* August 27, morning, back home, 4,380 total miles
: Wow, was sure nice to sleep in my own bed again last night! Got up very early yesterday from the fleabag motel in Lewiston, Idaho, packed up and left. Chatted with a couple Idaho guys on my way out (the guy with the Beemer had a failed front brake line and he was waiting for the dealer to open) and the one guy’s t-shirt cracked me up. Sailing west from Lewiston/Clarkston on the Snake River, the sun was rising at my back and it was looking beautiful out. The wind started in though and never let up all day, which was to be expected on the Gorge. Once off the river, it was wheat fields, canyons and cold winds. I stopped in the cute village of Pomeroy, WA and had a cup with Jennifer, who owned the coffee shop – a very interesting lass. Waitsburg was another notable, close-knit-looking community. And look closely at the one pic of their hillside, where they had a human figure displayed (don’t know who it was, perhaps Lewis & Clark?). Maybe it can only be seen from space by aliens? And notice how hard the wind is blowing the tree in the same pic! That’s when the windmills started to appear – everywhere at the tops of the hills. I stopped in Walla Walla, WA for another cup of joe and installed a lighter-tension set of throttle springs. Turns out they were too light, but wow, did it make Barney seem like a sport bike, plus it sorta had its own cruise control. And out past Umatilla’s Army Depot mounds, were groves of trees harvested to keep the winds down. Not much after that until Sam Hill’s World War One Stonehenge Memorial. Now I finally understand why he built Stonehenge as the tribute.
Cruising by Hood River, the howling winds where being well used by the board heads, as the colorful sails and chutes were circling their little spaces of the river. I eventually rolled into Stevenson, WA, where Walt and Frank wanted me to stop by at the Soundrider Dualsport Ride. Walt had already left, so I milled around for an hour, when Frank finally showed up. Ilsa also appeared and we all had a good chat, then Barney was egging to get the rest of the way back home. It was grinding on me to get back into the metro traffic. I may need to move soon.
Wow, it’s difficult to believe that particular adventure is over! Time flies so fast when you’re having fun, and it only seems like yesterday that I started out on the 24-day sojourn. This has been a life-altering experience and I’ve learned a lot. I did a three-week motorbike trip years ago on my old R75/6 BMW to the East Coast and back, but that wasn’t nearly as fun, since I had to ride more miles in a day, and I had to be a certain location at the end of each day – a regimented schedule. This trip was not like that at all, since I just went until I felt like stopping, and smelling the flowers along the way. I have a newfound love and respect for our Northwestern neighboring States of Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. FYI, about 90% of the photos were taken while seated on Barney and wearing a helmet, hence the reason some pictures are not quite as aligned as they should be, however I figured that a misaligned picture is better than none.
And my bike Barney – the purple-headed warrior, who has a face only her owner could love, she did me well as always. She’s just like a good woman: adventurous, always faithful, reliable, a great companion, doesn’t whine, never lets me down, low maintenance, nice jugs, and will try most anything. Now off to the next leg of my sabbatical – Europe!
thanks for reading,