Day One: Home to John Day, Oregon

Departure was on a Monday. 8 am, I pulled out of my home under sunny skies and 55 degrees. Perfect riding weather as far as I was concerned. The destination of the first day would be John Day, Oregon. I made it as far as Maupin on the Deschutes River before it got hot enough to change into my warm weather gear. I grabbed a snack (Reses peanut butter cups and a vanilla frappucino — Food of the Riding Gods) and continued on my way.

I got to Fossil at 11:00 AM and had lunch at the Big Timber Cafe. As I was getting on my bike to leave, a guy in a Ford Focus pulled up and asked me several questions about my bike. He had a Suzuki SV650 and was thinking about switching to the V-Strom. He seemed really short to me so I asked him how tall he was. He said he was 5′ 3″. I mentioned that even with lower modifications, the V-Strom would probably be too tall of a bike for him, but it was worth checking out.

Not 5 seconds after he pulled away, a guy on a DL1000 pulled in and parked next to me. His name was John and he was from Ephrata, Washington. We chatted for probably 15 minutes about our bikes and trips and so forth, then he asked where I was headed. I mentioned one leg of my trip would be near his home town. He was very helpful in pointing out how thick traffic would be on one leg and suggested an alternate route. We said our goodbyes and he went inside for lunch while I rolled on toward John Day.

The heat continued to rise as well as the humidity. I had to stop several times to drink water — and pour some on my t-shirt under my Aerostich — in an attempt to cool off. I got into John Day at 2:00 PM and checked into my motel. At the Best Western, they gave me the same room I had on my previous trip through John Day back in May. Fortunately this time it didn’t smell like a tavern like it did earlier.

Dinner was in the lounge of The Outpost next door. The same gal was working that night. The service could be classified as ‘indifferent’. The pizza was undercooked as well. Breakfast in the main restaurant the next morning was great, however.

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