning, I was on the slab of I82 headed for the Oregon border on two skinny wheels at 80+ mph. It occurred to me that I should be scared shitless and I decided I probably would be if I’d had the luxury of not having to be focused on the operating tasks at hand. When you have no real experience with m/c’s and you’re in the wind-gusting Columbia Gorge passing 18-wheelers who’re doing a mere 70mph, I somehow found it more useful to occupy myself with survival rather than panic.

By the time we made our first stop at Heppner, some 75 mi. later, for a safety break and pastry breakfast, my emotions had rendered me virtually speechless. All I could do was giggle uncontrollably and shake my head in disbelief.

Dan had given me good safety instruction including that I was to drive at my own pace, regardless of what impatience he might display. Nonetheless, I’d programmed myself to learn as quickly as possible and, within *some* limits of caution, to try to keep up (possibly a bit of a “little” brother thing wanting approval?). Regardless, this did put me on the edge of my “abilities” (well, ok, prudently speaking, *over* the edge).

Sometime after the junction at Service Creek on Hwy 207 where the road is quite twisty and with marbles and thin gravelled shoulders, a group of riders on, I think, GWs, came by in the other direction. By that time I’d picked up how you folks display your commonality with other riders with a cordial, nonchalant wave. I attempted to do the same with my right hand which the wind seized with a vengence and tried to carry back to Heppner. When I got my brachium back in its socket, I’d broken concentration and was heading into a gravelly shoulder on the outside of a sweeping lefthander. I *knew* I was going down–that immobilizing feeling of panic and resignation to the inevitable. Apparently the Riders in the Sky were watching over me and something in my backbrain was requiring me to push on the left handlebar and much to my surprise and relief I remained on the road.

About countersteering . . .nevermind. Let me just say what a weird, unintuitive bunch of gyroscopic shit that is. (Thanks to Dan and, earlier, Vik for telling me about this. I believe cognition overrode panic on a number of occasions by my saying “Push!, you son-of-bitch, Push!”)

By the time we hit Hwy 97 out of Redmond and had left my running out of fuel experience behind, I was feeling more confident and beginning to develop my own personality disorder. I no longer worried about the R65 not having its Washington registration on board or that its tags had expired July 31st. In fact, it was becoming clear that when it came to the mundane laws of motor traffic, *I* was special. Even the envelope of wind surrounding me was becoming an invisible shield of invulnerabilty. I realized, too, that most all other people on our route, whether in a cage or walking, were, uh, pedestrian. They were all looking on with awe and wonder, envying this new road-warrior blasting into the Sun on a mission of great importance.

By the time we hit the northeastern end of Upper Klamath Lake at dusk, north of Klamath Falls, my disorder was not as sustaining. The sky had prematurely darkened due to much overcast and it had been showering on and off, sometimes pretty hard. The road was wet and with traffic and wound south down the east side of the lake with cliffs immediately to the left of the two-lane roadway. Semi trucks were convoying north and the wind off the lake gusted.

I no longer felt special. I was cold & tired and felt small & vulnerable. I thought about the warmth and luxury of a no-brainer cage and how fortunate their occupants were. A gust blew me a sudden few inches toward on-coming traffic. I realized I didn’t know anything about wind and motorcycles (other than the ease afforded in the passing of it while riding). Didn’t know butt what it could just knock you down. I was tense and apprehensive– though understandable, not good things to be under those conditions. :^(

We were pretty much out of daylight when we got to Hwy. 66 outa K. Falls heading toward Ashland on the other side . This road turned out to be a real nice one. Coming down the west side of the Cascades the road was nicely paved and banked with a lot of 20-35mph posted twisties. I found myself with a second wind (no, not that) and got into a positive “zone”, of sorts. I actually caught a “glimpse” of the rythym and coordination of leaning and shifting weight in turns that can be acheived with more experience. Couldn’t really get there myself but knew it was available in time.

