Odd morning taking off as my riding partner, Scott Jacobs, has bike issues and I leave alone. When we leave in the morning some groups can organically form, but we’re all riding cautiously now and every bike has a differnt comfort speed and as we get closer to our finish everyone is nursing their bikes and taking it as easy as possible. The groups break apart and it’s a long and lonely road though Eastern Oregon’s high desert country.
We ride past an amazing alkaline lake that is a miles long mirror in the morning light. It is in the middle of our longest stretch between gas stations, 110 miles, and I’m packing a two gallon spare gas can. Alone riding, sublime on this old gal, then blast around a corner and a couple of Cannonball bikes on the side of the road adding gas. It’s back in time and surreal, everyone in their groove now.
Later, I’m refuling as packs of historic machines blast by with an amazing sound of controlled fury. The Hendersons especially, at speed, have this marvelous cacophony that sounds like a mix of a freight train and a sewing machine. When they go by in a group it’s insanely cool. You just stand there in awe. It’s truly amazing.
We stop at Lakeview, Oregon for lunch and the town is out again. Some have driven a couple of hours just to see the bikes ride by. One woman is outside her home waving an enormous American flag. What a hoot, small time heros just a bunch of silly men having a time. We don’t really deserve the accolades, but it’s fun. I even do an interview for the local rag, trying, as always, to be a good motorcycle citizen.
We end the day in Klamath Falls and it’s good to get off a bike a continue to wonder at. My poor transmission is limping at best, but I know if bikes have a soul, this one does, and it wants to see the Golden Gate as badly as I do.
One final and epic surprize as an old friend Jim Perkins and his wife meet me at the hotel. Damn, what a treat as they road few hours to greet me at the hotel. Life is good, live it.