Talking to myself some more.
Made my run up to Post Falls, Idaho yesterday. Only "trip" photos I have at this point are this one, which is the bike packed and ready to go from the day before.
...and another one which is still on my camera and can't be transferred to a computer until I get home. Forgot to bring the usb cable with me. Oops. It's just as well, though, because I think it's a crappy photo taken when there still wasn't enough light for my stone aged digi-cam. I'll upload it when I get home along with anything else I take this week.
Perhaps I should do a bit of a report on the ride itself despite not being able to provide any real photo illustration.
Didn't sleep a whole lot the night before, maybe three hours. Was going to get an early start because I had a long day planned. I'd decided to do the whole journey from Grants Pass to Post Falls in one shot. My route was 685 miles because I wanted to a minimal amount of travel on the freeway (to that end, I was successful). So I was awake by 3am and was on the road by 4:45am. The weather report wasn't exactly what I wanted for my trip. Rain was on the schedule for the day for Southern Oregon so I tried to get out of there before the rain began. Didn't quite succeed so I was glad that I wore my rain pants. The first hour or so of my trip was dry.
I started to get rained on when I was near Crater Lake. By the time I got to my first gas stop in Chemult on US97 I'd been getting rained on steadily for an hour. Was a little chilly due to being early in the morning still, but I was layered properly so no big deal. Stopped at Gordy's Truck Stop in La Pine, OR to get a cup of coffee and some breakfast. I walked in looking like a drowned rat on the outside. Got all kinds of funny looks from people because they saw I had a helmet in my hand. It was as if all these folks were thinking "What is that idiot doing, riding a motorcycle in this rain!" I actually kind of enjoy it. After I ate my rather substantial breakfast of kielbasa, eggs and hash browns I was back on the road. Rain didn't let up until I was just north of Redmond.
Rode up US97 until I got to I-84 at Biggs Junction. Stretched my legs, made a couple phone calls to let people that cared know where I was at and when I'd be arriving at my final destination. This was the last time I stopped for more than gasoline. This is where I'll interject some commentary that I'm sure some people here are familiar with.
The 685 miles I rode on Sunday didn't have to be done all at once. It wasn't like I was trying to get half way across the country as quick as possible. I have a week for this trip so I could have been one lollygagging son-of-a-bitch. But, for some strange reason I wanted to bust out the miles in one go just to do it. Until yesterday I had never gone that far by motorcycle. I'm no stranger to doing long days on the road due to being a former long haul trucker. However, there is a difference between a cozy Class 8 truck and a small cruiser motorcycle. Speaking of that small motorcycle, the seat on that damn thing is HORRIBLE. I mean FUCKING HORRIBLE. If anybody wanted to torture me for information, forget water boarding. Just put me on stock Suzuki S40 saddle and keep me there for two hours. I'll tell you anything you want to know, just make it end. An aftermarket saddle like a Corbin has just made it to the top of the list of things to buy. In fact, if I could afford it right now and could have one delivered to Post Falls NOW I would do so before my return trip. But, since I can't I'll make due. Think I'm going to scour some stores here and find a temporary solution before I head back down south.
Anyway, back to the point about the long day..... Going into "terminator driver" mode sapped some of the fun out of the trip. Was so focused on just getting where I was going that I didn't stop to smell the roses. Passed some things that would have been cool to look at and snap some photos of. Missed opportunities to chat with people because I was too focused on ensuring my wheels kept turning. Meh. I won't be repeating that mistake on the way back. I think a part of my brain somehow made me think I was trying to get a load of consumer goods to its destination rather than just being on a motorcycle ride.
Other aspects of the ride were good though. Saw some beautiful scenery and had plenty of time to think about stuff. Enjoyed the short time I got to watch a crop duster do his thing over some rolling hills. My little thumper performed flawlessly, though I did almost have a spill on a detour I had to take around a crash scene. Was off road and there was some sand I had to ride through. Front tire almost washed out once but I kept it shiny side up. As the saying goes, when in doubt...throttle out. Something I wouldn't have known were it not for reading a lot here at ADV.
The rest of my route from Biggs Junction was about 50 miles of I-84 where I picked up highway 730 through Umatilla, OR and then highway 12 to Lewiston, ID and then 95N to Post Falls. Speaking of Lewiston, I've been there before and I'd forgotten how much that town stinks due to the nearby paper mill. Always smells like rotten cabbage.
I had also forgotten that Idaho is a helmet optional state, so when I saw some lidless riders it caused me to do a double take. One fellow rider did keep me from getting nabbed by one of Idaho's finest revenue collectors. Was coming into a small town on 95 and hadn't quite slowed down to the requested 45mph. A chrome domed lidless rider patted his head as he went by me in the opposite direction. At first I thought "yeah, no shit I have a helmet on, don't care if it's ok to not have one here". Then I realized what he REALLY meant and looked ahead and saw the ISP patrol car parked on the side of the road. Got my ass down to 45 in a subtle fashion and played innocent. Someone about 1/4 mile behind me didn't do the same and got reeled in instead.
It's raining today and I'm in "recover" mode after my marathon ride yesterday. Have plans within the next day or so to head over to Montana for a day to see some things. Playing the rest of my week by ear until it's time to head home on Sunday. Also spending quality time with some family I haven't seen for a while, including my grandmother who turns 90 this year.
Oh, also got a good phone call this morning that I'd been hoping for. Got a job I interviewed for the other week. Happy day.