Solo Motorcycle Adventure

Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)|May-June 2020

Solo Motorcycle Adventure
Any Journey Can Be Epic…Even if It’s Close to Home
Cal Johnson

Can you have a motorcycle adventure in just 27 hours? I sure did! Recently I took a break, packed the bike and headed off on a solo overnighter. There's a remote campground about a four-hour ride from my home in Oregon that I've wanted to investigate for quite some time. Sensibly waiting for the two hottest days of the year, I loaded the trusty KO and headed off into the great unknown... well, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but it felt that way, as I'd be going beyond my favorite riding spots and into new territory.

Even though it’s pavement, I look forward to leaving civilization behind and following a route along the Clackamas River. Eventually I make my way to a labyrinth of dirt and gravel forest roads I’ve explored many times. No GPS needed, I know these roads like the back of my hand. A familiar right turn here, go left there, follow this road and… I’m lost! One of the more unnerving things that can happen when riding solo. So, I take it really easy, carefully turn around, and retrace my path to eventually find the way to Timothy Lake where Mount Hood stands, spectacular, in the distance. Time for round two.

Heading east across Highway 26 and into new territory, I’m overcome with dread, loneliness, and a general sense of, “Why am I even doing this?” After all, why ride off alone into the wilderness to some completely unknown destination to sleep in a tent when I could be at home on the comfy couch watching football? Every mile farther down the road feels like an intrusion into foreign territory. “You don’t belong here,” say the rocks. “Go back,” say the trees. Then, something wonderful happens. The rugged terrain and forest suddenly give way to rolling hills and desert country, all completely new to me. I no longer feel like an intruder but rather a participant. I have no idea why, but trepidation has been replaced with enthusiasm as new sights continue to come into view.

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May-June 2020