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Old 07-21-2005, 11:07 AM   #1
worldrider OP
Adventure & Discovery
 
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Location: from Orange County; currently on a world ride
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WorldRider: The Journey Continues....

Hey guys. Well I'm off. To travel the world. From Top to Bottom -- Then all the way around. You can read the ongoing narrative at my website, but I'll post here in this thread occassionally to keep you lazy guys up to date on the journey. The website still has much work to go... but the writing and some of the photos are being posted. More on the trip preparation, bike, modifications and more to follow. Only can do so much in the little time I'm not enjoying the ride.

http://www.worldrider.com

Ride Safe and Enjoy It!

Allan - WorldRider
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WorldRider: Adventure & Discovery
2005 -- Journey Around The World -- 2008

'05 F650GS Dakar

My WorldRider Journey ADVrider Thread
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:08 AM   #2
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WorldRider Trip Report Starts

June 30, 2005

The countdown begins. Not that the last two years of planning, reading,
dreaming and anticipating haven't served as a slow burning fuse leading
up to d-day. But today I'm homeless. Someone strange has moved into my
house. Now this feels real.

I stood staring at the few bags and boxes sitting on my driveway. Filled
with either stuff that will be packed on my motorcycle or things
representing stragglers and fragments from closing up my life in
Southern California still needing some of my attention. A strange
feeling took over my body as I thought about my impending life over the
next couple years. Nothing I did prepared me for this. Though for the
last two years of my life I've focused on research, planning and
preparation for my journey around the world on a motorcycle.

With no home I tried to cram the remaining possessions into my car.
Those that wouldn't fit in the car I stuffed into the trunk of my old
classic Pontiac GTO. The huge cavity of this 1971 Detroit legend would
serve as a temporary storage bin until the car would find its new home
in Huntington Beach in the garage of my auto and wine enthusiast friend
Tom.

Phone is disconnected. Mail is forwarded. What am I doing?

Four days until Independence Day. No turning back. This is for real.

July 1, 2005

I don't think I'm ready. Though I've been working on this plan for more
than two years, I realize that nothing can prepare you for the dichotomy
of feelings and thoughts that run through my body. Excitement and
Anticipation and sadness and loss

I drove down the street where a new family has moved into my home. The
garage is open and packed with I don't know what. I wonder how my tenant
will fit it all into my house. As I retrieve the final items from the
trunk of my GTO.

Getting out of my house yesterday was a real fire drill. My new tenant
had to be out of his house on the 29th of June and we agreed that he
could begin moving in at noon on the 30th. Yesterday's chaos began when
Bill's (my tenant) massive Mayflower moving van rolled down the street
literally thirty seconds after another trucked picked up my storage
container from my driveway. Like a well executed just-in-time process
except that I forgot to buy a lock to secure my container. My friend
Chuck zoomed to the local hardware store and made it back just as the
driver finished securing the container to the truck platform. Sweat
dripping down my brow as I labeled a few boxes to be shipped to Northern
California where I'll regroup in a few days and make further
modifications and enhancements to my bike and packing strategy. I
cocooned my pile of boxes and bags from the stuff the movers were
bringing into my house.

July 2, 2005

Am I ready? My mind races through the long daunting list of to-dos that
put me on edge. Friends and acquaintances that catch me either on the
phone or around town grin ear to ear when they see me. "You must be so
excited!" Others say "I don't have to tell you to enjoy life "“ you're
doing it!" Some speak with envy others think I'm crazy. Truth is, I
thought I'd be excited. But the process of selling most of my
possessions, storing those I think I'll need on my return and then
handing my house keys over to a stranger increases my anxiety. Am I
ready? No way. That to do list hovers like a harbinger of doom just
waiting for me to forget an important detail.

Still to do:

Sell car Immunizations Malaria prescription and pills Carnet de passage
Pay final bills "“ hell, call utilities and tell them where to send final
bills (a tough thing for a homeless guy) Make calls "“ those voice mails
Return e-mails (386 and counting) Finish website Test pack motorcycle
And on"¦

Today this website is only a fragment of what it will be over the next
two weeks. I've had a ton of support from sponsors, friends and family.
And soon I'll post lists and detail of all of those who have supported
and encouraged me on this journey. And to all of you "“ thank you so
much. I'm excited but still much to do.

Stay tuned!

