Char and I met Randy at the California Horizons Unlimited meet. After my presentation Randy approached me and offered to put us up if we were passing through Oregon.
When we finally made it to Oregon the weather was far from motorcycle friendly, but astonishingly Randy offered to drive his truck over the mountain passes from Bend to collect us!
We left bikes in the local minister's aircraft hanger, as you do, and trucked the two and a half hour snow run back to Bend. Stopping to have a pee en route, we met a terrified and tearful woman who was scared half to death by the snow driving conditions. Being the generous soul I am (read big kid, always looking for adventure) I offered to drive her car for her. What fun it was.
We ended up spending a long weekend with Randy and his partner Sherry at their home in Bend. Great little town that we'd happily visit again. Amoung other things, they kindly took us out to the Rodeo final that was taking place in town. This was an entirely new experience for both Char and I, and to our surprise, turned out to be the exact, stereotype, cowboy event that you'd see on TV. It was larger than life, stetson demin yeee-ha rough.
I'd not make a good cowboy, I was rather more on the side of the animals than the competitors. Wondering how the champ rider would behave with a noose around his genitals and a stadium crowd cheering.
But it was certainly an experience.
The daylight drive back across the mountain was just beautiful. Randy and Sherry had been extremely hospitable to us. It was another of those periods of contrast, plucked from our skank of rough camping and $2 stove meals, and treated like royalty for a weekend. Fine food and entertainment. Many thanks folks.
Back at Randy's other house in Corvallis, he switched truck for bike, and led us along a spectacular route to the coast. Randy had a blast on the Honda, and later I was treated to a long stretch on his 1200GS. What a motorcycle. It's easy to slag these bikes off, and their oh-so numerous owners, but it all starts to make sense when you actually ride one. 100+ mph without a hint that the machine's even trying, weightless handling, and brakes that'll scare the living pajesus out of you.
Roadside meals are an inexplicably pleasurable event. One of the things that really make you feel the overlander. Stop at a spectacular coastal bluff and cook up an inguldent breakfast. There's nothing like it. No rush, no deadlines. Chilled pace and time to appreciate.