I posted the last blog and headed back up to the campsite and packed up. Brenda and Guy told me that they were going to follow me to the next town where we could all have breakfast together. Off we went and I was shouted (they wouldn’t take my money) a great cooked breakfast and we had one last laugh together. There was no rush as I only had about 140klms to do to get to an Airbnb that was on a hobby farm at Camas (about 11klms from the Motocross racetrack at Washougal).
I had about 60klms to go and I started to feel very tired. I saw an exit to a small town and took it. I am glad I did because it was next to a really nice lake and had a great grassed picnic area with lots of shady trees. You guessed it, I used my jacket as a pillow and had a 30 minute nap. I am so getting used to them!
Recharged and refreshed I made my way to the Airbnb;
Now the good thing is that its not as bad as Gridley but its in the feral category. I meet the host and his father and they are good people but seriously the house is a pig sty. I later found a cat asleep in the linen cupboard and a dog under my bed. At one stage I counted 4 dogs and 2 cats inside the house. They did have a very appropriate sign though;
I unload Fred and get the gear into my room. It was advertised as ‘the computer room with a single bed’ LOL. The bed is a very old fold up cot that sags nearly to the floor in the middle. The computer is 5 x old stuffed ones stacked in the corner.
I head into Camas and call in at the local Police Station. I have a good chat with the girls at the front counter who want to know all about my trip. They tell me that a lot of people who live in Camas commute to work in Portland as the houses are so much more affordable here. I then ride down to Safeway and stock up on groceries.
Back at the house I opened up the refrigerator to put my food in it. The smell that came out of it and the way food was stored can only be described as unique. Luckily I had about 10 spare plastic bags and bagged my stuff up in them in the hope that bacteria cannot get thru plastic.
Later that night I meet about 5 – 6 other people that appear to rent rooms and/or live in the caravan in the rear yard. I had earlier counted 7 motor vehicles, 1 boat and a caravan out back (not counting the dope plants by the back door). I get to bed and managed to get a half decent sleep even though parts of me are touching the floor.
The next morning I get up and head out to the race track. The actual ride was a nice one along a country road;
I get to the track around 10:00am as I only wanted to have a general look around for Saturday. The amateurs are on Thursday/Friday with the Pro’s on Saturday. Hard to believe that the Pro’s rock up and fit practice and 2 x races in on a single day;
I certainly picked the right race to come to as the track is outstanding. It is against the side of a mountain and has it all in terms of jumps, whoops and hill climbs. It is surrounded by forest and its easy to sit in the shade and watch the action;
The access around the track is very easy and you can watch either on the inside or outside. Numerous tunnels allow you to get to where you want and stand right up next to them fly past;
While I was standing next to the race officials office (located directly under the commentary tower) I strike up a conversation with a bloke named Ryan. He is stoked that I am from Australia and it turns out he manages the track and his father owns it. He takes me up to the commentary tower and I meet the race announcer who has been a legend at the track for over 35 years. Here is the funny bit, he puts my name over the loud speaker saying how great it is to have International supporters at the Amateur races! Ha;
I walk around the track and find this small outfit;
I talk to the mechanic and basically its a 2 rider team and they all work for the same motorcycle shop. They are in the senior class which is made up of riders trying to break into the Pro’s. I found out that Amateur does not mean cheap as each engine has had over $30,000 USD spent on it. You can see the desperation of these guys to make it when they race as all gloves are off.
I take a few more photos;
I head down to the starting gate for the Amateurs and end up having a long chat with a lovely woman named Dixie. She has flown in to watch her grandson race and admits that racing is not her thing but is there to support the family. Dad is madly trying to change over a clutch for his son and all hands are on deck to help (even me holding the bike up and getting parts out of the toolbox). Great family and I am all for chasing your dreams thru your kids!;
Dixie did tell me that she considered herself to be a ‘progressive’ thinker and she was worried that she was in the heart of trump land. LOL.
Around 2:30pm I get on Fred and cruise back home. All in all a great first day and can’t wait to see what the rest of the event brings.