[caption id="attachment_2046" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Morning of Day two"]
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I love riding solo, but I was looking forward to riding with Stormy for a few days. We worked together briefly as mechanics at a local shop before Stormy had a big falling out with the owner, and he recently moved to Bend with his lady friend. He is an interesting character and a superb rider, and has an off-color story to tell about nearly every subject imaginable. He's a decorated Vietnam vet, former TZ750 road racer, BMW mechanic, and an Ozark hillbilly. He also plays a mean harmonica.
[caption id="attachment_2048" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="The Stormtrooper"]
Day two began with a quick blast up to the base of Mt. Bachelor, then to Sun River, and South to Crater lake. Stormy has a brand new Moto Guzzi Norge, a large and impressive touring bike that is equipped with an electric windshield, heated seat, and a Valentine radar detector. The radar detector paid for itself several times each day of our trip, and every time it lit up and we slowed down just in time to see the highway patrol cruise past, Stormy did a little "HaHa, Suckers!" dance on the seat of his motorcycle. I nearly fell off my bike laughing every time.
[caption id="attachment_2049" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Yours truly"]
The North entrance to Crater lake was closed, so we entered from the South, and it was during this stretch of ride that my reserve fuel light came on. I had no idea how far my bike would go on reserve, and didn't think it was the worth the risk of riding all the way to the lake when the nearest fuel stop was 28 miles ahead, in the town of Prospect. Going to the lake meant I would need to go nearly fifty miles before refueling. Seemed like a bad idea, but Stormy said, "Fuck it, man! I've got a turkey baster right here under the seat, we'll siphon you some!" Sounded OK to me. Now I know that the R1100S will go 200 miles on a single tank, and the lake was worth it.
Stormy loves to get discounts on things, and always asks for the "disabled veteran/student/hippy/senior discount." The lady park ranger said that his military disability would discount our park entrance fees, so Stormy produced his disability card.
"This isn't current, sir. Your card needs to be current," said the lady.
"Whadya mean, not current?!" Stormy was in his element. "I've got pieces of ordinance currently
embedded in my leg!" The park lady looked perplexed.
"Well, I won't argue with somebody who's just doing her job, I guess," Stormy said, and put his card back in his pocket. The park lady realized she was on the wrong side of the argument and handed us each a Crater lake brochure. "You all just go ahead, it's on me," she said quietly. We thanked her, started the bikes and rode up the road a ways, so that Stormy could do his "HaHa, Suckers!" dance out of sight.
Crater lake highway (62) is an epic descent through the Rogue river wilderness, and it was some of the best road I'd been on so far. We got lunch in the town of Rogue River and sat outside so Stormy could make fun of the hordes of Harley riders we saw. About ninety-nine out of a hundred bikes on this trip were Harleys, and Stormy had a comment for each and every one of them.
"Nice Hardly Dangerous
." "That's a real nice Hoggley Ferguson
." "Gee, where'd you get your nice Farm-All
Heading Southwest on Highway 199 out of Grants Pass, we hit an unbelievable section of curvy road that seemed to last forever as it descended down towards the coast. This was the first time that I really felt the cornering abilities of the S, and it seemed to handle just as well loaded up with gear as I pitched it down low into the turns. Stormy's a better rider than I am, but there was no way his big Norge could keep up with my S when the lean angles became acute. It was heaven. When we finally reached Crescent City at the California coast, we were tired out after a long day and found a campsite in the redwoods. Stormy slept with his Smith & Wesson bear repellent in his tent.
[caption id="attachment_2054" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Side carry"]