Head East Young Man!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Rode Daze, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Rode Daze

    Rode Daze Adventurer

    Feb 11, 2012
    Raining in Astoria, OR . . . inevitably.

    Wednesday was marginal. The shop called; my fairing lowers and Gerbing jacket liner had arrived. I drove in with the truck (125 miles one way), got sprinkled on a few times, seriously wet on the return drive.

    We got home and installed the fairing lowers -- 2010 FLHX Street Glide. Put a larger fuse in the power lead to accommodate the jacket with the pants. Then we tossed and turned all night, waiting for the sun to rise so I might get on the road at dawn. (I thought about riding at midnight, but somewhere in the adventure, I need to sleep.)

    We rolled out at about 7:30 AM, damp streets but promising to clear off. Cloudy into Longview, cloudy in Portland, cloudy along the Columbia River Gorge past Multnomah Falls. Finally, getting past Bonneville and east of the Cascades, the sun broke through and the clouds dissipated. I stopped in Hood River for "brunch" -- fine-tune the highway pegs. (There needs to be some sort of gauge for getting them both even, level!)


    The unlined pockets in the fairing lowers are perfect for stowing a damp rag to clean the windshield!

    I was thinking that because the sun was out that it must be warming up. It's sunny, but cool -- 47F -- and windy. Onward and eastward to The Dalles, Arlington, Irrigon . . . Sunny, bright, I'd changed to the tinted face shield and dark glasses in Hood River, got some fuel.

    I update, check-in on FaceBook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?sk=wall

    "Allison Wunderland" is a nom de plume, a ruse to foil the demographic database that Zuckerbooger sells to
    advertisers. According to their data, I'm 104 yrs old, get ads in the side-bar for cremation services, cemetery pre-planning, retirement centers, senior retreats, diabetes meds, orthopedic equipment, incontinence aids . . . *LMAO*

    I wanted to take some photos of the wind turbines in the Gorge. They're huge and all over. There was one that jutted up just over the rim-rock on the side of the highway. Signs on the highway note "Emergency Parking Only." They don't want people stopping to take pictures.

    I-84 rolls out of the Gorge and up onto a plateau all the way to Pendleton. The highway follows the Columbia River, major truck route, railroad corridor. There's a lot to see. I like rolling down the freeway. It's not boring for me. Cruise control set at 72 mph (Posted 65 mph). Left lane is mostly wide open, no congestion on a Wednesday afternoon. Passing the trucks is easy pickin's.

    We stopped at the Rest Area in Boardman, adjust clothing a bit, water, etc. Sunny weather and miles of open plateau, sage, horizon.


    At about the 300 mile mark, Pendleton comes onto the horizon. Pendleton sits in a valley, down off the plateau. I suppose it's protected there a bit out of the wind. We checked in at McDonald's. Mickey's has WiFi, and a "Senior Coffee." Also, a really large stall in the rest-room, ample space for changing in and out of riding gear. We got a photo of Pendleton from the ridge. I was thinking about asking the cowboy to move his truck, but cowboys park where they want.


    It's about 3 PM. Let's top off the tank and head back. I was thinking about riding on the WA side of the Gorge. That side is 2 lane, more curves, more terrain. I decide that if we return on the freeway there will be more time to cruise, less concern about getting home in the wee hours.

    Now we're riding into the sun. At about 4:30 PM, the sun is directly in front of us and pretty bright. I discover that I'd neglected to pack my USB adapter in my iPod gear. Listening the a playlist on the ride out, and now the batteries are low. We decide to look for another USB adapter -- one for the truck, the second for the bike gear. Biggs Junction sells all sorts of "device accessories" at the Pilot Truck Stop." Besides, we need to get off the highway, wait for the sun to set so we're not blinded by it. -- Besides the truck stop has a McDonald's, WiFi . . .

    Pulling off the freeway, the effects of riding into the sun become apparent. Looking up the intersection I realize that I can't really see the oncoming traffic. Time to take a break, wait for dark.

    Biggs Junction --

    Pilot has a USB, nice, small, compact. My other adapter stick out of the back of the fairing socket. The USB cable terminal comes in contact with the tank when the forks are turned to lock up. This one is shorter, no more contact!

    Change back to the clear face visor, regular glasses. Pull out the balaclava now that it's getting dark.


    There's a guy asking if it isn't sort of cold to be riding. I show him the connector for the Gerbing gear. He's got a Kawasaki Ninja -- I can appreciate a crotch rocket . . .

    Riding in the dark now, lights of the cities along the river. LED headlight is paying off now. Easy travel, uneventful. With the iPod on a USB cable, I can tune in the playlist some more. Somehow I get the "replay loop" set up and keep hearing the same tune again and again. Pull off on an exit ramp and fix that issue!

    PDX (Portland, OR) back to Astoria is more a commute than part of the road trip. Nice ride, little traffic congestion. In Clatskanie the temps sign at the bank says 47F. Last time I came through, 2 AM, Feb. 6 on the last leg of an Iron Butt, SS1000, it was saying 32F. Now, 47F seems balmy. Gerbing gear is worth what we invested!

    Rolled into the driveway about 11 PM. 630 miles. The bike has some road grit on it from where we got caught on wet pavement on the way out in the morning.

    And, as predicted, as is inevitable . . . Friday marks the return of the rain, some wind. Forecast is for some clearing later in the coming week.

    Spring can't get here soon enough!

  2. benwiggin2

    benwiggin2 Long timer

    Dec 8, 2008
    Brea, CA
    I'm out with an appendectomy all week, so lots of TV. Just saw a documentary on John Astor yesterday. Interesting story.
  3. Rode Daze

    Rode Daze Adventurer

    Feb 11, 2012
    Elective surgery? Or something that sneaked up? And you're post-op? And so let's be getting well . . . See if you can find "Black Swan" on the movie channels. Natalie Portman -- drop dead steamin'

    As I recall it was Mrs. Astor who was the colorful, social butterfly.