Although my efforts to find a suitable riding partner failed I decided to go anyway. A lot of things were in my favor. I knew people halfway along the route so I could stop off with friends and visit. I had sent a whole heck of a lot of PM's to the attendees for Dust 2 Dawson and got some extra offers of help once I was in Alaska and I was determined to do a trip this year.
Normally I fly to Bulgaria where I have an F650 Funduro stored and tour there but I just didn't have it in me this year. It's a lot of hassle and work. Packing for a journey of this kind is already difficult in that it takes weeks of preparation on top of researching the route itself, the roads, the weather patterns. A friend suggested Alaska and the idea took off.
As Mario and I pulled out of Lassen campground and fueled up, I was beginning to feel anxious. I would experience this a few times over the next week. Thoughts of "what am I thinking" kept rattling around in my head. Women are wired differently. Sure we seek adventure (I've toured over 20 countries by motorcycle over the past 5 years) but doing it alone is daunting. "What if" was constantly cycling though my head. I realize now looking back that it was merely a fall out from last year's ride. 14 countries, 10,000+ miles, 30 days. We had 3 weeks of bad weather and I rode one of those solo and came upon some difficulties that I could have done without.
But back to the fun stuff! Mario made his turn and I continued on solo towards Crater Lake. The plan was to go through Klamath Falls (there aren't actually any falls there...)
Mt Shasta followed me all the way. 89 North > 299 NE > 139 North through Modoc National Forest > 39 North
First it was Northwest of me, then West, then South were I stopped to take these photos.
Got to Klamath where I would stop for lunch and let the attendant at the gas station hand me the gas pump because well it's too dangerous for me to do that myself. Found a BBQ place called Wubba's and ordered some great ribs and contemplated my options for that night.
Within minutes another motorcycle pulled up and parked next to me. There is an unspoken code when it comes to riding; one of those is that we trust each other to find good BBQ. In fact, it was so delicious, I had the leftovers for dinner over my campfire that night (in bear country) and stopped here on July 3rd on my way back.
I wove my way through beautiful lands and saw plenty of horses grazing. This foal and mother were fun to watch.
Shortly after seeing them I arrived at the south entrance to Crater Lake via the 97 North > 62 North.
Interesting formations from the volcanic history.
And then I arrived at my campsite. When I stopped at the entrance to pay my half price admission fee and flipped up my visor, I was accosted by a swarm of mosquitoes. A few minutes later as I pulled up to the office to check in and pay for a site, it was even worse. It became even more interesting when the ladies at the office explained that only 3 of the 10 sites were even open due to large amounts of snow still left on the ground.
As I rode around trying to choose my site and finding only 2 other people (both in RV's) thoughts of the vehement warnings by the ladies at check in of the 'extremely' active bear country I would be in plagued me.
They had me so paranoid that I put everything, and I mean everything in the bear cabinet. I made a fire as it was plenty chilly and got read the riot act by the patrol which happened to come by during the 1 minute I stepped away from the campsite (and active fire) to pee.
Even the water was cloudy and murky from being so cold....so I filled what my boyfriend calls my "old lady hot water bottle" and went to bed with a bear can spray and 1 million volt stun gun and just hoped that things would be all right. At least, I thought, I can piss off any bear enough that it won't play with it's "food". Me.