Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Big Guy rides the Left Coast - Day Nine - Klamath Falls, OR to Yakima, WA

Day 9 - 600 km - 8 hours

Today was Bug Day. I had so many bugs on my helmet, on my windscreen, in my gloves, in the vents of my helmet… It was horrible!

At the start of the day I wore my jacket without the liner because it was a sunny day and I thought it would be quite warm. Unfortunately it was about 18 or 19° C. but with the wind it was actually quite cool and I got a bit chilled in the morning which surprised me. 

The Whistlestop farm - lots of plants and flowers but, alas, no cheese!
An interested llama at the Whistlestop farm
At one point I thought I'd hunt down one of the exciting things that I saw on the highway - the Whistlestop farm and florist, which I had hoped would sell cheese - but when I got to a farmhouse it only sold flowers. I took advantage of the time to have some  of my last bit of Hilman cheese and was welcomed by a llama which observed me very closely as I nibbled away. 

Off I went again and the next stop that I made I actually overshot. It was P.S. Ogden Rest Stop and I thought, "Meh, I don't need a rest," so I kept going . Mere seconds later I crossed a fantastic canyon which broke up the otherwise extremely flat land.  I went back to the rest stop and took a closer look. 

Bridge over the Crooked River - bungee jumping, anyone?

Another bridge over the Crooked River.

Hang on to your dog, or else they might plunge into the canyon!

In the middle of all these flat fields was the The Crooked River canyon and it is amazing! It was definitely worth the stop and, what's more, people were bungee jumping off a famous bridge (the Crooked River High Bridge) built in 1925 - now closed to traffic but open to pedestrians) overlooking the canyon that was built many years ago.

There was a warning sign about the cliff - also reminding people to watch their pets - dogs have been known to run right into the canyon.

I continued on driving at a great pace and enjoyed passing trucks and semis! I am still getting the hang of exactly how fast I can go when I'm passing and I did unfortunately 'thread the needle' a couple of times when I overestimated my speed or underestimated the oncoming vehicle but there was nothing ever really that close - really.

I stopped for lunch at a small town called Moro which had a couple of cafés and one gas station and some scattering of houses. I thought, instead of going to Subway or McDonald's or somewhere boring for lunch, that I would try somewhere local and I was happy with his with the result. 

The young lad that served me was probably a high school student and he was very polite. I ordered a half of a sandwich that I could build myself because I didn't feel like having a hamburger or hotdog and the sandwich was quite tasty and went well with my Diet Coke. The person cooking might have been his dad but another person came into the café at the time so I didn't get a chance to ask him.

Stonehenge war monument off in the distance

The next stop I made was one that I had read about. It is the Stonehenge Memorial – an actual Stonehenge made of concrete – that is war memorial. It was built between 1918 and 1929. Unfortunately I could only see it from far away on the highway and couldn't figure out how to visit it without making a massive detour. Unfortunately the bugs and oppressive heat (as opposed to the morning cool) deterred me from exploring. It had warmed up considerably during the day. The temperature had risen from around 18° C. to  35°C.  and when I finally got into Yakima it was 40°C.

Hard to see, but there are literally hundreds of wind turbines in the distance.
What other very cool thing that I don't think photos do justice to was the wind power farm I went through. There were literally hundreds of wind turbines at one point, which was very impressive, but when I passed closer to one, it was kind of creepy as they are so large! 

The CoPilot app decided that I should go onto Main Street in a suburb south of Yakima and go along Main Street through that town and all the way out to the other end of Yakima for some reason. Possibly the freeway was busy or traffic was bad or CoPilot just has a weird sense of humour but I did eventually make it to the Best Western Motel.

The Best Western was a 'plus' hotel which means that it was probably the nicest hotel I stayed at on the trip. The room was big with a separate seating area, a desk with a nice office chair, a fridge, a microwave, a good modern TV, king size bed, nice clean bathroom… it was overall a great room. So, of course, I forgot to take a photo of it.....

I was happy to make use of their pool after I checked in. There was a family there (which is absolutely fine) but they were the noisiest family I've ever seen or heard!  The pool was an indoor pool so that with all of the kids screaming it actually hurt my ears! Also I noticed that the dad had a ice bucket full of bottles of beer by the pool - maybe to help him cope with his own kids screaming! I left the pool, ears ringing, a bit sooner than I would have liked.

Next up was figuring out dinner. I found what I thought was the Yakima Thai Restaurant on my map app so I decided to walk there despite the heat because it's great to get the legs stretched every night. I managed to cross the highway without getting killed and ended up walking into basically a ghetto area looking for the restaurant. I followed Siri's instructions exactly and I ended up in a vacant lot beside two sketchy looking drug houses. I was not happy and at that point I thought, time to bail and get out back to the main highway, which I did. 

What's missing here?
I walked the other way up the highway and found a Chinese restaurant. You could tell that it was not an authentic Chinese because -  number one, I didn't see a Chinese person there - not even cooking and number two, there was not a chopstick in sight! I decided to order some prawns, sweet-and-sour pork and almond chicken. I was kind of surprised when all three were deep fried and the only difference was the different sauce on each one. I ate what I could and then left the rest because I just couldn't eat all that deep-fried food. The accompanying rice tasted like some sort of nasty Uncle Ben's rice rather than true Asian rice so I left that behind as well. I hate being wasteful with food but I can't take it with me on the scooter and, to be quite honest, it's just too much food for one serving.. If I tried to eat it all I would feel ill afterwards.

The restaurant did have a very nice girl who served and a very nice woman who I chatted with who I assume was the owner. They were very lovely people.

Tonight would be my last night in a hotel and while it had been fun staying in different motels /  hotels I was looking forward to talking to somebody else besides my iPhone in the evening. Sorry, Siri, you're just not that much fun to talk to!

1 comment:

SonjaM said...

On my travels with Bob(skoot) Leong he made sure to ride though Yakima canyon early in the day. We even ordered early breakfast at 5:30am. Still, it was so friggin' hot! And I remember the windmill forest. Thanks for the memories of an epic road trip.