July 3rd

My final night in Southern California. I'll spend it with someone very
special. We'll have one final quiet evening and a long goodbye at The
Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel. We order room service from the fine
dining restaurant. Swim in the pool and chill in the Jacuzzi. We gaze
over the Pacific. The white water crashes on the beach. Surfers wait for
the next set. My wait is over. I can't believe that I'm leaving. It's
finally here.

Independence Day. The start of my motorcycle journey around the world.
50 countries. 50,000 miles. My journey of adventure and discovery.

July 4th

All my possessions are scattered everywhere in Angie's bedroom. Water
purification tablets over there. A mosquito net here. There's the
thermarest and the sleeping bag. Wait! Where's the tent? I know I
brought it. Is it still in the back of the GTO? Shit. Did I forget it?
Did it get packed into my storage container? I run up the stairs to the
other bedroom and rip through the closet. Ahhh. I had stashed a few more
boxes here. And there. There's no way all of this is going to fit on the
bike. I've still yet to make a tool box out of 3" PVC and attach it to
the front of the bike. This will bring more wait to the front in an
effort to maintain balance to the motorcycle.

The fireworks above Legoland are glorious. I can't help but thinking
this is for me. But as I gaze over the families, lovers and children
craning their necks to see the colorful splendor and realize that no one
here knows what I'm about to do. Would they care? Jaws would drop. But
as the fireworks red glare and burst in the air I hold Angie tight next
to me and I think about the hardest part of leaving.

Nope. I'm behind schedule. Looks like I'm leaving tomorrow or the next
day.

July 5, 2005

Attending to final business of closing up life. And then working on
packing strategy. I acquired many items in the last two weeks that I
haven't even opened. My time for the last couple weeks was focused on
moving out of my house and selling my possessions. If my motorcycle had
feelings and could express such it would feel lonely and alienated.
Though we'd be together for a long time and become quite intimate with
each other, I had hoped we'd spend more time together prior to the
journey. With only 1,750 miles on the bike our relationship is still
new. We're still testing the waters and understanding the limitations.

No this isn't my first BMW F650GS. In 2003 I bought my first dual-sport
motorcycle specifically for my journey around the world. That bike and I
spent thousands of miles getting comfortable with each other. Journeys
to Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and Mexico were test runs for the big trip.
But a slight mishap last summer and a realization that I'd be better off
with a Dakar model (beefier suspension and larger (21" vs. 19" front
wheel.) Plus the new 2005 BMW dual sport thumpers came with a dual
sparkplug engine. The fuel-injected powerplant would run smoother and
run better on lower octane fuel.

I picked up the bike from BMW of Santa Cruz County in mid-April. One
long but quick jaunt to the Phoenix area was my only true test ride with
the new bike. In one day I road over 800 miles to Al Jesse's place where
he installed the best panniers in the business.

Soon as my website takes life I'll provide a detail list with
explanation of all of the modifications to my motorcycle. You'll get a
chance to see what preparations I made to outfit the bike for a
worldwide adventure.

This website/blog will come alive over the next couple weeks as I work
with Jessica to make this happen. Just another to-do.

As dusk settles into Southern California I realize that today will not
be departure day.

July 6, 2006

I carry the panniers to the bike. Then the dry bags. Then the tank
panniers. And the tank bag. I stuff items of questionable purpose or
utility into the top box. Loose ends get stashed in the tank bag. Other
items are jammed into the pockets of my riding jacket. I gotta get out
of town. I've pushed my luck. Ready or not. All I can hope for is time
in Northern California to regroup and tweak the bike and the packing.

Riding a motorcycle is the ultimate freedom. It truly the captures the
spirit of travel and being on the road. As I pass push on through the
traffic of Los Angeles the smell of rubber on pavement, spewing diesel
and drivers holding cigarettes out there window turns to sweet sage,
onion, garlic and finally as I make it to Los Banos on the 5 freeway
toward San Jose the stench of thousands of bovine. As the sunset over
the coastal range a large flashing highway signs warns me of strong and
gusting winds on route 152 which will take me to Highway 101 to Mountain
View. My plan is to stay with my friends Ken and Robin and get an early
start the next morning. My GPS tells me only 50 minutes until I arrive
in Mountain View. But a long line of cars stacked up on the winding and
twisting Pacheco Pass forces me to halt. It's 9pm. After a few minutes
of waiting I cruise to the head of the nearly half-mile line of cars and
trucks. As ten or more fireman and policeman scurry across the pavement
it looks like a war zone. I can't recognize the car. A fireman with his
yellow coat flashing and reflecting in my fairing he brings two body
bags to the alien looking vehicle. I turn my head away and motorcycle
off. Not what I wanted to see. I felt for the families who are still
wondering why loved ones are late coming home.

