Niko’s Kantina Ride: Lost in time

Listening to that engine running again pumped me with energy, we were on our way south-ish once again!

We were on our way back towards Yakima, cross the Chinook pass. Plenty of snow there this time. Our hosts for the night were Joe and Susan, couldn’t wait to see their ranch, vineyards and what not. We came to their place early in the afternoon, turned off the bikes and switched to wine, of which there is plenty in that household. Great times, lots of catching up to do since we last met. We did a whole tour of the property, which took us a couple of hours, then steak for dinner and as I mentioned my little quest for random domestic weapons, Joe shows us his shy collection. I think I counted eleven, and since we were on a private property it was only right to try them. Next day we improvised a shooting range and pew pew pew! That was a fun morning!

Since it became a little tradition already, when I start explaining my intended route I get told about a really scenic place, just about kind of close to there. This time was no exception, so we head south, southeast towards Joseph, to see Hells canyon. What we didn’t know, is that the “cabin” the Hattrups kindly offered us to use, will be our mutual dream house!

We rode hard and fast, some straight roads, busy cities, bypassing Walla Walla through some ranch roads, where everyone was waving to us as we’d be long time neighbors. As we cross to Oregon we learn that on gas stations you have to wait till the pump guy hands you the pistol (gas pump pistol). Over the Tollgate pass when it starts to rain. HORIZONTALLY! Not to mention the snow and cold. But it lasted just a couple of minutes, it felt like an eternity though. We get to the cabin at night time, get beer and food from the local shop and head home to rest. It really felt like home. Fireplace and a good set of speakers. With no cd’s on hand, we ended listening to the local country music station. A very American day indeed.

Next day we took the long way round to Imnaha, riding through canyons, chasing Elk and being chased by the respective Elk, two big bucks actually … We end up at this bar/deli/grocery store, it seems lost in time. An oldtimer drinking beer from a jar, some snacks that seem to have been there before the mature lady running the store was even born. We get some snacks and head up towards Hat point overlook, to see the BIG canyon. More snow, cold and silence later … Best place to be on that day. Wish I’ll return one day.

When we had to take off next day, we had a real hard time to leave that place behind. The scenery, people and the cabin! I could stay there for a month. However, those places were behind us already! And we were on our way towards Halfway. Pretty scenery and an outstanding cold, after climbing up I recall that we passed a sign claiming that the road is not maintained. It’s cold enough that this stuff could freeze I think, and sure enough in that same corner BC1 starts riding its own line. We hit ice. At least it got warm all of the sudden … No drama, we get over that un injured and proud of our riding skills.

Since our riding skills were proven and the weather got pretty pleasant, we hit dirtier roads. Losing stuff and bottoming all shocks on a couple occasions. Yeah, we have more riding skills than brain.

We spent a night at a trailer park, gave another point of view on life in the States. People living in RVs, but nevertheless very warm and friendly.

More canyons, HWY 26, Painted mountains and we are back in the Cascades. What has the future in store for us, I can only guess, but sure we’re gonna make a good story out of that.

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