I was following Dan closely, apparently too closely as that was when we stopped so he could “adjust” my headlight that was blinding him. Subsequently, I couldn’t regain the zone as I had only a couple yards of illuminated roadway *and* as a result of flying by Dan’s tipped bike in the middle of the hi-way with a big pick-up not far behind. (Worried for my safety, Dan had stopped on the banked road to turn around to look for me, not knowing that I’d merely pulled over for a readjustment of my headlamp.)

Finally we’re out of Ashland on I5 and over the Siskiyou’s into pleasantly warm air on the other side. Dan has recounted our coming out of the parking lot at the store in Yreka headed for Ft. Jones and our destination at Indian Scotty. I’m just on the hi-way and trying to find the shifter for 2nd gear and my toe can’t find it. I quietly remind myself that it is most likely in the same place it’s been all day and forced my tired brain to calmly have my toes try again. No soap. Broken.

As Dan reported, I limped into Indian Scotty in 3rd gear where we found Rooz. I had my first real-life meeting with a virtual friend and the three of us had a fine rendezvous. After 13.5 hours and some 600 miles, I slept, as Louis L’Amour wrote, “the dreamless sleep of exhaustion.”

I’m sure Dan will report more on the campout and trip back butt suffice it to say that, for me, the trip back was comparatively uneventful. The twisties between Indian Scotty and Hwy 96 on our way back were instructive and a joy (as were Rooz and Chris during the campout). By the time we found ourselves Monday morning on the 25 miles of unpaved, trail-like Windigo Pass FS Road 60 in near freezing weather, it was just one more Idiot challenge to be taken in stride.

Many thanks to Roozbeh and Chris for their assistance, comraderie, and idiocy.

And to Dan for his care, tolerance, and generosity. Also for this great adventure and introduction to m/c riding.

BTW, I am now the owner of the R65. <MAJOR GRIN>

Trinity Alps Part II
by John Arnold

Now let’s see. Shibumi has just completed the first half of his first m/c ride in over 25 years and, in the first 4 of 13.5 hours exceeded all previous lifetime miles. He also exceeded the posted mph limit having nearly doubled his previous fastest speed on a motorcycle. He has been through various emotional states-of-being from self-perceived omnipotent m/c action hero of the World to cowering, insignificant wimp cager wannabe who’s cold and tired and sleep deprived from days of anticipatory excitment and trip prep.

Where was I? Oh, yes, it was past 1:30 a.m., Dan and Roozbeh and I had finally retired at our destination of Indian Scotty in the Trinities and I was sleeping “the dreamless sleep of exhaustion.”. . . .

But not for long. Around 6 a.m., still dark, some asshole on a motorcycle rides into our camp. As I’m sleeping next to our site’s parking space without benefit of tent, I realize *I’m* the group’s greeter. This was clearly a job for a more experienced rider, like Rooz. It somehow occurs to me that this must be Chris Wenzel, *not* an asshole, up from Long Beach, Ca. and who was a “possible” for the trip and with whom I had begun a virtual relationship. I tried to pretend I was coherent. I made some attempt at a greeting and mumbled some facsimili of my name. Chris introduced himself.

After he rode off, I s-l-o-w-l-y became aware (over the next half hour) that Chris had just told me he’d arrived about 5:30 p.m., yesterday evening. It was still light so he had scouted the campground for the *best* site for our group to camp and settled in one on the upper loop. He set up camp, waited for us and finally gave up and went to sleep. Meantime, Mr.Chubak had arrived after dark and, seeking his own level, found himself in the “lower” loop and settled in the best site *he* could find. Later, around 11 p.m., Chris thought he might have heard the sound of a “boxer” (whatever that was) but said the sound was faint and there was no characteristic changes in engine noise consistent with downshifting. (Oh. *I* must have been on a “boxer”. He knew I was riding an R65 butt hadn’t known about the broken shift lever and my being limited to 3rd gear.)

