Friday, August 22, 2008

Getting ready for the Rally in Stevenson, WA

It's been a busy week. I've been on the fence about attending a large scooter gathering down in the Gorge. It's a long way, can't get anyone to ride with me and I want to take a certain road which is not in the greatest shape. It's a camping rally and I don't camp but I was willing to try. Last week I dusted off our tent, the one we purchased 20 years ago and actually set it up in the back yard to make sure I understood how to set it up and see what condition it was in. Also we have some sleeping bags which I aired out. I also went out to look at camping stuff and purchased a ground sheet. so everything was set until I went on the web to find out if there were any reviews on these places. One review said that there were a lot of trains passing by and they had to toot their horn entering and leaving a certain area, and trains were passing by all night. This I could live with. But as soon as I saw that phrase which said "washrooms could use a little TLC" I made up my mind to get a motel. I got the last non-smoking room which is only about 3 blocks from the rally site.
Since I thought that I was going camping, I spent last weekend trying to prepare my Xciting 500Ri to be able to charge all my electronic stuff, like my cameras/video on the scoot as I didn't know if I would be able to obtain an electrical outlet. But nothing worked. I think that my inverter needs more AMPS than my charging system can supply.
Anyway I'm all set, the skoot is packed, gas is full, all systems are ready and it is definitely easier without having to pack the tent and sleeping bag.
My dilema all week has been trying to decide whether to ride this particular road or not. I have been doing a bit of investigation and find that it is one of the best motorcycle roads in Washington state. It lines up with 3 or 4 other roads which makes it an 80 mile stretch of un-interrupted twisties, long sweepers and technical curves, but it is a remote road in the mountains with no cell phone coverage and is in very bad shape from heavy snowfall. Some parts of the road have collapsed and are closed indefinitely. It seems that the National Forestry department does not have funds to repair/re-pave these roads. Also there are many sections with frost heaves which are not indicated/labelled and there may be lots of gravel and sand on the corners. Actually on one site they say that if you plan on travelling in this area you should let someone know so that if you do not make it out then they should send out the search party. I think my mind is more or less made up and I will attempt to ride this road tomorrow. I do have some parameters which will sway my decision to take another route if conditions warrant.
So I am off to the rally and will be back in a few days, hopefully with some stories to tell. I am trying to keep you in suspense for a few days until I get back. I do not have room to take my laptop and I think that there will be too much vibration for it to survive this trip so I am leaving it at home. I will not be able to update this BLOG until I return later in the week.
When I say "GORGE", I am referring to the Columbia Gorge. This is the waterway between Washington & Oregon States, an hour or so East of Portland. I will be staying in a little town on the Washington side . . . Stevenson, WA. There are rides planned, a vendor area and BMW sponsored Demo bikes available for testing. I've met a few people on the local Maxi-Scoots forum so I will be on the lookout for them. They have actually organized 4 rallies this week for different types of bikes: sportbikes, touring bikes, dual sport bikes & Maxi-Scoots. It's rally week in the Gorge and I'm on my way . . .

Oh, forgot , as mentioned above "no laptop" = "NO posts until I return"
thanks and see you in a few days.


  1. This is the Gorge where Pearl Jam plays regularly, yes?

  2. hey Chris:

    thanks for stopping by. Yes, Here is the link to the Gorge Amphitheatre

    or . . .

    They have a lot of concerts there. It's a spectacular setting