The police officer tells me two people died because of a drunk driver
and advises me to take an alternate route to Mountain View. I arrive at
11:30pm.

July 7, 2005

I decide that with such a late arrival last night that I really want to
spend time with Ken and Robin before heading north. Ken and I do a bunch
of errands and he helps me figure a better packing strategy. I felt that
the bike was a little "back heavy" on the trip up. I need to shift more
weight to the front of the bike. We weigh everything I'm carrying. It's
200 lbs even. And at 155 lbs that means passenger and gear are 355 lbs.
I thought I'd carry about 150 lbs of gear. Looks like I'm a bit
overweight! To be sure, there are many items that were thrown into bags
on the bike that would be trimmed by the time I arrived in Garberville
where my good friend Johnny A is waiting for me with a few DHL packages
I shipped ahead.

July 8, 2005

I've arrived in Garberville. Johnny A lives down a dirt road and as I
navigate the rocks and ruts in his steep driveway I feel the front tire
go a bit squirrelly. I flash back to the desert training I did with
Jimmy Lewis out near Las Vegas. Riding in the sand always tenses me up
as the front wheel moves and jumps as if it has a mind of its own. Key
to handling the motorcycle in these situations is to simply maintain
speed and loosen up on the handlebars. As I descend down John's driveway
I tighten up and imagine dumping the bike on the first dirt of the trip.
Then I remind myself that less than 10% of the roads in Bolivia are
paved. Get used to it Allan.

But for me, it's the weight of the bike that has my confidence waning a
bit as I safely pull into Johnny A's place. I realize I have to trip the
50lbs and tweak packing even more.

July 9, 2005

Today I go with Johnny A and his girlfriend Kendra to pick up Sienna,
Kendra's 9-year old daughter who will return home after two-weeks at
Camp Winnarainbow. These two-weeks were the first time Sienna and her
mom have been separated for such a time since birth. Camp Winnarainbow
is a joint venture of Wavy Gravy and Patch Adams (the Dr. played by
Robin Williams in the Hollywood film of the same name). This camp is
designed to teach children to experience and participate in the
performing arts. Walking into the camp I see a dozen or so teepees,
children on unicycles, stilts, walking troubadours with guitars and
faces painted as clowns. Older kids greet us with "Welcome To The
Future". We watch an amazing show where the talented youngsters juggle,
sing, dance, perform poetry, act and perform music. If I had a kid, I
would definitely send them here. Very cool.

My motorcycle is safely tucked away and unpacked in Johnny A's garage. A
box of Touratech parts awaits my attention and will have to wait until
Monday to be installed.

All is well in Northern California. Now I can truly regroup and work on
the next phase of my adventure. In a few days I'll head through Oregon,
Washington, Vancouver Island and then on to Alaska.
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WorldRider: Adventure & Discovery
2005 -- Journey Around The World -- 2008

'05 F650GS Dakar

My WorldRider Journey ADVrider Thread

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Old 07-21-2005, 11:35 AM   #3
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Later,
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:07 PM   #4
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hell yeah, rock on
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Old 07-21-2005, 03:18 PM   #5
ridin gaijin
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Looking forward to hearing about the weeks and months ahead...How do you figure out what to budget for something like this? And why do you need 200 (or 150) pounds of stuff?
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Old 07-21-2005, 04:17 PM   #6
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Go Allan Go....!

GO ALLAN GO........!

Good to hear that you have embarked on this great adventure.

You may recall, you and I had a long phone conversation a few months ago. I was responding to your letter requesting information on Turkey for your trip. I sent you an e-mail and some printed material too. I wonder if you received it, although I understand things must be a little `busy` before one sets off on a trip like yours. If necessary I’ll just re-send (e-mail) before it is time to travel in Turkey.

Post frequently and have a great trip.


Murat
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:56 AM   #7
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Budget for this trip? I don't really know. I read a lot of others who've done long trips. Chris and Erin, for example. Figured what kinda nut I could handle and trying to stay within those means. I'm keeping track of every detail so tune in and as the months pass I'll have a good idea of what things are costing and where I sit on the budget.

