Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

608 km Today (Really it's Saturday, my computer is on EST)

As I dressed this morning with my under-armor, my fleece, my alpine star winter gloves and I turned on the heated grips I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the rest of the country. I had just received a text from one son letting me know that the temperature had hit 40+ that’s 104 F, even worse, “it feels like 50 C” with the humid-ex (that’s 122 F). I hope you are all managing safely through the heat wave.

Early Morning
 Columbia River Gorge
I headed east from Portland on I-84 following the magnificent Columbia River and wondered what Lewis and Clark would have thought about a super highway built along their route. The morning sun was sparkling on the water making it shine like silver, behind the clouds reached down to touch the hill tops. It was a breathtaking sight. Again I was disappointed that there were no easy vista spots to take pictures and considered turning to go back but knew the sun and the clouds would not wait so I headed on. The Columbia River Gorge is a fabulous natural sculpture. Its worn sides are seemingly covered with fawn colored velvet and all around, on top of the gorge, the land is like a rolling plain. This was not what I had expected Washington State to look like (another of my geographical misconceptions).
Along the Columbia gorge, Portland until I turned north toward Spokane, is an agriculturally rich plateau. Despite the river, the land is dry but man has managed to conquer nature by irrigating. The fields are littered with tubular dragons that spew life giving water from their nostrils. Where the dragons are - the crops are green and lush or already ripe and golden. There were some fields, freshly plowed and not yet protected by the water dragons where I watched funnel clouds of dust spiraling into the air.

I turned north, leaving the plateau, to catch the 395 and crossed over the Columbia. The 395 is another beautifully maintained highway. At times I seemed to have it all to myself and I can’t help wondering if the lack of traffic had to do with the lack of super sized truck stops en-route. I was glad that I had filled the tank along I-84 and knew (from my little California experience) that I could get 300 km to a tank. As I neared Spokane and met the I-90, traffic picked up considerably.

Coming into Spokane (the locals pronounce it Spo-can, you could tell I was a tourist) there was construction but I seem to be getting better accustomed to the way the clutch is set and had little difficulty. I loved the large overhead traffic signs asking motorists to “Look twice for Motorcycles.” There should be a lot more of these signs across the continent.

Tomorrow I’ll be in Montana. I love Montana but it’s where time turns against me. Tomorrow I will lose an hour moving from Pacific to Mountain Time. Oh no, does that mean I have to get up an hour earlier?


  1. Ah, the gorgeous gorges. I could ride them every day (actually I would like to, but I am too far away...).
    Some things don't change: There always seems to be construction ongoing in Spokane.

  2. It was a gorgeous ride - the gorge.