Hells Canyon – Hanging Out at Log House (June 18-20th)

The next three days I spent hanging around camp, because my tires were absolutely shot, and the days sort of blended together. On one day (probably the 18th), Jim and Al went down Dug Bar. I spent most of the day inside the office, with Brian’s blessing. I tried not to feel shut in and trapped, I really wanted to ride, but those tires weren’t safe!

At one point I met Motomedic/Feike. He was pretty cool! We didn’t get much of a chance to talk though, he seemed to have other engagements to attend to.

Jim volunteered to find me some tire replacements for free (!!), which bowled me over with generosity, but he was going to Lewiston so he’d be a couple days. I never would have expected that, thanks so much Jim! Al stayed behind and we hung out. The weather was kind of hit and miss, one day it was rainy/hailing and we spent most of the time hiding in the office.

At one point I started talking with Margaret, who is in charge of the camp’s website. She mentioned that she didn’t like some things, and I offered to help. As it turns out, the website was created with an application made by the company I worked for back in Phoenix, so I was more than qualified to help out. We spent several hours fixing the shoddy HTML and inconsistent font sizes and colors, with her directing me on what changes to make. They seemed very grateful for the help and took me out to dinner. “When’s the last time you slept in a real bed?” I thought back to the woods camping I’d been doing before the rally. “Ummmm..” “You’re sleeping in the luxury suite tonight.” And with that, my fate was sealed. Pillowtop mattress, soft fluffy comforter, electric blanket, heater. It was like sleeping in a cloud. Al crashed on the office couch.

Brian and Margaret were awesome, I know that I’ve said this before, but these people treated us like family. They let us use their shop. They let me stay for free a couple nights, and only charged us the rally rate ($11) otherwise. At one point they invited Al and I upstairs to eat lunch with them in their kitchen. I helped Brian assemble a new picnic table they’d purchased. It was good to relax and not have anywhere to be.

On the 20th, I woke up early and was excited to get my new tires mounted. Jim had gotten back with the new treads the previous evening. After some fighting, I managed to figure out how to operate the ATV lift and started changing the tires at a leisurely pace. You can also see the exhaust mount we made a few days prior in this pic:

I managed to get the bead broken on at least one of them before Jim woke up and started helping (by which I mean he mostly took over), and he got the tires changed over in no time at all!

Front: Rear:

Yay! It’s amazing how harsh a thousand miles can be on a set of tires…

While he was in there, he commented on the front wheel bearings and the rear brakes, telling me to keep an eye on them and change them at some point in the next few thousand miles. Roger.

Al needed to replace some brake pads, I think:

We ate brunch at the Cheyenne Cafe in Joseph.

Holy shit portion sizes! One of the chefs (possibly the owner?) seemed to find it greatly amusing when people came in and ordered a bunch of food without knowing what they were up against. He laughed as he described children ordering short stacks – when a single pancake is almost bigger than the plate and a half inch thick. I don’t usually take photos of food, but here:

Jim had to get back to Lewiston, and I decided to ride with Al west to Portland. We picked up a motorcycle map and packed up. I’d like to say we left early, but that would be a terrible lie, maybe around 3 pm? We said goodbye and gave hugs to Jim and Brian.

Goodbye Log Cabin! Bye Jim! It was really nice to meet you, I feel like we were on the same wavelength a lot of the time. Lots of really great in-depth philosophical discussion, exactly the kind I like best! But as the song goes, “We’ll Meet Again”.

I let Al pick the direction. We took a bunch of back roads, which were pretty awesome. Lots of abandoned buildings, mostly barns, littered along the way. At one point he tried to take a photo of me while riding, inhabiting the oncoming lane and pulling alongside me and I kinda freaked out a bit. Even though there was no oncoming traffic for at least a mile or two, I really… was not used to that sort of thing.

We rode through a forest and dipped down into this little town, where we stopped at the tavern for refreshments (the only building that was open at 6 pm). Al asked the locals about places they’d suggest we stay. We ended up cruising into a nearby national forest, riding a bumpy dirt road after dark, and finding what appeared to be some kind of unoccupied hunting camp. Poles slung between the trees, sizeable fire ring.

We made camp and crashed for the evening.

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