Strommer - Of course I remember, I got your email and your package in the mail and been meaning to get back to you. Thanks so much!!! While Turkey is a year away, I've got your stuff with my friend John who will forward me regional information as I get closer to the "next phase". I hope to catch up with you off line! My time in DC was only 2 1/2 days, and booked with family. Hope all is well and maybe we'll connect soon.
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WorldRider: Adventure & Discovery
2005 -- Journey Around The World -- 2008

'05 F650GS Dakar

My WorldRider Journey ADVrider Thread
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:58 AM   #8
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Long Goodbyes... On The Road Again

Long goodbyes. You know the kind. There's always something to be said, a hug to share or a bit of sage advice your bound to give or receive when you leave someone.j Whether you're heading to the grocery store, back home or around the world. As my possession slowly transformed from loose belongings strewn around John's garage, house and office to neatly packed modules on my motorcycle we all realized my days were numbered and I'd soon have to depart Southern Humboldt to do what I set out nearly two weeks to do -- travel the world: from top to bottom, then all the way around.

Since arriving in the gateway to the Los Coast and the King Range, nostalgic stories and new material were shared each day among friends. And while many empty bottles of wine piled up, I made serious progress in my motorcycle "shake down". That is, tweak my packing, eliminate unecessary stuff. Leaving Southern California was so fast that I didn't really have time to pack and do test runs. Keep in mind, this is a new bike, too. I barely put 2000 miles on it before leaving on my journey of adventure and discovery.

The F650GS Dakar differs from the standard BMW F650GS in two ways. First, it has a larger front wheel -- 21" instead of 19" on the standard. Second, the suspension is stronger and the bike sits higher offering the adventure or doff-road rider much more travel in the rear shock. Another minor difference is the Dakar model doesn't come with a center stand. This makes routine maintenance more difficult, especially on the road. But I took care of that by installing a Touratech center stand. This is just one of many modifications I've made to the bike in prepping it for the journey. Soon as I spend more time on the road and have idle evenings to contemplate the journey behind and ahead, I'll add content to this blog with full detail of my modifications and my experiences -- for those motorcycle adventurers, I think you'll find great information. For the rest of you, you can see just how much work goes into getting equipment and gear ready for travel in the unknown

The sun seemed a bit higher and glaring at me through the skylights this morning when I slowly woke. Oh my god! Ten O'clock! So much for an early start. After a long wake up shower I examined the bike. Still a few loose items that I forgot to pack. I throw them in the top case for lack of a better strategy. Today is d-day number two! Got to move on. John and I have lunch in Garberville where two motorcyclists, one on a BMW 1200RT and the other a Suzuki V-Strom. As they ask about worldrider I learn they're from Vancouver and are headed that way. Me? I thought I was leaving but in the middle of lunch realized that I left something at John's.

So one more time on a fully loaded bike I venture up, then down his steep, dirt and gravel driveway. Then back up. I'm just about to touch my front tire on the tarmac of a nice smooth, twisty and fun road when I realize, "SHIT" I left my earplugs on John's table. You know the drill: one more time on a fully loaded bike I venture up, then down his steep, dirt and gravel driveway. Then back up. Practice makes perfect.

A glorious ride through the magnificent coastal redwood forests. I ride through the Avenue of the Giants which winds through thousand year old twenty and thirty feet wide redwoods. Grove after grove of soaring giants. Large stumps and fallen trunks reveal their massive girth and craning my neck as I twist, turn and test my bike through these tame but exciting roads. All systems check. Feels good.

From just north of Crescent City, California I hopped on route 199 which whisks and winds along the Middle Fork of the Smith River, perhaps the only major river system in California that isn't damned. Though laden with 150lbs + of gear the bike handled nicely through each traffic free twist and turn. One thing about the 21" front wheel of the Dakar is that due to the changed geometry of the bike it seems a bit clumsy on these roads compared to my old GS. But for what is clumsy here today will reward me with the potholed and dirt roads of Mexico, South America and beyond.

Perhaps beyond the great redwood trees my biggest treat today was riding along the Siskiyou Gorge with its steep polish walls falling into the tame river below. I crossed the California border into Oregon about 7pm today and found a resting stop here in Grants Pass, Oregon about an hour from the border.