Thus, when Chris awoke about 5 a.m., he decided to pack it up, or in, and head for Lassen Vocanic National Park in lieu of meeting up with the Arnoroozovs. He toured the whole camp as a last act and found us, well, me, as described above. Said now he’d just head into Ft. Jones for an early morning ride and asked if we needed anything for breakfast. Remembering the sledload of shit Dan had given me last night for not being coherent enough to act on his suggestion to grab some sweet rolls at the store in Yreka, I managed to tell Chris that sweet rolls would be nice. So, in a matter of hours, I’d met face-to-face a previously virtual relationship for the second time (Rooz first), although I hadn’t a clue what Chris looked like. (He did, however, cut a handsome silhouette in the starlight.)

Meantime, I can’t get back to sleep. Roozbeh’s doing some god awful moan-snore thing due to alleged back pain from his “ladder” accident and Dan’s responding with various “wind” chime tones. Afterall, Call & Response has a fine musical and religious tradition in the States and Dan and Rooz are nothing if not musical, religious, and traditional.

We’re soon up and realize that 20-30 yards away are 2-3 other campers that presumably didn’t enjoy last night’s 11 p.m. arrival and entertainment as much as Dan, Rooz and I had. Dan then prepares us his excellently brewed coffee while complaining of my failure with the sweet rolls. I advise that I’m having them delivered. :^) Therein begins my attempt to relate Chris’ story butt I am interrupted continually by Rooz and Dan who try to revise, debate, and finish the story for me while claiming that what I’m telling them makes no sense [Jack Benny look, arms spread, elbows 45 deg., palms up].

Chris soon arrives with milk, o.j. and wonderful bakery maple nut muffins, thus proving the veracity of my story for which he was rewarded by getting to drink his share of coffee from an empty beer can.

I guess part of the disbelief had to do with Roozbeh trying to come to grips (which is different, Rooz, than grips to come) with the idea that Chris could have come up from Los Angeles the previous morning and arrived in daylight *prior* to Rooz. Having only newbie knowledge of such things, it was a feat easily believed by me when I saw Chris’ bike (a silver BMW R1100RT). I’d just gotten used to the animalistic beauty of Dan and Rooz’ R1100GSs and here was something equally striking in futuristic faired out elegance. Chris had left early that morning warping up I-5 at Mach something in 12 hours. Rumor has it he was catheterized to an ankle bag (which would have been more effective without the Prince Albert ring).

Dan Arnold & Roozbeh Chubak

We finished out the morning in ribald fashion and *finally* expert attention was turned to the source of my unspoken anxiety: the broken shift lever. While Chris and Rooz began to examine the shifter, Dan pointed out to me that even if the R65 *had* been equipped with a kick starter, it would have been located on the right.

A drawing would explain better butt between Chris and Rooz Goldberg, 2 allen wrenches (Chris’ which must be returned) were positioned on either side of the break in the way of splints. The break occurred on the short piece of the “L” shaped shift lever just above the fulcrum and below the linkage attachment. Two “S” hooks from a black rubber bungie were laid flat on the wide sides of the break and extended past the wrenches on either side so to act as keepers for the wrenches. Then, plastic tie wraps were attached in every conceivable place to secure the splints and their keepers. As there was still too much play, Rooz begrudgingly used a short, flat, stamped out metal wrench (that Dan had been dangling in front of him for some time because of Dan’s belief in its intrinsic usefulness) to triangulate the affair. (The hose clamp that Chris had given me which *I* dangled annoyingly in front of Rooz never did find a home in the fix.) Prior to cutting off the ends of the tie wraps (25 in all), the transmission appeared to have exploded in plastic whiskers. Appropriately, Chris captured the fix on film for submission to the IBMWR. Arguably, it would have a more receptive location on the Village Idiot homepage.

We tested the shifter on our way to lunch some 15 miles away in Ft. Jones. Now I was told or read somewhere that one’s riding abilities, the limits of which one should always know and stay within, need to be evaluated daily because of natural fluxuations. My initial assessment indicated I should go back to bed. Being an Idiot, however, with an incipient personality disorder (Idiotic Personality Disorder, group type (649.6)), I followed Rooz and Dan into Ft. Jones on what would have been a lovely road on a beautiful day with breathtaking scenery had I been able to see any of it. Chris kindly road sweep in case the R65 or its rider dropped any pieces.

