The day started off slower than I had hoped, as I was dragging after not sleeping that great.  However, today also starts my week of vacation, so I’m taking the good with the bad.  I finally got motivating around 8ish, showered, and took the truck to get some “Sammy’s Scramble” from ol’ Reedville Cafe and paid my tithing’s to the Church of Starbucks with a Grande Iced Mocha.  I got back home, finished up my homework for CIS 120, and started packing up the bike.

You never really know what you’ll need on a motorcycle trip, and likely if you break down, the one thing you didn’t bring is the one thing you’ll need.  As it was, I made sure to bring Duct Tape, which meant that 90% of the ills that could befall me would likely be fixable.  (As Red Green says: “If they don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy”). Topped off the oil in the FJR, aired up the tires (32.5 for the G019 in the rear and 38PSI for the Metzler in front).  One last stop for gas, and finally off at 10:30am Saturday, August 13th of 2011…bound for Prineville, Oregon by way of Detroit Lake.

Start

 

Hwy 26 to 217, then down I-5…It’s overcast and fairly gloomy….certainly not weather to be excited about…but at least it’s not raining…so I’m taking the good with the bad:

As I drone along the super slab of I-5 my mind starts to wander… I have a friend at work that makes the trip up and down I-5 from Salem to Hillsboro and back every week day.  “Holy crap!” “That would drive me insane.  This is the most boring hour of my life ever!”  Props to his resolve, though I’m quite certain the only thing holding together his tenuous grasp on sanity is his gargantuan collection of mp3’s, and his ability to get lost in the music.

I really can’t imagine life without music… the way it can transport you somewhere else, and though time ticks past at the same pace, it’s passing is so much more tolerable with some good tunes.  As my iPod flips to the next track, the random electronica techno dub mix piping into my brain grabs a hold of me, and I’m dodging cars, and making passes, keeping an eye on my speed, and a lookout for speed traps, as though I were in some real life video game…blissfully removed from the utter boredom that is the remainder of I-5 to Salem.

I get off I-5 at Salem and switch over to Hwy 22.  The FJR is doing good, but the weather is still lackluster at Stayton:

 

Yet it is amazing the transformation that occurs with just a bit more time and a few more miles… As I hit Detroit Lake around 12:30, the sky opens up into a glorious pale blue, dotted here and there with fluffy cotton balls of white and silver, gently cradling a great golden orb:

 

 

After taking a couple pictures, downing a bottle of water and a Luna bar, and a quick gas top off I’m cruisin’ again.  Down 22 to 20 into Sisters, Oregon I’m loving the twisties!  The weather is phenomenal, the iPod is laying down some nice tracks, and Saturday traffic is nothing but fodder for the FJR’s 1300cc motor.  Passes are clean, legal and effortless, as I drop into 3rd, flick the blinker to the left and twist the grip.  Before I can count to 1 I’m flipping the blinker to the right, off the throttle and relaxing into 4th gear again.  The road is in decent shape, and the corners, while not technical, are at least engaging enough to keep it interesting as the bike effortlessly eats up the miles.

The countryside is beautiful and sometimes breathtaking:  You’ll be riding along an asphalt corridor amongst these semi-dessert trees, then a snow capped mountain will peek out over the top, glistening the brightest white you’ve ever seen as the Sun’s rays are bounced off last Winter’s lingering snowpack.

Sisters, Oregon is a stark contrast to the beautiful countryside, jam packed with shops and stores and overweight Oregonians waddling here and there with their ice creams and sodas, trying to decide what to next spend their money on.  The town really reminds me of one huge outlet strip mall…so totally out of place out here in the middle of nowhere.  On through Redmond which while generally unremarkable, was at least a proper central Oregon town and even had a hot rod show going on, which was cool to see as I rode through.  Finally, after a bit more “Pass-n-Dash” with back country drivers I “Came down the grade” into Prineville, Oregon:

 

Every motorcycle has it’s set of quirks, and one of those with the first generation FJR’s is that your thighs and crotch can get rather warm from the heat coming off the engine.  It’s now 2:30pm and it’s quite warm in the mid-80’s, and with the FJR’s tank under half full, the ol’ “jewel warmer” is probably running at about 140 Fahrenheit…so I hang out for a few minutes, and drink another bottle of water and let “things” cool down a bit before heading down into town to find a hotel…

 

 

Overall, it’s been a good day, and taking the good with the bad:  I ate a crappy steak at Club Pioneer, but had a nice waitress.  Got to swim in the ol’ Best Western pool, even though  it did have a band-aid floating in it…  What wonders will tomorrow bring?

 

-Continue to:  August 2011 Oregon Trip – Day 2