A girl, a bike, and an open road

I’m off again! This time, I’m heading to Babes Ride Out (BRO), a women’s motorcycle rally in Joshua Tree, CA, for 4 days of getting sunburned and dehydrated with 1500 other women on bikes.. should be a good time! After that, the plan is to head east to Austin, TX, where I’ll be staying for 2 weeks. Between seeing friends and eating a ton of tacos, I’m also attending a work conference — Keep Ruby Weird — and maybe a run over to Florida for another Iron Butt National Parks Tour stamp. After that, I’ll be heading back west to Los Angeles for some poker sessions at the Bicycle Casino and another work conference, RubyConf, and then… then I get to go home.

Ready to go!

First things first, though, I have to get to Maupin, OR tonight, where I’ll be meeting up with Suze, who is also heading down to BRO and will be camping in the Women Adventure Riders Camp (WAR Camp, get it?) I snuck out of Seattle around noon, after a quick goodbye coffee with my friend Bronwyn (who I toured around the Washington and Oregon coasts with for a week after returning from Alaska.) Traffic was predictably meh, and I got into Olympia, WA only 15 minutes late for lunch with Johanna, who had ridden down from Alaska at the end of their summer season, and was intending to ride down with Suze and I to BRO, but had a “sudden rider dismount event” when a car crossed into her lane in a construction zone! Bike was totaled, but she’s mostly fine, just bike-less and not yet cleared for riding, sadly.. Johanna, you are MISSED!

A delightful lunch in my belly, I got back on I-5 towards Portland, OR, the weather nearly perfect. I-287 to I-84 east through the Columbia River Gorge — I swear, the wind is ALWAYS against me through here! A bit gusty and strong, gave me a couple “oh shit” moments so I slowed down and kept it chill, past the waterfalls and cliffs of the gorge, all the way to The Dalles, OR, where I hopped onto US-197 right at the golden hour, the rolling grasslands of Oregon and amazing gold, Mt Hood off to my right casting a long shadow across the prairie. Saw a few deer, off in the fields, where they are welcome to stay!

Maupin is a gorgeous small town, in a steep valley carved by the Deschutes River. Suze was a fabulous host, taking me to a local joint where everyone knew her name, the food was good, the beer was appropriately temperatured, and the company charming. An early morning tomorrow, as we’re trying to make miles if we can, aiming for Joshua Tree, CA in 3 days.

Miles: 289

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