Arriving safely we found ourselves at a bar that served up booze and two aging and “hungry” prostitutes. As I really couldn’t rise to the occasion of this meal, Rooz reluctantly conceded and we settled for a fine lunch at a restaurant that was also equipped with a bowling alley. We also had a fine and uninhibited conversation ranging in topics from flatulance and sexual orientation to the state of U.S. domestic imperialism and its relation to the national murder rate. Chris thought he noticed odd looks on people’s faces when we left. :^o

Four Idiots then go shopping at the local grocery store for dinner and breakfast. After considerable arguement over whether or not eggs would be included in the next morning’s fare, we reached a quicker concensus when it came to purchasing all the flavors of nearby Etna’s microbrewery.

It was sunny and very warm on our ride back to Indian Scotty and I was able to enjoy the ride a bit more. Riding through the pastureland prior to the wooded twisties, I appreciated for the first time the experience of riding with a group of more than two. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Dan, Rooz, and Chris had read the Oregon Motorcycle and Moped Operator’s Manual and, just like me, were riding down the road staggered in positions on the inside and outside of our lane. This provided a sense of order to things that t-cora would have appreciated and, for all I know, this structured way of riding is something that occurs naturally if riding German-made bikes.

The shifter fix was working adequately but still with a little play and I was having some trouble downshifting. (I determined later that if I nudged the shifter up just a bit after a downshift and prior to another, it would then downshift again without problem.) When Dan and Rooz flew by the entrance to Indian Scotty for more riding on the curvies, prudence finally took over and I went back to camp after brief discussion with Chris. (After the other three returned, it was determined that their “extra” ride was enjoyable butt also was a result of Rooz missing the camp entrance.)

A most memorable evening of jokes, drink, and camaraderie was unexpectedly embellished by the arrival of Deiter Lipschiltz who’d been lost for a couple days in the lower lower loop. We dined that evening on rabbit and rodentia instead of the beefsteak we bought. I’d had chipmunk before and found it a little gamey, although sincere if not, perhaps, slightly nutty. This, however, was pan-fried by Rooz under Deiter’s close supervision and was much less offensive than any I’d had in the past–though not lacking in body. He used an Austrian marinade handed down by Deiter’s Aunt Deiterina, Deiter’s namesake who raised him after they swinged his father and before she abandoned him to a state orphanage. (Say, this guy is *truely* one sick puppy and I would like to nominate him for an OSP#.)

BTW, Rooz’ cooking was accomplished via his new cookstove and cookset which were purchased along with his new tent, bag, self-inflatuating mattress, lantern, and other appropriate and well thought out camping gear. He is genuinely the deserving recipient of the Prodigious Rookie Idiot Camper Kudo award for 1996. The *only* thing he was missing was politically correct army camoflage toilet paper which I supplied him as a gift. Brand name is Hide-A-Wipe (no shit, no joke).

After a fine breakfast of bacon and eggs prepared by Dan and Roozbeh, we bid farewell to Chris who left for L.A. on his two-wheeled Luke Skywalker land flyer and Rooz left for Berkeley later in the a.m. and Dan and I headed for Kennewick.

Trinity Alps Part III
by John Arnold

I’ve already reported on the ride from Indian Scotty to Hwy. 96 running along the Klamath River.

As indicated previously, our ride back was less eventful and I was a little more confident. Learned a bit more about turning the bike with butt-weight shifting from side to side. Most of my riding is still not “automatic” so my focus tended to be on the bike operations at the cost of fuller enjoyment of the scenery. Of course the speeds I was traveling at, keeping up with Dan, might have been a factor.

Racing up the Siskiyous and back down into Oregon on the I 5 slab (notice I say “slab” now instead of “freeway” or “interstate” or even “motorway”. Yeah. I ride motorcycles. Yeah.) was still rather harrowing, if I’d think about it, which I tried not to.

