When I met F almost six years ago, he didn’t own a car and instead did his traveling in a U-Haul that housed not one but rather three motorcycles in the back. As early as our second date he tried to teach me to ride—I would like to tell you all that I tried hard but really I just wanted to ride a circle to prove I could before I crashed and embarrassed myself. Over the years, I’ve putted around in a circle a couple of times but I really failed at actually trying.
Once we learned about the riding area at Santiam Pass and how it has a lot of easy trails, we planned a camping and riding adventure with friends. We borrowed a bike from a friend and I finally committed to giving riding a try. F and I headed up Friday after work and spent the evening hiding from the awful mosquitoes but were able to find a campsite right on an easy trail with an amazing view of Mt. Washington that we climbed back in 2009. I spent Saturday morning riding around in circles getting more proficient at using the clutch and turning around the islands in the camping area. Actually, the best thing that happened to me was crashing in the sand—I’d always secretly harbored the idea that if I crashed I would, with absolute certainty, break my leg.
The rest of Saturday and Sunday were spent alternately riding and relaxing in camp. I steadily improved and I was meeting the “crash at least once an hour or you’re not improving quota.”
The rest of the photos are courtesy F and the GoPro:
After reading Obsessions Die Hard, I read MotoRaid by Keith Thye. MotoRaid recounts the story of Thye’s adventure riding from Oregon to Chile in the 1960s with his friend Dave. Thye’s writing style is pretty minimalistic (which might be related to the book being published quite after the adventure) but the story of two young men heading out to South America is quite entertaining.
Along their route, the Keith and Dave face bad roads, food poisoning, and rainstorms. They make friends with local residents and visited sites like Machu Pichu. They took a “road” leading from La Paz, Bolivia hoping to end up in Chile but ended up re-entering Peru illegally. They finished their southbound journey in Pucón, Chile where the residents threw a raucous party in their honor.
I was honestly a bit surprised at how hard MotoRaid was to put down. I think it only took me two sittings to finish it. If you’re interested in adventure travel stories (motorized or not!) check this out for a good read.
It’s been a long time since we had a motorcycle we could comfortably ride 2Up but we recently purchased a Honda ST1300. Last week, it was time to take the bike out for a little spin. First, we headed south through Dolores along Highway 145. Although the fall colors had mostly faded in Ridgway, out towards Telluride they were much more vibrant:
Before I knew it, it was like old times and I was taking pictures off the back of the bike.
We rode down to Chinle, Arizona through Four Corners and came back through the Chuska Mountains on the Arizona-New Mexico border. It was a really beautiful area!
Joking aside, some of F riding buddies from Phoenix came up to Moab to do some riding and we were able to be there and meet up with them. The guys covered a lot of ground in their two days of riding: Slickrock Trail, Fins N’ Things, Rose Garden Hill, Top of the World, Chicken Corners, Kane Creek, and more.
All photos courtesy of the guys over on ADV Rider.
The morning after our Picketpost hike, we went on an adventure with a group of dirt bike riders Forrest found via ADV Rider. I don’t ride motorcycles but Forrest arranged for me to have a seat in one of the side-by-sides along for the ride.
Forrest really enjoyed being back on the bike and we both really liked seeing more of the area. It looked like there was tons of exploring to be done out there!
Thanks so much to everyone for being so welcoming! We both had a really great time.
The run was awesome—I glanced down at my watch as we passed the 5K turnaround just before entering the portal and we were making awesome time. Once we entered the canyon though, neither of us were particularly worried about our time and the scenery left nothing to be desired. As we neared the end of the race, I was feeling awesome. With about four blocks to go, Jolleen encouraged me to push on ahead. I crossed the finish line in 54:34 (8:48 min/mi!); a PR for me!.
After we took some post race pictures, we headed to Danette’s to borrow her truck so we could pick up the tables and chairs. (We also picked up her daughter Robin who was a huge huge help.) A few quick stops later (at the rental company, at a friends for a crockpot, and at the grocery store for bread) we were cruising down the river road ready for a wedding.
While Jolleen and I were running, F, Ezra, Skye, and Jason were out motorcycle riding at Slickrock. F: “Ezra rocked it. Skye hauled ass. Jason beat the crap out of his poor Reflex. It was awesome.”
As a rule, F and I do not have lazy weekends. (I’m lucky if he lets me sleep in until 7!) The plan last weekend was to finish siding the house and that didn’t even come close to happening.
We got back down to the house Saturday morning at about 9 and sort of thought about getting to work on the house and then just didn’t. Instead, Forrest and I took a motorcycle ride. And then we went to bed early.
Sunday, we meant to get to work on the siding again. Instead, we lazed around the house all day alternately discussing wedding ideas, calling friends, and just chilling out. (Forrest: “Wedding planning is kind of fun.” Also, post wedding activities were planned that included climbing a 12,700′ mountain.) We did manage to go for a quad ride with some friends to BBQ some bear sausage at the cabin for dinner before heading back to town.
Back to work for four days…going to Oregon to pick up (another) stove this weekend but I think we’re going to get in some hiking and even a little beer tasting!
Forrest left me to douse the fire and read Ghost Rider while he went for a real ride. Sprocket and I pretty much took the day easy as I couldn’t drag him out of the cool cabin and I couldn’t put down the book.
Forrest went riding with Rick and friends. “It was fun. It was 160 miles of dirt all mixed up.” In the evening, Roxanne made a fabulous BBQ dinner with pasta salad, chicken, and corn on the cob. Everything was fantastic! Forrest and I headed back up to the cabin later and packed the jeep to move on to the Blue Ridge Parkway!
We finally drug ourselves out of bed at 8:30 and headed into Maryville so I could go to the library to use internet and a printer to get some job applications out. We also hit up Home Depot for a few odds and ends to help Rick spruce up the little cabin on the hill.
Back at the house, F helped Rick and Alex with valve adjusts on their bikes. It wasn’t long before the guys took off on a ride (Forrest says, “Zoom, zoom, zoom.” He got to ride the new GasGas 450). I stayed at the house to look for more job openings–and I baked an apple pie. By the time the guys got back, it was getting late. We relaxed on the front porch with leftovers for dinner, followed by coffee, and finally pie.