Leaving Portland, OR on a motorcycle in november is a nasty affair. The rainy season has set in, and you are well served to get out of the valley and south as quick as you can.
Things started out real wet on our first night so I convinced Jordan that it would be dryer on the east side of the cascades. Knowing that we would be trading rain for colder temps we pointed the bikes towards Bend, OR. From our camp just east of Detroit lake we made our way up Santiam pass and watched the snow line get closer and closer. The mountains got a good dusting the night before and mixed with the burnt forrest it made for a beautiful landscape.
Instead of spending a lot of extra time grabbing non-essential last minute odds and ends in Portland we had decided to pick them up down the road. So when we got to Bend we burned up the last of the daylight running around, doing just that. As dusk rolled in we put on every layer of clothing we had and jumped on the 97 south to Crescent. Stoping to grab a couple cans of food, we checked the map and found the the dirt road we where looking for. We jammed down to it and made our way in a couple miles before finding a a decent spot to set up for the night, it had become very apparent that it was going to be a miserable night. Wasting no time, we gathered some firewood to heat things up. With the cans in the fire we both pulled out our damp tents that had already started to freeze into bricks
Before calling it a night we both did some jumping jacks and slid into our frozen little homes, most of the night was spent waiting for the morning to come and hoping that we would be graced with sunshine.
As soon as the first rays of sun hit the tents we where up and packing. Frost covered our bikes and tents, but the excitement was high as we were both looking forward to making our way over Windigo Pass. The riding was a mixed bag of frost, ice and mud making for a couple hairy corners. As we neared the top of the pass we found ourselves fallowing a 4x4 track through the snow. I decided to try out a different strategy that put me in the ditch with a smashed headlight and twisted forks. Easily sorted out, we were quickly back to enjoying the beautiful crisp day.
We both smiled with content as we descended into warmer weather. The trip had finally officially started and slowly the responsibilities that have filled our lives leading up to the trip have begun to fade away. We are both looking forward to days of simply finding gas, food and a place to pitch our tents.