Out of Ashland we took 66 again *and* actually found the site of the Bucephallus’ tipover. We recovered what was left of Dan’s electric vest cord and control unit and continued on this wonderful and well-banked curvey rode. Dan passed a slow moving van here and, after waiting for an area with an accomodating sight-line, I made my first pass on a tight set of twisties. M/c’s are nothing if not a joy in acceleration. Great lunch at a lodge somewhere around Buckhorn Springs then north over paved backroads headed toward Crater Lake, which I’d never seen before.

Got to CL before dusk despite one missed turn and backtrack and Whoa!, beautiful! Cold as shit, though. We decided to continue on north through the Cascades hoping to camp at one of the mountain lakes before nightfall *and* at a lower, somewhat warmer elevation than Crater Lake’s 6000+ feet. Still having trouble with my earplugs-helmut-gloves sequencing, I’d gotten just enough delayed to take a wrong turn which cost us another 15 or so minutes. I musta said the f or s word under my breath a dozen times on this trip after realizing that my helmut was on w/o earplugs in *or* my gloves were on when trying to put on the helmut. Whatta buncha crap. I may just shave my head, paint on a helmut, and get a real motorcycle. (I trust this statement pisses off both HD *and* BMW devotees. Kidding, just kidding.)

Racing down the mountain against nightfall, it finally happened: the cop at the bottom of a hill, visable only after it was too late (we had no detectors) as we came over a crest. I immediately slowed to something under Mach 1 butt Dan just kept blasting away as if oblivious to the trap. I’d been meaning to ask him what the accepted protocol was when 2 or more riders were together and there was the possibility that only one had been detected by a traffic safety officer. Do you act like you don’t know this other idiot who happens to be on the same road at the same time as you and just ride on by, if you can? If you do, and are successful, where do you meet up? Or do you pull over up ahead, after the arresting officer has stopped your buddy and wait ’til it’s over thereby risking your own ticket being issued? What if you’re riding a bike that’s without (your brother’s) registration papers and (your brother’s) tags expired last July? Does this change the usual protocol? Inquiring new riders need answers to these questions.

I was close enough to the speed limit when the white car left the shoulder butt Dan was still chasing the sun and appeared to make no effort to slow. By the time he’d passed by the oncoming unmarked car, I saw why it was unmarked: not a cop. (I knew that. Really, I’m just like by big brother, I knew that.)

We camped at Inlet campsite at isolated Lemolo Lake just north of Diamond Lake. Chips, dip, and Chris’ Jack D. for dinner. Great visit that evening and we’re off bright and early the next morning after a minor backtrack on account of being lost.

A few miles toward Windago Pass and the pavement unexpectedly turns to gravel. Dan stops after a bit and tells me what he’s heard about riding on gravel roads. He says others have reported that if your front wheel starts to get a little squirrely, don’t panic or slow down. Just give the bike some head, er, its head and let it correct itself. He says that apparently you can go relatively fast this way. I inquire as to the upper limits of this strategy and he says “I guess in theory there are none but I’m gonna go slow anyway.” “O.K.”, I says …butt I’m thinking “what?!”. On paved roads with a bit of gravel you’re supposed to be *real* careful. And on all-gravel roads that make your front wheel squirrely, you can just ride thru?, maybe even at infinite speed?? Must be one of those m/c Zen koans the newbie needs to ponder.

However, I had to pass on satori in favor of the moment (how’s that for a paradox?) because a sign indicated a curvy road *next 25 mi*. (25 mi. of gravel?) As the washboard road climbs in its cut thru red, iron-rich soil, it gets colder and the gravel starts to lessen, in favor of packed dirt. I like the dirt better. It’s smoother and I’m less anxious about flat tires (another anxiety provoking matter I’d failed to ask about). Butt now the road is getting narrower and there’s ice crystals visible on the shoulders (read “drainage ditches”) and elsewhere. Earlier, we were travelling thru one of Oregon’s ubiquitous clear-cuts (usually unseen from more travelled byways due to the fake forest facades bordering the roads) butt now the trees are closing in as the road narrows.

