Day Twenty-one by Dave Schultheis
Sunday, August 17, 2003 - Somewhere in Washington State
I slept "hot and cold," was awake a few times in the night, got up at 5:45 a.m. and started to pack while still in the tent. Others were arising and doing the same.
After dressing, I rolled up the sleeping gear, stuffed the tent into its bag, attached everything to the Road King and helped with area cleanup, then got the bike started at 7:20 a.m. It was 60 degrees.
It was not possible to thank our host and hostess as they were still asleep, but I said many goodbyes to others, and left at 7:30 a.m.
At the first right turn, I noticed that my right turn signal was not working properly; I was not able to push the button.
So a few miles down the road, I pulled into a Union 76 Station, parked in the sun, and got out a few tools. I partially disassembled the right handlebar switchset again, and discovered that the missing ferrule, which I had thought was lost forever, had not fallen to the ground but had become lodged where it was blocking the right turn-signal button. I removed it, and the turn signal button worked just fine. So now I have an extra ferrule until I see Agua again, or until someone else needs it.
Once back on the road, I tried to have a good attitude about making it all the way home in one day, if it stayed cool. Or, more realistically, I could make it to somewhere near Redding. Randy Scurr had suggested that I consider staying in Weed CA for the night, so I kept that in mind.
I continued on local roads, then got on to U.S. 101 and then back to Interstate 5 and headed south. There was a bit of fog and quite a bit of traffic, even on Sunday.
At 9:20 a.m. I stopped for fuel at a Union 76 Station in Chehalis WA, where it was 74 degrees, then continued another hour and a half or so and stopped for an Oregon picture. I was also greeted with a "55 miles per hour" sign, and again wondered, who they thought they were kidding. Later, the signs started saying a more reasonable, but still silly, 65 miles per hour.
Another half hour later I stopped at a shady rest area and rehydrated. It was 84 degrees. While there, I greeted a couple who had a brown dachshund and asked if it was okay to pet the dog. The people didn't mind, but the dog did - I got bit real hard on the finger. The people said the dog's shots were current, and didn't seem too worried about it. I washed the wound thoroughly and applied some lotion. A nice lady with several kids (and two much-better-behaved dogs) was kind enough to give me some antiseptic bandages.
I turned the Sprint PCS phone on for the first time all weekend, and discovered a call from Dave Clements from Friday. I called him back with a progress report, then called home, then continued south on Interstate 5.
A little later I stopped at another rest stop for a map check, rehydration, and a "buckle up Oregon" photograph.
By 1 p.m. I had made it to Albany OR and stopped for fuel at a Shell Station. If you haven't fueled in Oregon, they don't allow self-serve, but have "mini-serve" instead. Chris turned on the pump and let me fill my own tank, while standing by to turn off the pump again.
I got back on the highway with a lot of cars and trucks going places. It was getting mighty warm, about 89 degrees, so I stopped briefly to put away my lucky green shirt and rehydrate, then continued.
The Boops overtook me and passed; I was not able to keep up for very long. I had to give Papaboop "props" for his skill at pushing through traffic.
I continued to a rest area near mile 82, where it was 91 degrees at 3:15 p.m., and stopped for sore-butt syndrome. There was a sign saying it was only about another 40 miles to Grants Pass. I realized that I was not in such a hurry that I had to, or could, make it all the way home tonight.
It was hot as I continued south, then stopped at 3:50 p.m. for fuel at a Union 76 Station in Grants Pass, where it was 96 degrees, and I was again supervised by the station attendant.
At 5 p.m., it was still hot (90 degrees) in the Siskiyou mountains as I crossed into California near the community of Hilt, exit 796, but did not stop, as I already had more than one confirmed CA picture for the year.
I got off the Interstate and rode on CA Highway 96 (the Klamath River Highway) (picture), CA Highway 263 (picture), where it was 100 degrees, took a Yreka picture, then rode down CA Highway 3 (picture) a short distance, then back on I-5 for a while and near Weed got a beautiful CA Highway 256 picture with Mt. Shasta in the background.
There's a Motel 6 in Weed, but it was a multi-story place, and I liked the look of the Hi-Lo Motel much better. Several notches above scuzzy! I parked in front of the office at 6:10 p.m., 100 degrees, and secured a non-smoking, ground-floor room for about $50. I could park in the cross-hatched area right in front of Room 9.
While unloading the bike, I heard the incessant barking of a dog coming from nearby. After I got my things put away, I followed the barking on foot, and found a big dog tied in front of a house and barking out of loneliness. One of the neighbors said it was a "police" dog (which could mean anything).
When the barking continued unabated, I finally called the Weed Police, and the person who answered the phone happened to be the animal control officer/part time dispatcher, who said that it _was_ an officer's house and he would try to get the problem solved.
A little later, kids were shooting off firecrackers on a nearby property, which was causing another dog to bark continuously, right behind the motel, so I called again. Sheesh, this is a small town. When did "big city" problems come to small towns?
My Sprint PCS phone did not work in Weed, and I had run out of water during the day, so I walked down to a convenience store and got more water, then continued to unpack while watching CNN and CBS, then took a shower and put on clean clothes.
Two other riders (Rick and Steve - very nice guys) had taken the room next door. They had become separated from their friend Brian during the day. They were hoping that he would ride through Weed and find them, but it didn't look good. We talked for a while, and all agreed that dinner sounded good, so we went to the Hi-Lo Cafe, on the same property. I had a patty melt with fresh fruit and milk, then picked up the tab.
I went back to my room and watched some television, then went to bed after 10 p.m.
Miles for the day = 505. Miles for the trip = 6869.
Tomorrow: another long ride down the highway, and home.