The Portland Trip – Part 3

The Route. 10 days, 3,000 miles and 2 wheels on my KLR I bought only 1 week ago. Amazing sights, exciting events and great people along the way.

Last time I was leaving Portland…

Hours after I left Portland I was weaving through snow covered mountains. Here is Diamond Peak
I passed a sign that said “Crater Lake 30 Miles”. I remember marking this point on my Stuff to See map but I hadn’t realized I would be passing so close to it. So I made a detour and was blown away by this sight.
Finally a photo with me in the picture πŸ˜›
This is a bad picture, but I really wish it had turned out better. This girl just happened to be walking by, and I dunno, the scene of her looking at the mountain through the reflection of my mirror was just an awe inspiring moment. A bigger regret is that I didn’t have the nerve to talk to her…
I’m really starting to like these kind of frame ups.
The water in the lake was a brilliantly colored blue.
A frequent scene in any road trip of mine. Grasping at cell phone bars, writing down whatever thoughts I had while riding, and refueling for the next couple hundred miles.
I passed back into California before jutting over into Nevada
Another stealth camping stop where it was unlikely I would be spotted. I spent $25 total on lodging for 10 days.
The next day I battled the worst dust storms ever, which says a lot from a resident of Phoenix. The wind gusts had to be around 40MPH and visibility was around 50 feet.
I filled up at a gas station in the middle of no where I noticed this Santa-ish guy looking defeated as he sat next to his motorcycle. His name is Turbo Dan. He’s 70, retired and rides 40,000 miles a year. Turns out he was on a 36-hour trial rally in preparation for the famous Iron Butt Rally. He had tipped over his bike and it wasn’t starting any more. I gladly stuck around to help him until we found that it was a wire that disconnected during the fall.
Turbo Dan was appreciative and bought me a Coke. I sat as he changed his plans. He needed to be in San Bernadino by 6pm the following day, but he would cut his ride “short” by only going as far as the Utah border before heading for the coast. He rode for 1500 miles over the next 24 hours. One hardcore guy…
Another sunset, another random camping spot.
Just north of Vegas, and 600 miles away from Phoenix. I was all business, and wanted to get home quickly.
No time to stop, just pics on the go.
Β The temperatures along route 95 south in California were unbearable. 120+ degree temps blasted me for 8 hours. I had to stop every 50 miles and douse myself and my helmet with water to keep form passing out. The picture here displays 110 degrees which felt like heaven in comparison.
I was planning on making it back to Phoenix for dinner at a friends. After discovering they were making some spicy Indian food I politely rejected his invitation with a “F&^* that!” I stopped at a Wendys to get some food and cool off. I felt like hell and looked worse. I got the distinct feeling from the people around me that they were scared of me. I was on the verge of flipping out at anyone who pissed me off. I noticed the oil level on the KLR was dangerously low, *sigh*, I couldn’t ignore it. I tolerated inane chatter of those inquiring why I was on a bike in this heat, I dealt with the long lines and incompetent staff. I kept my composure and ordered a burger and a Coke. “Sorry, outta Coke,” the cashier replied. My eye twitched for a second and after reaching the boundaries of my sanity I slowly whispered, “…Sprite”.
Despite the terrible ending to the trip, the week was amazing. I got to see the MotoGP races, meet a lot of great people, take in the beautiful coastal roads for 1,000 miles, see and old friend and help out a fellow rider in need. How can I forget my new ride, the KLR that is now known as Phobos. One of Mar’s moons which, like the KLR is irregularly shaped.Frankly, it was stupid for me to take a bike I had owned for only a week on a trip this long, but the KLR performed perfectly. I knew it was a risk from the beginning, but it was a risk that solidified the bond between me and the bike as silly as that will sound to most.

Now that Phobos and I have gotten acquainted, stay tuned for more. πŸ˜€

  • rkrayton2000

    Great trip Atlas. I’m glad the KLR held up, I also would have been worried about taking a bike I’ve only owned for a week. But thanks to your trip I have solidified my choice for the KLR for my prudhoe Bay AK trip in sept. Thanks again πŸ˜€

  • kfallscody

    Hey awesome trip man. Ya should have hit me up as I live like 40 miles from crater lake.. would have liked to ride with ya for a bit :).

    You know I took a “long” ride a while back.. at just over 200 miles…. I don’t know how you do these crazy trips man.. I have some serious butt numbing work to do.. lol.

More in Portland (4 of 6 articles)
Sunset over the Pacific along the California Coastal Highway