A whole lot of Idaho. Long, long runs without much but open range high desert and bald mountains in the distance. Hypnotic. Its nice in that there is nothing in a world full of a whole lot of everything. Stops in the high desert are minimalist, gas, a shot of coffee and go. Cold, cold mornings, slowly shedding layers and ending the day, every day, heading into a setting sun.
The bike is humming along, we’ve now finished 9 Stages in a row, but its impossible to know which will happen first, the end of the road and the end of our running bike. They are like two lines that will intersect way out there towards infinity, and it could be tomorrow or hopefully the day after finishing in my San Francisco. My transmission and clutch are slowly desintigrating, every turn of the wheel one more turn less. This late in the game there is nothing we can do about it but treat the bike very gently and pray.
At days end in Hines, Oregon with a large local and near local contingent to greet us. Very nice, some even driving a few hours to see the bikes and maybe the riders. The community puts on a nice bbq dinner in the parking lot, long tables and a few bottles of Bordigioni Estate Blend and Zinfandel. Everyone seems to know us now.
Next its time to service the bikes, the nightly tune up with needed grease and adjustments. Both bikes get a good once over from Marty and Chrys, and we all help in cleaning and getting done what needs to be done for the early send off. Tomorrow only 230 miles, but I need to do them without shifting much and nursing the bike along maybe even slower than I’ve been going – putt putting around 45-48. We are seriously going to finish this thing with maybe a mile left in my transmisson. Down to the wire, all in, the Vegas kid has got to put it all on the line.