Monday, April 08, 2013

Uraling to Alaska - Day 4: Visiting with friends in Lebanon, OR

Another early wake up, seems to be a pattern forming here.  As I was packing up the sidecar rig, I noted a huge cloud of birds across the highway from the motel I was at.  The number of birds was quite spectacular:



I'd mentioned the name of the motel I'd stayed at last night: The Horse Shoe Motel, nice place, roomy and clean.  I realized this morning that the name came from or was part of the design of the motel:

Yep, the motel is shaped like a horse shoe!
source: googlemaps

I rode out at 7:30 AM, and after a short breakfast at the McDonald's in Burns/Hines, was back on US Hwy 20 and once again battling head winds!  I would end up being slowed by these darn winds for the first 150 or so kilometers on my way to Lebanon, OR.  Although the temperatures never dipped much below freezing, they never got much above 50 degrees either.  

Not much to report about the sights and terrain between Burns and Bend, OR.  Pretty much bland rolling plains, with lots of sagebrush, almost all of it was BLM land.  Oh and wind, lots and lots of wind....all blowing in the wrong direction for Valencia and I.

Scenic-wise, things didn't pick up until after Valencia and I had ridden through Bend, OR and left that town behind us.  First there was a view of two of the "Three Sisters", large mountains located to the west of Bend. The folks here sure have more snow on their mountains than we do in Colorado!


Two of the Three Sisters, the third was hidden by clouds

Then there was then the road up to Santiam Pass (pronounced santy-am).  We climbed in altitude and soon were above the snowline (which is lower than the snowline in Colorado).  It was snowing at the summit, but not bad and traffic was moving along smartly in spite of conditions.

 They use crushed lava rock to provide traction on the roads, Valencia
is now coated with the stuff.

 There were a lot of Douglas Firs in the forest around Santiam Pass,
very nice looking trees with their snow coats.




As Valencia and I continued to descend the 11 miles on the western side of Santiam Pass, I was struck by the beauty of the snowy trees.  The snow flakes gradually became rain drops as the terrain became more green and flushed with growth.  Then the sun broke out and highlighted the mossy coats on many of the deciduous trees mixed in with the Douglas Firs.

All the rainfall that Oregon gets makes for some green and lush forests.
Even the rock formations sported their own mossy coverings.

This stretch of US 20 is quite scenic and quite twisty as it follows the track of a river.  Motorcyclists everywhere would approve!

I arrived at the city of Lebanon at 2:30 PM.  I called Ron K. who is Bluekat's husband.  We'd ridden together a while back, and I was going to be staying with Ron at his house.  Bluekat, Kari, is in Portland keeping watch/company on their daughter Rachel who's recovering from a bone marrow transplant in her fight with Leukemia.  I hope to be able to give Rachel a ride in the sidecar tomorrow.

As I was early and Ron still had to be at work till 4:00 PM, he graciously granted me permission to use his driveway to do an oil change on Valencia's engine and transmission as her odometer had rolled onto the 25000 Kilometer mark.  The oil changes went well and minimal oil spills were cleaned up from Ron's driveway.  The rest of the 25K services will be done as time allows the rest of this week.

4:30 PM rolled around and Ron came home from work, geared up and off we both rode towards a local Mexican restaurant for dinner with Irondad aka Dan B!  As a bonus, we found out he'd brought along his lovely bride Katy to eat with us.

Dinner was tasty and the company was even better.  We talked for hours, mostly about motorcycles (big surprise, right?).  We walked out a bit after 8:00 PM I believe and photo proof was obtained of my meeting with the legendary Irondad.

 Ron, Dan and yours truly

Ron again, Katy and Dan aka Irondad

We said our goodbyes and rode back to Ron and Kari's house.  Thanks again, Katy and Dan for coming out to have dinner with Ron and I, it was great to finally meet you two!  Thanks Ron for paying for my dinner!

Valencia's clutch operated just fine today, tomorrow I also go to the Ural dealer in Portland to let them inspect things as well.  Less than 300 miles ridden today, perhaps 7 hours of saddle time, an easy day.  I really hope the strong winds I'e encountered the last two days won't be around for tomorrow!

Previously: Uraling to Alaska - Day 3: UT-ID-OR

8 comments:

RichardM said...

The number of birds in that video is very Hitchcock like. Almost frightening to anyone who's seen the movie. Nice photos of Santiam Pass with all the snow. I've heard that it's a pretty place to go for winter activities.

Say hello to Ron and Kari! I've missed seeing them all the time's I've been through Oregon. Looking forward to tomorrows post.

tz said...

beautiful pictures! What a nice trip you are on and thank you for sharing!

bob skoot said...

Dom:

Hard to believe there was so much snow on Santiam Pass, your photos were so scenic with snow hanging on the trees.

I also missed Kari/Ron/Dan in Oregon and I was there twice last year (July and September)

There's nothing better than having a meal with friends and talking about motorcycles

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Gary France said...

Hi Dom, are you going anywhere near Seattle? I am nearby until 20th April, so if you are passing nearby, I'd love to buy you breakfast, lunch, dinner...... a beer....

Charlie6 said...

RichardM, the birds were pretty freaky to watch....like those videos of big schools of little fish, all moving in synchronized cloud formations....

TZ, thanks very much for your comment.

Bobskoot, not much snow really, but enough for pictures! Ron and Kari are looking well, met their daughter Rachel today and she's looking well, and making great progress towards recovery. I hope to cross into Canada Friday/Saturday....can we get a mini-meet together? SonjaM, Roland, yourself and Mrs Skoot of course?

Gary....sent you email, looking forward to meeting with you as well!

jason.ewert said...

Those are Snow Geese :)If you're lucky you might follow them all the way back to the tundra where they breed. I've been lucky enough to be under a big flock while hunting, the sight will stop you dead. It's one of my favorite memories.

Say "hi" to Russia for me,

Jason

jason.ewert said...

Those are Snow Geese :)If you're lucky you might follow them all the way back to the tundra where they breed. I've been lucky enough to be under a big flock while hunting, the sight will stop you dead. It's one of my favorite memories.

Charlie6 said...

Jason:

thanks for commenting and id'ing the birds.