BORDER TO BORDER INSANITY
August 13, 2011
As the sun started to set, the temperature finally started to drop down a bit. Having done 24 hour rides before, I knew that this was a mixed blessing. As hot as it was during the day, temperatures would be brisk as we passed over the mountains in Oregon. It is not uncommon for temperatures to fluctuate by over 50 degrees on a 24 hour. This is one of the biggest challenges to long distance riding: being prepared for a wide range of temperatures as well as all types of weather. Unlike traveling in a car, also known as a “cage” to motorcyclists, there is no air conditioning, no heat, no windshield wipers. It’s more like riding in a convertible, all the time.
This intimate and unavoidable contact with the elements is exactly what draws many of us to motorcycling. By being exposed to the wind and the rain, the sun and the cold, we are more connected the landscape. We don’t just see the scenery passing by, we feel it and smell it. It’s what makes every motorcycle trip an adventure.
Twilight is my favorite time of day. It’s my own personal “Happy Hour”. The sun sets into a glorious ball of color, illuminating the sky with a painter’s full pallet of colors. Everything looks better, colors are deeper, shadows grow longer and day transitions into night. It’s also challenging if you happen to be riding into the sun at this time of day. Fortunately, we are still headed due north, with the sun setting on our left.
As we pass Lake Shasta, we realize that this will be the last bit of scenery we see for the next ten hours. Around the bend, we are treated to a spectacular view of Mt. Shasta. This is my first time this far north in California, and it is a beautiful area.
Sights like this re-energize us and put us in the right state of mind for the rest of the trip. We stop for a quick photo opp and to put on our jackets. It’s gonna get cold soon enough.