504 and 183 miles = total of 1410 miles on the “motorbike”.
We did it! We all completed the first half of the longest ride of our lives. We have ridden through rain, snow, and freezing tempratures. We’ve been kicked out of bars and hotels, snuck into haunted jails, and smuggled Australians across an international border. We were searched at customs and they didn’t want to let Gavin back into the country. But in super Han Solo style we made it, and I am loving my life on the fifth floor of the River Rock Hotel and Casino right now. I just had the best banana ever and am listening to The Joshua Tree, one of the greatest albums of all time.
So we left Boise and enjoyed our last fifty miles of helmetless riding in perfect weather. We stopped at the Oregon border and paid our respects to the powers that be.
After another hour or so it really started to look like rain. No problem, I have rain gear, I put it on. Problem: my mates don’t. Fortunately we were able to make it to a Harley dealership in Washington before the rain actually came and we bought a bunch of cold weather gear.
At dinner, Gavin says, “Well, it sure better f%&#in’ rain now.”
It came. Thankfully it was sparatic and not too heavy, but it was definitely cold. We pushed through Yakima, in to Ellensburg, and for the most part the rain stopped. We continued west on the 90 towards Seattle climbing the eastern slope of the range outside of Seattle about an hour before sunset and boy was it beautiful. The sun was peeking through the clouds and life was just good. Rain was done. I was expecting to see a bald eagle flying above our heads at any time. We saw some deer on the side of the road munching away.
But, we were about to go through the longest hour ride of our lives. It got dark quick, starting raining good with the occasional snowflake, and we were still going uphill. It was cold, it was wet, and it was in the mountains, so we’re on a freeway riding motorcycles with some pretty steep turns. We rode past this beautiful lake… that was still frozen. My forehead was hurting so bad with the freezing rain nailing it relentlessly at 75mph.
When we crested the summit, the world completely changed and we found ourselves in the middle of a cloud. The fog was ridic thick and it was already difficult to see with the water (which had stopped by this point) and we slowed our speed to a crawl. It was eerie but really cool at the same time. After about another 25 miles we made it to our stop for the night, North Bend, WA.
We all checked into our rooms, and somehow after half an hour I had gotten myself into a ridiculous dare. I was messing around with the neoprene mask we were wearing, which is super warm but looks retarded in a frightening sort of fashion. So I put it on, say to Lacey and Kristyn something like “Is this hot?” They tell me that it’s scary. So then I wrap my scarf around my head to effectively cover my entire head, sunglasses, that black fuzzy fleece, and jammie bottoms is the look I end up with. I have to go to a random room, not take my hands out of my pockets, say the words “toilet paper” only, and acquire a roll of TP. If successful I was getting a massage.
Which room? Lacey says, “I like the number 21.”
21 it is. I wander over there, obviously it’s on the opposite corner of the parking lot (thanks), bang on the door looking at my feet, and when I hear the door open I say, “Toilet Paper,” in a somewhat odd voice. I hear, “Okay.”
Really? I look up, and wtf it’s Ryan. Damnit, when we’re doing something retarded to a random room, you can’t pick the room that has our friends in it!
Oh, yeah. While at the gas station trying to figure out where to stay, I ask the cashier, “Where is the best hotel that is closest to the best bar?”
We get a few options, so I narrow the field. “What is the best bar?”
The other lady (picture 55+ living in a mountain town outside Seattle) pipes up instantly, “Oh! The whorehouse!”
The first lady confirms, “Yeah! The whorehouse is great!”
I turn around and announce: “Boys, we’re going to the whorehouse!”
“It’s Pour House you dumbass.”
Oh. Man, I really thought we were going to some small town bar that all the locals loved that was called the whorehouse.
So I went to the Pour House anyways, and we had a good ol night. Gavin and I played about a dozen rounds of the touch screen trivia game for $100 a whack, and I think we broke about even. Played some 05 Golden Tee and I lost straight up to Gavin after giving him six strokes… that was depressing. I tried to get him to gamble with me on Ms. Pac Man, but he made me go first and after playing nineteen seconds worth he opted out of the bet. Got tired, went home, Day 4.
We had to be in Vancouver by 4pm so we were on the road by 11am. The ride down the hill into Seattle was fantastic. I really think that besides the rain and helmet law, Washington is the best state to ride in. So many fantastic rides, and I feel privileged to have experienced several of these great rides already.
On we went to the Canadian border. I crossed first. Wheeeeee.
Got to the border guard, showed him my passport, and I think I was a little too honest about things and managed to get all five us and all four vehicles sent to secondary search. More questions, search the bike, where’s your clothes, search the escalade, good times. Took long enough, but we finally all cleared!
So, I’m gonna explore this place. I have no clue what the tournament schedule is and don’t really care to be honest. I’m on vacation. I haven’t played a hand of poker in ten days and it feels fantastic. The itch did bite me though today, but I’m really excited about how fresh I am going to be for the series.
Peace and good luck,
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