Lazy Day By the River

I’m enjoying a quiet, relaxing weekend. Contrary to the last few days, today is bright, sunny, and warm. Yes, I’m finally warm again for the first time in a while, and it feels great. This plan of heading southeast is starting to reward me with the nicer weather I’m looking for. In fact, I even left the roof vent open overnight for the first time in months. It was slightly chilly in the morning, but it was worth it to fall asleep to the sound of the river rushing by.

I took a brief motorcycle ride this morning. I checked out the local “grocery store,” which is really half convenience store, half the home of the couple who runs it. Neat place. I bought a six-pack of local beer to enjoy back at camp. After dropping off my precious cargo, I explored the local area a little bit. There are lots of gravel forest service roads, and I rode a few until either the going got muddier than I would’ve liked, or I just didn’t feel like going any further. I’m not sure which I enjoy more, the riding itself, or the views these roads take me to.

Not too long after I took this picture, my engine shut down and wouldn’t restart. My trip odometer read only 145 miles, so I didn’t think I was low on gas. But I switched to reserve anyway, and with a little more cranking the engine started right back up. That’s the shortest distance I’ve ever gotten out of a tank on the KLR. I immediately set a course back to camp, which was only 3 miles away, and made it just fine. The closest gas station, on the other hand, is more like 20 miles away, which is a bit much to ask for a bike that’s already on reserve.

Fortunately, I’d learned my lesson from the time something similar happened in Yuma. Since I have space for it in the trailer, I carry a five-gallon gas can. The bike took about four of those to fill the tank, so now I can keep exploring the area to my heart’s content. I’ll just have to refill the gas can the next time I put gas in the van.

But despite the beautiful weather, I’m more interested in just sitting at camp and relaxing today. It’s the weekend, so the area is pretty busy. I can hear dirt bikes and four-wheelers ripping all over the forest service roads nearby. I’ll enjoy them more during the week after everyone else goes home and back to work. That’s the beauty of this life.

I made myself a pizza for lunch, then took Lister for a short walk down to the river. I’d brought a camp chair out and hoped to sit by the water for a while. Lister was curious at first, but soon decided he didn’t like being so close to a gushing river, and practically bounced off the end of the leash trying to run back to the van. I took the hint, walked him back, and clipped him back to the tether on the van. It was a nice idea, but he wasn’t having it.

I rather like my setup here. Between the trees and the way I’m parked, it feels like I have the place to myself. My van and trailer form a wall between the rest of my campsite and the big open parking lot, where an RV spent the night and others are coming in and out regularly. I’m right off the main road, but it doesn’t feel like it. I’ll have to watch my data usage on my T-Mobile hotspot, but I’m saving data on Verizon since it doesn’t work here anyway, which is the opposite of how they usually work.

I still don’t think I’ll stay here the full 14 days I’m allowed, but if this nice weather holds, I’ll at least stay a few days into next week. I found a Harvest Host brew pub to stay at in Yakima, and there’s a Cabela’s for a second night in town before I move on down the road again. The more I do this, the more I realize that I’d rather park somewhere for a while and explore the local area instead of moving every day or two. Now I’ve worked my way back to an area where I can do that. I’m enjoying it. Despite the river visit, so is Lister. My doors are wide open, but he’s had so much outside time today that he curled up in bed to take a nap. Now seems like a good time to go sit by the river for a little while.

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