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Oct 2011 and Day 1 - 3 the beginning of the Argentina Trip

October and the beginning of 6 months on the Road...

The PLAN : Ride a motorcycle from Calgary, Alberta to Argentina.

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Firstly in the month I finished my 3 month Engineering contract (thanks for the opportunity George) on Oct. 7, then I planned to leave for Argentina on Oct. 14.  Unfortunately I had to rush my packing though and leave Oct. 11.  Why?  Well, surfing the HUBB motorbike forums and posting "Who's going to Argentina" I met a handful of guys doing the same thing as me.  The big difference was they were all going to Cambria California for an Adventure Motorcycle Rally from Oct. 14 to 16 to hear stories from great Round the World riders (Greg Frazier and Ted Simon, etc) and take seminars on Adventure Riding do's and don'ts, etc.  This is just what I needed too so I hustled my ass and got on the road for Oct. 11, 2011 = DAY 1...

Quick shot of my mother the night before as she laminates diversionary "documents" with her food sealer.  You're the best mom!

DAY 1, Oct. 11, 2011 - Spokane, WA, USA.  Temp 6 - 16C, Sun then Rain (690/690km)

Ear plug in and I'm out of here!

Good to get on the road and finally test this bike out.  I only had clocked 500km in the city on it so I had no idea how Bumble Bee would handle 140 to 150 km/h.  Answer: Well, expect for the damn wind shield buffeting.  Need to get a Madstad bracket.

The day started sunny and warm in Calgary, but turned rainy and cold as I passed Fernie and in to the USA.  Beautiful mountain scenery.  (Canada section to border Curves = 5, Road = 8, Traffic = 3, View = 7)

Frank's Slide near Crow's Nest Pass

Sparwood Big Dump Truck

Nice country in Idaho as well and cheaper gas which was good as I took the long way around to get to Spokane. (Hwy 2 Curves=6,Road=7,Traffic=3,View=7).

Saw one of these trucks on my way in to town.  Oh the possibilities "We have Ferrell gas...".  For those who don't know in NZ the world Feral is used a lot and means wild and unruly.  I always thought of it as a substitute for gross.  Grandma's cookies made with Feral gas, yum.

Dinner at the Golden Corral - Welcome to America!  All you can eat buffet with everything,


Stayed with Caroline and Troy from Couch Surfing.  Great hosts, great food and great massage table!

DAY 2, Oct. 12, 2011 - Bend, OR, USA.  Temp 9 - 19C, Sun (660/1350km)

Slow start to the day as I had to wait at Westside Motorsport (no affiliation with Blackfoot Motorsport, but the service is similar) for 2+ hours to get new front and rear tires.  Should have been a bit quicker, but the back tire was installed backwards so I didn't hit the effect American highway system until 12pm.

Farmland then Desert was a surprise as I thought I would see forest instead.  Spokane to Kennewick (Hwy 395 C4,R7,T3,V4).  Had a Belly Buster Hamburger (it wasn't) at a Fish shop.  Why not the fish, I'm dumb.

Kennewick to I 97.  Really nice.  Running along the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon with lots of windmills.  (C4,R8,T3,V7)

I- 97 to Bend.  No gas for 150km!  Aside from the great diverse landscape of mountains and trees and sweeping hills and farmland my fuel light flashed for the last 40km before I made Madras.  Sure there were small towns on the way, but apparently their pumps are only open once a week.  Truly testing the bike on the road as I put it in neutral down big hills to save the fumes I had left.  Oh, and as usual it was night fall on a lonely road.  I was happy to see Madras had traffic lights.

In to Bend to meet up with Couch Surfing Host Kevin H.  Bend is a tourist town set in the mountains and gets very busy in the summer months.  We went to 10 Barrel for dinner and some amazing micro brew.  English IPA was great and they even had a beer that tasted like Scotch (it wasn't good, but they had it).  Oregon is all about BEER and I love it.

Look at that Steak sandwich.

Kevin was a great host and helped with some bike mods in the wee hours.  His oatmeal before a long day of riding is the tops too!  Thanks and best of luck with your upcoming trips.

Kevin discusses the late night mods.

DAY 3, Oct. 13, 2011 - Yuba City, CA, USA.  Temp 9 - 26C, All Sun (650/2000km)

Chilly start in Bend and a bit rushed as I had to sort out my Spot GPS a little bit.

Bend to Klamath Lake had everything from Volcanos to Valley Forests to Klamath Lake(C2,R7,T3,V7).  Very straight road considering the views and all the mountains.

Klamath to Redding was great.  Gorgeous mountains and excellent curves.  Like a race track in the mountains at times which reminded me of Switzerland.  (C8,R7,T4,V8)

Let’s not talk about Hwy 99 to Yuba, urgh.  No passing lanes and lots of cars. (C2,R7,T5,V3).  This road goes through Chico a University town which is where most of the Couch Surfers usually stay. 

Sunset just before Chico.

In Chico for dinner.  The only thing that would make this shot better is if I was outside of Taco Bell.  Apparently he likes surfing too.

Rolled in after dark to Toni’s place where she and her two sisters snuggle in with their mom in a huge place with lots of space and full bar in the barn out back.  I mean a FULL bar with stools and tables, pool table, dart board and tonnes of decoration which I would suspect can hold 80 people or so.  It was truly a gem on my trip considering no one ever goes to Yuba City and I had no idea about Yuba City either.  Toni, her mom and sisters were great and fed me a pile of beautiful Blue Moon beer!  I’m coming back again.

Video as I went out back to join my new friends.

Check out the bar.

And my hilarious company.

Next up, Cambria and a Bike rally...


LJWallace said...

Very envious of your trip Brad. Stay safe and I look forward to reading about the next part.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's Elizabeth, I met you in Mazatlan. So sorry you did not stay at the Tertulia bar longer as I did go back...and you missed a great band! :) Hope your trip is going well!