Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lookout Mountain

I went for a ride today! Now you're saying to yourself "You rent motorcycles, and you have seven at your disposal, you probably ride every day!" Well, I don't ride EVERY day. Actually most of my job is at the computer. I answer emails from potential and future customers. I answer their many, many questions. I get their insurance and SPOT devices set up. I add stuff to our website, make sure the calendar is up to date, put pictures on facebook, and interact with other motorcycle minded facebook pages, for exposure. I fill out a lot of customer paperwork, wash bikes, make sure all the stuff that goes on the bikes is in order, and spray Lysol in returned helmets. Most of my riding is to the gas station to fill up a bike, or to Pro caliber in Bend, to order parts, or to pick up parts. The truth is, I could jump on a bike, and take off into the mountains any time, but when I'm here by myself, I just don't...very often. I'm not afraid to ride on the pavement by myself. I've ridden between Bend and Portland, alone many times. It's the off road stuff that isn't such a good idea to do alone, but today, I went for a ride.

I wanted to go to the top of Lookout Mountain. It isn't very far from our house. I see it all the time. I know there is a Forest Service road to the top, because I've seen it on the map, but I've just never been up there, and today I had a bug to go.

I chose our smallest bike. It's not our shortest bike, but it is light, and only has a 250cc engine. I love my BMW, but if I drop it alone, I can't pick it up. Well, I did pick it up once; the Rawhyde guys made me lay it on its side...gently, lay it on its side. I wasn't riding it, or anything...it was just for demo purposes, to prove that I COULD pick it up. Anyway, it took me three trys, and I about hemorrhaged, but I got the thing picked up. I'm pretty sure I couldn't do it again, and I don't want to try. I know I can pick up the KLX if I had to, so that was to be my trusty steed. I packed some water and a granola bar, and off I went.

The Forest Service marks their roads with a stick that looks like this:
 They don't survive the winters very well, and the Forest Service isn't very prudent when it comes to repairing or replacing them. Many times, the number on the road, isn't the same as the number on the map, sometimes the number decals fall off, leaving only a partial number, and other times the shrubs are covering the marker all together.
 It's always fun to play Where's Waldo with the road markers from the back of a motorcycle in the forest. 

Despite the challenges,I managed to navigate my way to the correct road. On the way up, I encountered some logging.

 I'm always amazed that pictures of steep roads, don't look steep. The next picture is the road to the top. I thought it was kind of steep-ish.
At the top, I parked the KLX in the shade, drank some water, ate my granola bar, and had a look around.
I thought with a name like "Lookout Mountain" there would be some kind of lookout at the top. That seems like a reasonable assumption...of course not. THIS is what's at the top.

 Solar panels, a very tall antenna, and whatever that white shed is. This isn't the first time we've ridden up a mountain only to find a big ol' pile of technology at the top. Oh well. 

I took a picture of this:
I'm not sure what these are called. They're common here; we even have them in our yard, but they usually grow straight up. I've never seen one do this before.

I didn't spend a lot of time at the top of Lookout Mountain. I decided it looked like the kind of place a bear, or mountain lion might call home, and I didn't want to be the thing they called lunch, so I hopped on my bike and headed back down the trail. I stopped half way to take this picture:
I had a great ride, I didn't drop the bike, and I now know what is at the top of Lookout Mountain.


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