Friday, August 2, 2013

DAY 5: Portland, OR to Boise, ID

Another alarm at 530 got me out of Portland before the sun burnt the fog away. Re-packed the bag and practiced my bungee cord skills attaching it and the skateboard to the sissy bar. Proper bungee cording is an are to be mastered if you're living life from the saddle. Out of Portland within 15 minutes and backtracked the Oregon Trail along the Columbia River. Beautiful scenery! The brisk temps and fluffy fog made me throw on my thick long gloves.

 Almost as soon as the fog cleared, so did the pines. The open land was warm, but with it brought heavy gusts that would blow me across the lane. I could barely hold a straight line let alone take pics, so be grateful! Pulled into Pendleton for a fuel stop. Rodeos and sweet flannels are alright in my book, but the quick heavy rain wasn't. On my way a 30 minute delay.

 The ride from Pendleton to Baker City was rainy, windy, and the road gave me lots of twists and curves. Imagine the log ride from Disneyland, only from hell and way more fun! Once in Baker City, it began to pour pretty hard. No prob! Except it was hailing too.

 After a quick nap next to my bike and a few conversations with curious tourists, the hail stopped. Time to mob to Boise! Once I crossed the state line, huge dusty gusts swept over me numerous times over a course of 20 miles. We're not in Redondo anymore, Dallas. Upon entering Boise, the shirtless and helmetless dude on his Goldwing going the opposite way down the interstate reminded me: NO HELMET NEEDED! Stopped and unstrapped the lid to tote around town. The heat quickly made me realize ice cream sounded like a good idea. While sitting there lapping away like a dog eating peanut butter, a sparkle caught my eye caddy corner from my location. Bikes! And a Bar! Being as I still didn't know where I was going to camp, I figured someone could give me a heads up.
 That's when I met Greg and friends. The wind started kicking up again, so we moved inside so we could hold an uninterrupted conversation. I introduced myself and tried to keep up with their witty comments, but the 400 mile day had me a bit weary. I told them my predicament once inside, and they gawked at me like I was nuts for wanting to camp in these winds. A tight budget is more important that a hotel room I explained. Greg immediately came forward and offered his couch, after knowing me for all of 15 minutes! Either this guy was a genuinely nice dude like stories us Los Angeles natives can only dream of, or I was going to wake up chained to a basement wall with a innocence-eating gerbil making its way up my large intestine, what us Angeleans usually believe will happen. But after chatting and getting to know Greg, it was apparent that there wasn't a bad hair in this guys body. After numerous thank you's from my part, he replied simply, "You're on a f***ing Harley! It's the lifestyle, brother!," followed with a big bro hug. I got settled at his place about a mile away and decided to ride downtown before dark.

Downtown was small compared to back home, but nightlife packed a hard punch! There wasn't anywhere in the two blocks of clubs and pubs that you couldn't hear GOOD music playing, or anywhere that you couldn't turn and not see people smiling and dancing to the music. An hour of walking and listen to some sweet jams and chatting up some Boise State babes led me to a conversation with Brett who pulled up as I was about to leave in his flat blacked trimmed down Goldwing. What do ya know, he was born in Torrance! A few motorcycle stories went back and forth and he explained why he hasn't wanted to ever move back to the South Bay in a pretty persuasive way. We parted ways, but not before he gave me a card to his bands page. Check 'em out! Rode helmetless back to Gregs, ate some donated sausage pizza, and knocked out hard! I'm going to miss this place.


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