Published: June 30th 2012
June 30th 2012
Well unfortunately as predicted the weather has remained the same as yesterday, and the once bright sunshine and blue skies has been replaced by a more overcast and showery forecast. So we will be staying put again, this at least will give Lynne the opportunity to keep up her in depth knowledge of those white whizzy things that do the washing, but alas I fear that due to lack of practice she will now require complete retraining on our return with the whooshy contraption that picks up dust off the carpet. You know I am joking right, ouch that really hurt. Another reason for not wanting to go to far in any real damp weather was my front tyre, I had left it, and left it, due to the very dry weather we had been having, and l wanted to replace the tyres as a pair in Seattle in preparation for the ride back from Alaska. So now I had to phone around and order in some suitable boots at a motorcycle dealership in Portland, which would take a few days to come in, and hope the rain does not continue until we get there. Later that afternoon
we took a walk out in between the showers to explore more of the town that could be reached on foot, which was not much. Day 84……24/06/2012
The weather was still not good but the forecast was for improvement, besides we cannot stay here forever. So under darkened skies we made a dash north through the mountains, the clouds were so low that that they completely obscured the mountain tops. The roads were still a little damp from the night’s rain but drying all the time. We rode on and out of the higher ground and into the more wooded area that flanked the edge of the Cascade ridge, this new range of mountains stretched north and not only through Oregon, but also Washington state and on into Canada, this range is still quite active from a volcanic perspective and has several known troublemakers, one of which is Mount St Helens which blew it’s top off in 1980, Mount Hood very much active, and Mount Rainer which apparently is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, should it start. We are going to visit Crater Lake National Park, 7700 years ago it was called Mount
Mazama, how do they know that, anyway after a catastrophic explosion all that was left was a massive caldera, which over time filled with water, and now at around 1950 feet deep is the deepest lake in the US. I was very disappointed the last time I came here, as it was still closed to the public because of snow, this time fingers crossed we would be luckier. We climbed higher and higher towards the rangers station at the edge of the park, stopping every now and then for Lynne to put another layer on. Finally we got there and were told that the west rim had been cleared, but we could not ride right around the rim because of the snow, which seemed to please Lynne as the wet weather gear came out as her last resort layer to keep out the chill. The ride on the west rim was amazing, the sky broke a little allowing the blue sky to partially bringing out the beautiful colour of the lakes surface, something that it is famous for. It was a shame that the sun was not fully out today to light up the mountains but we were glad we
got to see this wonder as much as we did. Day 85……25/06/2012
A little sunnier this morning as we headed out of the small town of Chemult that had been our stop over for the night. Our route took us north for the sixty or so miles that was planned today, an almost dead straight road to the city of Bend. We travelled though more of the high desert region that central Oregon is noted for. Contrary to its name, most of the high desert here in Oregon is not dry enough to truly qualify as desert, like the Mohave Desert in California, but it is a lot drier than the rest of the state. We stopped at the high Desert museum near Bend, and spent the afternoon. The museum uses indoor and outdoor exhibits, and wildlife in natural-like habitats, with living history demonstrations by museum volunteers that help people discover and appreciate the high desert environment, and very good it was too, although some of the animals seemed a little too confined for our liking, especially where the Golden Eagle was kept. We rode on into Bend and found a motel for the night, just as some
more grey skies started to roll in. Our evening meal at a local Chinese buffet once again reminded us of the need for being careful when ordering what would be considered normal amounts back home, but not here in the US, a simple looking menu for two arrived, and nearly did not fit on our table, it would most certainly have fed four or five people, oh well do as most Americans do, we boxed it up and took more than half of it home or at least back to the motel rooms fridge for tomorrow. Day 86……26/06/2012
More grey skies this morning and a hundred percent chance of rain forecast, well that’s pretty definite then. We booked another night at the motel, and took ourselves off in the general direction of the local shops and multiplex cinema. After exhausting studies on my part of the various female retail outlets, and other such interesting venues, we went to the movies. So much choice, but we decided that Men in Black instalment number 3, in 3D was the only real contender. Well after ten minutes or so of us both seeing nothing but a blurry
Ironic that this was the road to the town of Bend, which ran dead straight for twenty miles.
green screen we got up to leave along with a few others, turned out that it was not our eyesight but a misaligned lens or something, so we all sat back down again. We had to admit then that being first time 3D watchers that it was very impressive and the seed may well have been sown to look into a TV like this when we get home, maybe. Day 87……27/06/2012
Once again fair play to the American meteorological department, spot on as usual, a bright clear sunny morning that would see us just right for our ride alongside and then over the Cascade Mountains, and then on West. We made contact with a guy called Mike a friend of Mark’s from Phoenix, Mike lived near Salem on the other side of the mountains. He gave us directions to meet up about halfway on today’s ride, and said that he would show us some good biking routes. The views as we left the town of Bend where stunning, the mountain range that had been obscured yesterday by clouds was now visible in all its glory. The flat green farmland extended away to the darker green pine forests on
the lower slopes and then up to the snow capped peaks, which in turn contrasted with the beautiful deep blue sky, it did make for a very good photo opportunity. After about an hour we arrived at the prearranged meeting point at Marion Fork pretty much at the highest point on the road through the mountains. Mike turned up with two other riders, Jack and his wife Val who was also riding a Harley trike. We had lunch by the river, most civilised, now bearing in mind that we had never met, it took no time at all to realise that true to form, bikers are the same the world over, and from that moment on we had some new friends. The last part of the ride back down the west side of the mountains was great, more rivers and lakes, forests and mountains, sweeping roads and fragrant smells of pine and new cut timber. We arrived at a local haunt used by Mike and his friends, and we were introduced to a few who were there. Now Mike and his friends are part of a motorcycle club that number around fifty or so, they are a very close knit
band of brothers, but not so much that they take life so seriously like the three patch clubs, which would include the Hells Angels and the like, no these chaps were Weasels, and seemed very proud of the fact too. They had simple club rules, and that basically extended to the fact that there were no rules, no hierarchy, and life was what you made it, this club was most definitely about fun, so much so that their mission statement claims that they are a “Drinking club with a motorcycle problem”, well what do you know Lynne and myself and all of our friends back home have been Weasels all along we just did not know it, actually the correct term for the females is Weaselettes. We were invited to stay at Mikes that night, and plans were discussed as to the possibilities of the forthcoming few days. Day 89……28/06/2012
Today we will ride to Hillsboro, fifty or so mile to the north, where the tyres that I ordered were now in stock. So the plan is to ride there take the wheels out of my bike outside the dealership have the new boots fitted job done.
Well, all went according to plan until we got there and were told that I could not do the work outside the shop, eh! there had been no problem the four other times that I had tyres fitted here in the US on my previous trip. Oh well it would have to be done across the road, because believe me I did not want to go any further on that front tyre. Twenty minutes to get the wheels out, and a two hour wait for the tyres to be fitted, really?, oh well at least they were done, and I could relax now with new rubber for our long haul on the next stage of our trip. Day 90……29/06/2012
Well here we are day ninety, exactly halfway through our trip, now you may say wow that’s gone quick, but believe me now it definitely seems that we have been here forever, we have seen so much, and have been told on more than one occasion that we have already seen more of the US than most Americans, that may well be true. Today we will just chill out, and enjoy Mikes kind hospitality, and it’s also time for
Not so cute
the bikes to get another oil change, so that’s what will happen, oh and to sort out why my rear tyre is flat damn it, they really should have checked the valves to have made sure that they were tight before handing the wheels back.
There are more photos below