Sat. May 30 – 2:53 PM – Klamath Falls, OR – Maverick Motel

It’s warm and muggy here in Klamath Falls. But, let’s start at the beginning…

6:24 AM – My cat thought it was a work day and meowed a lot, wondering why I wasn’t awake yet. I went downstairs and got a pot of coffee brewing, then turned on the news to catch the weather forecast. Within minutes I could feel an occular migraine coming on so I took my meds, poured a cup of coffee, and watched some TV.

After a small breakfast, my headache had diminished. I showered and began loading my luggage onto the bike. I rolled out at 8:25 AM under sunny skies and 64 degrees, heading east on Hwy 26.

The pass at Government Camp wasn’t very chilly and by the time I crossed into the Warm Springs Indian Reservation I had to pull over and get into my warm-weather gear (jeans and no jacket liner). The high desert north of Madras smelled like onions, wet juniper and sage, from thunder showers the night before. Traffic was light and I followed two other motorcycles all the way into Bend. On the south side of town I pulled off the bypass and stopped at Shari’s for a late breakfast. After getting some bisquits and gravy, I crossed the street to the Chevron and fueled up. I was back on the road a few minutes past noon.

Anyone that has traveled on Hwy 97 south of Bend knows how long, straight and boring it is. Thankfully I had earphones with some good tunes playing on my iPod. I also broke up the monotony by weaving side to side in my lane. Corny but it helps. Large clouds were forming in the skies to the south and west, and I had a dozen fat rain drops on my windshield just north of Chemult. I was expecting to have to pull over and suit back up for rain but the offending clouds veered to the west and left me alone.

The temperature was getting warmer so I pulled into the Collier State logging museum and took off the bandana under my helmet. This allows more air to flow onto my head through my helmet vents. Klamath Lake was fragrant and calm and traffic around its eastern shore was incidental. On the north side of town I pulled into a Chevron to top off my tank in preparation for tomorrow’s ride but there was a long line of cars and only two pumps working. I got back onto the highway and headed on to my motel.

The Maverick Motel is on Main Street in old town Klamath Falls. It also shares the parking lot with a brew-pub, so you can guess where I’ll be having dinner tonight. My room is tiny, maybe 10′ x 11′, and upstairs — I requested a ground floor room — but it’s clean. There is no wi-fi Internet access, howevever, so I’ll have to post this at my next stop.

6:02 PM

Dinner was at the Klamath Basin Brewery next door. Taco salad and a fairly decent IPA. After the IPA, however, I could barely taste their ‘8-second’ lager; it was like water. IPA’s do that to your taste buds.

The service was good as was the conversation with the two owners, one of whom just got his motorcycle endorsement last August via the Team Oregon MSF course. He rides a Kawasaki Ninja 250. Based on his short stature, his bike choice was excellent. They mentioned they have free wi-fi so I’m going to let my dinner settle then go back over for another pint and take PeeWee (my Asus eeePC netbook) to post today’s entries to my blog.

There are ominous thunder clouds to the west, the direction I’m headed tomorrow. Other than a few miles of I-5 from Ashland to Grants Pass, it should be a day of nothing but twisty back roads, some barely as wide as a car: destination, Yreka, California.