These thousands of square miles, including Idaho across the Snake River and way beyond Baker City have been and are continuing to be riding heaven… but don’t let me stop you if you only have 4 wheels! Any vehicle would be fun… Pack a lunch… pack a tent… take the coolers… come and camp, there are also gazillions of free campsites… Pick your altitude, right now it is cool at 3500 feet and up, pick your geography… desert?… mountains?… it is all here. You best bet will be to stop at the Oregon Interpretive Trail Center, on 86, near Baker City, and for $4 pick up the BLM map filled with details of every road you can imagine, don’t forget your GPS… you will now have the time of your life.
From Idaho, Ray has been here for a day and a couple nights, with also his Ural sidecar, just left this morning and I think he will be back to explore the area a bit further. He will be on his own next time however for better food than what the Restaurants are serving around here… because I will not be here! Maybe I need to have a menu for those joining me!… fresh roasted coffee is also part of the deal… Sorry if I cannot afford to feed everyone, but we can go shopping together!!! I am sure you will understand. Will accept compliments…
The ride we planned, a big loop through the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest was cut short midway. My engine started missing a bit! I stopped, and remembering when Andy and I were balancing the throttle bodies of a bit of trouble with the cable, the cure being some tapping and pulling as he showed me… well, I did the same! That cable will need to be changed pronto… but, I was back in business, actually for some reason Old Faithful was breathing better than ever!
We had made it to the top by then, 6500 feet, and not wanting to take a chance I wanted to get back to camp. Well, you know how that goes… mile after mile the confidence level went up… as we reached Richland… the day was still young… how about another loop on Sparta road? Why not! Running on one cylinder is never a great option, if it happened again, I would just fool around a bit more with that throttle cable. Rest assured… nothing went wrong.
Sparta road is the road that you see above… in great shape, a bit of washboard but nothing to severe as long as one keeps their speed up. Sparta road was the road everyone took to Baker City from Richland and Halfway (which by the way was suppose to be called “Midway”…) for a while when 86 was being built up as the old road, at Hole in the Wall, down below, started being covered by the mountain shifting over it. It still shifts they say about half an inch per day and will stop in 2020… How do they know that? No clue… must be a geologist saying.
Great ride… we totally missed Sparta, claiming to be a Historic Site they were no signs and I must have blinked a bit too much passing the couple buildings present on the side of the road. We did stop in front of this old stone house, thinking how nice it would be to renovate it… Check out the couple stones in the forward corner… huge!
Back on 86 to Halfway, home! Spirit, the trooper as always, along for the ride, trying to keep him cool… trying to keep him warm when cool… a never ending task due the his lack of hair! Well, he does have hair, but so short. He was tired yesterday, this is a dog with an attitude sometimes, he is real good at ignoring others around… and yesterday was no exception throughout the day! I let him be… he lives his life happily… right now he is sleeping in the air conditioning environment of the RV as it is real hot outside. I agree… it is nice!
The town is getting ready for the Rodeo and County Fair! And you better be ready for it also… Do you believe that I have never been to one! Being walking distance it is going to be very entertaining as I am being told. This morning a local lady brought me the program… Breakfasts in the mornings, one being free donated by the Safeway store from Baker City… watermelon seed spitting contest (???)… vegetable costume competition… hummm… and being a Fair, more competition in the food department, even photography. She even brought me some entry forms, I would have loved to enter my award winning cheesecake… but it is too late and I might plan to do it next year. It would be a blast, don’t you think?
We are waiting for my friend Kevin to show up for an overnighter from Vancouver. He has just returned from a long 11 months, 2 wheel escapade to the Middle East, Nepal… Thailand. I know he will have a lot of stories. We also met Wolgang and Heidi from Germany… overloaded on their GS100. They have been on the road for a bit over three months now, having a leakage problem with their front suspension and needing their rear Ohlin shock serviced (sounds familiar?) I called GP Suspension in Oregon City for them and made an appointment for Tuesday am… my good deed of the day!
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Naples Fl 34108
Till next time… you all be well.
Ara & Spirit