Day One is Here, this is Day Two.
Friday I got up just before the sun rose, dragged myself out of my tent and began packing up. I was a bit worried about packing my tent damp with the morning dew, but I did not have time to let it dry. I was up and on the road as quickly as I could into some of the worst fog I’ve ever ridden in. Since it was still just after dawn the fog was quite cold in addition to being very dense. I was worried that my day would be like the day before cold and wet all day. However, as I headed east on Highway 299 I soon climbed up and out of the fog and into some lovely scenery. Sweeping corners and breath taking vistas greeted me as I continued east. I then turned onto Highway 96, which ended up being one of the highlights of the whole trip.
Once again it was warm, which helps with the enjoyment of the ride, but Highway 96 is also a great road with a beauty of its own. The Highway twists and turns as it follows the Klamath River for about 100 miles. Spring is a great time to be alive, and a great time to be on a motorcycle, unless you’re a bug near a highway… Despite their numbers I felt I put a significant dent in the insect population as I sped through, having to stop to clean my visor a couple of times along the way as I zipped my way to Highway 5.
I headed north on 5 and soon I was in Medford, Oregon, and relatively close to Eugene where I was meeting my Cousin for dinner. I still had many hours to kill before that time and I wanted to spend as little time on Hwy 5 as possible. I stopped in Medford for a quick lunch and to get some oil to top off my bike. Back on the road I headed northeast out toward Crater Lake. Initially after leaving Medford I was worried since it was such slow going with lots of traffic lights, however I was soon out in the woods. The roads weren’t that twisty and a bit boring, but they were a vast improvement over than the monotony of Highway 5. Of course the problem with planning my fuel stops so closely, means that sometimes you end up in a bit of a pinch as I discovered when I stopped to get gas about 35 or so miles east of Medford. According to my Google Maps Prospect, Oregon looked like it would be the last town that would have gas for quite a while. Turns out that I was correct in thinking this. This became a problem when I learned that they had lost power a few minutes before my arrival, which meant they couldn’t pump me any gas. I was really worried that not being able to get gas here would ruin my day. I ended up being lucky and with the kindness of strangers was able to get enough gas to continue on my way.(More…)
With a full tank of gas I continued up into the hills and I was a bit surprised how much cooler it was getting. At least until I saw an elevation sign and realized that of course it was cooler I was 4000 feet above sea level. It wasn’t much further down the road that I noticed snow on the ground among the trees. I realized that it was going to continue to get colder as I headed higher. The snow also meant that all those signs about making sure you were carrying chains might have more relevance than I thought they did originally. However, there did not seem to be any immediate danger, I did not want to turn back and risk being very late for dinner with my cousin. I was very relieved when I crested the summit about a half hour later and headed back down. Out of danger of being stuck in the snow.
Overall the rest of day of riding was uneventful and not that interesting. Riding through pine forest isn’t that amazing after the first 200 or so miles, at least not without some good twists to keep me engaged.
On arriving in Eugene I had an interesting encounter while I looked for parking. (More…) I enjoyed a meal with a cousin who I see too rarely. We caught up on each other’s lives spending over two hours talking, which means it was getting late when I made the final blast up Highway 5 to Portland.
I arrived quite tired, but very happy about a great two days of riding.
On the Third day I rested.
For more pictures of Day Two go here.
On the Fourth I hit the road again, read about it here.