The road calls to me like a lover in the night. I’m not sure if it’s an addiction, desire, or need, but nature beckons me, and so I must go. I didn’t put a whole lot of planning into this trip, which is very unlike me. Perhaps it’s because I was so busy selling my possessions and cleaning out my house, or perhaps it was just that I wanted to feel free of a schedule for once. Whatever the reason, I have an idea of my route, but like most things in life, it is subject to change.
Day 1: La Center to Pendleton
I left my home at about 10:00 this morning after handing over the keys of my house to my new tenants. I had intended to leave earlier, but the late start actually meant that I missed the early morning rain. I’m also fighting a cold, or perhaps it’s just bad allergies, so I was moving a little slower than normal this morning. Finally, I had everything perfectly bungeed down and the weight distributed correctly. My leathers were cleaned and my saddle bags full. I secured my helmet and shifted into first gear. I was off on my 6,000-mile motorcycle trip. Born to Be Wild, my usual road trip song, blared in my head phones. I felt a surge of adrenaline as I got on the freeway. Finally….I was on my way!
I rode through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge feeling blessed to be alive. I don’t care how many times I’ve traveled the Gorge, it still takes my breath away. I marveled at the pristine water of Multnomah Falls and the jagged red cliffs near Rufus. I spotted some Big Horn Sheep off in the distance and damn near hit a bald eagle that was feeding on some road kill. It flew straight towards me and then soared upward at the last minute, missing me by about 20 feet! Whew! My first stop was the Dallas for a sandwich and some gas, then I stopped a little later in John Day. The rain was all around me throughout the day, but aside from about 3 minutes of sprinkles, I got lucky and missed it. I was originally planning to stop for the night in La Grande, but when I got to Pendleton I saw what looked like a nasty rain storm ahead so I called it a day at around 5:00.
How do I feel?
Aside from a stuffy face and a little cough, I feel pretty good. My butt doesn’t hurt and I’m not sore at all. I guess all the yoga is paying off. Speaking of yoga, I brought my mat along. I bet there are not a lot of bikers that travel with their yoga mat! I’m really excited about the many State and National Parks I’ll be visiting. I find myself wondering if I’ll make some new friends, see some wild animals or experience any mishaps along the way. It’s all part of the thrill of a road trip!
Tomorrow I head to Twin Falls, Idaho. From there I think I’m going to Uinita-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (that’s a mouth full!) and then to Moab and Zion National Park. Hopefully the weather holds and I get over this cold. Regardless, it’s going to be another great adventure!