Rolling on a Dream Part VI
Biblical rains, molting, and a DIY home spa all in my last two days of The Dream Roll trip.
The winds weren't bad enough to tear the roof of the massive globe tent off like the night before, but the rain was even worse. It was the night before The Dream Roll was over. I had gone to bed with a head full of whiskey and woke up to a tent full of water. I had made plans with a couple of other girls to ride to Portland together, but when I woke up and peeked my head out into the rain to look for the gals amongst the array of tents, the only thing I wanted to do was get on the road so I could find someplace warm. I packed my things, water and all, and decided right then and there that they would stay packed till I got home to sunny California where I could hang them out to dry. Now knowing that, I had to think about who I could stay with along the way where I wouldn't have to sleep in my sponge.
As soon as everything was strapped on, I took off without saying bye to anyone; I hate goodbyes. I stopped at the one gas station out of town where I ran into my camping buddy Rachel who was driving her pick up with the dual sport strapped up in the back. She had come to the event straight from work where she welds (total bad ass, I know) around midnight on Friday and we became friends over the free Stumptown coffee pot Saturday morning. This girl rode motorcycles like a mermaid uses her fins; I'm pretty sure Rachel was born with a dirt-bike between her legs.
Anyways, she was heading back home to Portland with a couple of other girls and I asked if I could tag along. We sped out, tires first into the rain. These girls were champs. My helmet was fogging up, if I tried to open it I was met with needles to the face, my boots had formed lakes in them, and these girls didn't stop. We took a steady pace down the mountain on the empty morning roads. I stopped after about an hour, unable to take the cold in my wet gear. I was about ready to leave the bike and hop in the warm truck with Rach as she pulled up alongside me to see if I was okay. But when I looked at her face I thought “What Would Bad Ass Rachel Do?”
“I just gotta change jackets!” I hollered at her over my shivering, “this fake leather crap just doesn't cut it!”
I stripped the soaked little red bomber jacket I had been wearing all weekend in order to fit in with all the other incredibly stylish women (vanity can get the best of me too sometimes, it's terrible I know) and slipped into the nice padded Olympia three layered riding jacket. It wasn't water proof, but it stopped my torso from shivering. Meanwhile, my legs were perfectly happy. Other than the swimming toes, my GoGo Gear Kevlar leggings hugged my legs and kept them surprisingly warm in the cold downpour.
We caught up to the other girls at the bottom of the mountain where they were topping up their little cafe racers. One of the girls had a brilliant idea, and even though I was already soaked all the way through, I figured a cheap poncho could at least keep some of the cold out. It ended up being more of a placebo poncho because even though I thought it was keeping the rain off of me, what it was actually doing was raining shreds of blue plastic like confetti on the girls riding behind me. As I was finally able to admire the beautiful Washington roads that wind along Hood River in my imagined ball of warmth (shows you how much of a role thoughts play in “miserable” situations), my friends were having to continuously bat away my molting strands.
Somewhere closer to Vancouver, Washington, we stopped for fuel in the thick of the down pour. From under the cover of the gas station, the rain was so heavy it looked like a saturated water color painting. It was loud. When I shouted to the other girls about where Megan – we'll pretend that's her name because I totally forgot it – disappeared to, I felt like a captain shouting over a roaring ocean storm. Megan had gotten cut off by an RV and we waved to her as she obliviously passed us hell bent and fighting the storm ahead of her. I threw what was left of the shredded poncho into the trash and we rode to Portland where I rejoiced to see the sun again. My travel buddies waved goodbye and blew many farewell kisses as we parted ways on separate highways. I made it back to Carla and Marcos' place where I had one of the best showers of my life. The next morning, I booked it to Ashland and spent the night on a friend's couch in order to avoid tragically camping in my tent-turned kiddy pool. She and her roommate took me out on the town and I, of course, fell in love with yet another place. We even got a little “buck wild” and later, while back at their home, we turned their bathroom into a DIY sauna, let the water run on a hot with the door closed and the fan off. We be a wild bunch.
The next day was only interesting for about the first ten minutes still in Ashland, and then it was the long dull-as-fuck trek down the straight hot I-5 all the way home. And yet, as always, I wouldn't trade it for the world... actually, wait, shit, give me the world and the motorcycle to ride it and I'm there!