Road trip Day 4 – I only use awesome sparingly

The word awesome seems to be well overused in Canada. I’m not a great user of awesome, but Crater Lake fully deserved the superlative. It was indeed awesome.

Time to hit the road again. I followed the 138 to my next port of call Crater Lake. En-route I pulled over several times to take in the gorgeous scenery along the Umpqua river. With numerous curvy bits and enough straights to check out the views, the ride was pretty special.  I even had time to think about all the stuff that’s not had a mention yet as well as “why on earth was this road built in the first place?” Anyway, on to the collected thoughts and musings of a chilled biker.

Large birds. I’ve been seeing plenty of eagles and probably other varieties of raptor, mostly just gliding over fields ready to drop on some unsuspecting meal.

Slapping Salmon. At one of my stops today I heard a slapping noise in the water. I waited long enough to catch a view of a Salmon leaping and slapping back in to the river. Wondrous.

Bikers wave. I can’t remember the official gesticulation for UK bikers, but the Canadian bikers acknowledgment travels across the border well. There’s probably a 95%+ success rate in greeting other bikers as we pass each other. Great camaraderie.

Bungees are a bikers friend – wind is a bikers sworn enemy.

Similar but not the same. The Pacific coastline that I’ve travelled reminded me (when I got to see it) of Devon and Brittany. My ride through the Umpqua river valley reminded me at times of Kamloops, with more rolling hills and probably a touch greener.

What ‘make/brand’ are those enormous yellow butterflys?

Peace. Despite the engine and wind noise, riding is peaceful. Someone mentioned to me that you’ll never meet a stressed biker. I’m starting to understand why.

Road trip. Is the whole purpose of a road trip to be a transient being? Surely that’s what a road trip is – being on the road just taking ion the sights, sounds and smells around you and feeling the trip through the road surface. Sure I haven’t stopped at all the places I could have, but it doesn’t mean that I haven’t experienced anything. I’ve dipped in to other people’s stories as paths intertwine with both parties moving on knowing just a tiny bit  about a stranger that crossed their path.

Ducati GT 1000. Until today I’d never seen another bike like mine on the road. Today I stopped to refuel in a small town called Crescent on the 97 towards bend. To my amazement another GT1000 owner had just finished refueling. He was from California, had had the bike for a couple of weeks and was heading back to San Francisco from Seattle. A rare moment of GT1000 togetherness.

I’m not a real biker. Even in the UK I was not a hardened biker. My longest ride in the 2 years of riding in Canada was to Harrison and back. Over the last 4 days I’ve covered some 1350Km (840 miles) and I think I’ve coped pretty well. Today I ached, the shoulders and feet in particular, but I’m not saddle sore or feeling stiff. I soon recover after a short break. Am I a real biker now? Probably not, but I’ve certainly improved.

Today’s highlight was without a doubt Crater Lake. I don’t tend to use the word awesome, it’s far too liberally spread about over here. However, today I am happy to use awesome as that’s exactly what Crater Lake is. So awesome that it needs video to start to get a sense of the splendour. It’s around 5 x 6 miles across, some 7-8000 feet above sea level and was formed after a volcano exploded around 7500 years ago. The ride up to the rim was fantastic. Snow still on the ground but not the road, the air tasted pure and fresh and the sunshine kept temperatures respectably warm. I was mightily impressed with just the appetizer, the main course was mouthwatering.

Suitably awesomed out and chilled I left Crater Lake and head north. My overnight stop was to be Bend.

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