Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Home is where the bike is - Day 6

The morning doesn't look all that great. Last night's storm was pretty severe and while it's not all that wet yet, you could see it coming.

Some light sprinkles, but not too much yet.

We pack up, check a couple of weather reports online and head out. The plan was to take Old ID7 back and then drop into Lewiston to see if Wally World has the ATV pads that work on the KLR.

By the time we start the climb up Old ID7 it's wet. My tires are sticking well though and soon I'm riding on my own.

After a bit I stop to see where Tony got to and to take a few photos.

Turns out that Tony feels his front end slipping a bit and is taking the smart approach and going easy.

No big deal, he sets off down the road and I snap a few shots.

As I'm putting my gear back on, an empty logging truck passes. Hmmm, not going to be as easy to pass with all the spray.

Eventually I catch Tony and we ride over to Lewiston and find the Walmart. I got the last seat pad! :D

After a quick installation, we head back out of town to find the spiral highway. In the wet. Still what an amazing road. If only it were 10x as long :)

After a quick navigation error (mine) we ride back down the spiral highway and grab some lunch at a DQ. Tony is going to take 12 West, I'm going to head South on Hwy 3.

And I'm on my own.

It's always an odd feeling for me when I leave a riding buddy and start the solo part of my trip. I'm not sure why, but it is both easier and harder all at the same time. A safety net is removed but simultaneously, everything is up to me now. No checking, no discussing, just ride to where I want, when I want.

The road soon becomes absolutely amazing. What can I say, some of the best twisties I've ever ridden and the scenery is great.

Curve after curve after curve.

At one point there was a sign announcing 25 mph corners for 13 miles. I did take a couple stops along the way to just sit and think and soak it all in.

On the way into Enterprise I spotted these fellows...

I filled up and having forgotten that in Oregon they need to help you swipe your credit card, I was pretty much done by the time the gas station attendant came over. *shrug*

My goal was to ride to La Grande and kick back for the night. But frankly, I was less than impressed and decided to just keep riding. A quick stop and a check of the map and I rode towards Pendelton. I don't even know why, I just thought it'd be a decent jump-off point the next day.

The ride on I-84 was a bit painful and when I saw the sign for Deadman's Pass I decided to hop off and take a look around. Mostly it was the name though.

At the rest stop I read up on some of the history of the area and then decided to explore the little road that branched off, expecting it to end at some type of viewpoint.

I soon found myself paralleling the interstate and quite happy to do so.

I decided to just follow this little road and see where it took me.

The corners were banked nicely and it was a pleasure to ride here, versus fighting the blasts from the big rigs on the super-slab.

And guess what? I ended up in Pendelton anyway. I took a ride through town and then returned to the little friendly looking motel at the edge of town.

Glad I did too. The room was nice and clean, the girl at reception helped me with where to get some supplies and got me a room where I could park the bike right outside.

I was starting to run out of band aids and went to grab some, along with food, at Safeway. The blister I'd gotten when the bikes weren't running right and I accidentally touched the exhaust was pretty nasty and I'd used up most of my band aids over the last couple of days. Long days in gloves didn't help.

I killed the idiot box after checking the weather (it was looking pretty wet for tomorrow) and finally got a chance to start reading one of the books I'd brought along.

Another great day on the road.

Preview of day 7:

-Wet and windy
-The painted hills
-Watch out you turkey!

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