Friday, September 6, 2002 - Dorris, California
After a few tosses and turns, a couple of check-the-bikes peeks out the window, the noisy wall heater kicking on several times, and the neighbor's pre-scheduled starting of the classic Fairlane at 5:30 a.m., the sun peeked in the bathroom window and I got up at 6:49 a.m.
Everyone was right, it was cold. I turned on CNN and had some juice while dressing and packing. Dave was up and started his bike. This place was very convenient as the bikes were literally steps from the rooms.
I started my engine about 7:35 a.m. (no trouble - fuel injected), finished putting things on the bike, and decided that even though it was a little chilly, we were prepared, so we would be fine.
We left Dorris at 7:50 a.m., heading northeast on Hy 97. It's only about 3 miles to the Oregon state line, where we stopped for pictures and met some folks in a motor home who kindly offered to help with photos.
A few miles later we stopped at the Oregon Welcome Center for maps, then continued through Klamath Falls OR, then along the east side of Klamath Lake. Hy 97 then turned long and straight, partly through forested areas, and we pulled into a gas station at Diamond Lake Junction at 9:25 a.m. It was quite cold and we needed warming up. There was a cafe next door but we weren't ready to eat just yet.
I could see a highway sign a few hundred yards away, but couldn't quite make out what it said. Dave talked to the gas station attendant about getting premium fuel and was told that he didn't have premium, but that we'd be able to get some about 8 miles ahead. He also told us that Oregon law had recently been changed to read that operators of motorcycles and specialty vehicles were allowed to pump their own gasoline, but that a station employee must turn on the pump.
Being the major scofflaw that I am, I completely disregarded the "customers only" sign on the cafe and used their bathroom. I hope I'll be welcome again in Oregon.
I rode down and took photos of the directional sign. It was on OR Highway 138 and showed various routes to and around Crater Lake National Park. This looked like a good place to have a future Slimefest.
We got back on the highway and rode into Chemult OR. We quickly found premium fuel at a Texaco Station and I was able to use my Shell credit card. We talked to a guy wearing a San Jose Harley-Davidson tee-shirt. He actually was from the San Jose area and had been thinking about attending a H.O.G. chapter meeting, so I gave him some information about our meetings.
After another hour we pulled off Hy 97 in Bend OR and stopped in a grocery store parking lot to reconnoiter. We needed to get to the Harley-Davidson dealership as my primary chain case noise was increasing.
While checking the map, we saw a well-packed H-D bagger pull into the parking lot of a nearby restaurant. As I got closer and saw that it was a green Road King with black tour-pak, I realized it was Rich Johns from Long Beach CA.
We talked for a while and decided to look for the dealer and then have something to eat. While enroute through town, it was hard to upshift, and I recalled thinking "oh, no, not more trouble." As it turned out, there was a simple fix.
We got to Bears & Roses Harley-Davidson at 11:45 a.m. I waited to talk to the people in the Service Department, while I sent Dave & Pan and Rich into the showroom and boutique areas. After a short wait, technician Keith said "yes, it's noisy" and agreed to look at it. While looking, he immediately discovered that one of the chrome head bolt covers had come unscrewed and was blocking the shift mechansm, which caused trouble upshifting. I put the cover in a saddlebag; problem solved.
They put the bike up on a lift and starting unscrewing things, so I wandered into the showroom as well, looking for Fat Boy logo tee-shirts, but they didn't have any. I also explored their large waiting room, which is also their coffee and snack vending area and the H.O.G. chapter meeting room. It must be great to have a chapter meeting place at the dealership.
I suggested to the others that they go and get some lunch, and one of the dealer employees suggested a biker-friendly restaurant a short distance away, so they went in that direction.
Then I wandered back into the Service Department where another technician had determined that I was low on primary fluid and that the clutch plates smelled bad. They said they would drain what primary fluid was left and replace it to the proper level, then adjust the clutch.
Back into the sales area, I found something I had been looking for on the bargain table; Classic-style chrome saddlebag guard rails (90839-93A) at 30% off the $309 MSRP. I checked carefully to be sure they would fit my RK, and the parts gal agreed to ship them to my home, so I put down my credit card and they charged me $216. I'd need some bolts, and they would charge my card separately for the shipping, but I think I got quite a bargain.
After more waiting in the Service Department, they had refilled the primary, adjusted the clutch, taken the bike for a short test drive and returned. I paid the $40 bill and then noticed that the bike was leaking primary fluid. As they knew I was "on the road," they removed the derby cover (instead of going to lunch) and pronounced it warped, but had not noticed which side was up when they'd taken it off.
