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C&D Drive In

C&D Drive In

It was so easy to wake up this morning in LaGrande.

In the tent the night before inbetween the trains, the rain, the camp “traffic”, and general mummy bag discomfort I didn’t get a lot of sleep.  A couple times in the morning I just sat there in the tent, staring at the wall, not wanting to jump into the day, but today it was different.  Sure I obtained a very small taste of what those early pioneers had gone through to travel across this land, dealing with the weather and the harsh landscape, but today it was a shower followed with coffee in the motel lobby – sweet!

It wasn’t as cold this morning, but the rain followed us.  Over coffee we obtained guidance from the weather channel and called up some web sites on the iPhone.  It was dismal everywhere with large sections of intense rain.  We all agreed that riding most of day in rain was just not going to sit well so, we took our time departing with a Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s.  Then with a gorge head wind in our face we drove toward the sunset for the most direct route back to Portland.

Big_HorseBy the time we arrived in Boardman the rain had stopped and the sun was making it quite humid.  We pulled off exit 164 at the C&D Drive In, on I-84 and gassed up.  The posse wasn’t hungry and passed on the famous blackberry milkshakes, Walla Walla sweet onion rings and famous BOZO Burgers.  It’s odd that the drive-in is linked to an espresso bar and pizza place, but little has changed since it opened in the 1950s.  We stored our rain gear and rode on to Hood River where we stopped for a late lunch.

Big Horse Brew Pub

Big Horse Brew Pub

Riding in the warm sunshine felt good after a couple days of riding in off/on rain.  In Hood River it was downright warm with temp gauge registering 80 degrees.  We decided to take in the Big Horse Brew Pub.  We were a group of thirsty visitors and made the steep climb up the steps to this brewpub and restaurant.  It overlooks most of Hood River and makes for a good non-participation windsurfing view point. Inside there are billiards and micro-brewed beverages of choice that are made in the building’s stone cellar. Lunch and service was excellent.   Thanks Holly!  We made our way down the stairs and headed to Portland.

All in all, the rally was a lot of fun.  The people/hosts in Baker City are terrific! The ride over and back as well as the rides and time in the canyons was incredible.  I certainly plan to return.  I’m on the fence about a re-do of camping and having now done it means I’ve worked it out of my system.  I’ll likely make plans earlier in the year to score a motel and then do more rides out of Baker City toward John Day and into Idaho.  Thus avoiding the larger crowds on the Hells Canyon byway and hopefully the rain too!  If you’ve yet to experience the Hells Canyon Rally I suggest you add it to  your list of to do’s.

Hells Canyon Rally Wrap Up – Day 1 HERE and Day 2 HERE.

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