The creaking from the final drive on the bike was first noticed in Vancouver, but it was one of those annoying intermittent faults that leave you wondering all day about it’s whereabouts and it’s origin. It seemed to be worse when the bike was cold and fully loaded but then it would be fine for days on end. Not confidence inspiring at all- especially with nearly 20,000 miles to go. We had called in at BMW in Seattle but they were not convinced by my concerns, so we left feeling better about it- for a few days at least. Entering Oregon I was still concerned and after changing the final drive oil (more in desperation than hope) the noise was still there. Time for another trip to BMW!
Meanwhile on our trip the fog continued to hound us from Washington State and I was getting pretty desperate for a sun kissed bronze tan. We rolled down the varied pacific coastline, and watched rocky outcrops turn into rolling golden sand dunes. As well as this stunning scenery, our entry into Oregon State began with the unwelcome sight of campsite FULL signs dotted along the roadside. Tom was feeling confident that we would eventually find a site, so we continued to push on south. Our reversed logic paid off, starting with the worst trip advisor review, we arrived at Winchester Bay, under new management the campsite was nowhere near as bad as the reviews had suggested.
I chose a sunny and private spot where I could strip down the motorbike in peace, and Lorna could begin working on her tan. Unfortunately, as usual our English number plates had not gone unnoticed and before I could get the rear wheel off I had a budding assistant, 80 year old Marty. He lent me tools and his kind wife cooked us both lunch. Follow this up with a nice bottle of red as a wedding gift and we are both left humbled by their kindness. Six hours later, and the noise on the bike remains and I am even more perplexed. With oily hands, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner in the picturesque fishing town, Winchester bay. Lorna twisted my arm into blowing our daily budget on freshly caught crab and a bottle of white wine. Admittedly, I didn’t take much convincing.
Tom’s mood was instantly lifted by the sight of hundreds of classic cars, there was even a British Jaguar E-type for Tom to ogle at. The sun continued to shine on the classic car show that we had stumbled across. Little did we know we were about to experience our second act of random kindness for the day. Meet Mickey, a true American, who we are sure to stay in touch with. With our bellies full of crab, we headed to the bar with Mickey and his friend Jenny. We drank beer and danced the night away to some live music. Mickey offered to help Tom with his motorbike problems and invited us to stay at his home. More on our time with Mickey in a minute…
Oregon is famous for its sand dunes and amazingly the freedom they offer to anyone wanting to drive on them, including Lorna! At over 100 dollars an hour and the threat of death should we damage it, we took out the 800 cc ATV (All terrain vehicle) for a blast on the sands. The upcoming video will show you how Lorna got on!
Sorry woman drivers, I didn’t do much to defend our reputation!
We met Mickey in his hometown of Cottage Grove as well as his entourage of local friends. Everyone wanted to talk to us and buy us beers, we felt like celebrities. Yet again we were both feeling humbled by the kindness of strangers.
I left for BMW in Eugene early Tuesday morning; little did I know it was to become my home for the next 8 hours. Time to dismiss all preconceptions about BMW dealerships. This one was ran by a wonderful team who put me back on the road for a quarter of the price that it should have cost and even fed me too. Final drive train replaced, I left with a new found confidence that I hadn’t experienced since leaving Vancouver. Back to Mickeys for a BBQ!
Mickey keen to give us the full American Experience cooked us T-bone on the BBQ, showed us his gun collection and even had a friend bake us the best Apple pie either of us have ever tasted! After such kindness, we were sad to leave but we had miles to cover. If you are reading this Mickey, thank you again for your hospitality.
On to Crater Lake, which we both agreed was the most spectacular lake to date. This is the deepest lake in America filled with magnificent blue waters. The crater is filled with only rain and snow waters making it the purest lake in the world.
That night we camped in another National State park near the Oregon caves were the trees were noticeable starting to grow taller. Time to roll into California and the land of the Giant Redwoods.