The first day, we took the interstate from Marv’s house to very near the Oregon border. With our goal as Redding on Sunday night, there was no alternative except to put in some time on the freeway. I thought it best to get it knocked out right away, so we could enjoy the backroads for the next several days. We asked everyone to meet us at a freeway diner in Castle Rock, a meeting point and breakfast stop we’ve used on many rides.
We had a casual breakfast with John, Dan, and Dennis, and then finished off the morning with about 10 more miles of freeway before exiting in Longview to cross the Columbia and get onto some great Oregon backroads. Most of the roads we took that day we ride two or three times a year. They weave and roll through mixtures of forest, farmland, wineries and pastureland in a cascading display of beautiful countryside.
While riding, I’m ceaselessly making mental notes of areas I want to explore more intimately. Oregon has those places in spades. We wound our way along very nice roads on the west side of Interstate 5, taking breaks and getting our all-day riding chops in shape. We’d be on our bikes for nine consecutive days and, this being the first multi-day ride of the season for most of us, we warmed up slowly, using the first day to get reacquainted with our bikes.
We took plenty of breaks on Saturday, and didn’t have our evening meal until after checking in at our motel in Roseburg. We had been there before, and had also been to the Mexican restaurant down the block from the motel. It was good enough, but I am not a fan of Mexican food. It’s okay, but I find that on motorcycle rides we tend to eat in a lot of them because they’re everywhere, in every small town, and they’re usually inexpensive. As a result, when on a multi-day ride, I’m always looking for places to eat that are not Mexican food, or we’d be eating it every day.