While this is beautiful camping country, tonight it's this hotel with free wireless high-speed internet access. And how long do I think THESE opportunities will last? I guess take advantage while you can.
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WorldRider: Adventure & Discovery
2005 -- Journey Around The World -- 2008

'05 F650GS Dakar

My WorldRider Journey ADVrider Thread
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:02 AM   #9
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Weighing In On Weight

150lbs? Well, I haven't weighed in on my latest weight reduction. But I'm carrying a laptop, some serious camera and video gear (shooting a documentary) and have a handful of spares that might come in handy. Then there's a tent and trimmed down campaing gear. The weight includes the weight of the Jesse bags, BMW top box and gear bags...
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WorldRider: Adventure & Discovery
2005 -- Journey Around The World -- 2008

'05 F650GS Dakar

My WorldRider Journey ADVrider Thread
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:07 PM   #10
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Fishing For Crater Lake

Fishing for Crater Lake



When one think of travel perhaps the feeling of letting go, freeing up your mind and the ultimate temporary relief of stress. Unless you travel for business, of course. But I'm talking about vacation. It's vacation time that stirs wanderlust in the minds of most of us. For some this might be umbrella drinks on some tropical beach, for others it might be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, mountain climbing or fishing. No matter your escape, it should give you peace from the speed of everyday life.

Unless you lose your wallet.

I woke up in Grants Pass and followed my continually improving process of packing my stuff, loading the bike and moving on to the next destination. Before leaving my room I run through my list like an airline pilot preparing to take off: chain lube ready, tie-down straps, luggage compartmentalized, GPS ready, camera, phone, dummy wallet... but wait. "Where's my wallet." I race through my room looking under the beds, in drawers, in the bathroom. Then I panic. I look in the shower, the trash cans and behind the dresser. Panic more. I empty out all of my luggage when fear sends a cold chill through my body. I feared the wallet fell out of my riding jacket after I paid for take out food the night before. I even pull my laptop out of the pannier and log into my bank fearing someone on Grants Pass Wal-Mart shopping spree.

Then I pulled back the bed spread. Sitting still and smiling in its full glory was my wallet.

Winding along the Rogue River the road to Crater Lake gently winds and climbs toward the five mile lake that sits inside a crater left by the tremendous volcanic eruption that sent the top of Mount Mazuma soaring into the sky nearly 8,000 years ago.

In many places the road is under construction. Rather, the road is gone. I humor myself as I skirt along the sand and gravel sucking the dust from some SUV with kids watching DVDs in the back seat thinking that I've got 400 miles of this type of road from North of Fairbanks, Alaska to Prudhoe Bay -- except the road even as dirt won't be in this good shape. In a quarter mile I'm back on pavement. This happens several times as I climb to 7,000 feet to Rim Village.

It costs automobiles $10 to enter this National Park. As I approach the entrance station I contemplate the annual park pass. AT $50 it gives you unlimited access to every national park in the country. So I do the math. Olympia, Denali, Glacier, Zion, Bryce and the others I can't remember. Perhaps I should get it. My thumb clicks the red switch on the handlebars and the 650cc engine comes to a numbing stop.

β€œThat'll be $5 please."

I'm thrown for a loop. What? My math goes haywire, I don't have time to think and as I pull an Abe out of my wallet I ask here "Is it $5 for motorcycles." She nods. "Is that the same for all National Parks?"

"I know it's for this one," as she hands me leaflets and a newsletter that I can't really take, "I don't know about other parks." The engine rumbles to a start and I pull away confused.






"Sure you can swim," quipped the woman Ranger with the gold tooth, "it's 38 degrees." And if the temperature doesn't scare you the climb down to the lake will. Peering over the edge of crater you watch the caldera drop 1,900 feet steep and fast. There's only one trail down to the lake. "Every year someone has a problem. So know your physical condition and take it easy."

"And if you like to fish," she asserts as her long fingers fix the brim of her hat to shade the sun from her brown eyes, "we encourage you to do so. Fish all the fish out of this lake. They're not indigenous you know." She explains that the Park Service stocked the lake before they knew anything about managing parks. Today they know better. So she says.

A crowd gathers near my motorcycle. Some bikers. Others merely quenching their curiosity. "How much fuel does it carry?" "How long you been traveling?" "Where you going now?"

