June 5th, 2015 – Day 7
Judo chop – Huaiyah!!
Elk Prairie Campground was the first place on the trip we stayed with decent shower facilities and the time to take advantage. Smell ya later! It was nice to freshen up after 6 days of baby wipe bathing.
While we waited for Radio to finish packing up, I did a little campsite Yoga, then Michael and I discussed the finer points of Escrima and Kali.
Packed up and ready to go, we made our plans to stop for fuel and then head towards Crater Lake up through Grant Pass. Michael’s parents lived in a town near where we were passing by so we also made plans to have lunch with them on the way east.
An unscheduled break in the action!
While stopping for fuel, the FZ1 and I discussed the folly of charging batteries while the bike was not running. That’s why God invented jumper cables! (OK, it wasn’t God but whoever it was, at this moment, was definitely my savior)
I’m just glad my bike and I had this conversation at a gas station and not in the middle of nowhere Montana later in the trip. Once I got it rolling again I repacked up the bike and headed out to catch up with the rest of gang.
199 up to Grant Pass was a nice drive. It wasn’t as fun as some of the coastal drives, a theme that continued for the rest of the trip once we left California, but there is something about cruising through Redwood groves that’s otherworldly. Maybe that’s why George Lucas designated this area as the forest of Endor, home to the Ewoks, in Return of the Jedi.
I have driven a motorcycle through the forest of Endor!… booyah, bitches!!!!
Welcome to Oregon?
It wasn’t long after we left California and entered into Oregon that we discovered some Oregonians aren’t as “biker friendly”. Radio and I pulled up to the front of the line at several lights as we are accustomed to doing, a generally accepted behavior in California. However, at the 3rd light which we did this, a gentleman in a Ford Bronco took exception and tried to jump the light and get around us. I honestly wasn’t sure what was going on at first but, as much fun as his son in the passenger seat was having “racing the bikes”, it became apparent the driver had another agenda when he pulled up at the next light. While videoing us with his cell phone and driving, he proceeded to inform us that “you’re no longer in California” and “that’s illegal in Oregon”. Ironically, we had already passed several police officers since crossing the border. Honestly though, he was the only person on the trip that seemed annoyed by the behavior. Being so close to the border of Oregon and California, I guess he felt compelled to remind us which state we were in and so I thanked him kindly as he drove off.
The rest of the drive was relatively uneventful as we made our way to meet the Thompson family. Mom, Dad and Uncle Thompson had plenty of embarrassing stories to share regarding Michael and his brother at lunch. You can learn a lot about a person from spending a day with family. Good peeps.
After lunch, I wanted to cruise through the town home to the Oregon Shakespeare festival, so Radio and I took a small detour on our way up to Crater Lake. Ashland is a cool little town nestled in the foothills of Oregon. I was happy to at least get a chance to give it a look-see but hopefully at some point I’ll get a chance to return and catch a show.
A quick drive by tour of Ashland and we were off to the campgrounds at Crater Lake. I was really looking forward to the next days photo-op at the top of the mountain. With an island called “Wizards Island“, how could it not be a magical place? This was the only reason I was willing to take a detour from the coast. It’s a beautiful drive up the mountain and we arrived in plenty of time to pick-up some firewood and get settled into camp.
This spot had electric… YAY!! Time to go to work.
Unfortunately the slower than anticipated transfer rate made for a later than expected work night.
The Magnificent Crater Lake, an impromptu musical interlude and we return to the Oregon Coast.