Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Another drug-murder motel... this one in the Pacific coast town of Eureka. I pulled in tonigt just as the sun was dropping into the chilly Pacific, and dug up another roach-haven; this one called the "Heritage Motel". I'm not sure whose lineage we're talking about here...the woman looked Lebanese and there was a large Baghivad-Gita scripture on the office wall. Twenty feet outside my bathroom cars are pulling up to a Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru. Feels good to be home.

I left Babbs' late morning today. In total, I was based out of his ranch for about five days.. hanging around watching baseball games, getting motorcycle parts, doing some work on his house and maintenance-challenged cars. Although we are a full generation apart and from very different backgrounds, we found enough "Deadhead" philosphy in common to have a few good laughs together. I'm really happy to haver been invited to spend some short time there; Babbs is a very special dude that has been in the midst of some fantastic places and spaces.. and, if he has already had his coffee, is a gas to pal around with.

So after a full Prankster breakfast of Eggs and Trout (yep), I packed up and bid adieux while Babbs donned his obligatory blue gloves and dove into his leaky lawn tractor. Don't scrimp on the brake cleaner, Ken!

Off down I-5, heading south for Roseburg... Grants Pass... the California line. The weather was dry and clear, (good fortune, considering the Pacific Northwest), and the bike was running smoothly and crisply, especially now that I'd changed the brake-line bolt that was wrong ever since Urbana, Illinois, which had made the front brake like squeezing a sponge. I ordered the $12 bolt through a Eugene Harley dealer and they ended up charging [rooking] me an extra $45 for shipping and "fees". Ah, well... all part of the Fun, and at least it finally works properly. I also added a lighted toggle-switch that makes it possible to turn the headlight on and off, (impossible on a modern motorcycle). This is helpful when signalling semi-trucks on the Interstates at night; they like to be told when they can pull right again after a pass.

So all was running smoothly and I was really enjoying the swoopy, 80-mph curves in the southern end of the state. Really, I am very pleased with the performance work I did to the bike; the results are exactly as I had hoped for: gut-sucking Torque at full highway speeds. If I'm rolling along at, say, 70 mph and quickly roll the throttle open, the bike leaps forward and there's all sorts of neat G-forces to play with, once you get the Flow.

Off the highway at Grant's Pass, where I had broken down on my first-ever cross-country motorcyle trip, 29 years ago to the week, in 1981. I took Rte. 99 south towards Cave Junction, then turned left onto Rte 86 heading over past Happy Camp and the Indian Resevations. Awesome road; I've ridden in back and forth three times now, including my trips from San Francisco on rented bikes. Not much to report, other than a slight friction just before the Oregon border.
So I wound around for about six hours, through the Klamath and Siskyou National Forrests and the Six Rivers Wilderness areas, everntually reaching the coast and Eureka just at sunset. Finished a fine Chinese buffet dinner and now....for some sleep.
Here's today's shots:

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