That was a fuckin’ hoot!
Got to return to a camp I used to love as a kid and it was still spectacular and empty, hung out with my best buddy in the whole wide world in Kalamity Flats, made a new friend at a coffee shop in Lakeview, tripped my balls off on the Alvord while it was storming like a mad motherfucker then rode through Outer Bumfuckistan on the western edge of the Owyhee Canyon north of Rome through to Juntura then Bend and home. Total success!
The Twin earned full flight status on this run. Such a crazy capable machine that happily hammers on and on and on. The Owyhee country is so damn rugged, the “road” was basically scab rocks and waterholes with a little less vegetation that the non road bits. Only had one serious crossing which I videoed, but I’m not paying for premium just to upload it. Not till my crush of fans demand it! Think I’ll be safe on that one. I did eat shit a couple times, once in baby-head rocks trying to get to an off-road camp spot without tons of cow shit and this time in a mud hole:
Thankfully the Mitas E-07 rear is dead after 5k miles so I can replace that side slipping hunk of shit. Not a bad tire in dry, but can’t seem to run straight in any moisture, the chevrons just love the lateral. Going with a MotoZ, not sure between the RallZ and the Adventure, we’ll see.
You may have noticed the lower photo quality, or not, which is due to my iPhone XR camera going bugfuck after the last ride while vibrating away in a Ram X mount. The main camera couldn’t focus and it made crackling sounds when I turned it on so used an old Motorola as a GPS and camera. Since I’m a cheap bastard and have skills, I ordered a new camera and tool kit from iFixit and replaced that little bugger. Now it’s back up to speed and only cost around $115, tools and all. So many tiny little screws!
Back to the story, already in progress…
Beyond just getting the heck out of the city for a spell, there was some intent to the trip. I’m not a fan of the Westside or cities for the most part, just turned out that the best gig I’ve ever had is located here. PDX back in the day was rad, not so much anymore. When my 2 hour away “no people” hikes got crowded, that pretty much did it. I get it, cities are supposed to grow, evolve, and change, they’re each a little experiment in human evolution and societal progress. I prefer the sticks for living and cities to visit and good goddamn, that’s what’s about to happen!
I just dig this kind of stuff way more than nightlife. Not that I didn’t spend my time dancing my ass off at The City and Panorama (Oh, the foam parties!) but now I’m an old man with a ridiculous passion for riding motorcycles over every inch of the planet I possible can.
Oregon is home, regardless of how many other places I’ve lived, and it’s time to head back. Not just to Oregon, but back to my hometown, Klamath Falls. Bend sucks fiercely now and there are precious few smaller towns with excellent services near great outdoors left in OR that the Calitrash haven’t power fucked. K Falls is a way different place than when I grew up, but few lifestyle tourists care to live there due to its rough reputation, deserved in part, and I’m just fine with that. Fancy dinner? Run over the hill for a sweet day in Ashland. Haven’t done a timed run over Hwy 66 since High School and the bike will be way more fun than the hunks of shit I used to do it in.
The thing keeping me here was the gig and after a good chat with the boss, and friend, I get to take that with me. PDX $ in K Falls is gonna go damn far. Plus I’ll be able to better assist our clients in the area and work more closely with our California guy and clients there.
The ride was a confirmation that this was something I really wanted to do and the whole process is going so smoothly I’m just gonna ride it out.
There is little in the way of ADV/Dual Sport groups or support in the area so I plan to offer a crash pad for ADV riders passing through and will see if I can’t get a group of folks together to go hammering in the desert with.
The best part will be spending a lot of time with my buddy Tom. We grew up in similar circumstances, as did all the group I hung with, shitty alcoholic parents and a rough home life. I had the extra bonus of being the fattest kid in town til I was 15, a dubious honor. We all kept an eye out for each other and offered the occasional crash pad if it was too rugged for someone at home. Having to raise your parents sucks and really fucks you out of a childhood. You get tight with folks in such situations and it can be 10 years between visits and we’re right back into it. Well, fuck not seeing my best damn buddy for that long again. Ever.
I’m going home and playing with my friends. A late childhood is still a childhood. Plus I have way cooler shit to play with now.