Saturday, July 24, 2010


We left the San Francisco Bay area around four o'clock, about half a day behind schedule but we bravely droned north up I-5 through the great heat sink of California-Not-By-The-Sea. Temperatures were around 104 degrees and when we stopped for gas Cheyenne was extremely reluctant to leave the comfort of her bed in the back seat. We got to Redding, the last city of any note at the head of the valley, stuffed an In N Out burger into our faces and pressed on as the sun went down.Klamath Falls Oregon was our destination and as darkness descended we found ourselves sweeping up hill and down dale in a most unFlorida-like fashion. The freeway spun down and away and then doubled up on itself in a steep uphill climb, then at the top of each hill the road dropped like an elevator shaft out of sight into the darkness. Outside temperatures dropped out of sight as well, into the 60's. Finally we reached the dreaded Highway 97 turn off, away from the false comfort of the well traveled Interstate and discovered the main two lane road to Klamath Falls was a long straight stretch of road through the mountains. We were alone in the dark. My wife fell asleep, head thrown back, mouth open, Cheyenne stretched out behind me and soon her deep sonorous snores provided the bass accompaniment to my wife's more lady like vibrato. They both woke to the stench of pulp mills that hangs over the highway into Klamath Falls. It was midnight and I was a wreck. Motel 6 where are you?We had breakfast scheduled with the redoubtable Irondad so as soon as the cursed alarm went off I was out of bed like a marine on maneuvers so Cheyenne could get her walk, thus waking up the unfortunate locals trapped behind wire serving their eternal time. The local idea of garden ornamentation is a challenge to someone burdened by my delicate sensibilities. Everyone should have a skull in their flowerbed. These horses were living the life of Riley in their paddock with their stable, hay and grass in abundance. Cheyenne has met a few horses in the Keys but she is uncertain about their intentions.
We stumbled across a pathway that looked like a converted railroad or something. We were, finally, no longer entirely alone. Everything is of interest to my dog so our pace was slow. I had no watch but suspected Irondad wouldn't be late to our appointment.
Oregonian jogging.I don't know who Wiard was exactly but the list of rules for the park named for him/her was entirely overwhelming. No dogs, no booze use common sense about covered it all I think.
And in case we've left anything out, any behavior prohibited by state law is also outlawed here. Phew! Use three words where one will do...We got back to the parking lot with fifteen minutes to spare but to no avail. There he was.
Dan Bateman is a riding instructor, former cop and Oregon resident who has a blog here: He is not a man to wear Crocs but he wanted a picture with them immediately upon meeting me. He's the one wearing the butch boots.Irondad is all business on a motorcycle which he should be as he trains people to get their licenses in Oregon's first rate motorcycle training program. Oregon has a few drawbacks, high unemployment, no self service gas and no sales tax but they don't stint on their motorcycle training.Personally I'm not a big fan of personalized plates as they are too easy to remember ("9-1-1? Some asshole on a motorcycle nearly ran me off the road...") but he has nothing to fear in that department. So he has a personalized tag on his Yamaha 1300:
We hit the diner he recommended and started the process of feeling each other out. I was surprised to read in his blog that he was worried about meeting me. You'd think it would be obvious that a goof like me would be wondering how I would taste with hot sauce to one of his mien.The Black Bear Diner next to our Motel Six was perfect. They had an enormous menu and a waitress who was so grumpy I felt obliged to keep prodding in an effort to get her to swat me.
Perhaps Irondad should have swatted me instead, as he ducked and weaved from my camera lense.
I tried to snag a picture of him doing something virile and active, like chewing on toast but he wanted to be presented more as a wimp, making a point with his food.Notice the flank of dead cow draped across his plate. This diner is not a place for the faint of heart when it comes to portion control. Some patrons pretend to read the paper but secretly they are shoveling their vast meals into secret compartments in their laps. No one wants to disappoint the already fierce waitress who expected all plates to be cleaned.
This is not a football, it's a biscuit. Could have fooled me.My wife took one look at her scramble and passed out in consternation. The coffee mugs were perfect, huge and manly and easy to refill. I drank a gallon.
From behind our barricades of food we discussed Moto blogger scandals, motorcycle training, women (Marriage is Best-sorry jack) and so it went. The bears never stopped watching us.
He just wasn't going to let me get his picture while wolfing his food.
I did resist the pies but these things look like my idea of heaven. As my wife says, while on vacation we are on the See Food Diet. I will pay for it when I get home, I know so that made it easier to pass up these delights.
After an excellent breakfast with excellent conversation Dan treated us to the meal and I went looking for...the Cubby Hole? This bear themed thing goes a bit far.It was good, and too short perhaps. He calls his motorcycle Elvira where I call mine The Bonneville, perhaps because I lack imagination.
They made a good team as they left the parking lot in some unfathomably cold temperatures.
Next time in Key west would be cool. I shall stuff him like a foie gras goose. We had to go north to meet more strangers.
You don't see snow in July in Key West. Thank God.