Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 14-16, 2012 - SE Oregon

Friday Sept  14, 2012

I left home for a three day motorcycle ride to SE Oregon. As I passed through Sisters, Oregon the sky was filled with smoke from The Pole Creek forest fire (25,886 acres so far) south of town. My first stop for the day was breakfast at Jake's Diner  in Bend, Oregon. 

After a good meal I headed east on Hwy 20 to Brothers, Oregon to my first post office visit on this trip. The post office was inside the store with nothing else in the town except an ODOT rest area.

I backtracked into Bend on Hwy 20 and then rode south on Hwy 97 to Sunriver. The Sunriver post office is tucked in the back part of an industrial park in a huge building, which seemed odd. In talking to the Postmaster business has been down ever since the move into this location. Not surprising as being Sunriver is a vacation destination. I would think you'd want the post office located somewhere easy to find and where it could be seen when driving on one of the main roads leading to Sunriver.

Next stop was Fort Rock which is southeast of Lapine off Hwy 31. Here I met Sue the Postmaster who has worked 28 years at the post office. She didn't take the early retirement the USPS was offering instead she is going to hang on for two more years.

Leaving Fort Rock I stayed on back roads and went east to Christmas Valley. Along the way I passed many center pivot wheel lines watering the alfalfa fields. I connected back to Hwy 31 and rode south to Summer Lake where I stopped for a drink (milk). During the hour I sat on the bench outside the market, three different people stopped and had lengthy conversations with me. These small towns sure are fun.

Continuing south on Hwy 31, I passed through Paisley and Lakeview on my way to New Pine Creek which is on the border of Oregon and California.

Here I dropped off a post card and rode back into Lakeview.

I found a WiFi hotspot at a coffee shop in Lakeview and uploaded a few photos to Facebook. I then called an old college friend Bill, who lives in Adel, as he offered me a bed for the night the next time I rode through the area. I took Hwy 395 north of Lakeview and then caught Hwy 140 east to Adel. Hwy 140 is a wonderful road but since it was early evening I rode with caution as there are many  deer on this stretch of road plus it's is open range so the cattle had left their mark (patties) on the roadway.

I had a good visit with Bill and Sally, Bill's wife. Sally's cooked a great meal that evening topped off by fresh peach cobbler she baked.

Saturday Sept. 15, 2012

Bill and I were both up early and I since I had a long day ahead of me I was on the road by 7am.

I stopped by the Adel post office and dropped off a postcard then visited the Adel Store. You must visit this store if you're ever in the area. Lots of hunting and ranching history is hanging from it's walls and ceiling.

From Adel I rode to Lakeview then west on Hwy 140 where I stopped for breakfast in Bly. I saw a bunch of vehicles parked in Bly which seemed odd for a small town. Turned out Cycle Oregon was finishing up in Bly this day. I was about 3 hours ahead of the large groups of bicycles, that would soon be arriving, so I finished my breakfast and continued west on Hwy 140 to Sprague River.

Next I arrived in Chiloquin where I crossed over Hwy 97 and got on Crater Lake Hwy (Hwy 62) and stopped at the post office in Ft. Klamath. Sadly the general store and gas station, which was open last year, was now out of business. Another casualty in our small towns that are dying across America.   

I didn't ride all the way to Crater Lake as I've done that many times before. Instead I keep moving and took the back roads to Prospect and Butte Falls where I stopped for lunch. I then rode into Medford where I fueled the bike up and stopped to visit with my children & grand kids.

After a nice visit I rode south from Medford to Ashland then east on Hwy 66 to Klamath Falls where I spend the night with my other children.

Sunday Sept. 16, 2012

I left KFalls around 9am and rode north on Hwy 97 and stopped for breakfast Melita's Restaurant in Chiloquin. After a great meal I decided I'd keep riding on Hwy 97 unless the traffic got heavy, which it never did. 

I turned west on Hwy 58 towards Oakridge and Eugene then north on I-5 and home. I was very surprised there was hardly any traffic on any of the roads today, which made the ride home quick and very enjoyable.

My last fuel stop had been in Medford the day before and I'd covered 324 miles and still had fuel to spare. Just love the long range of the Honda ST1300!! I brought back my fair share of bugs while riding around Upper Klamath Lake. Took me a few hours the following afternoon to get them all washed off.

This was another great ride around Oregon and I've almost completed my goal for 2012; to visit all the post offices on the USPS reduction list. Of the original 41 Oregon post offices on the list, I have visited all but two - Arock in far SE Oregon and Agness in far SW Oregon. Hopefully later this fall or early winter I'll be able to visit them.

This past spring and summer as I've been riding around Oregon, I have met many wonderful people and gotten to see some amazing sights. I've enjoyed every minute and mile on the road and hope next summer to find a new adventure.

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