The wheels on the bike go round and round…round and round…round and round

by Natalie

Not much happened in the four days following Crater Lake. We drove and drove and drove and hit more and more nasty weather.

 

Day one out of the Lake we stayed in the mountains and saw some beautiful white capped peaks on our way up to Bend Oregon. I think this was the only day we didn’t get rained on. But the temperature never got above 10. We got to Bend pretty early but we were right smack in the middle of the wild west with 150 miles before the next town or hotel so we made the decision to stick around for the night….a decision we would come to regret.

 

Day two after Crater Lake we rode to Burns Oregon. I woke and looked outside and the sun was shining. So I tucked away my chaps since they were STILL wet from the ride into Crater Lake. We hopped on the bikes and headed East. About 40 miles in we saw the first sign of life in Brothers at an old gas station. We were so chilled to the bone that we stopped for a coffee. All I wanted to do was bathe in the stuff since I was so darn cold but I resisted and just drank the warm liquid until my insides thawed out. Then to our surprise another lonely traveller wandered in. The poor man didn’t speak a lick of English and was trying to get himself some gas and coffee. He was from Spain (which meant I was no help) but he spoke German! So Kurt, in the tiniest speck of a town in Easter Oregon had to put on his German hat and help the poor man out. It was random, and hilarious.

 

We layered back up and got onto the bikes just as it decided to start downpouring. And remember folks, I didn’t have my chaps on. So we are blazing down the road in so much water I might as well have been sitting in a bathtub. I had near frozen lakes in my boots and my pants were basically frozen to my legs. At this point I just started screaming into the open air. It was literally the only thing I could to keep sane. There wasnt a building in site and we knew we were still 50 miles to civilization. So screaming I went all the way down the road. Kurt pulled over to warm his hands and I was so angry and so cold I ripped off my wet pants (likely not a good idea on the side of the road) opened the suitcase and grabbed dry jeans and my chaps and just changed right there. There wasn’t much I could do (yet) with my wet boots but this was a good start! We found a gas station a few miles later where I took off my boots and socks and hung everything over a dryer while we nursed another coffee…needless to say when we got to Burns and saw that the rain was not going to let up we called it an early night again and went to sleep.

 

When we woke the sun was shining! What a miracle :) So we made it a day of riding hard. We finally finished Oregon and emerged in Idaho where we found an interstate with a speedlimit of 75 miles an hour and I don’t think we had ever been so happy to move fast and make distance. Just North of Boise Kurt’s bike just shut off while going down the highway….not kidding. So another obstacle, but what to do? We pushed on when his bike turned back on and made our way to Twin Falls. There was a Harley and they fit him in the next day to get him all fixed up. The only things of note here was our attempt to save money dropping off the bike. The only way to do it without calling a cab was to ride double on my bike….my pink bike. So we dropped off the Harley, Kurt threw his leg over the bike and I hopped on the back and off we rode! I giggled the whole way home because of the ridiculous looks we were getting from fellow motorists!

When we were all fixed up on Sunday we left Idaho in our dust and made it to the Cowboy State of Wyoming! It was another bloody cold ride passed mountain passes and valley rides, pass huge dams, and beautiful lakes. Thank goodness for warm gloves, scarves and chaps so we could at least enjoy the ride!

 

 

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