Days Four and Five – Bend, Oregon
The weather forecast was for rain, the first of the trip. The slight mist that was falling didn’t worry me, but the ominous clouds to the east did. My friend Kevin lives in Bend and was flying in that morning. I would start out in Eugene and we would meet there around noon. I battened [...]
The weather forecast was for rain, the first of the trip. The slight mist that was falling didn’t worry me, but the ominous clouds to the east did.
I needn’t have worried. The small amount of water that did reach me around the fairing didn’t last long in the windblast. Eastbound 126 meanders through several small towns and rural areas, making for a low key ride. After turning into 20 south into bend I stopped to stretch and walked into a large hillside that had recently been burned. It was great to see the forest floor covered with health new growth amongst the older dead trees.
I rolled into town and helped a good coffee shop, Thump. As if we had planned it, Kevin pulls up on his motorcycle. We had some great coffee and headed to his place on the outskirts of town. It was down a two mile first road and the Yamaha did a great job for such a heavy bike.
Kevin has a very capable 4×4 and he took me to Tumalo State Park off road and then to the falls.
For afters we had a nice bourbon at McMenamins, a really cool food, entertainment and drinking compound in an old reconditioned catholic school.
The next morning we went to Smith Rocks national park, an awe inspiring rock formation west of Bend. We did a loop of the rocks, about a three mile hike.
When we got back to the property, Kevin let me ride a friend’s dirt bike. It was the first time I had ridden off road and the sensation of have both wheels constantly loosing and regaining traction was unnerving to say the least. On a street bike this feeling usually precedes a crash. Learning to be ok with sliding one or both ends of the bike was really challenging, and I only did it a little bit, but it was really fun and rewarding. Unfortunately, no pics of the ride. Tomorrow,the ride to Seattle and two amazing mountains, Mt. Hood and St. Helen’s.