The choices were for them to rotate the cover one direction or the other and hope for the best, or to goop up the cover with RTV and hope for the best. We chose the "goop" method, and that stopped the leak (for the time being).
There was no extra charge for the extra work, and I was free to go at 12:50 p.m. I rode down the street and over the freeway and immediately noticed how much better the clutch lever felt. It had been getting harder and harder to pull but I hadn't realized it. What a difference the proper adjustment makes!
I rode down another 1/4 mile to the Black Horse Saloon, where I found the others just finishing their lunch. They really enjoyed the food and were treated well.
Dave & Pan and Rich suggested that I sit and eat but I was anxious to get back on the road, so I skipped lunch. We continued out of town on Hy 97, then about another 60 miles later took the (poorly-marked) turnoff onto U.S. Highway 197 toward the Tygh Valley area.
The road was about 22 miles of nothing but beautiful Oregon countryside, through a large valley. We would be in need of fuel pretty soon and were starting to get concerned.
At one point we rounded a corner and found a young bull in the middle of the road. He had gotten through the fence (you know, greener pastures syndrome) and was in a good spot to become hamburger. We stopped and flashed four-ways to warn others. Dave persuaded the bull to go back where he came from. He jumped in a most ungentle-bull-y manner over the barbed wire fence to safety. Who could have imagined a creature that size jumping so high.
A few minutes later, we found ourselves riding over a bridge and coming into the small town of Maupin OR, where we found Richmond's Service station and filled our tanks. The guy there had already talked to a few others enroute to Slimefest, so he knew where we were going and gave directions.
It wasn't much farther. Up the road a ways, left on Wamic Market Road, left on something else, right on something else. Dave listened closely to the directions, I just followed.
On the way I noticed that my horn was very loose and rattling, so I mentally made note of the tools I would need to remedy that situation.
At 3:40 p.m. we found the Pine Hollow Lakeside Resort and immediately located Slugs in Section E, right near the entrance, just as the map had described. This was the tent-camping area.
Many Slugs were already present, so we greeted as many as would could: Derek, Jon Morgan, Hoppy, Paul Shirron, Curly, Jake, Randy & Sandra, Becky & Terry, Bob Veatch and Ray.
I walked to the store to register and pay for Cabin 3 for two nights ($80). While there, I spotted Redbeard Emeritus, then Snarl & Jeanne arrived on the white bike, and I met St. Connie of the ATM.
I briefly scoped out Cabin 3: two single beds, a combination sink, stove, refrigerator and freezer, and some shelves for storage. There was also a chair, a nightstand, a window with venetian blinds and an electric heater.
There was an outside switch for the porch light and two switches inside for inside lights. I noted that the room did not include toilet facilities, but had seen the bathhouse on the way over.
I went back to get the RK, then parked it in front of the cabin and put my stuff inside. I put the blue ice in the freezer and turned up the "cold."
Dave & Pandora put all their stuff in the nearby travel trailer they had reserved. Checking around, Snarl & Jeanne had Cabin 4, the "Annie Oakley suite." It was similarly-equipped but had a big glass window facing the lake.
I walked back to Section E, where a lot of meeting and greeting was taking place, along with the consumption of mass quantities of brewed beverages. I met Dirty Harry, and Phil B. arrived. I think I met Wolfpup.
I am not sure if it was this day or the next day, but there was evidence of a skunk being nearby. People who stayed in Section E can tell you more.
Around 6 p.m., a group of about 20 of us walked up to Lexie's Restaurant (near the store) for dinner. Most of us were able to sit at one long table in the middle of the room, other sat in booths nearby.
There was much joking and many stories were told. Some of them might actually have been true. The service was very slow but eventually my patty melt (with Swiss cheese but no onions) and raspberry shake arrived.
One of the highlights of the evening was when the group discovered that this day was Pandora's birthday. A mostly on-key rendition of "Happy Birthday" was sung by all. There was much laughter and camaradarie around the table until approximately 8:30 p.m.
Most of the group walked back to Section E, where it was quite dark. Flashlights were hung from trees to help illuminate the area.
Around 9:30 p.m. Chuck & Barb Lanter rolled into the campground in their 1984 Mercedes Benz. For some reason I remember Chuck saying that old reliable had 300,000 miles on it. They had left their home in southeastern Idaho at noon.
Curly had previously told the people at the campground that the Slugs would provide corn for the Saturday afternoon barbeque, and Chuck had volunteered to bring it. Their whole back seat was full of bags of ears of corn.
Not long afterward, I walked back to Cabin 3 and went to bed around 10:00 p.m.
Miles for the day = 267. Miles for the trip = 687.