I spend 20 minutes chatting with friendly people from Maryland to Vancouver and many places in between. I guess I ask for it. The WorldRider decals on my panniers hint to my ambitious endeavor.

I've been to Crater Lake once before when 20 foot high snow drifts blocked views to the lake. I had to walk down a 30 foot snow tunnel and pear through a small window to get a glimpse of this incredible sight.

This time I get to ride around the rim of the volcano. What amazes me the most is how many pull offs at this park that are unencumbered by unsightly guard rails or ill placed rocks. I pull over at one wayside and the pavement ends abruptly like a horizon pool at some high end resort. I peer down the cliff when rush of vertigo takes over and I think to myself, Gee... horizon pool or Crater Lake? Looks like Crater Lake wins.






A couple hours later after a ride through the high desert I land in Bend, Oregon. Tomorrow? Sisters, Mt. Bachelor or ??? We'll see.
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WorldRider: Adventure & Discovery
2005 -- Journey Around The World -- 2008

'05 F650GS Dakar

My WorldRider Journey ADVrider Thread
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Old 07-25-2005, 07:19 PM   #11
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Where The Pavement Ends

Where The Pavement Ends

"You must be the bravest man in Oregon," he said to me after pulling off my helmet.

"Huh?" I ripped the earplugs from my ears.

"You must be the bravest man in Oregon," he repeated as his wife and another elderly couple walked toward me.

"Oh really. Why's that?" I asked flattered but confused and wondering did I do something crazy on the road that these folks saw earlier, or even yesterday?

"To come up that road on this," he said pointing to my motorcycle, "didn't you see the sheer drop offs and cliffs?" Using his hand in a stiff karate pose moved it down from his chest down to his knee. "And all that dirt and gravel... weren't you scared?"

I felt like I was talking with my grandparents as the two couples billowed with a verbal stew of excitement and concern. "It was a little sketchy at times," I acknowledged, "but it's going down that really scares me."

They laughed and then hopped in their SUV and headed down the 5 mile road that brought me here. I sat atop Paulina Peak which sits high above the caldera of the Newberry Crater just 30 miles North of Bend. Part of the Newberry National Monument, a 500 square mile preserve of exciting volcano created natural wonders including Lava Butte, Lava River Cave, Lava Cast Forest and two lakes sitting in the crater of the Newberry Volcano, Paulina Lake and East Lake.

Like many of its famous brethren Mt. St. Helens, Crater lake, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Hood and more, Newberry Volcano sits in the Cascade range. More than 7,000 years ago this area was a hotbed of volcanic activity. While at one time there may have been one lake as Crater Lake, but today Newberry Volcano has two lakes separated by pumice and lava.





Sitting atop Paulina Peak I gaze into the rich blue lakes, watch eagles soar and cast my eyes upon the jewels of the Cascades. From here I can see Mt. Batchelor, the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, and even Mt. Hood more than 100 miles north. These snowcapped beauties stand proudly above the Oregon plains and valleys.

While not paved, the road to Paulina Peak is in good condition and offers amazing views as it ascends to the top of the world. But as my elderly friends cautioned, don't let the beauty distract you from the road. It's a big drop. And the winding and switch-backed road requires intense concentration or it's only one car wide -- and there are some very wide cars in Oregon.


As magic lighting hour occurs (5-7 pm) I ride through forests of Ponderosa Pines where the sunlight causes the golden amber bark to glow amongst the non-descript pines that surround these beauties. I finally make it to The Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway (I think this was originally called the Cascade Lakes Highway, but things change). It's a nearly 70-mile ride along the Cascade Mountains passing through forest of pine and ponderosa and 6-7 lakes and a plethora of hiking trails.






I come winding around a swooping corner when I spot an elk casually trot across the highway. Later I cruise up a dirt road to a trail head where the sound of my engine through the excellent Adventure Pipe exhaust scares another elk into the woods.

I would have liked to camp by one of these lakes but my lake of preparation has left me without food so I continue along the highway pass Mt. Bachelor and Sparks Lake and into Bend where I find a cheap motel and relish the memory of this beautiful ride.

