The Great Missoula Expedition
The roots of the Missoula adventure: Yosmite, 1963, on a 51 Harley K Model, my buddy Jim's 305 Dream showed me the future (yes, Martha we really did paint our helmets matching red with lightning bolts). We also ran into several other riders (rare occurence in those days). One pair on a Harley Sportser (my dream bike at the time) and a Norton Atlas. Upon questioning, the Sportser rider admitted the Norton would blow his doors off under any circumstances. This started my long love/hate affair with British bikes.
THE EXPEDITION STARTS
* Sonora Pass, Ca, BroInLaw Joe thinking about Snowballing me.
* Eastern Ca (some pioneers probably died here).
* Tonapah Missile Test Range, the morning after JOE
turned on both heater & AC in our motel room. Unfortunately
for me, my bed was next to the heater. I must have checked
the AC 43 times before I decided the room insultation was just terrible.
(You really didn't think I was going to let this one slide, did ya).
* Birds 0, BMWer 1.
* Area 51 - Rachel.
* The storm we performed a tactical retrograde maneuver on
(Oh hell, we ran south and went around it, I told ya to get some good rain gear).
* Entering Zion.
* "Bonehead Springs".
* Balancing a national monument exit sign on my head.
* The dirt road I finally got Joe on (he enjoyed it even tho he wouldn't admit it).
* The dirt road he wouldn't go on, he's obviously a lot smarter than I am.
* After the storm and Dave's great gas station bozo in Stanley. I actually fell on my face in front of a bunch of Harley riders (didn't think I'd admit it did ya, Joe).
* You've heard of the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, well this is the Joe at the end ...(sorry).
* Montana at long last.
* Missoula Rally, we stayed for about 3 hrs and split (we came for
* Ya, the population is now 3.
* Crater Lake.
* Parting Company at Mt Shasta.
* Alone on a great dirt road along the base of Shasta.
* Mt. Lasson, El Nino was in the Sierras, 10-12 ft of snow in late July.
* Coming home along the Feather River.
To all my fellow aging off-road riders wrestling with
the sands of time,I offer a suggestion. Dust off your
street machine and perform all that maintenance you've
been putting off. Then get some maps and find a
backroads route to that place you've always wanted to
see and never made the time. Plan on 300mi/day as a
start and work your way up to 400 or 500 as your time,
destination, health, and fitness dictate. If money
is an issue load up some camping gear and rough it
along the way. If not, then I can tell you that motel
shower & soft bed sure hit the spot after a day in the
saddle. For me it was a very zen experience. The only
advise I offer is get some good rain gear and take a
camera. In any event, there will probably be times
you will wonder why you signed up for the trip. However,
along the way you will see some of this beautiful
country of ours and its unique people. I must warn you
tho that when its over you may find yourself thinking
about and planning the next one almost immediately.
You will wonder why you didn't do it sooner. As alway
ride safe and when you feel that overwhelming desire
to push it to the edge, I wish you luck and hope that
the gendarmes are all having coffee at the time.
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