Day 3: DES Reporting
Last night was insanely windy. We were camped at Morgan Lake just outside of La Grande OR, a municipal campground on the plateau above the city. Blew my tarp off… temporarily lost 5 of 6 pegs. I found them in the morning but spent the night mostly awake trying to hold fly in place in case it rained. Ugh! The winds rolled along all night. We could hear them pick up before feeling them hit. They were at least kind enough to announce their coming.
NMBL was concerned about her tires. She found cracks in her treads the previous day when we were lubricating our chains. After a quick Safeway stop we went to B&B Repair in La Grande where we met Ben and Roy. Great guys! Ben helped NMBL while I chatted with Roy. Ben suggested that it would be best to get new rubber mounted. They deal with Harley’s and didn’t have stock for a Yamaha FZ-6 so Ben called Birds of Prey Motorcycles in Caldwell Idaho, two hours down the I-84, got an appointment set and made sure they had the tires for her. He didn’t have to do a damn thing but he went above above beyond regardless. Total respect for Ben. Here is a man who understands what customer service is and what it means to help out a person in need. Ben Bean for President, November 2016. There’s your vote America.
On Ben and Roy’s advice we rode the I-84 (Oregon Trail Freeway) to Caldwell, just west of Boise and found Birds of Prey no problem. Thanks for the great directions Roy! They were ready for NMBL’s bike and worked on it while we went for food. Two hours later they had the bike ready with other news; her front brakes were getting worn. What? We had full service checks at the beginning of the season at our local mechanic and there was nohing in the report about the brakes plus they said her tires were fine. And they knew we were doing this trip. This isn’t their first mess-up but its defitely their last with us. Had they told us we would have had the service done then. Fortunately the brakes should hold until we get back. Our business will now be going to a new service provider, which we’ve already found: Rising Sun Motorcycles in Vancouver.
Today really hit home. Motorcycle touring is as much about the people you meet as it is about the experiences you have. It doesn’t matter what you ride. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. Those of us who ride do something that not a lot of other people do and as a result you have community where ever you go. From the local tattooed Harley repair guy to the swish international motorsports shop, they’re all riders. And they’ve got your back. Just like we’ve got theirs. Thanks guys.
We got back on the road many hours behind schedule. We made new route plans thanks to one of the sales staff at BoP and went off to find ID-55. After little sleep and lots of boring Interstate riding, we were ready to camp short of our goal for the day. Still, we got back on the road, found our way to Swinging Bridge campground in Boise National Forest and have set up camp. It’s about time for bed. Check out the few pics we have from this day in the gallery, which will be up when we get the chance. The maps will be posted as soon as we can get them up.