Our reason for attending the IBC2010 in Bend, Oregon was to actually meet those whom we have gotten to know on-line. When the plan was first hatched some months ago a few others had made arrangements to also attend. This included GAW from St Louis who was going to arrive by Friday (July 16th). Also with the assistance from Mike, whom kindly secured our rooms at the Bend Inn & Suites, who was also arriving on Friday. So my plan was to also arrive on Friday so they both wouldn't be so lonely.
(Grocery Store: Toppenish, WA)
My solo rides are usually over a long weekend with a much closer destination. I purchased and outfitted my V-strom for touring and I thought that this would be a good time to try a weeks riding vacation. I wasn't really sure that I wanted to go alone and talk to myself for a week but I was going to give it a try. Then when SonjaM got wind of my desire to travel to Bend, she wanted to tag along.
There are many factors which influenced my decision to take this vacation and the timing which was working out perfectly. Mr Conchscooter posted a while back that he wanted to take a vacation to California around Mid July and I put the bug in his ear. He made a commitment to meet up somewhere on the West Coast. With the few extra days I had resolved myself to riding to California to meet him half way on his epic journey across the continent. I was dreaming of a night in the same hotel and take a walk with Cheyenne at the same time.
(Toppenish, WA: City of Murals)
Then the plans changed and due to circumstances, Mr Conch decided to cut back and tour the new England States and visit friends. Meanwhile while doing our trip planning, Sonja indicated that she had limited vacation time due to projects which needed her personal oversight. She could only commit to 3 days (Mon-Wed) plus the weekend. This was a problem for me as I wanted to be in Bend on the Friday which was the original plan to meet up with GAW and Mike. Luckily she freed up Friday but after I had checked with Mr Google Maps, it was going to be nearly 500 miles and would take around 12 hours, plus rest stops and meal breaks. Remember that the plan was to minimize use of I-5 and travel on secondary roads at slower speeds and also find time to snap a few pictures along the way. After some consideration we decided to leave from work early on Thurday and travel a few hours into the Seattle area to make Friday a little easier. This meant additional hotel expenses but we would still be able to reach Bend by Friday evening for dinner.
Unfortunately, GAW had a mishap on his BMW Xcountry and Mike had a birthday to attend so the pressure was OFF so we changed our plans again to arrive into Bend by around Noon on Saturday (July 17).
Back to Mr Conchscooter. All of our emails, texting and comments had always been to meet on July 17th, so all was in order and the planets were coming into perfect alignment. We made a detailed ride plan outlining our stops and booked all of our accommodations along the way. Everything was set, our bikes were serviced and we were just waiting to leave on Friday.
Two days before we were to leave, Mr Conchscooter sent me a text message to confirm our arrangements. He was lost somewhere between Texas and Santa Cruz. It was criptic but something like this, "Dinner on Friday and Breakfast on Saturday, then we leave, does this suit you?" I was in a panic as all of our plans revolved around getting to Bend after lunch on Saturday. Messages were transmitted back and forth across the country and I was finally resolved that we would not be able to meet as he stated he had to get back to work in KW at 6:30pm on Friday.
While Mr Conch was always telling me July 17th, he didn't consult Mr Calendar and thought that the 17th was Friday. So never the twain shall meet and I, with tears in my eyes texted back that we were so close but we would miss each other by a few hours. I wished him well for his travels back home and perhaps one day we would meet in Key West.
It's a long way from Santa Cruz to have a meal in Bend and he had a lot of miles to travel to get home without the added stress of diverting hundred of miles out of his way to Oregon.
But WAIT, I received another message. He asked if I would consider a compromise and meet half way. Instead of Breakfast could I get to Bend by 11:00am for Brunch. We would enjoy a leisurely meal and he would be on his way. Of course I agreed but how to tell Sonja that we had to leave before 6am for the 5 hour ride to reach the restaurant by 11:00am
Don't tell Conch but we did manage to make a few brief photo stops
(Wind Farm, south of Goldendale, WA)
I just love windmills and often stop for photos. I just love the yellow rolling hills and looking at these propellers.
We also stopped at Shaniko for a refreshment break and half a banana
Shaniko is a ghost town complete with deserted buildings. It resembles a movie set of a western town. Today we noticed a lot of bikers on the road, and we spoke to this group who were camping somewhere in Redmond
Unfortunately we arrived a few minutes late at 11:30am but Mr Conchscooter waited for us outside of the restaurant and I recognized him and Layne, right away
(Mr Conchscooter always smiles when there is food in front of him)
and with Layne's blessing, I am now officially Jewish, as I managed to force part of my meal onto Mr Conch
(Oy Vay: big steak, small stomach)
Jewish Tradition dictates that I must share my meal.
More on Mr Conchscooter to be continued . . .