Thursday, August 23, 2007

Road Trip: Detroit Lake

Here is my bike all loaded when I arrived on Monday afternoon -- sorry it is a little dark. I didn't have time to tinker with the camera settings since I was too busy getting rained on!
I filled the tank before leaving, and when I got there. Once more after a ride on Tuesday, and a last time when I got home on Wednesday. If I did my math right, I averaged over 53 mpg! Not bad for a fully loaded bike on the highway!

Here is camp all set up
with things hanging to dry once the rain let up.
Note the brightness of my reflective gear in the flash -- even my gloves drying on the rack by the fire! And here I am, happy to be there and done with the set-up. I wasn't dry yet, but I was on the way!
On Monday afternoon, the lake was gloomy and foreboding -- kinda cool looking!
Tuesday dawned clear and warm, yea! I went for a ride to see some of the national forest nearby:
I was hoping to get to Olallie lake (some of the signage is a bit nonstandard, put up by folks who don't work for the ODOT!):
I rode about 34 of the 37 miles there, only to come to a sign that said "pavement ends" -- not wanting to brave 3 miles of hilly gravel roads, I simply turned around and headed back. Bummer.

Tuesday night I had a nice fire, and let it burn down to rich coals. I wish the picture did it justice. There's nothing quite like getting away from it all, and watching something like this for a few hours instead of a TV.
After the coals died, I went out by the lake at around 11:30 pm. The sky was clear, and as I let my eyes adjust, I was amazed at the canopy of stars. It was dry enough to tinker with my camera settings, but I couldn't get the exposure right, so unfortunately I have no pictures of the night sky to share with you. I sure wish I could though!

On Wednesday -- another warm day, yea! -- I broke camp. As I was packing things up, I saw this:
That's my sleeping bag, and the bright green is the air mattress. Beyond that is the door to the tent, and my watch on the floor of the tent. See it? Right there at the seam between the door and the floor? Here's a closer look, with my watchface in the foreground for perspective:
I don't know if my impromptu roommate had been there all night, or if he'd come in at 3 am when I went to use the little camper's room, or if he had only been in there for the 5 minutes or so since I opened the tent flap to the world around me. Anyway you slice it it was pretty freaky. Normally I follow the catch-and-release policy with spiders, but this guy freaked me out a little too much. Look at the little spiky-pointed ends to his legs! I offed him with the edge of my flip-flop, and he made a loud sickening crrrrr-RUNCH as his exoskeleton crumpled. Here he is squashed, with my breakfast next to him for perspective. Two of his legs actually snapped off!

This is my bike all packed up and getting ready to ride home on Wednesday.
My trip back was uneventful, and I stopped at the DMV on the way home to get my Oregon license plate.

All in all it was a good trip. You can see the rest of the pictures here

~ Keith

PS -- for the serious inquirer's who just have to know, here is my route, and here are a few close up shots of how I attached things:

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