With less than 70,000 people, Bend, Oregon impresses me with its cozy downtown district, central Mirror Lake area where rafters float and families fix dinners and picnics and lovers walk hand in hand along the winding Deschutes River. Nice restaurants, unique boutiques and galleries and outdoor cafes create an ambiance often obliterated in small towns by development gone out of control and big box disease. I'm excited to stay one more night here.
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:42 PM   #12
Makalu
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Hi Allan. I'm looking forward to following your adventure. I met you briefly as you were leaving the BMW shop in Eugene, Oregon. (I was getting out of the green Suburban).

Keep safe and God's speed.

Bill
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Old 07-25-2005, 10:07 PM   #13
761
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Congratulations and good luck!

Congratulations and good luck!
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Old 07-26-2005, 04:11 PM   #14
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The Not So Secret Handshake


The Not So Secret Handshake

There are no dues, no terms and conditions, no regular or formal meetings but when you ride a motorcycle you join a club, a fraternal organization of men, women, boys and girls who share only one common activity - they ride a motorcycle. Don't get me wrong. ONe doesn't have to OWN a motorcycle to be in this club. No, one merely needs to ride a motorcycle. You could be a member for one day or a lifetime.

While there are no club rules, each member share a common decency to treat each other with respect regardless of the type or model motorcycle he or she might own. And when a motorcycle ride comes to a pit stop, food break or a call it a day stop at a hotel, campground or wayby one can expect gentle nods of acknowledgement, scanning eyes over the motorcycle or a simple exchange of pleasantries.

But the real acknowledgement and recognition of a club member comes when riding the great roads and trails of our world. If you've never ridden a motorcycle you likely won't understand this, but for riders you know and have your way. And while this acknowledgement occurs less in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day city or suburban utilitarian riding, it still is an innate behavior practiced by virtually every rider I've encountered.

I"d have to say it's the club's official and not so secret handshake.

It can catch you by surprise if you're concentrating on your riding or when your mind wanders and eyes take in the scenery. But as the motorcycle approaches from the opposite direction and you speed toward the rider, as the two of you pass you can expect to receive and reciprocate a gentle wave of acknowledgment.

This wave, or virtual handshake comes in all sizes, shapes and flavors. And as I've been riding the last 1,600 miles I've kept a mental inventory of the different types of waves.

For some, the rider simply lifts his left hand off the handlebar and with full 90 degree extension and palm facing toward you. As you pass, the rider rests the hand back to his handlebars. Others can be more creative. There's the low wave usually practiced by cruisers where the riders hand drops from the handle bars and extends at a 45 degree angle. A nice variation of the cruiser wave is the subtle piece signed made by the gloved hand of that rider.

Keep in mind these subtle handlebar releases and hand motions happen at all speeds and all driving conditions. Yesterday a rider on a zooming sport bike rounding a nice banked decreasing radius turn swathed in bright red leathers and fully decorated racing style helmet lifted his hand, bent his arm at the elbow and gave me a wave that would have made the Queen of England jealous.

I personally like the "I'm going to acknowledge I'm in the club but remain cool wave" I notice often. That is, the rider simple raises his hand off his handle bar about six to ten inches and then slowly and surely drops it back. Two up riders must have their own code of handshake or wave acknowledgement Sometimes the rider does the work. While others it's simply the passenger. But pay dirt happens when you get the double whammy -- both riders extend there hands and give it to you.

Keep in mind there's no training or induction into this club. You'll simply develop your own style of wave as you gain more experience riding. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation doesn't tell you how. And I'm sure the Harley Owners Group (HOG) doesn't offer a pictorial of styles in its magazine. One thing is for sure, the mutual admiration, respect and feeling of belonging is part of the motorcycle riders pride. Perhaps no other group, whether its motor vehicle owners, sports fans, collectors or hobbyist share and experience this feeling in such a random and offhand manner.

For me, I've got a few styles and mix them up depending on how I'm feeling at the time. You might get a peace sign, a two finger scouts honor type of gesture or a gentle lift of the and coordinated with a subtle nod of my helmet.

Hope to see you on the road. Tell me your style. And welcome to the club!
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Old 07-26-2005, 04:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makalu
Hi Allan. I'm looking forward to following your adventure. I met you briefly as you were leaving the BMW shop in Eugene, Oregon. (I was getting out of the green Suburban).

Keep safe and God's speed.

Bill

Bill - I remember you. Thanks for dropping a note. I truly enjoyed meeting you and chatting about bikes and journey's. Tune in. It's going to get better. I love your state and soon will have more posted on my experiences there... stay happy, ride safe and smile!

/allan
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