Just after the pass itself we’re doing between 5 & 15 mph. as the dirt road is down to one lane with a canopy of tree branches overhead. Rain has eroded the surface and there are numerous trenches at varying angles running laterally across the roadway which must be dodged along with intermittant 4x4s with deer rifles in their racks. On down the other side and it’s gravel and washboards again.

We finally hit a “T” in the road and decide to head toward Hwy 58 and pavement as it’s taken well over an hour to go 30 some miles and we’re low on fuel t’boot. Northwest on 58 and then back east on a nice road to Crescent on Hwy 97. Dan slows and signals an inquiry on my fuel supply. (Neither of us want me running out of gas again.) No problem, I’m not on reserve yet. He resumes speed and I promptly run out of gas, flip to what we both now know is a puny reserve, and then try to catch him, using up precious fuel in order to slow down to not use up precious fuel. Sheesh, another tribulation for the supplicant outside the gates of the M/C Riders’ Temple.

Fuel at Crescent and great breakfast at a restaurant whose name I forget. The dining area is warm, large, high-ceilinged and virtually empty. Walls are lined with tall multi-shelved display cases containing what seemed like hundreds of Jim Beam decorator/collector bottles. On the top of the display cases and on the remaining wall above are *all* manner of stuffed (i.e., taxidermied) animals from frogs and gerbils to moose and Hereford steer. (OK, it could have been a bull.)

Then were off up the straight and comparatively uninteresting Hwy 97 to Bend, Redmond and Madras. Cut off around Willowdale on a nice road to Antelope for a coke at the funky cafe there where we read the plasticized headlines and articles posted on a wall from the days of the mighty Bagwan. (He shoulda ridden a motorcycle ‘stead of the Rolls and just kept going into the goin’ goin’ gone.)

Off then on the fine, fine road that is 218 to Fossil. Lotsa well-banked twisties on this road. Tired butt inspired (read: riding beyond my abilities, thus, stupid beyond belief), I try to take advantage of the road to practice my developing turning-rythym-thing. Going around one well-banked, slightly uphill turn, I scrape a footpeg on the pavement. I’m close to the Personality Disorder zone again and see this not as self-destructive butt as an achievement. I do, however, back off a bit after that since I’d just scared the b’gerbil outa myself.

A rest and walkabout in Fossil which took in an historic one-room schoolhouse and a friendly and informative chat with the volunteer curator. Then north to Condon on Hwy 19 in hope of dinner.

For dinner we settle on a Deli-Botique-Espresso Bar-Bookstore kinda place–just a couple a yuppie beemer types. (Sheesh. How embarrassing. What have I become?) The bookstore part itself is a small “satellite” of Powell’s Books out of Portland, OR. Powell also has a store in Chicago. There were Powell’s Books T-shirts there that said:

Powell’s Books
Portland, Chicago, Condon

Apparently Powell owns some land near Condon …and I already knew he had a sense of humor. BTW, if you like books, new, used, or hard-to-find and you’re not familiar with Powell’s, yer in for a treat. If you’re ever in Portland, check ’em out. It’s truely a remarkable place. In the meantime, check this out:

As dusk encroaches, we continue north to I84, then to Umatilla and across the Columbia Gorge on I82 to Kennewick, WA where all this started.

Can’t close this any better than I did in the original post (which has now become “Part I”) so I copy the original closing below. Meanwhile, I swear to you Idiots I won’t do this again (or use so much bandwidth) as I’ll never have another “first ride” nor ever again see your Idiot m/c world through such awestruck and amazed virgin eyes. The first time will be remembered as best. :^)

Many thanks to Roozbeh and Chris for their assistance, camaraderie, and Idiocy.
And to Dan for his care, tolerance, and generosity. Also for this great adventure and introduction to m/c riding.

BTW, I am now the owner of the R65. <MAJOR GRIN>