The Perfect Vehicle - Life with motorcycles

Pony Express 2000

July 13, 2000

Day Thirteen : (Almost) Last Leg – Part 2

I arrive in Bend at 3:17 (mountain time). About 30 miles outside of Bend, I remember that tonight is “grill your own” — but I can’t remember if I’m supposed to *bring* my own. So I decide to stop at Safeway – buy a steak (porterhouse, ymmmm), worchestershire sauce, tillamook cheese (for snacking while we wait to eat), and dark chocolate (it’s no longer in the 90s and 100s!).

Next stop – gas. then eddie bauer. I’m very impressed with the salesperson – she meets me just inside the door. “I need a beach towel, a coffee mug, and a soft-sided cooler of some sort.” “We have that,” she says, leading me straight to all three items. The only decision points are color for the cup (red), and size of the cooler (lunch bag size will hold the steak – which, btw, I *left* at the gather).

I’m in and out of the store in less than 10 minutes. :-)

Head down 97 to Crescent and take the Crescent cut-off. I figure I’ll make it by 5:30 (i’m still on mountain time) – it’s about 400 miles from Caldwell. I pull in (by my watch) at 5:20. Greeted by H.Marc (don’t take off your helmet!) for a photo op … am directed down to the parking area. Park, hike back up for hugs and such, and then pick a spot to camp.

Last time – I was late and in the jeep – so I camped in what I think of as the ‘central’ area. This time, I wanted to camp on the water. And I did – even though, as I hauled stuff from the bike – I was thinking about the distance required to haul it all *back* on Sunday. The stich I left by the bike; the helmet takes shelter in Robynn’s car.

Of course, I discover that I didn’t need to bring a steak – but I’m going to grill it anyway (carnivore that I am). Turns out there are a (few) others who also brought food – JC and Robynn share the W.Sauce (and my desire to camp near the water – they have to walk/haul even further ).

Fritz, with “dad’s” permission, gets the porterhouse bone left-over. Toots gets a few scraps of meat, with “mom’s” permission.

I had a little beer when I arrived – but immediately shift to the G-R when I find Erston, the booze bearer. He’d packed my champagne (Moet & Chandon) and brandy in a box and stashed them in the cab of his “headed to the Big Easy” pickup. We put the champagne in a cooler in the bed of his truck; I’ll celebrate with Moet Friday night.

Somehow – while grilling my steak – I start grilling brats. Since its warm by the grill – and all new arrivals gravitate towards the food source – I resume grilling after dinner. This pretty much guarantees I’ll see everyone arrive. ;-)

I erroneously tell Joanne that it’s midnight when it’s really only 11. It’s not until I announce that it’s 1 am and I really should go to bed that I discover my watch (and body) are still on mountain time. But it’s probably 1 am (pacific) before I crash, anyway. (Only to wake up about 5:30.)

When I got to the tent, I realized that I should have brought a bottle of water with me. After all, I’d been drinking G-R all night, with a *little* help, but not much. I figure it’s better to take ibuprophen with brandy than not at all …

Sometime in the night I wake and remember that there’s a bottle of water in the Ventura pack, right outside the tent. I drink a copious amount before going back to sleep. In the morning, I’m amazed to see that almost half of the bottle of G-R is, ummm, missing. And I have no headache. Must be the mountain air!



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