Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Motorcycling through Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.

Riding on a motorcycle is a completely different experience from riding in a car. No ceiling, no blindspot. The floorboard is only 2 ft wide. Plus you get to engage all 5 senses: see the panoramic view; smell the freshness of the forest, the wheat in the field, the horse poop and the road kill; hear the wind, the birds that you do and don't see, the waterfalls, and of course the pipes of the bike; feel the wind, handle airconditionless heat, and bundle up for the cold. Speaking of cold, it definitely got down to 35 degrees on the ridge of Mt St. Helens. And today, it has been a surprising 85 in Montana. We are all decked out in our black leather chaps and jackets and boots so the cold wasn't that bad, actually.

We landed in Portland, OR and took a taxi to the Allied Co. where our bikes were waiting (it costs less to ship 6 bikes than one). How could I even describe the beauty of this place? Luckily, it was not raining, but you can tell it usually is by the lushness of the land! The furriest conifurs I've ever seen and the bluest lakes between smooth slopes. There was a break in the lushness in the 12 mile circumference of MT ST. HELENS. 29 years after the erruption, a valley 11 miles away was still desolate. Dead trees laid on their side like dominoes where 300 mph 2000 degree ash blew them down. The roadsides were, however, lined with lively wild flowers! Purple, blue-purple, pale yellow, bright yellow, orange-red, white, and a prettier white! Oh I love the flowers! I like them better than all these men I am with do. haha. Ya, I am on this 4,000 mile trip with six 50 yr old bikers.
Day 2 Journal notes: Yep, we are in Johnny Appleseed's realm. So many mountains terraced for orchard after orchard and the roads were lined with towers of empty wooden crates waiting for the harvest. Apples, peaches, apricots, cherries, pears... Man it made me hungry.
Suddenly, about 100 miles east of Seattle, we rounded a ridge and slipped out of lush green valleys, conifur covered peaks, and orchards, and into bald and barren brown hills! What a crazy transition! The wind there was so strong and the air was so dry! We drove in these desert-like foot hills for a full day till crossed into CANADA.

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