Raki

June 11, 2010

Whoa… yesterday, thursday was COLD!!!!!!!!!!

I woke up and knew it was going to be a chilly one when I walked outside, the bottom of the air had no warmth whatsoever. I was a bit concerned with the distance, 140 miles between Burns and Bend without gas stations.

Now when I say cold, I pretty much had to wear all the gear I wore this winter when the temps were near 10 degrees Celsius. I set out on the highway and was once again rewarded with views to die for. The winds were so strong I had to ride lying down on the tank most of the way, Rain came down too, but somehow I am now not worrying anymore about rain… as on a bicycle, with the right gear, it’s just water.

Half way through the 140 miles stretch was suddenly a cafe and it had two gas pumps! JOy!!
I pulled in there and there was a sign saying : if you want gas come in the cafe. So I walked in. this is right in the middle of cowboy country and I wasn’t disappointed. People were warm, I got tea, there was a roaring fire and then had beans and ham homemade soup.

When I took off my jacket I realized my hands were frozen all the way up my forearms. I stayed for a while. During that time a man walked in, Bruce Maynard. the man is in his 80’s and doing a walk across america trip by himself, he’s got a car, a motorbike and a solar powered cart, so he drives somewhere, walks back 25 miles then take the motorbike back to the car. 25 miles a day, he figures he will be in Florida in October… you can follow him here : seniorswalkingacrossamerica.blogspot.com. He was a delightful man we chatted quite a bit.

Then came in two motorcyclists from New York State. One was going to see his mom in Burns and reach his target of Seattle. He was at the end of his trip and I am at the beginning. They too were frozen. I wish I had asked for his email or something… He was kind of cute!

Then off to Bend. Bend was the opposite of Burns, Trendy, sports minded, artsy town. America seems to be so polarized between the hard, tough working towns and the affluent, beautiful places. There I stopped at Safeway-Starbucks for the free wi-fi and was looking for a place to buy a tent. I wanted to camp but it’s been so wet and cold my idea of camping under the moon has not worked so far. This lady saw me with maps and things around and asked me if I needed something, I told her about the tent and she sent me to Bi-mart where I found a tent for $30 instead of the hundred (s) of dollars they were in Vancouver.

I felt pretty smug! My tent! and it’s also red, (got a color scheme going with the white and red of the bike)

I hit the road again for another 140 miles or so to Klamath falls. I decided to take an efficient route (HWY 97) and this time I put on the heated vest… which kept me warm at the moment but created another problem… later on that.

I had a big scare when on the two lane hwy some twerps in pick up trucks decided to play ” pass the semi-trucks without looking ahead”

I was just going my way when I saw these two trucks heading for head on collision course with me. They were coming fast, I slowed down some, flashed my high beams, and watched them pass 2 semis and other cars in between. I started to look for options as my lane wasn’t one anymore, there was about 24 inches of pavement next to the white line on my right then very loose gravel. I pulled on the narrow strip and hoped fr the best. The two idiots pulled back in their lane cutting off cars and trucks… Holy shit…

I felt a strange pressure in my stomach and was just glad to still be rolling…

I pulled into Klamath falls around 6 PM. I was pretty cold again, got some gas and looked for some food.

I found a place that had Wi-Fi downtown, walked in and everyone turned around to look at the stranger coming in. I sat in a corner and ordered food. In the mean time a couple walked in and we ended up chatting and eating for the next two hours, laughing and having a great time. So Summer and Nolan thanks for the laughs and the humanity. Another plus: they played Alice in Chains and all sorts of heavy goodness and that felt good.

I walked out of there all smiley, got on the bike, ready to go camp and try my new tent… I pushed the starter and it went bzzz… crap, the battery… the heated vest drained the battery… at home when I used the vest I always plug in the battery tender and the next day it’s like new but here…

I pushed the bike across the intersection, tried to start it again, nothing. so I rolled it down the road and dropped the clutch in second gear : vroommm… but weak. I know my baby, he needs electricity…

I rode down the street looking for a service station… what’s that word.. service… Ha! Ha! I pullled into a Shell station that had a convenience store, begged the attendant who finally pulled out an extension cord and let me plug the bike.

I stood there for over 2 hours waiting for the green light to come on the tender… it never came on. I got to watch the local youth drag race, buy junk , get gas, hang out with buddies. The local wildlife so to speak. All the while it’s getting colder and I am too. My camping plans were ditched at around 10:30 – 11 pm.

I ended up in a Motel 6, which is OK but oh so corporately boring… You even have to pay for wi-fi so I didn’t!

Now, It’s mid-day, it’s finally sunny, but I still got to wear layers of clothes and the balaclava still. I decided to head for the coast. via small roads of course.

I’m getting really nimble with leaning the bike in the curves and really enjoying the less travelled road. Tonight I want to camp!

no more freaking motels! I’m going to burn all my money on those places!

I’ll put up pictures when I have a chance

all my love

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One Response to “Raki”

  1. Erika Says:

    Glad to hear you are meeting people along the way….it must be a welcome moment to share in those conversations….when you sleep on the ground in the tent make yourself a good mattress! Tomorrow I go to sleepcountry hoping to find a good mattress for 70% off.

    So I am sending you good sleep thoughts…..and to that end dream thoughts….

    “Once you listen to your soul and genuinely glimpse the excitement of your own soul’s journey, you are on a new path, a difficult one.”

    “…..there is no transformation without sacrifice”

    “Our unconscious says, “I want to grow up, I want my own identity”

    -Marion Woodman from Awakening the Soul
    I read this essay when I went to Rivendell on Bowen Island

    And this is an Irish blessing I send to you….

    May the road rise up beneath you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your face
    And the rain fall soft upon your fields
    And until we meet again
    May G-d hold you in the hollow of his hand


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