Trans America Trail

September 14, 2018 — Oregon

235 miles

The bike started acting up again today. It all felt very similar to the previous issue, stalling in idle and when slowly opening the throttle. From John Day, it looked like over 100 miles of dirt to get to Prineville, and as I got a few miles out in the woods, the bike wasn't feeling right, and I second guessed my decision. I stopped and played around with it for a bit but nothing changed. I flipped a coin, lost, and got back on the pavement to Prineville.

The riding turned out to be very scenic along Ochoco Highway as it wound through John Day Fossil Beds and Ochoco National Forest. I could see the mountains to the south and wished I was riding up there but still enjoyed the morning.

In Prineville, I ate lunch before digging into the fuel tank. I found a NAPA, got a pan to dump the fuel in, and pulled everything out. The filter looked ok and fuel was flowing. It certainly wasn't squirting gas out the side like before, but I swapped in a new one along with the spare fuel pump I had. I jammed everything back in the tank and started it up. The idle sounded good, and I let it run for a while. All seemed good. What a pain in the ass though. It was now later than I liked, but I still hoped to make it up to Newberry Crater to camp.

Crooked River Highway took me south out of Prineville. Lots of fisherman were on the river, and some really nice campsites lined the shore. A few miles after Prineville Dam, the road turned to gravel, and the landscape flattened out into high desert.

By the time I hit the Central Oregon Highway, the sun had nearly set, and it was close to 50 miles of dirt to the campgrounds. It was also getting cold and would get into the 20s overnight. I smelled like gas still and wanted a shower, so I again hit some highway to get to La Pine. When I arrived, the few motels were booked up, but the guy working at the Highlander Motel & RV Park said I could throw my tent down in a grassy area. It would be a cold night, but it was something. Just as I got the tent up and stakes in the ground, he came out and told me a reservation had canceled, and that their room was now mine. I was grateful for a hot shower and a warm bed.

I know I missed a lot of great riding today, but I'm happy to be still running and looking forward to hitting the coast on Sunday.